ISSUE 12, January 2005

Kitchener of Khartoum: Mason extraordinary
Travel: Where east meets west
Veteran Honoured: Old soldier remembered
Royal Masonic Family: The Six Masonic Sons of George III, Part 1
Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech of the Pro First Grand Principal and, Report of the Committee of General Purposes
  Quarterly Communication: Address of the Pro Grand Master and, Report of the Board of General Purposes
Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London: London's first consecration
Soccer: Man in the Middle
Wales: Joseph Parry - flawed genius?
Library & Museum: Donations gather pace
Education: Dates for your diary and, Planning a 'white table' and, Looking to the future and, Time marches on
Grand Charity: General meeting and non-Masonic grant list
Masonic Charities: Reports from the four main charities
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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Above: The `Anker' spy hole in the Rochester Cathedral fresco
Right: An actual `squint' at a Durham church
© Rochester Cathedral / Peter Martin / Abracadabra Photography
Star Letter

Being a student of archaeology I read with interest the article on the Rochester Cathedral fresco (MQ, Issue No. 11) by the Russian artist Sergei Fyodorov.
     He incorporated into his work `I Spy' which your article illustrated. This is known as a `squint' and is showing a person known as an Anchorite or Anker, looking out on the religious service going on.
     Anyone a monk, nun or layman could become an Anchorite or Anker, provided they satisfied their Bishop that they understood the gravity of their undertaking.
     They were usually enclosed for life at a ceremony containing elements of the burial service, and were sometimes interred in the room where they had lived.
     Their main occupations were prayer and contemplation, and some even took part in the services in the church through the small window the `squint'.
     Being so bricked up, all their food and needs were passed through a small hatch to them. All but their waste, dirty washing, refuse and `slops' were likewise passed out the same way.

     Our church of St Mary and St Cuthbert at Chester-le-Street, Durham, has such an Anchorite in an Anker's house, which is now part of the church.
     The church was founded in 883 AD by Bishop Eardulf and the monks who carried the body of St Cuthbert along with his sacred relics, had fled from Lindisfarne Priory on Holy Island following a Danish Viking invasion in 875 AD.
Alfred Harris, Chester-le-Street, Durham

SY Viking memories
I refer to two letters (MQ, Issue No. 8) and another (Issue No. 9) regarding the SY Viking. My father served on her and I still have letters he sent to my mother from the ship when in Palmers Dock, Hepburn-on-Tyne while doing the Norwegian cruises.
     Then came the Great War, and my father, Chief Engineer, Henry Pollard RNR joined the White Star Line's HMS Viknor, a merchant cruiser, on 12 December 1914.
     She was sunk by enemy action early in 1915 and my father was drowned at sea, his first voyage on her. Shortly after receiving the telegram notifying my mother of her loss, she gave birth to me and died, leaving me an orphan.
H J Rogers, Bournemouth

Victory for Warwickshire Masons
In January 2003 Coventry City Council introduced a requirement for relevant employees to register their membership of Freemasonry. The register was open to inspection by elected members and Chief Officers. Strong protests were made by the Province of Warwickshire about this blatant act of discrimination with demands that the requirement be removed.
     Unexpectedly, and without notice to the Masonic authorities, the Council's Standards Committee, which is headed by a retired judge, at a meeting in August 2004 removed all overt references to Freemasonry in the staff Code of Conduct and the Council adopted the change in September.
     Michael Price, Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire, said: "We are pleased that the council has at last acceded to our request. Its decision recognises that it is not appropriate to single out Freemasons for treatment of that nature."
     Warwickshire Freemasons are delighted with the outcome following months of correspondence with the council and letters to the local press.
Rodney Pitham, Information Officer, Warwickshire Freemasons

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