Devon And Cornwall Division of The Masonic and Military Order of
the Red Cross of Constantine and the Orders of
the Holy Sepulchre and St. John the Evangelist

 

 

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Conclave of Light No.498 Meeting - Tuesday 14th November 2017.

 
A quiet journey down to Bodmin was enjoyed by those attending the meeting of Light and now that the roadworks beside St Petroc's accessing Bodmin has become a joy once again.

The members of Ascension Conclave were made welcome by the Sovereign VIll Kt William (Bill) Lissamer, on their official visit to then Conclave.

Business being light, the main event was the presentation of Grand Conclave Certificate to WKt James Wonnacott and then Appendant Orders Certificates to WKt's James Wonnacott and Jonathan Sheehan. These items were undertaken by the Deputy Intendant General. After presentation the Deputy Intendant General congratulated both Knights.

A buffet lunch followed the business’s in great harmony with short speeches allowing us to get away to pursue other activities during the afternoon....

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St. John the Evangelist Conclave No.327 Meeting - Tuesday 7th November 2017

 
Mithras, Faith and Red Cross Masonry!

You can never guarantee the traffic in Devon, so picking up the Intendant General and proceeding to Topsham expecting slow traffic into Exeter we were surprised to have one of the clearest journeys getting into Topsham very early. Fortunately, the hall was open and refreshment available!

The Conclave was opened by Ill Kt Michael Jones with VIll Kt Brian Meldon standing in as Viceroy. The main agenda item was to receive a lecture entitled simply ‘Mithras’ to be delivered by Ill Kt Terry Sloan. From the first words of introduction we knew we were in for a treat. Ill Kt Sloan explained who Mithras was and the similarities to the Christian faith we follow, which were a feature of Mithrism. The style of delivery was highly engaging and entertaining. Ill Kt Sloan was congratulated on this most memorable lecture! Worthy Knights, I’m sure he would be happy to deliver the lecture to other conclaves if invited.

The evening ended with a delicious festive board and the observation of the Commemoration followed by the usual toasts.

The journey home? Equally smooth!

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Royal Citadel Conclave Enthronement  Meeting - Monday 23rd October 2017 - A perfect example of Teamwork - and what about those tattoos?

 
They couldn't have had a worse 'run-up' to their Enthronement Meeting!  E.Kt. Andie Fawkes, the Viceroy, who's not too well himself , heard the news that his wife was also poorly so felt it right to stand down as M.P.S. this year.  Add to that a Marshal who is waiting for a a heart bypass, a Sentinel who is unable to attend because his mother has just had a replacement hip and some other officers off ill and it could have been a recipe for disaster!

 

I was fortunate enough to be able to grab a lift to Plymouth with our Divisional Marshal, And what a ceremony we witnessed!! The Most Puissant Sovereign, who is also our Deputy Intendant General, Ill.Kt. Nicholas St.John Middleton White, led his team in what can only be described as one of the best examples of teamwork I have ever seen!
 

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Our Intendant General, R.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas, was still suffering badly from the after effects of a tooth abscess which had developed into a chest infection so he had asked me to act as the presiding officer, and what an honour it was to preside over such a meeting.  After the Conclave was opened the M.P.S. quickly dealt with the opening business which included the election of P.Kt. Chris Thomas as M.P.S. for the ensuing year, a 'stand in' Viceroy, one E.Kt. Andrew Patterson (who had only been installed as Viceroy in the Conclave of Light at their Enthronement meeting in July) Consecrated and Installed W.Kt. Nigel Frude as the Eminent Viceroy in an absolutely superb manner.

The M.P.S. then Enthroned P.Kt. Chris Thomas in a similar manner.  The whole ceremony was orchestrated by the stand in Marshal V.Ill.Kt. Roy Rudling.  P.Kt. Chris then completed the business of the evening which included the members voting to make a donation to the Grand Master's Care for Children Fund at the forthcoming Divisional Meeting.

And the Tattoos?  Well a certain member of the Sepulchre Guard who, of course shall remain nameless, expressed his interest in looking at Tattoos!  The mind boggles, and I feel a Christmas Competition coming on!!  For any more details you'll have to cross my palm with silver!!

An Enthronement Meeting that all present will remember for a long time!

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Divisional Conclave of Cheshire - Saturday 21st October 2017. Trafalgar Day.

 
One of the many delights of the office of Deputy Intendant General of the Division is to carry the banner of Devon and Cornwall to the other Divisions across the country (and further afield if at all possible). A delight that my predecessors expressed to me on my appointment. Many of these journeys are made with our Intendant General and other Divisional Officers, but occasionally alone such as this one.

Once again taking the opportunity to visit family in the Midlands, a useful staging post offering comfort and sustenance to the weary traveller, the journey North to Chester was an easy step! The forecast was poor with threatened high winds and rain which however were no deterrent to any Devon or Cornishman with experience of the Atlantic Highway in poor conditions!!!

Arriving at the Cheshire View Masonic Centre at Christleton in good time for coffee and chat with old friends and meeting new ones, also an opportunity to look around this most magnificent Masonic facility. It was worth the journey just for that.
The Intendant General, R.Ill. Kt. James Munroe, with his officers opened the meeting welcoming all visitors and members. In his address after the appointment of his new team, he commented on how the Order of the Red Cross of Constantine was like a huge extended family no matter where you go you are always amongst friends. How right he is.

The meeting concluded with a fine festive board and succinct speeches allowing the attendees to start their journeys home in daylight, rain and a little wind! Ah well, back to the books, Royal Citadel on Monday.....

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Cockman?  In a Maternity Unit???

 
You may have heard that a week ago I was attending a Rose Croix Meeting here in Barnstaple when I collapsed with what the doctors are referring to as a 'seizure'!  Following a very hectic ten days of masonry, during which I travelled over 800 miles, and a hectic stint that evening running our bar for the first time with it's new till, I sat down to eat my meal.  I can remember eating my soup, they tell me that I also ate the roast and apple crumble, but all I can remember is waking up two and a half hours later in the arms of a rather ugly paramedic!  Having brought the festive board to a rapid close I was carted off to Hospital where I spent the next few days being poked and prodded in every orifice!

As they were unable to find anything I was finally discharged on Saturday with the threat of more investigations to follow.

Some say it was due to a seizure, some say it was due to 'burning the candle at both ends', but I claim that someone had quietly whispered in my ear "Would you do the toast to the visitors tonight"!

The bad news for me is that I've been banned from driving for six months - but never fear, your ain't seen the last of me yet.

And the Maternity Unit - Yesterday I received two appointments to attend the hospital for further tests, one of them is in the Clinical Neurophsiology department, which I am assured is in the Maternity Unit!  And the other is in the clinic for the 'Care of the Elderly'! Must be the final insult!!

PS add to this that out Intendant General has also been very poorly with a very bad abscess, an Jeff Leach is still awaiting his bypass surgery despite several 'false starts'.  What a load of invalids we are!!

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St. Ercus Conclave No.349 Enthronement Meeting - Tuesday 10th October 2017

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Mist, rain and spuds - that just about sums up the trip to St. Ercus Conclave in Hayle on Tuesday 10th October for their Enthronements.  The weather speaks for itself and every other vehicle was a tractor with a trailer loaded down with potatoes!
 
29 knights, including 11 active officers braved the weather and joined our Deputy Intendant General, Ill.Kt. Nic St.J. M. White, to watch the Eminent Viceroy, Em.Kt. Stuart Goody consecrate 'larger than life' W.Kt. Marc Quigley-Ferriday as Viceroy after which the  Most Puissant Sovereign, M.P.Kt. Michael Howard Enthroned Em.Kt. Goody; all done in a superb manner, followed by an enjoyable festive board.

Another great evening at Hayle.

 

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Conclave of Ascension No.499 Meeting - Tuesday 3rd October 2017

 
Once again a most pleasant trip through the Devon Countryside to attend the business meeting of the Conclave of Ascension No.499 at South Brent on the morning of Tuesday 3rd October last.

But this was more than just a business meeting!  The assembled knights, led by the Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas and the Deputy Intendant General, Ill.Kt. Nic St.J.M. White, were treated to a superb rendering of the Oration by W.Kt. Adrian Garrity.  This was followed by a talk entitled "Things you did not know about Constantine" by myself, Ill.Kt. Alan Cockman, in which I tried to 'fill in' some interesting lesser known facts about Constantine the Great.

The meeting continued with P.Kt. John Lynes being elected as Sovereign, W.Kt. Harry Hine being elected as Viceroy and W.Kt. Jon Moran being elected as Treasurer for the ensuing year.

The knights then retired to the Refectory for the usual most enjoyable Festive Lunch amongst good Christian Company.

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Torquay Appendant Orders Meeting - Thursday 5th October 2017 - and Executive Meeting.

 
With the Executive meeting starting at 4:30 in Torquay I arranged to pick up a certain knight in a lay-by in Tiverton.  On arriving early at 3:15 and hanging about for a while I became aware that parents collecting their children were looking at me suspiciously!!  So a couple of trips around the block were called for to allay their suspicions, however by 3:35 the knight concerned had not appeared and time was running out for me to get to Torquay on time.

