Bolivia 2016: 31 Jan 2016 – Santa Cruz and the consecration of The Santa Cruz Court No 118

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An early start for the Grand Master and his Team who took a very early breakfast before 7.00am when all were met by R W Bro Jose for a flight to our next destination, the city of Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz, or more correctly Santa Cruz de la Sierra is located in the eastern part of Bolivia at 416 m above sea level, and how we all embraced being at this altitude. The city is located not far from the easternmost extent of the Andes Mountains and they are visible from some parts of the city. The first Europeans to set foot in the area were Spanish conquistadores from the recently created Governorate of New Andalusia that encompassed the territories of present-day Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile and Bolivia. Now it is Bolivia's commercial centre and is a cosmopolitan hub with museums, restaurants and nightclubs. Its historic core is anchored by the rose-brick Metropolitan Cathedral on Plaza 24 de Septiembre, the central square. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. The distance between La Paz and Santa Cruz is 861 Kms (531 miles) and by road takes nearly 14 hours. Fortunately our flight took just an hour. Once at Calle Ayacucho No 431, Santa Cruz our day started in earnest. The Temple was laid out, the Grand Marshal conducted rehearsals and all was in time for the commencement of proceedings.

At 9.00am promptly, the Grand Master opened Grand Court. The Candidates for Instruction were the Petitioners of the Corte de Santa Cruz, No 118. The ceremony of Instruction again went excellently. The Grand Master again delighting all by obligating the candidates in Spanish.

After a short break certain Brethren were Installed as Masters of our Order.

The Grand Master, assisted by his ‘Team’ Consecrated Corte de Santa Cruz, No 118, in a superb manner which will long remain in the memory of the Founders and Brethren present. W Bro Juan Abuawad (Deputy District Grand Master of the Mark Province of Bolivia) was Installed as the Primus Master.

Having completed the labours of the day all then enjoyed a most enjoyable afternoon together. Very many new friendships were made, which will long stand the test of time. All good things must come to an end as we all had to leave to catch our 5.00pm flight back to La Paz.