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The Magnificent Mendelsohns

I recently spent a day with Jeff and Sylvie Mendelsohn,from Toronto, Canada. Jeff is a surgeon originally from Capetown, South Africa and Sylvie described herself as “retired”. Both are Jewish, so I had a lot to work with in terms of connections. All the Canadian links, including the spot on the castle esplanade where Jamie Saxt gave the sassines to the Earl of Stirling to found the province of Nova Scotia, East Lothian, the birthplace of Lord Balfour, whose Balfour Declaration founded the state of Israel and the many links to the medical history of Edinburgh. But best of all was the link with their name. I had discovered this on a visit with my fellow members of the Crochallan Fencibles to Lodge Canongate, Kilwinning, the oldest masonic temple in the world and which houses a remarkable bellows organ. Friends had helped me to gain access and we were royally welcomed by Martin McGibbon the grand Secretary of the Lodge. Jeff and Sylvie had their pictures taken at the organ and I was delighted when Martin announced that the instrument had been played by no less a person than Felix Mendelssohn, the famous classical composer. A wonderful day with great people and Cammy organised a welcome by the commentator at that night’s performance of the Tattoo.

A good day’s work and hugely enjoyable Here’s a reminder of who Felix Mendelssohn was.

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