On arriving at Torquay I attended the Annual Executive meeting (minutes attached) but was then informed that the knight I was supposed to pick up was due to be the Guardian of the Sacred Vault, and that there was no one else who could 'stand in'.  What else could I do but agree to read the part.  Not easy helping a candidate who had a little difficulty bending down whilst reading the Guardian's bit in the dark and holding a torch!!
 

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Nevertheless, thirty knights enjoyed watching V.Ill.Kt. Roger Freeman, Ill.Kt. Warner Barton and V.Ill.Kt. Bill Lissamer     confer the Appendant Orders on W.Kt. Graham Cribbett from the Conclave of Ascension which they did in a superb manner!

The knights then retired for a most enjoyable festive board in good Christian company.

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Mount Lebanon Conclave No.270 Meeting - Monday 25th September 2017 - Twenty Five Sober (K)nights

 
A delightful gathering of the conclave in Tavistock presented the Knights of the Division to meet again in Faith Unity and Zeal in the Company of The Deputy Grand Sovereign Right Illustrious and Eminent Knight Peter Hawken, the Intendant General Right Illustrious Knight Richard Lucas and his Deputy Illustrious Knight Nicholas White.

There being no candidate for this meeting it had been arranged that Illustrious Knight Alan Cockman, Divisional Recorder, to deliver a paper on ‘Things that you may not have known about Constantine’. The research for this work had been done during the production of the booklet produced by our Past Grand Eusebius Right Illustrious Reverend Doctor Peter Blackwell-Smyth. Our recorder has continued working on the paper over the last year and each time it is heard there are new things to contemplate about Constantine and our Order. Facts about St Nicholas and St George perhaps!

The paper was received with acclamation and thanks given to our Divisional Recorder.

After the Puissant Sovereign PKt. Barry Slade dealt with the remainder of the business, thanking his ‘stand in officers’ especially PKt Arthur Barker, Divisional Registrar, stepping in to Viceroy with a Nano-seconds notice the Conclave was closed and we repaired to the Bar and Refectory.

Unfortunately, the Bar was closed and locked! The festive board proceeded however and the Loyal Toast and the usual toasts of the Order were observed…slightly dry!

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Annual Combined Christian Orders Church Service - Bodmin 24th September 2017

 
How nice it was to travel down a fully open A30 with no speed restrictions on our way to Bodmin for the Annual Church Service hosted by the Combined Christian Orders of Devon & Cornwall at Bodmin last Sunday.

As soon as we pulled up in the central car park at Bodmin Sandy and I met several old friends, and once we got into the Church it was like a huge family reunion!!

We were soon warmly welcomed to St. Petroc's Church by Rt.Ill.Kt. Revd. Dr. Peter Blackwell-Smyth who had organised and was conducting the Service which had a 'Harvest Festival' feel to it, and he was ably assisted by V.Ill.Kt. Revd. Louis Baycock.

Hymns were selected, or readings carried out by Ill.Kt. Nicholas St.J. White, R.W.Bro. Stephen Pearn, Br. Revd. Dr. Peter Johnson, Ill.Bro. Raymond Bray, Bro. Angus Herdman, E.Kt. Terry Sloan and R.W. Bro. Ian Kingsbury, and what a superb job they all made of their 'pieces', showing that a lot of work had gone in before hand, and with R.W. Bro. Roger Freeman playing the organ in his inimitable manner the service couldn't have been better!

Following the service, which lasted less than an hour, we were treated to Tea and Refreshments at the back of the Church courtesy of Cornwall District Rose Croix, whilst we continue to catch up with old friends.

All in all, a most enjoyable afternoon  amongst good Christian Friends, and to make the day even better I treated Sandy to Scampi and Chips on the way home!!

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Sad News of Douglas Penny

 

It is with a sad heart that I set out below an email received from the Provincial Grand Secretary............

 

Dear Sir and Brother

 

It is with the greatest sorrow I must inform you of the death yesterday of WBro Raymond Douglas Mawson Penny, PSGD, Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master, at the age of 94 years.


WBro Douglas was born into a Masonic family, his father being a member of St Peter’s Lodge No.1125 and a Founder of All Souls’ Lodge No.6677, Tiverton, in which Douglas was initiated in November 1959, before becoming its Master in 1971, when his first two Candidates were his sons Alexander and Michael.  He joined Blundell’s Lodge No.5467 in 1965 and served as its Master in 1972 and 1973, during which he initiated his son Ian and Michael became a joining member.  He became Master for a third time in 1979, having Ian as Senior Warden and Michael as Junior Warden.  He was honoured with an appointment to London Grand Rank for this service.

 

Douglas’s love of the Craft led him to become a joining member of Unity Lodge No.1332 in Crediton where he practised as a solicitor, eventually taking the Chair there in 2001 after some years spent as the lodge’s secretary.  He joined Lodge of Union No.444 in 1976, becoming its Master in 1987.  Douglas also became the Founding Master of North Devon Masters’ Lodge No.9316 in 1989, an office he held for two years.

 

An appointment to Provincial Senior Grand Warden by RWBro WA Kneel in 1980, serving alongside WBro DHL Searle, ProvJGW, of Ebrington Lodge No.1847.  He was appointed as Assistant Provincial Grand Master in 1988, an office in which he served until 1993.  He was honoured by the MW Grand Master with an appointment as Past Assistant Grand Registrar in 1987, with a further promotion to Past Senior Grand Deacon in 1989.

 

Douglas’s achievements in other degrees were at a similarly high level, becoming Past Assistant Grand Sojourner in the Holy Royal Arch, Past Grand Junior Deacon in the Mark Degree, Past Grand Visitor in the Order of the Secret Monitor, Past Grand Chamberlain in the Red Cross of Constantine, Past Grand VII Pillar in the Knights Templar Priests, and Past Substitute Provincial Grand Master (Herts) in the Royal Order of Scotland.

 

His service at the very highest level in the Masonic degrees of Rose Croix and Knights Templar merit especial mention: Douglas became the head of each Order for Devonshire, the Inspector General of the Ancient and Accepted Rite for Devonshire, which he held for ten years from 1987, and Provincial Prior for Devon and Cornwall, which was held for four years.

 

I will, of course, advise of further details as appropriate.

 

May he ever rest in Eternal Peace.

 

Richard Ebrey
Provincial Grand Secretary of Devonshire

 

Douglas was a member of five different Conclaves in our Division during his lifetime and was a Founder Member of Holy Trinity Conclave and attained the high rank of Past Grand Prefect in 1990.  He was also an 'all round' nice guy who always had a twinkle in his eye!!

 

Alan

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St. Brannock Conclave No.342 Meeting - Wednesday 6th September 2017 - "A Pub with no Beer" !!

 
Things were a bit different at St Brannock Conclave No.342 in Barnstaple at their meeting on Wednesday 6th September.  What was missing was Ginger Palmer!!  Ginger has been running the Bar at Trafalgar Lawn for more years than most of us can remember, but at 94 he has finally succumbed to quite a serious illness and it was decided that until things can be sorted out the Bar should remain closed.

Thus it was that many of the residents in Trafalgar Lawn began to wonder what sort of party was going on in there with so many 'undertakers' walking in with bottles and cans!!

The Most Puissant Sovereign, P.Kt. Neil Raynor, was determined that the dearth  of candidates would not stop him from carrying out a ceremony, and, despite his 85 years he and his team made a superb job of it.  He even managed to do our Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas out of a job by doing the Accolade himself!  The whole ceremony was well orchestrated by the fairly new Marshal, P.Kt. Eddie Dymond who seems to be settling into the job very well.

A great evening at St. Brannock Conclave, spoilt only by the absence of Ginger, emphasised by the bar shutters being down!

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Joseph of Arimathea No.253 - Enthronement Friday 1st September 2017 - 'Divisional Recorder on a Different Plain'!

 
One of the most enjoyable activities of our Order is to visit a distant Conclave.  And this experience is made even more enjoyable if someone else drives (and pays for the petrol).  Such was the case on Friday 1st September last when I was driven to Perranporth to enjoy the Enthronement at Joseph of Arimathea Conclave No.253 when Ill Kt. Gwynfryn Thomas offered to drive me! 

We arrived at Perranporth in plenty of time to walk down to a local cafe and enjoy a coffee, but as we approached the cafe a parade of Freemasons were leaving.  The owner told us that most of them had behaved properly, but there was one who she described as somewhat cheeky and raucous!!  'No names no pack drill'  but if you cross my palm with silver.....

On our return to the conclave we caught up on the news from friends of their summer vacations and then paraded into the Conclave under the Arch of Steel provided by V.Ill.Kt. Bernard Winsor and his Sepulchre Guard, ably assisted by the Deputy Captain, 'cheeky' Ill.Kt. Chris Bird, and the superb direction of our 'stand in' Marshal, P.Kt. Chris Thomas.

The current Most Puissant Sovereign, P.Kt. Graham Hooper, and the current Viceroy, E.Kt. Colin Rescorla, had both agreed to continue in their important posts for a further year and they were proclaimed as such under the very competent guidance of the Marshal, P.Kt. Colin Adams.

The whole evening was rounded off with the sort of Festive Board that we have become used to at Perranporth - I really  don't know how they produce such quality meals at such low prices!!

