ISSUE 3, October 2002
Editorial
Brother Winston: Churchill as a Freemason
Travel: Getting the taste
Manchester City: Masons achieve their goal
Freemasonry in the Community: Sermon of the Dean of St Paul's Cathedral and Chief Executive spells out the five objectives of the Grand Charity
Quarterly Communication: Report of the Board of General Purposes and Address by the Pro Grand Master
A Dickens of a Night: Charles Dickens celebrated
   Masonic Research: Seek and ye shall find
Charity News: New Masonic Samaritan Fund and Grand Charity and Cornwall Freemasons raise 2.8m and MTGB: Special concert in the Grand Temple and RMBI: Care in action
Library and Museum: Burmese banners and Royal British Legion link
Letters
Freemasonry in the Community: Supplement
Gardening
Book reviews

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Serious: The Autobiography, John McEnroe, Little Brown 2002
In the early 1980s, I was a Borg fan. Effortless, ice cool and genial, he was the personification of what John McEnroe was not. Yet my perception of the 'Superbrat' has changed in recent years. I like him. A brilliant commentator, with an eloquence and effortless turn of phrase, McEnroe has matured into an affable, good humoured and self-effacing man. If ever the years have mellowed a person, then McEnroe is that person.
    His mass of shock hair has gone, but his candour and entertainment value have not.
    The McEnroe story is an extraordinary one, and MQ readers are unlikely to be disappointed by a man who was no ordinary sportsman. Brought up in Queens, McEnroe went on to win 77 career titles and 7 Grand Slams. Any tennis fan will enjoy reading about his views on adversaries on the court - particularly his dislike of Connors and admiration for Borg, as well as his relationship with the media and tennis establishment off it.
    He does not mince his words and has strong opinions on the way forward for tennis. He argues convincingly that 'It should be played with wooden racquets' in order to bring craft to a game taken over by power. McEnroe passionately cares about the Davis Cup, when many fellow players shun it in search of more lucrative competitions. He is also a man of interests. An aspiring rock star, McEnroe loves fame and the celebrity it brings. He once held up a Rolling Stones concert for half an hour 'having a smoke' with Jagger. Yet fame has come at a price, as his much-publicised failed relationship with Tatum O'Neil bears testimony. The latter part of the book, when he stops playing tennis, was less enthralling but interesting nonetheless.
    You'll like him.


Beggars Banquet, Ian Rankin, Orion, 2002
A book of short stories has to be very good to be good. All too often one or two in the collection aren't up to the mark.
    It is also a harder art. Most authors require time in order to fully immerse the reader.
    A writer of short stories does not have this luxury, and hence the descriptions and characterisations have to be that much better.
    It is therefore rare for a collection of short stories as well written as Rankin's 'Beggars Banquet' to emerge.
    There are 21 in all, 8 of which are Detective Inspector Rebus stories for the die-hard Rankin fans who have grown up on the exploits of the Scottish policeman.
    It has been some ten years since Rankin last wrote a book of short stories 'A Good Hanging', and many will question why it has taken so long to write another.
    This is the ideal book for someone 'on the go' - waiting in an airport lounge, reading on the tube and so on.
    If you are not a crime story lover then Rankin is probably not going to appeal, but his stories are diverse with widely varying subjects, styles and settings.

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