First Monaco, now Barcelona !!!
Recently the brightest lights of the international masonic world gathered in Monaco for one of the prestige functions of the year, the consecration of the Grand National Regular Lodge of Monaco. While the GLNF was represented by Big Moustache, our Great Manipulator shone by his absence. And we know how he loves to appear in the papers, always ready to oblige for a photo, complete with gilded blue apron and all the paraphernalia. The Pisan propaganda machine put it out that he had to attend an important masonic function in Italy that weekend. What a comedown after his “bull in a china shop” efforts to be the principal sponsoring Grand Lodge for the consecration in Monaco. His “delicate” manoeuvring led to an official complaint from the Rock to the French Foreign Ministry.
Various Myosotis readers quickly determined that there was no important masonic function in the only UGLE recognised Grand Lodge in Italy that weekend. But that in Florence there was a major function by an “unrecognised” Lodge, reported in all the major newspapers. Our self-proclaimed spiritual guide found himself on the wrong side of the Landmarks once again !!! Various wits suggested that François prefers gnocchi and chianti to caviar and champagne !!
Yesterday LML in English learned that it was stated at the last quarterly meeting of the UGLE that François Stifani’s absence in Monaco was not a surprise because he was not invited !!!
Last week many of the GLNF Brethren were outraged to learn that François Stifani was once again tripping off at their expense, and once again in the sun, on a little paradise on earth called Mauritius. No doubt travelling first class while Maître Legrand is sending us aggressive notes asking us to make an exceptional contribution because the cupboard is allegedly bare !!! Mauritius is great, the beach is brilliant white, the water turquoise and the cocktails are fine. We are sure that the masonic labours of our Brethren on that little island in the Indian Ocean are of the highest quality but on an international masonic scale the Grand Lodge of Mauritius is not up there with the heavyweights.
So, imagine our surprise yesterday when we learned that the very same weekend the Grand Lodge of Spain held an international gathering in nearby Barcelona. In just an hour by plane from home in Antibes our Air Bongo frequent flyer could have been sipping sangria with the best of them. And there were over 600 of the best of them, including the Grand Masters from (in alphabetical order for the Europeans) Belgium, England, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Scotland, Spain and Sweden as well as North American represented by the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New York and then the South American Grand Masters of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. A regular gathering of the clan !!!
While our self-proclaimed spiritual guide was sipping rum cocktails with a handful of Brethren far away in the Indian Ocean the GLNF was represented by our Diplomat, Jean-Claude T……. but he was hidden away in the back row in the photos and apparently didn’t say a word. “Discretion” would appear to be the catchword and was probably a necessary condition for his presence !!!
For even the most loyal and credulous of his fawnicators it is becoming more and more difficult for François Stifani to pretend that there is a distinction between Grand Master of the GLNF and the President of the GLNF Association. And it is not only the leading legal minds of the land that reject his ridiculous stance; the international Grand Lodges no longer grant him the slightest recognition. Fortunately for him he has a few mates on little islands who help him keep up a semblance of appearance. After all, grilled lobster and rum cocktails on the beach are infinitely preferable to lukewarm paella and tepid sangria in a noisy, crowded room !!!
Within the GLNF the slightest questioning or protest is sanctioned with suspension and / or exclusion. Ask the sacked members of the Council of sages if the notion of democracy still exists within our Obedience !!!
Compare that with our Spanish Brothers. They are not afraid to question the accounts, the commission paid for the sale of a temple building in Bilbao, certain missing invoices and 15000 € of expenses by the Grand Master.
Imagine the shock to our EX-Grand Master’s sensibility if a Brother dared ask such questions !!!
François, you were better off dabbling your toes in the warm water of the Indian Ocean. In Barcelona you would only have found something that is becoming a distant memory for you, the warm fraternity of international Freemasonry, and a demonstration of the democratic right of the Brethren to ask questions and get answers !!!