Jerry Lawes, who is a member of Monton Progress Lodge No 6361 from the Eccles Group, was planning his visit to Goa and decided to include a trip to a lodge during his visit. Jerry tells the story of his wonderful experience.
“Prior to my holiday trip to Goa, I considered the possibility of visiting a lodge nearby – if there was one. After some initial research I discovered a lodge which meets around 10-12 miles away from where I was staying. Following contact and advice from UGLE and emails between my own lodge secretary (Jeff Livesey) and the secretary of Lodge Haig Brown No 3829 EC (Subeer Dat Verma) the initial contact was made. On arrival in Goa I followed up the contact as per protocol and the visit was arranged. However, contact was lost for several days and I then thought the visit may not happen. Fortunately contact was re-established and the meeting was set for 3 days prior to my return to England after a 1 month trip.
The meeting was to take place at Club de Goa in a town called Porovim starting at 6.30pm. Arriving a little early and no one being present I thought I may have arrived at the wrong location by which time my taxi had left and I did not have a clue where I was – a possible problem and a small amount of panic ensued.
Fortunately the brethren soon started to arrive, which was a relief. This was followed by suitable introductions and my subsequently being proved by the lodge secretary. The meeting had been a scheduled as a third degree but unfortunately the candidate was unable to attend so a business meeting followed. The lodge was held in an open air environment but with screening and I was advised the lodge followed strict emulation ritual and the lodge was then opened in due form with solemn prayer. I should state that the ritual was exceptional and completely recognisable to me. Following various communications at each rising and at the third rising I was able to bring my own greetings along with the greetings from Eccles Group Chairmen Dave Walmsley and the APrGM John Hutton. The brethren were suitably impressed with the greetings and they were very well received. The lodge was then closed in due form and we adjourned to the social board.
The social board began with my presenting a number of Eccles cakes to the brethren which were very well received followed by ‘finger nibbles’, crunchy mix accompanied by liberal amounts of Scottish water. The main course was homemade chicken biryani which can only be described as superb! The likes of which I have never tasted. There then followed an extremely enjoyable evening with lots of questions, answers and much laughter from both sides which extended to the early hours by which time I was suitably relaxed!
The evening could easily have carried on for several hours more but sadly my carriage had arrived and my visit was at an end. The brethren of Lodge Haig Brown extended to me a warmth and companionship that was second to none and the invite was then made that when I was next in Goa that I would be very welcome to attend again. An offer which I will do my very best to fulfil.
My visit to Lodge Haig Brown could not have happened without the assistance of both lodge secretaries, for which I am eternally grateful. In all a wonderful evening and visit! The memories of my Goa lodge visit will stay with me for many years.”