And the 'Divisional Recorder on a different plain'?  Under 'Correspondence, the Conclave Recorder referred to an email I had sent him in which  I had queried something that he, P.Kt. Marc Quigley-Ferriday was suggesting,  needless to say, he was right and I was wrong!  My excuse is that I'm still learning my job and I didn't go to Cambridge!!

Another most enjoyable night at Joseph of Arimathea and, thanks to Gwynfryn, I was still back in Barnstaple by 11:00pm!

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Division of Middlesex Annual Meeting - Saturday  15th July 2017 - Snowploughs in July?


Another early start, and, after meeting the Intendant General (who once again had offered to be our Chauffer) and Orme Vince, our Senior General, at Tiverton Parkway, we were soon on our way to Twickenham Masonic Centre where the annual meeting of the Division of Middlesex is held

As we drove up the A303 near Stonehenge I couldn't believe my eyes as approaching us in the other lane were ten Snowploughs!  I asked my companions if any of them had seen the weather forecast that morning and they assured me that snow had not been mentioned!!

We arrived at the large car park at Cole Court with plenty of time to spare and were soon catching up with the news from friends old and new; and how nice it was to see V.Ill. Kt. Keith Waters (whose name you will remember I mange to change every time I see him!) our Sub Prelate from deepest Cornwall visiting his old Division.

Rt.Ill.Kt. Denis Leigh, the Intendant General for Middlesex soon got the meeting under way, and his casual manner and gentle humour made us all feel that we were his closest friends!  By 12:30 the business of the meeting was finished and we were able to partake of some most welcome refreshment before continuing the banter with good Christian friends at the dinner table.  Another good day at Middlesex and Richard's superb driving got us home by 6:00pm!

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The Intendant-General, Right Illustrious Knight Richard Lucas, has been pleased to appoint the officers listed below who will be invested at the Annual Meeting of the Divisional Conclave
on Saturday 25th November 2017 at Torquay
 

Office

Conc

Rank

Name

 

Viceroy

349

V.Ill.Kt.

Bill Lissamer

 

Senior General

327

P.Kt.

Chris Thomas

 

Junior General

432

P.Kt.

Kevin Jones

 

High Prelate

432

Ill.Kt.

Louis Baycock

 

Registrar

270

P.Kt.

Mike Davison

 

Treasurer

270

Ill.Kt.

Frank H. Corbridge

 

Recorder

342

Ill.Kt.

Alan Cockman

 

Almoner

327

P.Kt.

Peter Durrant MBE

 

Marshal

342

Ill.Kt.

Paul Ackland

 

Sword Bearer

253

P.Kt.

Tony Moyle

 

Deputy Marshal

270

V.Ill.Kt.

Roy Rudling

 

Chamberlain

349

P.Kt.

John Bate

 

Sub-Prelate

349

V.Ill.Kt.

Keith Waters

 

Standard Bearer (C)

270

P.Kt.

Jim de Lisle Innis

 

Standard Bearer (L)

327

P.Kt.

David Forward.

 

Prefect

311

P.Kt.

Sid George

 

Warden of Regalia

432

P.Kt.

Chris Hodgson

 

Assistant Recorder

342

P.Kt.

John Whitfield

 

Organist

349

V.Ill.Kt.

Roger Freeman

 

Herald 1

238

P.Kt.

Mark Richardson

 

Sentinel

238

P.Kt.

Mike Daniels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Past Ranks

  

Junior General

327

P.Kt.

Richard Thomas

 

Junior General

311

P.Kt.

Michael St.John French

 

Almoner

253

P.Kt.

Frank Jewell

 

Standard Bearer (C)

342

P.Kt.

Adam Jeffery

 

 

 

Conclave of Light No.498 - Enthronement - Tuesday 11th July 2017 - You've never got a camera when you want it!!

 
Whenever I go to Cornwall it's sunny I said!  Boy was I proved wrong.  The further west we travelled, the wetter it got!  We were on our way to the Conclave of Light No.498 Enthronement meeting in Bodmin.  We already knew that the Sovereign, Ill.Kt. Jeff Leach, wouldn't be able to perform the ceremony as he was still awaiting his heart surgery and had to take things very quietly.  That old stalwart Ill.Kt. Colin Spilsbury quickly agreed to act as Sovereign and 34 knights including 14 Active and Grand Officers entered under the Arch of Steel provided by the Sepulchre Guard; and how nice it was to see their Captain after the turmoil's of his house move!

 

V.Ill.Kt. Bill Lissamer made short work of installing W.Kt. Andy Paterson as Eminent Viceroy then he himself was Enthroned as the Most Puissant Sovereign in superb style by Ill.Kt. Colin.
 

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Following the ceremony the assembled knights retired to the Westbury Hotel for Lunch.

And the camera?? Andy Fowkes had a lift to the hotel in the back of our Intendant General's car.  R.Ill.Kt. Richard parked close beside some concrete stairs leaving Andy (who's not he smallest guy in the world) to get out of a partially opened back door which required him to undertake gyrations which were a cross between Limbo dancing and the children's game 'Twister'.  Funniest thing I've seen for a long time and not a camera nearby!!!!

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Perranporth Appendant Orders  - Friday 7th July 2017 - Everyone's Grunting

 
Another drive down the Atlantic Highway on a warm summer's afternoon, being chauffeured by one of our newest Grand Officers, Ill.Kt. Gwynfrin Thomas, and the expectation of another great ceremony at Perranporth - what more could any Knight of the Red Cross of Constantine want?

Four candidates were preparing for the Appendant Orders Ceremony: W.Kts. James Woonnacott and Jonathan Sheehan form the Conclave of Light No.498;  W.Kt. Michael Carter from Mount Lebanon Conclave No.270 and W.Kt. Stephen Ball from Joseph of Arimathea Conclave No.253.  And what a ceremony they were given!!

V.Ill.Kt. Roger Freeman got the meeting started with a superb delivery of the 1st Point,  and, just when you thought it couldn't get any better V.Ill.Kt. Roy Rudling matched that performance with his delivery of the 2nd Point; and finally V.Ill.Kt. Bill Lissamer showed that he wasn't going to be left out and performed the 3rd Point in a similar manner!

Two of our new Grand Officers, Ill.Kt. John Lynes and Ill.Kt. Gwynfrin Thomas, showed us that 'fame' had not gone to their heads by taking active parts in the ceremony, indeed I really don't know how John manages to take on any role in the lodge at a moment's notice and perform it perfectly - this time it was Verger!

The 35 knights in attendance all agreed that our Candidates could not but have been impressed with such a magnificent ceremony.  And how nice it was to see our newest member of the Sepulchre Guard, Kt. Colin Pomeroy, take up his post for the first time.

We all then retired for a magnificent festive board, with soup 'to die for' and other courses which were almost as good.

And the Grunting?  Someone noticed (maybe it was the sepulchre guard who are well known for their humour) that Bill Lissamer grunted slightly whenever he got up to propose a toast - before long the whole assembled company was joining him with a chorus of grunting for every toast!  You had to be there!!!

Another superb evening at Perranporth 
 

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Grand Imperial Conclave  - Tuesday 4th July 2017 - A long day but an enjoyable one!

 
An alarm going off at 4:30 heralds what you know is going to be a long hot day!  After picking up Paul Ackland and Gwyn Thomas in Barnstaple and Adrian Garrity in Tiverton we were on our way in what proved to be a nice uneventful journey to Grand Imperial Conclave at Queen Street in London.  Finding plenty of parking spaces at Hounslow West we ere soon travelling underground to our destination near Covent Garden.  Having plenty of time to spare, a browse around the goodies on offer in Letchworth's followed by a pavement seat for coffee opposite the entrance to Grand Lodge gave us the perfect opportunity to see who was arriving.

Twenty four knights had travelled from Devon and Cornwall to enjoy the Grand Conclave and to watch eight of our knights invested with their Grand Ranks in a ceremony full of grandeur and with visiting dignitaries attending form all over the world.

The meeting was conducted by our Grand Sovereign, M.Ill.Kt. Graham Flight, G.C.C. in his usual calm, relaxed but efficient manner with some humour where appropriate, and the Devon & Cornwall contingent loudly applauded when their own members received their honours.

Following the meeting we all retired to the splendour of the Connaught Rooms for a meal with good company and ample wine!

We left Queen Street just as 'rush hour' was getting under way, and the trip by tube train back to Hounslow reminded us all how lucky we were to be living in the West Country.  An uneventful drive allowed us to be home by 10:00pm.  A long day, but a most enjoyable day, and congratulations to all those who received well deserved Grand Honours!

Click here to see the photos
 
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Conclave of Ascension No.499 - Wednesday 21st June 2017 - An Inspiration at Ascension! 

 
On one of the hottest days this month, 29 degrees C,  the W.Kts. of the division descended on South Brent for what was to prove to be a most inspirational meeting.

The concern of any Marshall is that all the officers attend to undertake their duty.

Unfortunately, on this occasion, Ill.Kt. Dr Warner Barton was short of a few officers including the Sovereign P.Kt. Ian Pollock.

