Are there still any English speaking brethren out there ? Have you not all been scared off by our pestilential French mess ?
Well, just in case the summer heat and stench leaves you any appetite for more....and not forgetting Friday's possible developments, of course !....
.... you might like to feast your eyes on a jolly good video that came out last year (in French, but that is probably within your grasp, even if only intuitively, as well schooled men and brethren). You'll find it easily on Google or Amazon.
But to begin at the beginning (of my thoughts, that is!), I have much pondered over the past months on the curious coincidence of our having, among our GLNF leaders (or, rather, past leaders) at least 3 Honorary Consuls to African States.
My dream as a young man in one of England's major ports was one day to be its Honorary Consul for France. That seemed very exotic to me, full of the promise of cheap, if not free, claret galore. (The notion of free perks already inherent in the idea, to my shame!) Anyway, it never came about, except the claret galore part, but I had to move, in those days of long ago, to France for that.
Seeing these Respectable Brethren in their respective posts as Honorary Consuls therefore reminded me of all that. I wondered how I had come to miss out on my earlier ambition, especially having become an Honorable Freemason!
Well, I am not one to dwell on sour grapes! Claret here is plentiful enough, and the African states in question did not really seem very enticing, as suppliers of basically anything I can desire or afford. So, I can't for the life of me think why these Dear Sirs and Brothers wanted to sacrifice their valuable free time to being Honorary Consuls. It's beyond me.
oh yes; I was telling you about a video or, rather, DVD.
I happed upon it purely by chance, believe me or not.
Called "Françafrique, La Raison d'Etat", it gives you an absolutely fascinating account of France's relations throughout the period from WW2 to the present with its former colonies in West and Central Africa. It begins with De Gaulle. The Big Man was well versed in all the methods a Big Man needs to preserve his country's predominance in its overseas territories. His actions were to put into place a system, overt, and, above all, covert, that have come through the successive presidencies,of France, and later, in the newly independant African states, to the present time.
The footage had finished, I thought, with statements and nice pictures of today's leaders in the various countries concerned.
So I thought... but there was a heart-warming footnote to end off the disc: can you guess what?
Hope for the future. The colonial past in not dead. The Africans have discovered our traditional Western way of approaching the mysteries of life: Freemasonry!
close ups on Stifani, Foellner, Charbonniaud and many others, in full regalia and accompanied by their promotees, the African Heads of State, in their similarly ornate regalia, entering some temple for a Grand Lodge meeting!
Most delightful. Brethren, I recommend it to you.