ISSUE 14, July 2005

Editorial
The King and the Craft
Quarterly Communication: Speech of the Grand Master and Speech of the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech of the Pro First Grand Principle and Report of the Committee of General Purposes Grand Lodge dues: Message from the President of the Board of General Purposes
    Masonic Housing: Major changes Finance: Choosing an investment manager Travel: Tantalising Tunisia Goose and Gridiron: Historic Masonic unveiling Extravaganza: Hollywood comes to Grand Lodge Masonic Events: Day of Fun and Medical, University and Legal Lodges' Festival Education: Sheffield Masonic Library and Forthcoming events and The Entered Apprentice Specialist Lodges: Revving up to success and where eagles dare International: The horror of Phuket and Grand Charity team visit disaster area Library and Museum: Fraternal societies Masonic Charities: NMSF and RMBI and RMTGB and Grand Charity
Obituaries, Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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One of the must-see things to do is a visit to the Bardo, the museum of archaeology housing the biggest collection of mosaics in the world, many with their colours still vivid, some dating back to Roman times. Although you can go on your own, it is very difficult to appreciate what you are seeing, and I very much regretted not having a guide.
    The highlight of my visit was seeing stones that had been found from a civilisation 40,000 years before Christ, probably the oldest religious edifice in the world. At one time, Tunisia formed part of the Roman Empire and at Carthage, another unesco World Heritage site, you can see the remains of a city, initially established by the Phoenicians around 814bc, which became Rome’s third largest imperial city. Unfortunately all the statues now no longer have noses or genitals as, over a period of time, they were removed by vandals.
    The cobblestone village of Sidi Bou Saïd must be the prettiest place we visited on my trip. The buildings are all painted in deep blue and white, colours you see a lot if travelling around the country. There are endless large hotel resorts along the coast, so we just had to peep into the Dar Saïd, now a hotel, but in the nineteenth century the home of one of the more affluent Tunisians.
    Perched on a hill with views of the Mediterranean, it is the sort of place that you would wish to stay at if you are looking for a quiet, even romantic holiday, as it is comparatively small with all the bedrooms individually decorated.
    Spas are one of the big things in Tunisia, and the country boasts the biggest selection outside of France. We also stayed on the coast at Port El Kantaoui, where the hotel has its own luxurious Thalassatherapy spa, which offers many different treatments in beautiful surroundings. All the spas try and outdo each other by introducing new and exotic treatments. At a hotel spa in Hammamet, six of us had a ghassoul. For the uninitiated, we were covered in a gunge of brown mud which hardens while you all sit in an enclosed, but warm room, into which wonderful aromatherapy smells are introduced. Unfortunately, at the end, just as you are drifting off to the sounds of relaxing music, you are sprayed with freezing cold water!
    Wherever you stay there is usually, at the very least, a hamman, which is similar to our steam room, but more authentic, as it is usually housed in a sizeable space with stone walls, and stone seating. And the best part is that you get to have a massage afterwards.
    While most of the things in the country are cheap, in comparison the cost of the various spa treatments do not appear to be so. So, if the resort or hotel where you are staying has a spa, and you are planning to take advantage of the facility, it is almost certainly worth negotiating a treatment or two within your package. If you are looking for a bit of excitement, it is also worth considering a two-destination holiday taking in the Sahara desert in the south of the country.

The Bardo museum has one of the world’s best collections of Roman mosaics 




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