ISSUE 11, October 2004
Elias Ashmole: Masonic Icon
Travel: The magical beauty of Scotland
Honoured: By the Glovers' livery company
The Theatre: Strong links between Craft and stage
Quarterly Communication: Address of the Pro Grand Master and, Report of the Board of General Purposes
Mauritius: Fascinating Masonic history
Rochester Cathedral: Kent Masons' magnificent fresco
Clerkenwell: 25 years of Masonry
  Bravery award: One Mason's heroism is honoured
Christmas shopping: What to buy in London's West End
High flight: Helping terminally ill children
Jewels of the Craft: An essential part of Masonry
Library & Museum: John Pine exhibition and Library & Museum Trust report
Masonic education: Events for Masons; Quatuor Coronati Lodge; Mentors for new Masons
Charities: Masons provide emergency aid for flood victims; Charity news; Demelza gives voice
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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Freemasonry has had a fascinating history in Mauritius as Michael Allan explains

An island tale

Mauritius is the playground of the rich and famous – its hotels are among the best in the world, service is second to none and discerning gourmets feast on French, Indian, Chinese, Creole and British cuisine.
    Such an eclectic mix is due to the various contributions of nations over the last 300 years.
    No bigger than Surrey, Mauritius was originally uninhabited. Arabs first discovered it, then the Portuguese – neither of whom stopped. The first recorded landing was in 1598, when the Dutch named it Mauritius.
    They failed to establish a colony and abandoned the island in 1710 after depleting it of ebony trees and the unfortunate Dodo. Their only contribution was the introduction of sugar cane.
    The French took possession in 1715, renaming it ‘Isle de France’ and continued cultivating sugar cane with the help of African slaves. In 1810 the British captured the island, seeing it as the gateway to India.
    The change of power was amicable, and French remained the principle language. In the 1830s slavery was abolished and indentured labour was brought in from India.
    Mauritius gained its independence in 1968, and became a republic in 1992. Its economy now relies on clothing manufacture, offshore enterprises and tourism.
    The population stands at 1.3m, a mix of races all adding their own languages, cultures and religions to a colourful island, nation and history. Freemasonry had an equally colourful and diverse evolution.
    The Grand Orient de France (GODF) was established in 1773, and within five years they delegated three army and navy officers to formally constitute Lodge La Triple Espérance and the installation took place on Christmas Day, 1778.

Summons of Friendship Lodge No 1696