On the 12th January, 13 brethren arrived in Dublin. It should have been 14 but one missed the flight! And thus began the Connaught Club Ireland Trip 2018!
After gathering at a pub nearby to our hotel, Guinness and Ale being our choices to hydrate ourselves, we dressed in black tie and marched our dress shoes to visit the Grand Lodge of Ireland which wasn’t as hard to locate as we thought it may be.
If you haven’t been to visit the Grand Lodge of Ireland, it’s well worth the trip. The building is rather interesting. We were treated to an educating yet thrilling guided tour by Head Tyler Keith Stents. We witnessed the tricks in the red room for The Royal Arch Chapter, met the Duke of Connaught (well a portrait that is) in the temple of The Order of the Temple (KT) and their most picturesque temple for the Council of Knight Masons. An order that does not exist in our constitutions.
After the tour, we heard the ringing bell summoning us to the meeting. Therefore we speedily put on our regalia and jewels to attend the Occasional Meeting of the Grand Lodge of Ireland and the Ceremony of Consecration of Square & Compass Lodge No. 998
The Ceremony is unique and rare because 13 of us just witnessed a full grand lodge meeting, a consecration and the resumed meeting of GML ( Grand Master Lodge ). A 3 in 1 treats from the Dublin brethren. It was a bit of luck we were hungry because we were treated to a five-course festive board served in a room full of laughter and jovial conversations all washed down with a glass of whiskey. Capping the evening we made a circle and sang the Auld Lang Syne to foster our friendship with each other.
However, the night was not truly over, some of the younger brethren of Lodge No. 998 took us under their wing invited to us to the world famous Lillies bar, where we were assured is Bono’s drinking spot, which ended the evening with further drinking and conviviality.
Day 2 (Windy and rainy)
With the memories of the night before still stuck in our heads, we headed off to see the city. A cycle tour had been organised that we managed to be late for – numerous brethren couldn’t get out of bed. Imagine riding a bike for three hours after our Friday drinks in a typical Irish drizzle. That’s how it felt. Our spirits were not dampened though and our tour guide Brian Griffin (no joke!) was excellent. We started near the Spire of Dublin, headed south of the river to see Trinity College, rode through some alleyways to see some street artwork/graffiti, changing course we went west to admire the beauty of St Patrick’s Cathedral, and then steered to the east to find a pub to warm/dry ourselves. Winding back, we travelled through the Silicon Docks completing the huge circular tour of the city of Dublin. All in all, thoroughly enjoyable.
Hopping off the bikes, we jumped on a conveniently located tram to head to the Guinness Storehouse. The museum is seven floors built in a shape of a pint glass. If you’re a Guinness fan, you’d probably love it all, but the highlight for many was learning how to pour the perfect pint with the shape of a clover in the head. We had a few more pints at the Gravity Bar accompanied with a 360-degree view of Dublin’s sunset.
We would tell you the rest of what happened that evening but we’re only able to decipher what happened by looking at the photos on our phones, and it’s probably wiser not to do so!