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Trip to Dublin and Newry

  Recollections of an Away Weekend : by Kev Thompson

Following an invitation from PM David Hanna of Lodge St Patrick's No 77 in Newry, Dougie Abercrombie and myself flew to Belfast last Friday 24th April. We were met by David who was our host for the weekend, and taken to a lovely old farm-house B&B just outside Newry. The next day David picked us up early and took us to the Lodge rooms of St Patrick's no.77 for breakfast. A quick tour of the Lodge, and then some 54 of us took a bus into Dublin.

View to the East in Lodge 77

The brethren had decided to hold their last meeting of the season in the Grand Lodge in Dublin and we were going along! The Lodge premises in Dublin were superb with many smaller Lodge rooms within for side degrees, but we were in the main room for our meeting.

Looking to the West

After conducting business in the First Degree, similar to our own Scottish ones but with enough differences to be very interesting, we presented the RWM with an engraved trowel as a momento.

Dougie, Alex (RWM no. 77) and Kev

The meeting was well attended by brethren from Newry and beyond and we were made very welcome, even being invited into the East.

Some of the brethren gathered in the East

After the meeting we returned to Newry for a substantive Festive Board and a very enjoyable harmony. Both Dougie and I sang several songs and were very well received. After a late night David took us back to the B&B in Jerretspass and next day gave us a tour of the Borderlands....with full commentary! The local history is fascinating and David was an excellent guide. We managed to take in Newry, Bessbrook, Camlough, Jonesborough, Mullaghbawn, Forkhill, Creggans, Crossmaglen, Cullyhanna, Newtownhamilton, Whitecross and maybe a few others on our 'flying tour'!

We then returned to his house where his wife had prepared an excellent traditional roast dinner and where David presented us with a George Best £5 note.....uncirculated...and well sought after, before returning us to Belfast International airport.

Kev, David Hanna (PM 77) and Dougie

All in all a wonderful weekend, with many new friends made, and one which I hope we will repeat in the not too distant future. Finally a HUGE thanks to David for all his hospitality.