Celtic Illumination, part 280, The ghost with the funny handshake
I have to admit that I found myself in a very strange place indeed. First of all as the squadron Warrant Officer I was responsible for making sure that the cadets reached a certain standard of drill. Me!! I think I was the only person in the military who would say. “By the left, quick march. Please.” Luckily the senior cadet loved marching about, so I didn’t have to involve myself with the marching too much. The other point that concerned me was the involvement of the Masons, or Freemasons, or whatever you want to call them. I have no real position regarding membership of Masonic Lodges. I know that a lot of members of the Masonic Lodges do a lot of charitable work, and nobody in their right mind would complain about that.
They do an awful lot of good work within their communities and I know that certain people, like David Icke, takes the discussion about Freemasonry off into weird and wonderful places suggesting all sorts of wrongdoing and world domination. On the one hand these people were giving up their time to help children, but at the same time they controlled the rank structure, allowing only their fellow members to participate, and that didn’t feel right to me. I couldn’t complain as I was a member of my own double top secret groups and if David Icke continues to speak badly about the Illuminati I’ll have to have words with him. I was invited to join the Freemasons but declined their offer.
Like many people I know nothing about the Masonic Lodges, well; I know quite a lot actually as I did an awful lot of research on them, just read The Hiram Key by Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas if you want the lowdown on the Masonic Lodges. Even just yesterday they were front page news in The Independent newspaper, where it is claimed that crime gangs have used the Freemasonry network to corrupt the criminal judicial system. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/revealed-how-gangs-used-the-freemasons-to-corrupt-police-9054670.html I’m sure the debate will rumble on for years to come. As they say back home, I was dithering about whether or not these guys were good or bad when something happened that made up my mind for me.
The squadron was to have a dining in night. This is where everyone dressed up in their finest uniforms and sat down for a formal meal. The Wing Commander, the head of the Merseyside Wing, would be the guest of honour and he would be accompanied by a couple of Squadron Leaders. The squadron building was scrubbed from top to bottom as this was considered to be a great honour to have the Wing Commander visit us. I think we all had to pay something like twelve pounds toward the cost of the evening, but some of the cadets could not afford this. However they were still allowed to participate in the event, they would be serving the food. As I sat there, watching and listening, I felt so awful for the poor cadets who were serving the food.
If these men, who claimed to be Christian men, dedicated to helping their fellow man, they should have been serving food to the cadets who couldn’t afford the meal, and they should have paid for it for them too. I’m sorry to have to say this but I was disgusted with them. I couldn’t really say anything to them for I would have been let go and my children would have lost such a wonderful outlet, although I have to admit that they didn’t always think it was so great. We were planning an expedition to North Wales, which would involve hill walking and canoeing. A local school allowed us the use of their swimming pool where we were able to bring all the cadets up to a certain standard in watercraft before letting them loose in the wild.
I was standing in the swimming pool and one by one working my way through the cadets, making sure that they could execute and perform what is commonly known as an Eskimo roll. This is where the individual in the canoe has to roll over, so that they are effectively upside down, and then correct the situation and bring themselves back upright. My final test was on my own nine year old son James. I knew he was looking forward to the expedition and I wanted him to be able to participate in all the activities, but there was a look of terror in his face. I held the nose of the canoe and could see that my son was really scared. It’s that terrible moment in any parent’s life when you know you simply have to push your child into the situation.
I asked James if he was ready and he shook his head asking that we forget about the Eskimo roll. I twisted the nose of the canoe and turned him upside down. I knew he had been well briefed in what to do, so I waited for only a matter of seconds watching my son drown. Thankfully James managed to right himself but the young fellow wouldn’t speak to me after that and the incident has never been forgotten about. Despite the fact that my son now hated me I knew he would be able to participate in the canoeing in Wales and I was happy that should he get into difficulty he should be able to sort himself out.
We were heading off to a place called Rhydtalog in North Welsh Wales. It was supposed to be an old army hospital, which was now being used as a youth hostel. There seemed to be some sort of Masonic connection, which gave us access to the site which I wasn’t complaining about, I liked the place. It was run down and ramshackle. There were three wooden buildings. The largest had two enormous rooms either side of a huge kitchen. The next biggest building was all sleeping accommodation, while the smallest building was not used. It was said that the smallest building had been the mortuary so it was haunted and out of bounds.
As you can imagine telling young people that they can’t enter a building because it is haunted will produce many, many, dares and attempts to spend the night there. I arrived with two or three cadets and my own two boys. We were the advance party and had to get the fires started to get some heat in the buildings. I let the children run off to investigate every nook and cranny as I set about lighting the fires. The room I was in was littered with old arm chairs and settees. It was a wooden building so had a faint a smell of damp. There were two self-standing fires in the centre of the room, sort of like modern log burners. I was quite content with the peace and quiet when the evening air was filled with shouting and screaming.
I went to the front door to find my children and the cadet’s race past me and hide. I could then see that the cause of their concern was a Welsh farmer waving a shotgun. He was furious and began shouting at me explaining that he was not impressed that these little vandals, from the city, were wandering through his fields leaving gates open. He wasn’t concerned with what they got up to in the city but in the countryside there were basic rules and regulations to follow. I couldn’t agree with him more but found it interesting that he had assumed that the children were from impoverished homes and that this was a sort of social services holiday for them.
I apologised to the farmer who immediately assumed that we were all from Northern Ireland. I didn’t bother explaining where we were actually from to him. He left us, happy with my guarantee that there would be no more incursions on to his land. I had the children and cadets scour the local area for firewood, which kept them busy and tired them out, so that when I suggested it was bed time they were ready for it. With them all safely tucked up I made my way to the kitchen and gave everything the once over making sure I had prepared everything I was supposed to. I was sure that I had, so I sat myself down at the kitchen table and attempted, once again, to write my daily quota of seven hundred and fifty words.