After some discussions offices were filled with Ill.Kt. John Lynes taking the Chair for the installation of Companion Graham Cribbett who was admitted and treated to an exemplary and faultless investiture which included Ill.Kt. John not only doing the main ceremony but also the Oration!! (which had been the piece he had originally intended).
 

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With the Conclave closed we repaired to partake of a warming and hearty meal and customary short speeches. IllKt John Lynes demonstrating a coolness, calmness and control throughout. An absolute 'tour de force' and exemplary Red Cross Mason, with many thanks from the Conclave!

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News of Sick Brethren....

 
Worthy Knights,

 

I have received the email below from Marc Quigley-Ferriday about W.Kt. Newton Grant of Joseph of Arimathea Conclave No.253....

 

Good morning Richard & Alan

 

An update on the health of W.Kt. Newton Grant, who, you may have noticed was absent from our last meeting in Perranporth.

 

He was recently admitted to the Duchy hospital in Truro, for a blockage in his bladder, further tests have confirmed that the growth is not cancerous, but benign, and he will shortly be having surgery to remove the construction.

 

He will shortly be celebrating his 87th birthday on the 26th June

 

If I hear any further news, I'll let you know 

 Marc

 

 

And from Jeff Leach.......

 

Dear Alan,

Thanks for your concern. No news yet from the Torbay Drs meeting. Still in limbo from that. However I have two appointments at Torbay on the 28 June one for a Lung function test at the heart & lung dept & the other at the Vascular laboratory for a ultrasound doppler on carotid artery both.So things on the positive side moving onwards & upwards. I am still taking it easy going for short walks on level etc & pottering around garden.

 

I still feel Ok but more aware of my heart which I suppose is normal for my condition. I have just took it for granted before & never thought about it pumping away day & night.

 

I will be thinking of you all having a cup of coffee at the place we usually meet up at Grand Conclave. Its one of the best parts of the day for me sat in the Sun having a bit of Fun.

Cheers for just now,
Jeff

 

I know that you will all want to wish them well and assure them that we are thinking of them!

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Following on from the item below....

 
Worthy Knights,

 

I have been informed that a memorial service for the late WBro Tony Ireland ERD PPrSGW PAGDC will be held on Wednesday 12 July at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Marine Road, Oreston, Plymouth PL9 7NN at 11:30 am.  

 

Family flowers only, but donations if desired may be given by retiring collection or sent to Co-op Funeral Care, 72 Pomphlett Road, Plymstock, Plymouth PL9 7BN (Tel 01752 482900).

 

NB. The cremation service will be for family only and I have received no information regarding a wake afterwards.

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Sad News

 
Worthy Knights,

I have just heard that Ill.Kt. Anthony Charles Ireland, better known to us as Tony, passed away peacefully in his sleep yesterday morning, Friday 9th June, after a short illness.

Tony had just celebrated his ninety-first birthday.  He was installed in Royal Citadel Conclave in 1990 and became its Sovereign in 2000.  He rose to the rank of Past Grand Chamberlain in 2010 and was our Divisional Treasurer from 2002 until 2008

Tony will be sadly missed by all.  I will post details of his funeral as soon as I have them.

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St. Brannock Conclave No.342 Meeting - Thursday 8th June 2017 - "North Devon Needs Nick" !!

 
As our Deputy Intendant General, P.K. Nic St.John Middleton White travelled along the North Devon Link Road towards Barnstaple he was delighted to be welcomed by large yellow signs displaying the message  "North Devon Needs Nick!" Regrettably he discovered that instead of this being a warm welcome by the Red Cross Knights of North Devon, they were in fact posters for Nick Harvey, one of the candidates in the election

Nevertheless tea, biscuits and a warm welcome awaited him at St. Brannock Conclave No.342 for its meeting on Thursday 8th June.  Four meetings in seven days together with the election day, the lack of a candidate and several members off sick including our Most Puissant Sovereign, P.Kt. Rayner, reduced our numbers for the meeting.

 

The Past Deputy Intendant General, Ill.Kt. Alan Cockman, gave a talk entitled "A background to Constantine" which covered many items that he had only recently un-earthed and which he wanted to share with the worthy knights.  The talk was very well received.

 

The other business of the evening was the successful ballot for Ill.Kt. 'Bill' Littlechild to become an honorary member of the Conclave.

 

The Recorder, Ill.Kt. Roger Guest, then produced an application form for a joining member, the form, having been left inside his front door, was in a very sorry state, his dog having taken a liking to it and trying to eat it!!  Roger promised to present a new 'un-eaten' form at the next meeting.

 

The worthy knights then retired for a most enjoyable Steak and Kidney Pie festive board and everyone was on their way home by 8:45 pm.

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St. John the Evangelist Conclave No.238 Enthronement - Tuesday 6th June 2017

 
Following the success of their 50th Anniversary Meeting at Exmouth the Enthronement Meeting of St. John the Evangelist Conclave No.238 at their usual venue of Topsham could have taken a bit of a back seat, but this wouldn't be allowing for the charisma of its Most Puissant Sovereign, Michael Jones!

As has become customary at Enthronement Meetings our Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas, accompanied by our Deputy Intendant General, P.Kt. Nic St.John Middleton White and 10 Active and Grand Officers paraded into the Conclave under an Arch of Steel formed by the Sepulchre Guard.

The MPS, Mike, always tries to 'come up' with something different, and this meeting was no exception. Both he and the Viceroy, Em.Kt. Alex Barahona-Wills had agreed to continue in their offices for a further year so we were treated to Ceremony in which both continued by Declaration. The first that I've seen.  And how well they organised it, this will no doubt become the model for any such future ceremonies!

The Most Puissant Sovereign then showed the 50th Certificate to the meeting pointing out that this was the first 50th Certificate that the Grand Sovereign had presented to any Conclave.

The nights then retired for a most enjoyable Festive Board in the company of good Christian Knights.
 

Highslide JS

Highslide JS


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Mount Lebanon Conclave No.270 Enthronement - Monday 5th June 2017

 
Despite heavy rain, storms, traffic jams, motor accidents and fallen trees 43 Knights made it by hook or by crook to the Enthronement Meeting of Mount Lebanon Conclave No.270 in Tavistock on Monday 5th June, and what a ceremony they were treated to!!

Sixteen Active and Grand Officers paraded into the Lodge with our Deputy Intendant General, P.Kt. Nic St.John Middleton White without our Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas who, we learnt later had been held up in traffic in Plymouth.  As usual the Sepulchre Guard provided the Arch of Steel and the meeting then proceeded with the Most Puissant Sovereign proffering the Baton to our Deputy I.G.  M.P.Kt. Roger Goulding then continued with the meeting and the Viceroy, Em.Kt. Barry Slade proceeded to Consecrate the Viceroy Elect, W.Kt. Roger Pulleyblank in a most proficient manner.
 

At this point our Intendant General arrived, after his three hour trip from Plymouth to Tavistock, and was offered the Baton of the Conclave by the M.P.S.  M.P.Kt. Roger Goulding then proceeded to Enthrone Em.Kt. Barry Slade in a most superb manner - it's hard to believe that we could see two absolutely magnificent ceremonies, just two days apart!

The meeting was then further augmented by a most excellent presentation of a Grand Imperial Certificate to W.Kt. Michael Carter and, because there were two 'Novices' present a very short version of the Appendant Orders Certificate to Kt. Brian Dolton.

The assembled company then retired to the Bedford Hotel for a most enjoyable Festive Board.

Highslide JS

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Joseph of Arimathea Conclave No.253 Official Visit - Friday 2nd June 2017

Highslide JS

 
The Official Visit by our Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas and his officers to Joseph of Arimathea Conclave No.253 on Friday 2nd June was enhanced by the presence of sixteen active officers, the sepulchre guard under the leadership of their Deputy Captain Ill.Kt. Chris Bird, and by the fact that there was a candidate waiting in the 'wings'. 

The procession was ably orchestrated by our Divisional Marshal, Ill.Kt. Paul Ackland and his Deputy V.Ill. Roy Rudling.  Paul having arrived very early because of a misunderstanding about departure time from Barnstaple!

 I won't mention that one of our officers had forgotten his Divisional sash - see if you can spot him in the photo!

The Most Puissant Sovereign, M.P.Kt. Graham Hooper quickly got the meeting under way and the forty knights present were treated to one of the best ceremonies that I've seen for a long time (and I've seen a few!).  The whole team rose to the occasion and the oration by Simon Bennett was only eclipsed by the Accolade performed faultlessly by the M.P.S.  The only slight hiccup throughout the entire ceremony was when one of the pillar officers, a very experienced ex Conclave Marshal,  who was called in at the last minute, had a blank senior moment when he should have asked "Who directed you hither?"  But I promised not to mention that!

The meeting then continued with the M.P.S., the Viceroy and the Treasurer all agreeing to continue in office for a further year.

We all then partook of a most enjoyable festive board and I was still home by 11:30 pm thanks to our driver P.Kt. Gwyn Thomas.

Highslide JS

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Some news about Jeff Leach

 

Jeff was admitted to Torbay hospital coronary care unit last week. The doctors there gave him various tests and they show that he has had a minor heart attack. He is booked in for an angiogram on Tuesday which should show where the blockage is. They will then decide what treatment he should be given.

