ISSUE 19, October 2006
Editorial
Historic: Rabbi and Mason
Travel: Morocco's exotic charm
Quarterly Communication: Address by the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Working with Youngsters: The Grand Master goes fishing
Community Relations: Saying it with flowers
International: Spanish Freemasonry under the microscope
   Events: Grand Lodge Award; Royal Masonic Variety Show
Specialist Lodges: Masonry on the canal
Freemasonry and Society: A Churchman's view of Masonry
Education: Toast of the town and Events
Young Masons: The Universities Scheme
Library & Museum: The Freemasons's Tontine
Masonic Charities: The Grand Charity and NMSF and RMTGB and RMBI
Letters
Book reviews
Gardening

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National dishes are tajine, meat and/or vegetables slowcooked in an earthenware dish with a conical lid; and couscous, coarse grain semolina that is served with meat, vegetables and broth.
    At some restaurants, you can land up being brought lots of different courses, so it is quite important to decide whether you want this or would prefer to go somewhere where you can choose the dishes you would like to eat.
    For somewhere with style, where the majority of the food is Moroccan, with some international dishes, the Foundouk is really special. Hidden away down a narrow alley and only safely accessible by taxi, weather permitting, eat outside by candlelight on their roof terrace.
    Marrakech boasts three 18-hole golf courses where, according to our guide, you can pay for nine holes and play the full course. “If you do pay for the 18 holes”, he explained “you are able to go around again at no extra charge.” Each has its own characteristics, with the Royal having the most beautiful fairways; and the Amelkis, liked by the more experienced player as hillier.
    Marrakech is on the edge of the Atlas Mountains. The foothills is where a lot of the pottery is made, so it is worth holding off buying anything if a visit to the mountains is part of the itinerary. Omar, our tour operator’s representative, is a member of the Berber race, the people indigenous to this area. He acted as a guide on a trip to a Berber home, where we were able to learn a little about their culture. Within the walls, which are made from a mixture of mud, clay and straw the family’s goats and rabbits co-habit. Unlike the way Europeans live, the rooms in general are not just for one use, but flexible, depending on what is needed.
    Water and electricity has not, as yet, come to the whole of the area. Omar explained that the people may be poor in monetary terms, but their wealth is not measured in the same way as ours, in that they are not poor in their hearts.
    The coastal town of Essaouria was, in times gone by, used as a base by pirates to explore foreign lands, and gained fame more latterly in the 1960s as the hippy hang-out of the famous. We had to park our car outside the walled town, and hire a gentleman with a push cart to transport our luggage to our accommodation.
    The Riad Al Madina, hidden among the winding streets that teem with shops, is a fairly rustic building. Many of the bedrooms face onto a pretty, many-balconied courtyard, and with the narrow winding staircases to access them, you need to be fairly agile to stay there.
    The restaurant, with its rich red furnishings and low tables, is very much in keeping with what you would imagine a Moroccan restaurant to be like. Seagulls are everywhere as the port, just outside the city’s walls, has a market for fish which is caught locally. Towards dusk, cafés display the latest catch from which you can pick what you want, and have it cooked to order.
    One of the amazing sights of the area are the goats which graze on the branches of the argan tree. The area is also well known for its argan oil, which is produced from the fruit of the tree. The oil, rich in vitamin E, is widely sold as a panacea for just about anything!



A Berber village in the Atlas mountains

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