After carrying out some research, he found there was one called Lodge Kilwinning, which meets under the District Grand Lodge of Trinidad and Tobago & Grenada, Scottish Constitution. After obtaining the necessary permissions, he made contact with the Secretary of the Lodge, and friendly correspondence ensued.
A chance conversation between Tony and Kevin Howard, also a member of Leopold Lodge, found that he was shortly to go on a Caribbean cruise, which included a stop in Tobago. This started a discussion about the possibility of Kevin visiting the Lodge while he was there. Correspondence ensued, and arrangements were soon made.
Kevin tells us about his adventure:
I contacted Brad Elias, the Secretary of the Lodge, to say I would be in Scarborough, Tobago, on the 25th of February, and we quickly built up some friendly rapport. I was told to be on the dockside at 1pm to be collected by the Treasurer, and I was invited to bring my wife Jackie along. Tommy was exactly on time and after warmly welcoming us, we departed for Lambeau Rd, a 15 minute car journey.
Thankfully, the vehicle was air-conditioned, which was very welcome! The Lodge building was light blue in colour with a traditional Caribbean roof and was set in a well-kept and lawned area, which looked fantastic in the afternoon sun.
On arrival, we were escorted to the door, where we were formally introduced to the waiting brethren in the vestibule led by Carlisle Jordan. I discovered that on the day I visited, it was the lodge's actual meeting day, commencing at 6 pm. The Refectory was all set up for the meeting, the interior light blue walls complementing the Royal Blue tablecloths and furniture. The temperature was also comfortable and cool.
We all instantly engaged in conversation over drinks in the Refectory. I was given a generous tumbler of whiskey, which was the beverage favoured by the Master of the Lodge. I offered for him to sit down before me as I was a guest in his Lodge and told him that it was a Yorkshire custom that the ruler sits down first, which he thought was a nice touch. I said that I hoped that my visit had not been an inconvenience to them as they were having their Lodge meeting that evening, but nothing could have been further from the truth, and the hospitality shown was first class. I mentioned that I had a dinner jacket on board the ship and that it was unfortunate that I could not attend the meeting as we were due to sail that evening. Their response was that if I wanted to stay, then they would get me to the ship's next stop the following day on the island of Barbados. That would have been very interesting, but sadly, I had to decline the offer.
We discussed many topics on both of our Lodges and our respective Towns, and the time absolutely flew by. They were particularly interested in the white table nights we hold, in particular on Burns Night, and they agreed this was a fantastic format for attracting new members. They have four new candidates to Initiate and will be doing so at their April meeting.
As a memento of the occasion, I presented Carlisle with a copy of the Leopold history and ritual book, and in turn, I was presented with a gift of a Lodge Kilwinning Polo shirt. The time flew by, and all too soon, we were transported back to the Port as the ship was leaving at 5 pm, and Tommy had to get straight back to the Lodge for the meeting
This was to be Carlisle's first meeting after he had been Installed in January this year.
We discussed the possibility of future communication between our Lodges, and I said that we could expand on this on my return to the UK. The members of the Lodge are to visit the Grand Lodge of Scotland in Edinburgh next year, and they will look at the feasibility of visiting Leopold Lodge when they do.
My wife and I had a fantastic day as guests of the Lodge, for which I am very grateful, and it just shows how Freemasonry can bond together men from all over the world, it being universally spread across it's surface!