 

Jeff has returned home for the weekend but has to have total rest, peace and quiet.

 

Jeff, if you read this, we are all thinking about you and wishing you well!!

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Holy Trinity Conclave No.311 Business Meeting - 17th May 2017
 

The meeting at Holy Trinity Conclave No.311 was a business meeting which included a short talk on our founder, the Emperor Constantine. This talk was no doubt inspired by his recent visit to places 'North of Bristol', and all present found it most interesting.

A pleasant evening was had by all and they all retired to the refectory for a lovely meal.

 

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East Lancashire Divisional Conclave Saturday 20th May 2017 - the Deputy goes North
 
Having paid homage to our Illustrious and Royal Founder Constantine earlier in the week in York.  The end of long sojourn into and out of ancient Caledonia (Scotland), saw an early start on a sunny Saturday 20th  for the Deputy Intendant General heading to Wolverhampton station to drop his brother off to go to London and the Deputy headed North to Preston to attend the East Lancashire Divisional Conclave Annual Meeting.

 
After an easy journey chatting with a Genealogist and Heraldry enthusiast, (who showed a great interest in the lapel pin the Deputy was wearing prompting a conversation about Masonic symbolism in general)  ended with a short walk to the Masonic Centre in Preston (right next to the Court Buildings!).  Once again the gathering of old and new friends in Red Cross Masonry ensued. We were warmly greeted with coffee and bacon butties.... who said that an army marches on its stomach!?
  

The morning meeting was the investiture of the new Intendant General,  Ill.Kt. Stephen William Bolton, P.G.Std.Br. (L). The ceremony was faultless with the M.Ill.Kt Graham Flight and his team (including the Deputy Grand Sovereign the Rt.Ill. and Em.Kt. Peter Hawken) and the Grand Team working in harmony throughout.

Divisional Conclave was called off for an excellent luncheon attended by 180 Knights and short speeches. After lunch the new Intendant General, Ill.Kt. Stephen William Bolton, resumed work by appointing his new team of Divisional Officers in a warm and sincere fashion.

The sun continued to shine on the journey back to Wolverhampton with many happy memories to reflect upon.  The Deputy Intendant General eventually getting home to Plymouth on Sunday.

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Division of Surrey Annual Meeting - Saturday 29th April 2017 - It's just around the next bend!

 

The 5:00am alarm heralded another trip to a far off Divisional Meeting.  This time we were off to the Division of Surrey Annual Meeting which was being held at The Masonic Hall Croydon, and we had to be seated by 10:45!!

 

Neither our Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas, nor his Deputy, Nic St.J. White could make it to this meeting so it was up to me and our Senior General, P.Kt. Orme Vince to 'carry the flag' on behalf of Devon and Cornwall.

 

As the  200 mile drive neared its end I was surprised when my TomTom Sat Nav directed me off the M25 and through Kingston where the traffic lights are more numerous than in Barnstaple and indeed take even longer to change, and with the many different ethnic pedestrians about the thought did occur to me that I might have taken a wrong turn and was now in Kingston Jamaica!   But my trust in the Sat Nav proved well founded and we were soon pulling up in one of the many parking spaces that were available at the Masonic Hall.

 

And what a magnificent hall it was, we counted no less than nine temples, four Lodge of Instruction rooms, a large dining room, many offices and, of course, a large bar.

 

We were warmly greeted by the Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. Rober "Bob" Hancock and the knights of Surrey made a point of coming up to say hello, and the Divisional Recorder, Ill.Kt. Chris Cradock,  was the epitome of a helpful Recorder, the smile never left his lips whilst he cheerfully dealt with various problems and requests!

 

The Intendant General quickly got the meeting going, and welcomed all the guests from far and near.  The business of the meeting was quickly dealt with after which the Intendant General thanked his outgoing deputy, Ill.Kt. Frank Powell for all his help, work and support and then installed P.Kt. Andrew Sales as his new Deputy.

 

The assembled knights then retired to the refectory for a superb lunch of Mushroom filled with Bacon & Cheese, Roast Beef with a very ample salad and Strawberry Pana Cotta.  Once again the company was superb and we were on our way home by 3:00pm.  -  A great day out at Surrey Divisional Meeting!

 

And the "It's just around the next bend" reference?  By the time we had circumnavigated London and were halfway home we both felt in need of a 'comfort break' - Orme perhaps more so than me.  Having travelled the A303 a couple of weeks before I remembered that Sandy and I had stopped in a roadside restaurant near Stonehenge that was most pleasant, so as we passed the ancient monument i said to Orme those fateful words " it's just around the bend".  But I was wrong!  Ten miles further on I was still saying "It's just around the next bend!" 20 miles on from Stonehenge we finally found it.  Only to find a notice on the door saying that because of the Bank Holiday Weekend they had closed at 3:00pm.  Fortunately, just around the bend was a toilet behind a garage which we were able to use.

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John Lynes - Lost in France ??
 
I've just received this email and photo from John Lynes in Alsace which I'm sure you'd all like to see.......
 

Highslide JS

I first visited Hotel Au Soleil with my late wife Gwen about 1990.It is a small family-run hotel in the very heart of the vineyards.

Mine host is Andre,his charming wife Claudine, son Guillieme (chef)& partner Alexandra. The restaurant is renowned for it's fine cuisine. I have been privileged to celebrate both my 80th & 85th at Au Soleil & plans are well in hand for my 90th.Many friends, family & brethren have made the 600 mile journey & long may it continue.

I can't finish without mentioning the beautiful Alsace wines (Jeff Leach likes them anyhow) & I know many of you have enjoyed them.

If anyone would like more information I will be only too pleased to oblige.

John.

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St. Brannock Conclave No.342 Enthronement 19th April 2017 - An evening of "firsts"!
 
The rehearsal for the St. Brannock Conclave No 342 Enthronement on Wednesday 19th April didn't bode well for the meeting.  Several officers were unavoidably absent, some of our newer knights were attending their first Enthronement and it was also the first Enthronement for our Marshal, Ill.Kt. Eddie Dymond.  Indeed, we were so short of officers that I was pressed into service as Junior General - the first time for a long while that I had used a sword!! (never carrying one as Deputy Intendant General).

Nevertheless, as is the way with the 'magic of Freemasonry' it all seemed to come together, and 34 knights watched as the meeting got under way.

Twelve Active or Grand Officers joined our Intendant General, R.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas, our Deputy Intendant General, P.Kt. Nic St.J.M. White and Past Deputy Intendant General V.Ill.Kt. Ed Purkis to parade into the Conclave under an Arch of Steel provided by the Sepulchre Guard under the direction of its Deputy Captain Ill.Kt. Chris Bird.

And despite (or perhaps because of) the poor rehearsal the Eminent Viceroy, Em.Kt. Neil Rayner consecrated W.Kt. Steve Marshall as Eminent Viceroy and was then himself Enthroned as Most Puisssant Sovereign for the ensuing year by the Most Puissant Sovereign, P.Kt. Alan 'Dave' Williams, all of this was carried out in a superb manner.

Following the Enthronement our Deputy Intendant General, somewhat nervous having to perform in front of two past Intendants General, and for the first time, presented Appendant Order Certificates to Kts. Brian Taylor, Colin Pomeroy and Mike Skudder, and what a superb job he made of it!

The entire company then retired for a most enjoyable Festive Board, and, in the toast to our Intendant General he was unkindly reminded of another first - the first time he forgot his Robe for a Divisional Meeting!!!

A wonderful evening of 'firsts' and a most enjoyable evening at St. Brannock!

Highslide JS

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GRAND IMPERIAL CONCLAVE OFFICERS  DIVISION OF DEVON AND CORNWALL 2017

 

It has just been officially announced that the following officers are to be appointed or promoted at the Grand Imperial Conclave on Tuesday 4th July in London.

          

Deputy Grand Sovereign P. HAWKEN MBE 270
Grand Historiographer K.B. JACKSON 270/327
     
Promotions:    
Past Grand Chamberlain MICHAEL 'BILL' OATS 327
Past Grand Standard Bearer (C) PHILIP JAMES PRICE 311
     
First Appointments:    
Past Grand Standard Bearer (C) NICHOLAS ST JOHN M. WHITE 327
Past Grand Prefect JOHN LYNES 238
Past Grand Warden of Regalia GWYN FRYN THOMAS 342
Past Grand Herald  JOHN 'GRAHAM' LEA 327
     

 

Many congratulations to them all!

 

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Conclave of Light No.498 Meeting 11th April 2017 - Once in Bodmin, how do you get out??
 
On a glorious sunny morning the 70 mile trip down the Atlantic Highway to Bodmin was a pleasure!  And a warm welcome greeted me amongst old friends for the morning meeting of the Conclave of Light No.498, a meeting in which an old friend of mine was about to join our order.

Our Deputy Intendant General, P.Kt. Nic St. John M. White, having gained his wings at Royal Citadel Conclave a couple of weeks before, was to preside over the meeting, our Intendant General having duties elswhere.

