ISSUE 17, April 2006
Editorial
Historic: The Brother who designed the Spitfire
Travel: The charm of Kerala
Grand Lodge: Pro Grand Master's speech and Quarterly Communication
Public Relations: Hottest spot in town
International: Emulation in Bulgaria and Mauritius takes a leap forward and Hungary's Royal Arch library
Library & Museum: Recent acquisitions
Masonic Bibles: Lodges and their Bibles
    Royal Masonic Girls' School: My thanks to the Freemasons
Holocaust: The Count of Auschwitz
Education: International conference on the history of Freemasonry and Events
Specialist Lodges: Masonry universal - via radio
Masonic Charities: Grand Charity continues to help those in need and New Masonic Samaritan Fund and Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution and Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys
Grand Charity: The Tsunami - one year on and Important Gift Aid information
Letters, Book Reviews, and Gardening

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Above
Watering time for elephants at the Periyar tiger reserve

Below
The impressive interior of the Jewish Synagogue at Cochin




    Another indication of Masonic presence is to be found in the tea museum. As well as outlining the history of the drink and demonstrating how the leaf eventually becomes what we drink, it also houses a plaque concerning Freemasonry in India.
    Our next stop, Periyar Tiger Reserve, sprawling over 777 sq. km has a lake with boat rides, the most popular way of seeing the wild animals. Unfortunately, the likelihood of sighting a tiger is remote. However, we did see elephants, Samba deer, wild boar and bison as well as a variety of birds.
    Although I had hoped to participate on a trek, an unexpected rainstorm made this impossible. Nearby, we stayed at Spice Village in accommodation designed as tribal huts, thatched with elephant grass. Its 14 acres of grounds are laid out with specimens of the many different spice and fruit trees to be found in Kerala.
    A tour of this gives you an insight into the abundance of food grown in the area. Guinea fowl, running around on the lawns, add to the enchantment of the place. Of the many activities available is a cookery demonstration of some of the local dishes, with a cookbook available to purchase so that you can experiment when you get home. All the spices you need can be bought virtually anywhere at a very small cost.
    With such a hectic itinerary, our stay at Coconut Lagoon was a welcome reprieve. Situated on the banks of Lake Vembanad, the only way to get there is by boat through Kerala’s backwaters. Set within a coconut plantation, which is interspersed with a network of canals, accommodation is in cottages called tharawads, the traditional wooden house of the region.


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