Provincial Grand Lodge Of Gloucestershire

“Have you got any news of the Iceberg?”  

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“Have you got any news of the Iceberg?”  

A forlorn polar bear made a guest appearance at the end-of-season Active Officers’ dinner at Stroud last night.  The sad creature was lamenting the 1912 collision of a certain ocean liner with an iceberg on which his family was travelling to join him at Liverpool Zoo.  The air-con was blasting at near North Atlantic temperature on a baking early-summer’s evening, yet the packed house was held in utter captivation as Peter Watkins described the poor bear’s misery; the tale unfolding to the accompaniment of melancholy strains on piano and strings.

That aside, the rest of the evening was a time for laughter.  Peter Watkins and Chris West [vocals], Rich Reeve [guitar and vocals], and master of key-board and squeeze-box, Chris Capaldi, whose cheeky ad-libbing from the back of the stage contributed to the fun of the evening, provided the entertainment in the form of well-rehearsed songs and poems, including clever adaptations from Gilbert & Sullivan to Lonnie Donegan!  The PGM, Tim Henderson-Ross, who was presiding over the final event of its kind during his period in office, also stepped up to the mike once more to produce a fine rendition of his favourite verse . . . The Green-eyed Yellow Idol.

Tim had a message for those at the event, together with all brethren across the Province . . . for masons in general to be proud of what of what they are good at.   In a brief address, he marvelled at the talent of brethren he had encountered during his ten year tenure, not least the quartet of accomplished entertainers performing before him.  Incidentally, the Polar Bear poem was produced at his specific request; though we guess the actual appearance of the bear was both a bonus and a surprise!

Have you got any news of the iceberg?
My family were on it, you see;
Have you got any news of the iceberg?
They mean the whole world to me.

We thank Dick Smith for the wonderful insight into the event.

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Peter Watkins and 'The Bear'
“Have you got any news of the Iceberg?”