The Most Puissant Sovereign, Ill.Kt. Jeff Leach showed his experience by quickly opening the Conclave and carrying out the basic business of the meeting.  Companion James Wonnacott was then successfully balloted for and the Marshal went off to entrust him.  It was at this point that it was realised that no one had told James to bring his Holy Royal Arch Regalia!  Not to worry, that ever resourceful Knight John Sheehan (he of lock picking fame at the last Conclave of Light meeting) came to the rescue with Chapter Regalia that just happened to be in the boot of his car!  I can't help wondering what else he has in there!!!!

The ceremony then proceeded apace with the M.P.S. , Jeff Leach and his team installing the new knight in an excellent fashion, assisted by our Deputy Intendant General who carried out his first accolade in a most competent manner.

Following the ceremony V.Ill.Kt. Bill Lissamer was elected as the Most Puissant Sovereign for the ensuing year and W.Kt. Andy Paterson (who stepped in at the last minute at this ceremony to do the Oration, Andy Fowkes being not too well) was elected as Eminent Viceroy for the ensuing year.

Our Deputy Intendant General then once again took centre stage and presented a Grand Imperial Certificate to Knight John Sheehan in a most professional manner.

The knights then retired to the refectory for a most enjoyable buffet lunch.  We were soon on our way home and I decided just for a change to take the A30 - Launceston - Holsworthy route home. Three quarters of an hour later I was still trying to escape from Bodmin - the Town Centre having been completely closed for major roadworks!  At last I found the main artery out of Cornwall, only to find that one carriageway was closed and the speed limit was a maximum of 40 mph (a lot less when a tractor decided to use the road!).

Never mind a lovely sunny day and the meeting and company had been superb!

Highslide JS

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Royal Citadel Conclave No.349 meeting - Friday 24th March 2017

 

Friday the 24th March was the regular meeting of Royal Citadel Conclave 327 with P.Kt. Nic White, Deputy Intendant General, in the Sovereign's Chair and seven active divisional officers plus numerous Grand Officers supporting him. This was the first occasion that he had been ‘let loose’ without the supervision of the Intendant General!

 

The meeting saw the Senior General undertaking the delivery of the Oration in an splendid fashion, thus opening up the ‘gateway’ for his eventual progression to the Chairs of Eusebius and Sovereign, the delivery of the oration being essential to qualify a W.Kt. to progress! This was followed by another first for the Deputy Intendant General in the presentation of a Certificate to W.Kt. Joseph Louis Sevieri. W.Kt .Sevieri commented on the superb manner in which the Deputy Intendant General undertook the responsibility and other Knights similarly commented after the event. The Deputy Intendant was suitably heartened by the support he had received.

The festive board was convivial with short speeches so we were all away in good time, the Deputy Intendant General went home to pack to catch the 01.00 Megabus (£22 return!! but no Yum Yums!) to London for the Metropolitan Divisional Conclave on Saturday at Mark Masons Hall.

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Metropolitan Divisional Meeting, Mark Mason's Hall - Saturday 25th March 2017

It's always a bit exciting to visit Mark Mason's Hall, the home of our Order, but it's even more exciting when you are attending the Installation of a new Intendant General by the Grand Sovereign.  And the excitement of the journey to  London was further enhanced by the company of our Intendant  General, R.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas and the Deputy Grand Sovereign, R.Ill . and Em. Kt. Peter Hawken MBE, G.C.C.

 Having met the pair of them at Tiverton Parkway Car Park I did offer to drive them both, but Richard looked across at my five year old Kia Sportage (which he had sold me 2 years ago) and declined the offer, preferring his Jaguar instead!  So I put £4.50 in the parking meter and off we went.  A stop at the first motorway rest area for Coffee and 'Yum Yums' proved that Peter was still strongly following his diet when he resisted the temptation, but Richard and I did not!!

A couple of hours later saw us pull in to the West Hounslow Underground Station Car Park which, for the first time we've ever seen was absolutely packed, perhaps because of the Antiques Market that seemed to be going on.  However, after a couple of circuits of the car park our 'eagle eyed' Intendant General spotted a van pulling out and quickly availed himself of the spot (at no cost whatsoever even though we were in the heart of London! - Compare this with the cost of parking in a field at Tiverton!)!

A tube ride into Green Park and we were soon entering Mark Mason's Hall where we immediately ran into many friends from other Divisions across the country, and, in my new position as Divisional Recorder I was able to make several new contacts with other Recorders who were all willing to provide me with help and advise in my new job.  Isn't that what these distant meetings are all about - making new contacts and friends??

Our Deputy Intendant General, P.Kt. Nic St.J.M. White soon joined us (having travelled up with his wife Antonia over night, after having conducting the meeting at Royal Citadel the night before) and we all entered the Divisional Conclave.

As you all know I am a great fan of our Grand Sovereign (maybe because he's a Harley Rider), and , once again, he carried out the installation of the new Intendant General Ill.Kt. John Graves, P.G.Pref. with his usual calm relaxed professional , and where appropriate, humorous style.

After the Installation we all retired for a most enjoyable Festive Board, but whilst many returned to the Meeting Hall to continue the Divisional Meeting, the three of us, having regard to the time, and the distance we had to travel opted not to attend the Divisional Meeting which started at 3:00 o'clock.

A pleasant drive home in very good company ended a most enjoyable day!!

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Spring Lunch at Fingle Glen Golf Hotel - 19th March 2017

They say that the sun shines on the righteous - well there must have been eighty two very righteous knights, wives and their friends at  Fingle Glen Golf Hotel at Tedburn St Mary on Sunday 19th March for the Red Cross Spring Lunch for the weather was glorious

After being  welcomed by our Intendant General, R.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas and his lovely wife Marilyn and our Deputy Intendant General, Ill.Kt. Nic White and his equally lovely wife Antonia, there was enough time before lunch to renew old friendships and catch up on the latest news and gossip!

The meal was up to the usual standard of Fingle Glen and the company was, as you'd expect from such good Christian knights better than ever, and the view out over the golf course was superb!

We were also delighted that the Past Grand Eusebius, Rt.Ill. and Ven.Kt. Peter Blackwell Smyth was able to join us.

The Lunch, as always, had been organised by George Evatt, our Divisional Viceroy, and our Intendant General kept the toasts short and sweet.

Another great Spring Lunch with terrific fish and chips!! And, obviously some of us are not as righteous as others because the rain started just as we got past Wikleigh on the way home!!

Click here to see the photos of the Lunch

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St. Ercus Conclave No.349 meeting - Tuesday 14th March 2017

 

A slightly grey journey started, as do so many when heading into the Southern reaches of the Division (Cornwall), at the magnificent bridges over the Tamar. VIllKt Richard Lucas once again providing transport to Hayle. A slight detour around the Trago Mills area proved less traumatic or costly in time as we had both feared! The weather over the downs closed in with the rolling mists and drizzle obscuring much of the views over the countryside only clearing as we drove into Halye. This was an exciting meeting for me as, strangely, I had not been to Hayle before in any degree! We arrived in such good time as to be able to assist VIllKt Bill Lissimer (Marshal of St Ercus among so many other roles he plays in our Division) and IllKt Roy Rudling, Deputy Divisional Marshal clambering into some dark recesses of the building to access the necessary furniture for our meeting.

The Conclave was opened by PKt Michael Howard who conducted the domestic business of the Conclave efficiently with IllKt Neville Don, Recorder, keeping the proceedings moving smoothly up to the main course of the evening, a paper by V.IIl.Kt. K.R.D.Waters, PG STB(C), PastDIG(Middx) entitled "Further Reflections on the Red Cross". A most enjoyable and well delivered paper. We repaired to the refectory where we were treated to a tasty meal of Sausages and Mash followed by a steamed Treacle pudding.....just right for the long damp journey home and short speeches.

For my next visit to St Ercus and Hayle I have been promised a guided tour of this ancient and historic building by IllKt Roger Freeman, the building once home to Trevithic!

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News about Jeff and Gill Leach

 

Although Jeff and Gill are on their annual missionary trip to Australia they still have us in their minds.  Proof of this was apparent when a large box of chocolates together with a birthday card arrived at the home of John Lynes just in time for his 88th Birthday this coming Saturday - but he has told me to keep that quiet !!!

 

Anyway, well done Jeff and Gill and keep up the good work in the Antipodes!!

 

Take care, and we're thinking of you.

 

Oh, and happy birthday on Saturday John - I won't mention it to anyone !!!

 

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Conclave of Ascension No.499 Enthronement 7th March 2017
 
The Lodge at South Brent is not exactly the largest in the world and on Tuesday 7th March it was nearly full to overflowing with knights from places as far apart as Combe Martin, Brixham and Truro all of whom had come to see the Most Puissant Sovereign, P.Kt. Nic St.J.M. White, (who is also our Deputy Intendant General), enthrone Em.Kt. Ian Pollock as M.P.S. of the Conclave of Ascension No.499.
 
A procession which included our Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas, The past Grand Eusebius, Rt.Ill. and Ven.Kt. Peter Blackwell Smyth, past Deputy Intendants General V.Ill. Ed Purkis and Ill.Kt. Alan Cockman, twelve active Divisional Officers and numerous Grand Officers entered the Conclave under an Arch of Steel provided by the Sepulchre Guard.

