ISSUE 17, April 2006
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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Under-21 Mason
I was pleased to see the comment on Rule 157 in your editorial (MQ, Issue No. 16), as my stepson, Christopher Hanson, was initiated into Old Pocklingtonian Lodge No. 7867 on 5 November 2005, by dispensation under this rule, having become 18 on 7 May 2005.
    He was therefore 18 and a half years old when initiated. He had been determined for some five years to join the Craft at the earliest opportunity, and has made every effort to attend Lodge socials since he was 10.
    He has been very proud to let his friends know of his involvement, and hopes that some of them will follow his lead. He has already made several visits and was looking forward to being passed in Mitre York Lodge No. 7321, my Mother Lodge, on 1 February.
    Robert Ward Wilberfoss, Yorkshire

Nelson Stone’s home
The October 2005 issue of MQ contained an error about the ownership of the Nelson Stone. United Friends Lodge No. 313 was founded on 20 June 1797, the warrant was issued on 26 June and it was consecrated on 11 August in Great Yarmouth.
    The names of the first Principal Officers were engraved thereon, but the name of the first Master, Samuel Fromow, was later chiselled out. No-one knows why!
    The original number of the Lodge was 564. In 1814 it was 585, in 1832 it became 392 and in 1863 changed to 313. The Lodge fell into abeyance between 1853 and 1860 and again between 1871 and 1881.
    Friendship Lodge No. 100 (formerly No. 117) did not come to Yarmouth until 1842, having been consecrated at Norwich in 1752. United Friends can therefore justly claim to be oldest Great Yarmouth Lodge.
    On the death of Lord Nelson, Bro Cutlove cut the inscription on the stone, which came into the possession of Friendship Lodge, presumably during one of the times when United Friends Lodge was in abeyance and a number of brethren joined Friendship Lodge.
    To quote from W Bro Teasdel’s history of the Lodge: “Thanks to the tact and diplomacy of Bro. Westmacott, Master of United Friends in 1912, and then Mayor of the Borough, and the goodwill and Masonic feeling of the Master of Friendship, Bro. Benjamin Charles Child, the ‘Nelson Stone’ was graciously restored to its original home.”
    It is now proudly displayed at every meeting by the Senior Warden’s hutch.
    Jonathan Morgan Ranworth, Norfolk

Spilsbury flattered
Your vignette on Sir Bernard Spilsbury (MQ, Issue No. 16) was most interesting. However, whilst the details of his Masonic career and achievements may be authentic, your analysis of his contribution to facilitating the acceptance of science-based evidence in the detection of crime and the administration of justice is unjustly flattering.
    Since his death in 1947 at least three major works have been published about his life and work: Bernard Spilsbury – His Life and Cases by Browne and Tullett, The Father of Forensics by Colin Evans and The New Murders Who’s Who, Harrop Books, London.
    From these Sir Bernard emerges as a somewhat severe, uncompromising and dogmatic man with a dangerous conviction in the infallibility of his own views.
    Even in the later years of his life, several members of the judiciary were expressing disquiet, not only because of his patronising and haughty attitude in the witness box, but also with regard to the reliability of his evidence.
    Indeed, recent researches have suggested that his inflexible dogmatism led to several miscarriages of justice.
    Brian Davey Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria

Nelson medal
Further to the observations of Benjamin Wiles (MQ Letters, Issue 16) regarding the Nelson medal, he depicted that it could be more of a maritime than a Masonic medal. May I suggest that it is both?
    The medal shows a number of maritime symbols as well as Masonic ones. However, the symbols at the very bottom of the medal are of a rainbow over the Ark on water.
    That suggests that the medal may originate to the Maritime Degree of the Royal Ark Mariners, and together with the inscription around its circumference – Nelsonic Crimson Oakes: Commenced Jan 19 1808 – was no doubt struck to celebrate this event. Is, or was, Crimson Oakes a RAM Lodge?
    J.Hemmings Rochdale

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