The consecration of a new Province is an important occasion in the life of a Grand Lodge. Blue aprons and lots of gilded baubles everywhere. Gavels beat to a stirring rhythm, Grand Officers, National or Provincial, parading beneath a vault of steel, pomp & circumstance in large lumps.
And obviously it is very important for the Brethren of the new Province to be able to attend the consecration ceremony. So if you were planning a new Province in the centre of France, in the Auvergne Region, for example and if you were planning to give an appropriate name like Province des Sources to this region where mineral springs abound, it’s pretty obvious that you’d be looking for a venue in a major central French city like Clermont Ferrand or Saint Etienne.
So, like me you’d be more than a little surprised to learn that last weekend (we think Saturday, but we’re not sure) the new Province des Sources was consecrated, not in Clermont Ferrand, not in Saint Etienne, not even in the Auvergne region, but far away in Stifani Land, in Cannes on the Riviera !!!
Not being Auvergnat and having no connection with Provincial Officers on the Riviera, Winnie is not surprised at not having been invited to this auspicious occasion. I have not even been able to get hold of one via my Myosotis contacts in Auvergne and PACA. Not surprising, being fellow miasmas, they too are persona non grata at such occasions.
But we have managed to get the text of a very discreet e-mail sent by a Provincial Grand Secretary on the Riviera :
“Mes BAF :
Vous êtes cordialement invités
LE SAMEDI 18 juin 2011 à 9h30 au temple de CANNES
CONSECRATION DE LA PROVINCE DES SOURCES
Installation du GMP et de son collège d’Officiers
Présence DU GM
Pour ceux qui souhaitent assister à cette consécration, pensez à prendre vos décors de GL. »
There’s more in the text but LML in English is saving that for another article.
If you are like Winnie you immediately ask “Why Cannes” ???
If you read the invitation carefully you’ll notice our ex-self-proclaimed spiritual guide, the Honorary Consul General for Djibouti in Marseilles, Air Bongo frequent flyer, recipient of unsolicited correspondence to the Elysée Palace, writer of 13 letters to the French President in his ex-capacity of Grand Master (including one asking for the Légion d’Honneur for himself), etc., etc., etc., Yes, Ephesse 1st, François Stifani himself was at the ceremony wearing the blue apron whose symbols he cdoesn't understand.
So it was not by accident that the show occurred in Cannes, just down the road from Antibes, the Stifani stronghold. Saves petrol in these difficult times.
Could it be that there was no venue available in all the Auvergne ? Unlikely.
Could it be that no-one from the Auvergne was invited ? Again unlikely.
Could it be that François Stifani feared the ire of the Auvergnat Brethren ? Now there’s a distinct possibility !
Could it be that François Stifani, wanting to keep the event quiet, preferred to hold it in a place well under his control ? Once again a distinct possibility.
Could it be that François Stifani wanted to completely control who was present ? Most definitely !!!
Enough questions : so Ephesse 1st has got himself another Province, he’s got a fistful of new votes for next Monday’s farce called the SGC. We’ve even read the extremely crude statement he made declaring that he had enough votes to control the meeting but my mother taught me never to repeat the “F” word in public.
Long life to the Province des Sources and May God Bless all who sail in her !!!
For the rest of the invitation text, watch this space …