ISSUE 18, July 2006
Editorial
Archbishop Fisher: A Godly man and a Brother
Travel: The train takes the strain
Quarterly Communication: Annual Investiture speech by the Grand Master and Speech of the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech by the First Grand Principal and Report of the Committee of General Purposes Grand Lodge of New York: Speech by the Pro Grand Master
   Specialist Lodges: Keeping their eyes on the ball
Education: Planning ahead for the Chair and Events and New premises for Masonic research
Royal Opera House: A right Royal occasion
Royal opening: Beamish Museum
Digital records: Saving our past for the future
Library & Museum: The hall in the garden
Queen's Birthday: Masons played a prominent part
International: A Mason and the Foreign Legion
Masonic Charities: Grand Charity and NMSF and RMBI and RMTGB
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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Alan Forster reads out details of an heroic stand by Legionnaires in Mexico to celebrate Camerone Day
   Freemason Alan Forster has had quite an interesting life, both at home and overseas, but meeting him at a reunion of former British members of the French Foreign Legion near Victoria Station in central London was quite an experience.
    Alan worked for many years at one of the military headquarters and is a Grand Officer of the British Grand Lodge in Germany. He now has his own vineyard near Aubanue, not far from the Legion’s base camp in the Marseilles area and is heavily involved in French Freemasonry.
    He has been asked by his local Province to assist them in the setting up of two English-speaking Lodges under their constitution, the National Grand Lodge of France, which is recognised by the United Grand Lodge of England.
    He served for many years in the French Foreign Legion with the 3rd REP (Régiment Étranger de Parachutistes), serving during the Algerian campaign. I, too, joined the Legion way back in the 1980s, but unlike Alan, they released me once they discovered that my eyesight was not as good as I had claimed it to be!
    However, this was not before they changed my name. It was tradition then that all married men had to have a nom de guerre. The formula was to take the next letter of your first name and change it . So Bernard became Charles, as Prince Charles was very much in the news when I enlisted at Fort de Nogent in Paris. Then they change your surname, keeping the same first letter. Thus I became Charles Western because I arrived wearing cowboy boots.
    Since Masonry is universal and there are many regimental or school Lodges, I wanted to know if any British ex-Legionnaires were also Masons and that is how I came to meet Brother Alan recently near Victoria station. He was with the Foreign Legion Association of Great Britain in charge of the annual Camerone Day celebrations.
    This event is celebrated wherever Legionaries and ex-Legionnaires are based, as it commemorates their legendary battle, fought in 1863 in Camerone, Mexico, where 60 Legionnaires fought with over 2,000 Mexicans.
    The story of this battle was read by Brother Alan, followed by the sounding of the Last Post by a drummer of the Scots Guards.


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