Hong Kong friends
Last October my wife and I spent some three weeks in China on holiday, ending up with three days in Hong Kong, where we met a Mason and his wife.
We enjoyed their company and sat in Hong Kong airport and exchanged addresses. We had a Christmas card, but despite extensive research, cannot find their address.
Their names were Sandra and Ed and have a son Richard. They reside in Rochdale. Can an MQ reader help to re-establish this friendship'
John Lewis, Horspath, Oxford
Changing the ranks
I read with great interest the article on the establishment of the Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter for London (MQ, Issue No. 4).
I was initiated in 1959, and early in 1960 was hearing: 'What has Bro. AB done to get that rank' and 'Bro. CD has worked really hard, and has only been offered PPG Standard Bearer'.
Comments like this have been made over the past 42 years. The titles of Provincial Grand Rank and Senior Provincial Grand Rank should be created as the normal honours.
This should be after suitable continuing periods of service after the chair, with Provincial rank for good service without having served as Master. A Provincial Grand Master would then have far more from which to select his acting officers.
It would give rise to far less criticism, which arises without any consideration of the difficult task which faces the PGM each year.
In the case of the new Metropolitan Grand Lodge for London - and the Provincial Grand Ranks if ever they came to pass - it would be a good idea to present a small breast jewel to indicate the acting rank. I am sure it would be greatly prized.
Geoffrey Farrar, Brighouse, Yorkshire
Food for thought
I have come to relish Natasha Blair's restaurant review, particularly as I am not always sure whether she is being deadly serious or tongue-in-cheek.
Take, for example, her visit to Harvey Nichols' Fifth Floor restaurant (MQ, Issue No. 4) which she describes as "trendy". Her next sentence characterises the clientele as "smart, trendy people".
Natasha then confides that her dining companion and herself were kept waiting nearly an hour for their first course, while the main course took so long to arrive, they filled up with rolls.
Despite these deficiencies, she inexplicably (and hilariously) classes the service as "attentive". I look forward to Natasha's next oeuvre with mouth-watering anticipation.
Cyril Zipson, Ilford, Essex
During 2002, The Province of East Lancashire was involved with a 2004 Festival project, a Triathlon, comprising four athletes cycling from John O'Groats to Lands End.
As if that was not enough, they climbed Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike, swam 14 lakes of Cumbria, visited the Manchester Velodrome, cycled to Wales and climbed Snowdon before the last effort of cycling and reaching Land End - all non-stop.
This was all done in six days 23 hours - a magnificent effort. The event was dedicated to The British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK as part of the 2004 Festival.
To further boost the funds, a video was made of the event and is now available at £16.50 including p&p. By the way, £10 goes to the charities.
You can order from: The Festival Office, Freemasons Hall, Bridge Street, Manchester M3 3BT: Please make cheques payable to Festival 2004 - Triathlon.
Peter G. Woods, Province of East Lancashire
Reaching the Rock
I enjoyed reading Stephanie Voyager's Weekend Tonic article (MQ, Issue 4) and share her enthusiasm for southern Spain and particularly Gibraltar.
Your readers may like to know of an alternative route from London-Gatwick to Gibraltar. Monarch Airlines fly a daily scheduled service to Gibraltar from Luton and can be contacted at www.flymonarch.com or on 0870 0405040.
Bruce Macpherson, Woodbridge, Suffolk
Point of order
At a recent Lodge meeting, the question was asked if one should wear a Masonic ring on the finger with the points of the compasses pointing up, i.e., away from the hand, or pointing down, i.e., towards the wrist.
I had been taught that the ring should be worn "points down" as a reminder of the position of the compasses when I took my obligation as an Entered Apprentice.
Others thought that the ring should be worn "points up" as a reminder of one's first view of the Great thought Emblematical Lights after the hoodwink had been removed.
Both seem logical, but do you know which is the correct way to wear a Masonic ring?
Ken Burbridge, Maidstone, Kent
I was introduced into Freemasonry in 1943 in Lodge Donoughmore, an Irish Lodge, when in the army in New Delhi. I then returned to the UK, but went back to India to work for the company which had employed me before the war.
Then I learned there were English and Scottish Constitutions as well. The next 15 years involved me more or less fully with the English Constitution from the time I joined Lodge Concord in Bombay.
It was therefore wonderful news that the Grand Lodge of lndia was now recognised by the United Grand Lodge of England.
It saddened me when recognition was withdrawn, but I am now very happy that so many of our old friends and brothers are free to take part in all that is good once more.
Ivan Baker, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire
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