Saturday, 1 March 2014

1st March 2014 - St David and the Ladies...

St David's Day.  Dydd Dewi Sant. Patron Saint of Wales. Unlike most of our other patron saints who have no connection with their native country, David was a native of Wales though you would hardly know it from his teaching.

His Monastic Rule prescribed that monks had to pull the plough themselves without draught animals, must drink only water and eat only bread with salt and herbs, and spend the evenings in prayer, reading and writing. No personal possessions were allowed.

But today was also the day for another Saint and a day for over imbibing in best Masonic Tradition - The St Teilo Lodge Ladies Night at Llanelli. Traditionally always held on the nearest Saturday to St David's Day - and on the actual day this year. And muggins found himself once more substituting for the Junior Warden, whose task it is on such an occasion to propose the toast to the Ladies, and in particular the Master's Lady...

The days of Freemasonry being secretive are well over and so on this occasion I felt that I would record the toast for future posterity - so feel free to ignore and come back on another day - or read on.... after all it was a public toast...

Toast to the Ladies : March 1st 2014...

Worshipful Master, Brethren Gentlemen and Ladies

It is once more a great delight to be able to stand at the Junior Wardens corner
Otherwise known as the Naughty Boy Corner to propose a toast to our lovely ladies....
This is of course a cautionary tale for any and all of the Brethren, and a reminder that the last thing you should ever include in any of your toasts, is that "this will be my last time to be able to propose this toast from this table!!"
It does not happen that way...  but at least I get another chance to try and get it right...

We can learn by our mistakes brethren...
I first Stood in this corner in 1988
Let us remember some things about 1988
The introduction of the World Wide Web
First Text Message -
First Known Computer Virus
President Reagan's last year
The last episode of the Classic Era of Doctor Who
Al Quaeda is formed
Brother Nathan Morrison was 4 years old

It was the year I discovered:
A married man should forget his mistakes.
There's no use two people remembering the same things.
It was a time to Ponder: If a man is walking in the forest, and there is
no woman present to hear him speak, is he still wrong? 

There were a number of disasters that year
Introduction of the Poll Tax
Maggie Thatcher
Tieneman Square
The Marchioness disaster - and my first toast from the Junior Warden table!

That was the year I realised that it is best not to try to tell long jokes - but to keep to the point
A toast to the ladies has one purpose - to thank you for supporting us, both tonight and throughout the year...
Ladies - We thank you !!

Years moved on and my own wife had the joy of responding to the Ladies Toast, and calling me Worshipful Master.
I never expected to experience that again ! but nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition either...

But then it was 1997...   and here I was again !!
Hong Kong was handed back to China
Bill Clinton in for 2nd Term
Tony Blair becomes Prime Minister and Labour is back in power
Ban on Handguns
Princess Diana and Mother Theresa Die
Brother Richard Jones is 9 years old
Nathan is a teenager!! (13) by now

First Harry Potter Book - And I was reminded that our ladies provide the magic in our lives....

Just think brethren, if it were not for marriage we would go through life thinking we had no faults at all.
I learned the only way to make sure your wife will pay undivided attention to every word you say...
Talk in your sleep!

That was the year I first tried Golf and discovered that ladies and men had different skills and abilities

As I was beginning  my pre-shot routine, visualising my upcoming shot, a voice came over the clubhouse loudspeaker.

"Would the gentleman on the woman's tee back up to the men's tee please!!"
I was still deep in my routine, I was impervious to the interruption.
Again the announcement,  "Would the MAN on the WOMEN'S tee kindly backup to the men's tee."
I  simply ignored the guy and kept concentrating, when once more, the man yelled:
"Would the  man on the woman's tee back up to the men's  tee, PLEASE!"
I finally stopped, turned, looked through the clubhouse window directly at the person with the microphone and shouted back,
"Would the  person in the  clubhouse kindly shut up and let me play my second  shot?"

No - things are not always what they seem !!

This was the year I discovered ladies with hidden talents.
What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers all have one thing in common?
All invented by women.
Our ladies too are also full of hidden qualities...

That year I followed Ben Disraeli's  advice when he said the "One should always flatter a lady, but when it comes to the Queen one should lay it on with a trowel - "
I learned that it is the best intention to treat all ladies at the Ladies Night as Queens...

And so I find myself back here...
14 years on and no wiser...
But still with the pleasure of welcoming you all to the one night in the year when we can pamper you.
When I can say that you are all beautiful,
(and a darn sight more pleasing to the eye than the crowd on a normal Lodge Night.)
To say that we appreciate that we could not enjoy our hobby without your support.
To say that you are inintegral part of the Lodge and all that we do.
To apologise for the that slight mistruth that was used when we joined - that it is only a few nights a year... but in fairness that was what we were told as well!

For putting up with us when we return from lodge - a little talkative and excitable
For putting up with us when we have our noses in our little book
My wife will often say "Did you say something?? Oh - you're muttering!! " and carry on...
For supporting each of us in all we do, for those who wait outside with a car running,
For those who sit at home. For those who know where we last left our bits and pieces.

And on this evening, We all give a big thank you to Jill, out Master's lady, for all her work and support of Keith during the year, and indeed in all the years that you have both been in St Teilo.
We thank you for your work and the preparation that has gone into this evening to make it look so fantastic and all your other social events.
and for allowing him out !!

So on behalf of the Past Masters and Officers of St Teilo Lodge - I would now like to present a small gift to mark this evening - a token of our affection and thanks - a momento of this evening...

And so, brethren, look to your left and right
Appreciate what support we are given...
Raise your glasses and drink a bumper toast

To the Ladies ..

Hopefully - will not have to do it again...   but you can never tell....
Happy St David's Day

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