After the initial business of the meeting in which W.Kt. Andrew Chapman from Surrey was successfully balloted for as a joining member,  Em.Kt. Ian Pollock inducted P.Kt. Dave Silman as Viceroy.  The M.P.S. enthroned Ian Pollock as Most Puissant Sovereign.  He then appointed and invested his officers

The assembled knights the retired to a most enjoyable lunch and with short speeches which ensured that most of us arrived home by 4:00 pm.

Highslide JS

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News about Louis Baycock

 

Several knights have noticed, and commented on, the fact that V.Ill.Kt. Rev. Louis Baycock has been noticeably quiet in his absence from meetings recently!

 

Well, he has had a bit of a problem but hopefully his problems will soon be resolved by an operation and he sounds quite perky about it all.

 

We all look forward to seeing him soon!!

 

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Mount Lebanon Conclave No.270 meeting 27th February 2017 - Certificates presented by the Top Men!

 

Thirty six knights including eleven active Divisional Officers journeyed to Tavistock on a damp February evening to attend the business meeting of Mount Lebanon Conclave No.270 last Monday.

 

As usual we were all warmly greeted by the Most Puissant Sovereign, Roger Goulding and his team, and the meeting soon got under way.

 

After opening, the M.P.S. proffered the Baton to our Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas, and then Rt.Ill. & Em.Kt. Peter Hawken was admitted with all due ceremony and was also proffered the Baton.  Both declined, allowing the M.P.S. to continue the meeting.

 

During the proceedings our Intendant General presented a Grand Conclave Certificate to W.Kt. Kevin Webster in a superb manner and our Deputy Grand Sovereign presented W.Kt. Webster and W.Kt. James Davis in an equally superb manner.

 

There then followed the election of officers for the forthcoming year when Em.Kt. Barry Slade was elected as Most Puissant Sovereign and W.Kt. Roger Pullyblank was elected as Viceroy.

The whole ceremony was overseen by the Marshal, Ill.Kt. Roy Rudling, who was sporting a deep tan having just returned the day before from two weeks in the sun!!

 

The knights then retired to a most enjoyable festive board.

 

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Reminiscing on a trip to South Wales and Monmouthshire Divisional Meeting - 25th February 2017.

 
In the company of our Intendant General, having agreed to meet at Clyst St. George, the journey proceeded to Taunton services to stop for coffee and yum yum’s. On proceeding out of the shop and having paid for the goods the young lady on the till asked our I.G. if he was going to pay for the yum yum’s that he had in his hand. After a little embarrassment and paying up we proceeded up to Bridgend.

 

On arrival we were greeted well and coffee and bacon butties were available. The ceremonial was conducted in a professional and enjoyable manner. Interestingly all the guests were provided with a named card with the Welsh National Anthem complete with pronunciations Temple seat and dining seat numbers on. A nice touch I thought.

 

The Luncheon was enjoyed with good food and good company. After our thanks to our Host and new acquaintances’ a speedy return to Devonshire was on the plan as our host were keen to watch Wales playing their rugby match.

 

Orme Vince

Divisional Senior General

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Conclave of the Resurrection No.432 meeting  24th February 2017 - What do you call a collection of three Past Deputy Intendants General?

 
Despite Barnstaple being 'gridlocked' because of a three car 'shunt' on the link road, a car load of us from North Devon managed to arrive in plenty of time for the Official Visit to the Conclave of the Resurrection No 432 at Tiverton on Friday 24th February.

 

We were warmly greeted by the Most Puissant Sovereign, David Jaques and his team and were soon renewing old acquaintances over a glass of ale!

 

Twelve Active Officers and Grand Officers paraded into the Conclave with our Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas and our Deputy Intendant General, P.Kt. Nic St.J.M. White.  The procession also included three Past Deputy Intendants General , Ed Purkis, Alan Cockman and Derek Southgate.  The whole procession passed under an Arch of Steel formed by our Sepulchre Guard under the direction of its Deputy Captain, Ill.Kt. Chris Bird.

 

Twenty nine knights were then treated to a super ceremony conducted by the M.P.S. David Jaques under the guidance of the Conclave Marshal, P.Kt Brian Emmerson, which included a most interesting talk on the Appendant Orders Sash by the Conclave Recorder, Ill.Kt. Brian Tyacke.

 

The assembled knights then retired to the refectory for a super festive board with good food, good company and short speeches.

 

Any suggestions for a collective name for a group of Past Deputy Intendants General (Past D.I.G.s) would be gratefully received!!

 

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West Midlands Divisional Meeting at Birmingham - 18th February 2017 - You never know who you're going to bump into!!
 
The alarm going off at 5:30 am on a dark February morning and the thickest fog I've seen for some time at Rackenford almost convinced me that these Masonic Visits were more trouble than they were worth as I travelled to meet our Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas and our Senior General, P.Kt. Orme Vince at Tiverton Parkway car park on our way to the West Midlands Divisional Meeting at King's Heath in Birmingham on Saturday 18th February.  A quick stop to fortify ourselves with coffee and chocolate Danish Pastries (Yum Yums seeming to have disappeared from the shelves) we were on our way in the comfort of Richard's Jaguar.
 
One of the wonderful things about attending Red Cross meetings is the chance to renew friendships and to make new ones, and we were absolutely delighted when P.Kt. John Croft, one of our past Senior Generals, who had moved to Cirencester, walked into the room in which we were partaking of Coffee and Bacon Butties!  And whilst catching up on the news with John we were joined by our Deputy Intendant General, P.Kt. Nic St.J.M. White who had taken the opportunity to stay with his father who lived locally, we were delighted when Nic introduced us to, not only his father but also to the man who had proposed him into Freemasonry. As always Rt.Ill.Kt. Colin Young, the Intendant General of the West Midlands and his team gave us all a very warm welcome and the Meeting soon got under way. Highslide JS

After opening the Divisional Meeting the Intendant General warmly welcomed the Distinguished Guests using good humour and showing how well he knew most of the Guests who included not only VIPs from Red Cross but also high ranking officers from the Craft, Chapter, Mark and other degrees who were members of Red Cross. The usual business of a Divisional Meeting was then carried out with one or two small differences to our meetings here in Devon and Cornwall which were interesting to see!

Following the Meeting the assembled knights retired to the bar where they were amply provided with liquid refreshment before sitting down to a superb festive board with good food, ample wine and short speeches, and we were all on our way home by 3 o'clock!

A superb Divisional Meeting at West Midlands, well done to the whole team, and many thanks to our Intendant General for providing the transport!!

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St. John the Evangelist Conclave No.238 meeting  7th February 2017 - A chilly night but a warm reception!

 
Following the huge success of the 50th Anniversary meeting of the Conclave in Exmouth at the end of 2016, the first meeting of the conclave for 2017 saw them back in Topsham in familiar surroundings in the beautiful Masonic temple.  A temple full of history and interest for the Archaeologists/ Architecture fans amongst us.

 

The Knights were made very welcome on the chilly night and the meeting opened with MPS Ill Kt Michael Jones leading his team, including a last minute substitute Viceroy in the person of Ill Kt Brian Meldon (P.G.SwdB),  PKt Alex Barahona-Wills (Provincial Prefect) being unable to attend.  The MPS was guided under the keen eye of the Marshall Ill Kt J Michael Daniels. Our Intendant General was grateful to be accompanied by several Divisional Officers and the Deputy Intendant-General which swelled the numbers. 

 

The business of the meeting was managed swiftly and efficiently, however, there was a reminder of our need to be aware of safety in the Conclave as a slight stumble by a General, holding a naked sword in the recession almost resulted in the skewering of the Provincial Registrar and member of the Conclave (a lawyer!) .... explain that one at Accident and Emergency if you can!   The situation was recovered with grace, dignity and with no damage to any knight. 

 

The early closure of the meeting meant that we were able to make full use of time in the refectory where we were treated to great food and even greater camaraderie.  Speeches were succinct which meant that we were all away on our various journeys quite early, the Provincial Standard Bearer (C), Pkt Tony Moyle, having perhaps the longest journey back into Cornwall.

 

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Barnstaple Appendant Orders Meeting Monday 30th January 2017 - Anyone got a torch??
Highslide JS

It's been about four years since I had an active part in a Red Cross ceremony but the Appendant Orders Meeting in Barnstaple on Monday 30th January 2017changed all that, but they only gave me a small non speaking roll!!

Nearly forty knights from all over Devon and Cornwall including our Divisional Grand Commander, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas and our Deputy Grand Commander, P.Kt. Nic White, together with a goodly number of Divisional Officers and complimented by the Sepulchre guard and their Captain and Deputy Captain witnessed a superb ceremony in which V.Ill.Kt. Roger Duffett, P.Kt. Gwyn Thomas and Ill.Kt. Paul Ackland conferred the Appendant Orders on W.Kt. Mike Scudder and W.Kt. Colin Pomeroy in a most excellent manner.
 

And, needless to say, I was word perfect in my non speaking roll as 2nd Lieutenant.

In fact the whole ceremony proceeded without a hitch, except for one!  When a 'leading light' in another Order who was acting as prompter was caught unawares when all the lights were extinguished and he had no torch to enable him to provide prompts!  However he was rescued by our quick thinking Marshal who grabbed the candle from on top of the Sepulchre and placed it on the Registrar's desk!  Next meeting we'll have a 'whip round' for a torch!!

