Club Premises: Room 205, The Guest House, Notre Dame of Jerusalem Centre, Jerusalem
The Rev. Dr. Hanna Kildany The Parish Priest
Fuheis: P.O. Box: 33/19152 Jordan
London:18 March 2002
Dear Fr. Hanna
When Ton Ockenden came back from the first of his "educational " trips to the Holy Land last spring, he told us about his visit with you to your Maen Spa Hotel resort ( not to the Dead Sea , for logistic and ontological reasons )where you occupied rooms 204 and 206. Inevitably, led to mention of Club 205, so I know that the subject of this letter is not completely new territory for you.
The Club, which also answers of its Latin title, CCV, is very much Holy Land creation. It derives, superficially from the fact that a few years ago, on one of our Holy Land pilgrimage, Tony and I shared room 205 in Notre Dame Centre in Jerusalem. The third member of the management team responsible for the running of the pilgrimage, Pat King, a man, you will remember, of imposing stature both physically and mentally, was wont to join us in our room for a discussion of the day's work, over some liquid refreshment, both before and after dinner. Usually, we invited some selected pilgrims to join us. Selection was based in the perceived ability to view the day's events from a number of angles, some of which bordered on fantasy.
For the furtherance of this way of observing life, we three decided to found a new club, "205". We realized that we could not do without a chairman, a treasurer and a secretary and because there was only one chair in room 205 and his arthritic knees made it difficult for Pat to rise from a bed used simply for sitting on, he occupied it. So it seemed natural, that he should be regarded as the chairman. Similarly, Tony just seems cut out for paying bills, probably because he used to work for the Bank of England, and he became the treasurer. That, inevitably, meant that I had to be the treasurer. But we could see no way in which any rules or constitution could capture the true spirit of the club, whose form was constantly evolving, so each of us holds office on a strictly ephemeral basis. Lacking a legal framework, we have no power to make new members. But we have decided that it is right and proper that we should invite a very small number of rather special, with connection with the Holy Land and with the wit and the desire to look at everyday events in a number of different ways, sometimes simultaneously, sometimes sequentially, to be associated with the club.
We call them "Externs", and I am empowered and privileged to invite you to become our first overseas Extern.
Hitherto, we have made these appointment at a dinner held at the Reform Club in London where we present to each a stainless steel cap engraved with the Club's Latin title on its side and with the abbreviation "EXT" followed by a Roman numeral on its base. We plan such a dinner at the end of next May. If, as we all hope, you are willing to join us in this fantastic quest and would be able to be with us in May, it would give us great pleasure. But we do recognize that to journey to London might be difficult. In that event, we would make other arrangements for your induction.
If you would let me know your reaction to these proposals, through Tony, if you wish, I would be grateful. I have asked Tony to hand this letter to you to make sure you receive it, but also because I foresee that you may have some questions for him. (I have given him a copy of the letter).
You know how deeply we are concerned for you all and that you are constantly in our thoughts and prayers.
Temporary Acting Chairman: Pat King
Acting Temporary Secretary: Bernard Cawley
Acting Pro tem Treasurer: Tony Ockenden