Archive for December, 2012

Since I joined the Emergency Services, all those years ago, this has always been the time of year I have dreaded.

Why?

Because, working on Christmas eve and Christmas day always brought me soul destroying cases.
One year  I remember only too well.

An elderly couple left their children and grandchildrens home, afte having a wonderful Christmas day together. At the stop street right outside the house, an out of control car came speeding round the corner and smashed into the couple, flipping the car onto its roof.

The family were standing outside, witnessing the whole event.

When I arrived, they were both upside down, granny was not too serious, but grandpa was severely injured. With no access into the car, I lay on my stomach and with the only arm I could fit inside, tried to keep his airway open.
The fire department was saving a home at the time, caught on fire from a gas cylinder leak.

His body weight was too much, and I lay there on the tar outside the vehicle, whilst other EMS crew were trying to find a way  inside, helplessly watching him die. His wife of 60 years lay next to him, trying to keep him talking, to no avail… Grandpa died next his his soul mate, trapped in his car, while his children and grandchildren watched from the sidewalk.

This is one of the horrific scenes the EMS round the world will experience tonight and tomorrow. Well, I pray they dont.

Emergency Services Christmas Prayer  

Please make this, Lord, a silent night, this one night of the year.  
No sirens wailing through the dark, no shouts of hate or fear  
No crumpled cars and twisted steel, no blood and tears that spill.  

No messages of grief to take, to homes that suddenly grow still.  
Please, King of Peace, no drunken fights that wreck the family tree,  
And all the dreams of some small child, who clings, in fear, to me.  

Let travelers tread the tinseled streets safe from assault and harm.  
On this night, this special night, no red lights, no alarms.  
I’d like to be at home, Oh Lord, where spice and cedar scent the air.  

I hope the children don’t wake up, until I can be there.  
Please make this Lord, a silent night, no hate, or hurt, or crime,  
But if this cannot be, Oh Lord, Please help me get there in time.  

Amen

Farewell to a great mentor

Posted: December 22, 2012 in Masonic

Blindfolded and exceptionally nervous, hearing people softly moving, clearing their throats, the unfamiliar sound of chains, jewels and medallions clinging together was all I could hear. My mind was I  turmoil, both excited terrified at stepping into the unkown in complete darkness.

Two hands held me from either side, their familiar grip reminding me I am safe.

” Its time” said the smooth calming voice of the elderly man who stood on my left. I put forward my left foot, and began my journey into the amazing awe inspiring world of Freemasonry.

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Arthur was my mentor through my first 3 degrees in Masonry. He proposed my father-in-law into masonry, and was my seconder. Having the two of them at my side, taking me through my initiation, kept me calm and made the moment very special.
When Keith passed away, Arthur stayed by my side, and when I became a Master Mason, his was the first hand that congratulated me.

He handed me a Master Mason apron, the very one he had been given when he was raised to a Master Mason.

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Made of pure lamb skin, over 80 years old now. I keep it locked in a cupboard now, having progressed further. It was passed onto Arthur from his mentor, then on to me. I had hoped to pass it on to my son,  but, having a daughter, I hope a grandson in the future.

Worhipful Brother Arthur Puckey was initiated on 24 June 1954 at Victory Lodge, became Worshipful Master in 1961, and held the rank of Past District Senior Grand Warden.

He is one of the few Mason’s I know that can recite a passage from Ecclesiastes by heart, always at a time when most stressed. At a funeral. He stood, tall and firm, with tears rolling down his face, reciting Verse 12 at my father-in-law’s funeral.

“Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth,  
while the evil days come not,  nor the years draw nigh,
 when thou shalt say,  I have no pleasure in them;

While the sun, or the light, or the moon,  
or the stars, be not darkened,  
nor the clouds return after the rain:

In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble,  
and the strong men shall bow themselves,  
and the grinders cease because they are few,  
and those that look out of the windows be darkened.

And the doors shall be shut in the streets,  
when the sound of the grinding is low,  
and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird,  
and all the daughters of musick  shall be brought low;

Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high,  
and fears shall be in the way,
 and the almond tree shall flourish,  
and the grasshopper shall be a burden,  and desire shall fail:   
because man goeth to his long home,  
and the mourners go about the streets:

Or ever the silver cord be loosed,  
or the golden bowl be broken,  
or the pitcher be broken at the fountain,  
or the wheel broken at the cistern.

Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was:   
and the spirit shall return  unto God who gave it.”

So mote it be.

Famous Masonic musician

Posted: December 17, 2012 in Masonic

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Nathaniel Adams Coles (March 17, 1919 – February 15, 1965), known professionally as Nat King Cole, was a musician who first came to prominence as a leading jazz pianist.
He owes most of his popular musical fame to his soft baritone voice, which he used to perform in big band and jazz genres. 

Brother Nat King Cole was a member of Thomas Waller Lodge No. 49, PHA, Los Angeles, California.
He joined in 1938. The lodge was founded by a group of African-American musicians who were members of Musicians Local 767, and Cole joined with his friend and drummer Lee Young.

Nat King Cole remained faithful to Masonic principles his whole life—he saw himself as a builder of musical architecture, but he built more than music.

His music helped to bring people and races together.

He died of cancer on Feb. 25, 1967 and is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, CA.

A taste of a friends wedding

Posted: December 1, 2012 in Photography, wedding

Last weekend, I had the honour of doing the photo’s of a friends wedding. I have known Ondine for 17 years, since tech days as student paramedics.

O.D, this is a tease of what’s to come

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Congrats Ondine and Pierre, you make a beautiful couple.