The second thing I remember is that after a few months, we were dropped of at the church, and picked up after the ten o’clock service, the idea being that we would attend Sunday school and then the main service, which would allow my mother to watch my father play tennis in the morning. He played for one of Pirates Club league teams and felt that one of my mother’s duties was to be there to cheer him on and bask in his reflected glory.
It definitely suited me, I am not sure of Karen though. You see, because we were attending the main service, we were both given an envelope, kindly supplied by the church for the offering plate that contained fifty cents. The reason that I was happy with this arrangement is because Basil’s shop was exactly one block away, across the street that backed onto the church, passed the police station and small petrol station, a walk of no more than a hundred and fifty meters.
So while Karen attended the one and a half hour service and diligently placed her envelope in the offering plate, I diligently attended Basil’s world of a child’s Paradise, attending to the important business of selecting fifty cents worth of sweets and snacks. This arrangement went on for a few months, then disaster struck. One Sunday tennis was canceled, therefore my parents arrived long before the service ended and decided to join the service. Being rather sharp individuals, they noticed I was not with Karen, so as they say in the classics “I was well and truly BUSTED”.
I was summoned to the pastors office and interrogated by my parents and the pastor as to how long this had been going on, lectured about how stealing was against the teaching of God and that stealing from God was somehow so much worse. I was definitely going to the place of fire and brimstone for all Eternity. Somehow religion seemed to lose its appeal after that, I do not now why. Maybe the fact that I was already relegated to hell, with no chance of redemption had something to do with it.
Lastly, my only positive recollection of formal religion; the making of Ice-cream. I have mentioned that the pastor was an American, so on what I can only surmise was the forth of July, he held an American fair where all the foods were American. There were hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy, home-made lemonade, hamburgers and a large Texan barbecue, as well as home-made ice-cream. The church had supplied four ice-cream making churns, consisting of two major parts an outside wooden barrel with an internal steel barrel which had a stirring paddle attached to the top. The steel barrel was filled with cream and inserted into the outer wooden barrel, then ice was packed around the inner barrel and large quantities of salt was sprinkled over the ice.
Then the miracle happened. I was allowed to turn the handle that stirred the cream. After all eternity and inordinate amounts of ice and salt, the stirring was halted. When the lid was removed we were invited to take a portion of the contents in a paper cup. I had never tasted ice-cream so Divine nor have I since. Maybe the setting had something to do with it as after all the ice-cream was made on holy ground or maybe I have never had the opportunity of eating really home made ice-cream again.
So ends the Easter Sunday school lesson for today, may all religions go forward in peace and harmony, may they all fulfil the scripture’s promise of the Brotherhood of man.
Lots of hugs and more,