The knights then retired for a most enjoyable Festive Board, with good food, good wine, good Christian company and short speeches, and everyone was on there way home by 9:20.

And I promised not to mention the very senior officer who was caught talking on his mobile phone during the festive board!!

Another good night at Barnstaple!!

Highslide JS

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A letter from Plymouth Public Health Department

 

Worthy Knights,

 

V.Ill.Kt. George Evatt has asked me to draw your attention to a letter which can be accessed by clicking on this link. Click here

 

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Lost Regalia - a plea for help!

 

Worthy Knights,

 

One of our Knights, Peter Durrant, has mislaid all of his Red Cross regalia consisting of his sash, jewel and most importantly his Sepulchre Guard Collaret.  Please could you look in all the corners of your Conclaves and if you manage to find it please let him or me know.

 

Many thanks,

 

Alan

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The Holy Trinity Conclave No.311 Meeting Wednesday 11th January 2017

It was a small gathering at Jordan Masonic Hall in Torquay on a mild Wednesday evening.  The journey from Plymouth was uneventful, collecting our Intendant-General en-route to attend this, the second meeting of the New Year.   Arriving slightly early (before the Tea & Coffee were ready!) it gave us the opportunity to form an informal welcoming committee for the Knights attending including our new Divisional Recorder Ill Kt Alan Cockman Past Deputy Intendant-General, who had travelled down from the northern reaches of the Division with the Divisional Marshall Ill Kt Paul Ackland. 

Highslide JS
Highslide JS

 
  The Conclave was opened by PKt David Ellis with PKt Sid George (Past Sovereign) stepping in as Viceroy. The usual business was dispatched easily which led to the highlight of the evening, a short paper on the Order by our Intendant-General.  This was well received by those present and considering the content was suitable for discussing the recruitment of members from within Holy Royal Arch Chapters.  If any Knight would like a copy please ask.

After closing we repaired to the refectory for a delicious festive board, great company of friends, conversation and short speeches!

A much swifter journey home with no detours was most welcome and time to reflect on another wonderful evening in good company in our Order, celebrating our Faith, Unity and Zeal!

 

Highslide JS

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Joseph of Arimathea Conclave No.253  Meeting 6th January 2017 - A new team on a damp night !

 

‘January brings the snow, makes your feet and fingers glow…’ So says the old rhyme of our youth; however it seems in these days that it’s more to do with drizzle, rain and mist. As we took the high road to Perranporth on the 6th January 2017 we had a little bit of each travelling from Plymouth. The Intendant-General travelling with the Deputy met at the Tamar Bridge and proceeded West arriving in Perranporth in good time for the meeting.

 

The welcome to the Conclave was as expected very warm and got warmer as the heating system in the temple got into its stride!

 

The meeting was well supported by Grand and Divisional Officers out for the first Conclave meeting since the Divisional Meeting in December where the new team, including P.Kt. Nic White as the Deputy and five other newly appointed divisional officers. Also in attendance was V.E.Kt Dr. Revd. Peter Blackwell- Smyth PG Eusebius and a number of Heads and Deputies of other Masonic orders.

 

A short lecture was given by W.Kt. Marc Quigley-Ferriday about Ecclesiastical Law from Constantine to the present day. This paper was well received by the Kt’s present but no-one was quite prepared to ask any questions!

 

The Festive Board was a hearty and warming meal completed by the usual toasts being honoured in what looked like it was going to be an early return home. A lovely way to begin our 2017 season.

 

The journey started well, however as the Bodmin turning towards Plymouth was closed, the Intendant-General and Deputy had a far longer journey home which lost the advantage of an early finish to the evening in Perranporth!

 

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A thank you from the past Deputy Intendant General

 

Worthy Knights,

 

Four years ago I had the honour of being selected to become the Deputy Intendant General of our wonderful Division of Devon and Cornwall.  At that time I didn't know a great many of our members, and they didn't know me!

 

In those four years you have all, not just become friends, but almost members of my family and Sandy and I would like to thank you all for your help and support over those years.  We have shared many happy moments together, and some sad ones, and I know you will give our new Deputy Intendant General the same support that you have given me.

 

In taking over from George Evatt as Divisional Recorder I'm trying to fill some very big shoes but I know that I can count on support from 'my family'!  It is also my intention to carry on visiting Conclaves (although perhaps not quite as often) so I hope to see you all soon!

 

Take care,

 

Alan

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Divisional Meeting at Plymouth - 10th December 2016 - The end of an era, and the start of a new one!


The 2016 Divisional meeting held at Mount Edgecumbe Masonic Hall in Plymouth on Saturday 10th December heralded the end of an era for several of our knights, and the beginning of a new era for others.

 

VIP's from all over England joined our Devon and Cornwall knights to support our Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas when he opened the meeting and welcomed the guests who included Rt. Ill. & Eminent Kt. Peter Hawken MBE GCC Deputy Grand Sovereign and Rt.Ill. & Ven. Kt. Dr. The Revd. Charles Peter Bernard Blackwell-Smyth,G.C.C. Past Grand Eusebius.

 

The business of the meeting was then carried out in a most efficient manner with good humour added when appropriate. Then came the main business - that of investing the Officers for the Division.  It was at this point that I stood down as Deputy Intendant General and surrendered my Baton to the Intendant General.  An escort was then formed by the Divisional Marshal and the Deputy Intendant General Elect, P.Kt. Nicholas St J. M. White entered the Divisional Conclave.  He was then duly installed as Deputy Intendant General in an exemplary manner.

 

This was followed by the appointment of the Divisional officers, the first of which was that of V.Ill.Kt. George Evatt who, after having given ten years of service to our Order as Divisional Registrar, was appointed as Viceroy.

 

Soon after that I was appointed as Divisional Recorder.

 

The Intendant General then addressed the meeting and made a special reference to the superb support that the outgoing Divisional Officers had given him over the past year with many of them visiting Conclave for not just the Official Visits and Enthronements, but also for other meetings.

 

Under 'Any Other Business' a new Labarum Banner was presented to the Division by Ill.Kt. Michael Jones on behalf of St. John the Evangelist Conclave No.238.
Also under this heading our Intendant General made a presentation to V.Ill.Kt. George Evatt in appreciation of all his work as Recorder over the past ten years.

 

The assembled company then retired for a most enjoyable festive board.

 

Also available at the Meeting was a new book about the Red Cross of Constantine and its meaning and history which also include a history of our Conclaves (available from Peter Blackwell Smyth at a cost of £3.00).

 

Happy Christmas Everyone!!

 

Click here to see the photos (with thanks to Philip Adam)

 

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Conclave of Resurrection No.432 Enthronement Friday 25th November 2016

I was delighted when our Junior General, P.Kt. Gwyn Thomas  offered to drive me to the Conclave of Resurrection No.432 at Tiverton on Friday 25th November for what was to be my final visit as Deputy Intendant General of our wonderful Division.  But I became slightly concerned when twenty minutes after the appointed hour Ill.Kt Roger guest and I were still awaiting his arrival.  Apparently the traffic in Barnstaple was horrendous and it had taken him forty minutes just to drive across town!!!  I needn't have worried Gwyn's skill enabled us to arrive at Tiverton with plenty of time to spare and with the opportunity to renew old and new acquaintances before the meeting.

And what an excellent meeting it was!!  We've noticed for some time that the standard of the ceremonies in our Division has been getting better and better, but I think the meeting at Tiverton was one of the best I've ever seen!

Thirty knights from across the Division watched as The Most Puissant Sovereign quickly got the meeting under way and our Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas paraded in with Grand Officers and  ten active divisional officers under the Arch of Steel provided by his Sepulchre Guard under the guidance of their Captain, V.Ill.Kt. Bernard Winsor and their Deputy Captain Ill.Kt. Chris Bird.

Em.Kt. David Jaques then consecrated and Installed W.Kt. Alan Jones as Viceroy of the Conclave in an exemplary manner and was then himself installed as Most Puissant Sovereign by P.Kt. Chris Hodgson in an even more exemplary manner which also included some gentle humour at the appropriate moments.

For the last meeting that I was to observe as Deputy Intendant General I couldn't have wished for a more professionally presented ceremony!! 

Highslide JS

 
The assembled knights then retired for a superb festive board with good food, good wine, good Christian company and short speeches.

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The Conclave of Light No.498 Meeting Tuesday 8th November 2016 - Why does our Candidate have a lock picking set in his car!

Setting off to the Conclave of Light Meeting on Tuesday 8th November at 8:00am I thought I had left plenty of time to get from Barnstaple to Bodmin by 10:30.  However several heavy lorries and tractors on the Atlantic Highway (stop smiling Roger) and a twenty minute hold up at the road works at Bude had me worried that I might be late.  However my fears were unfounded because when I arrived at Bodmin all the knights were standing around outside the Masonic Hall.  I assumed that like at Exmouth two weeks before, the key holder had not yet arrived.  Not so!  Apparently someone with too much time on their hands and the brain power of a carrot had poured super glue into the lock which made it inoperable.

Highslide JS
Highslide JS

 
A locksmith was summoned but took some time to arrive so nearly everyone present had a go at, or passed an opinion on how to, release the lock.  The big surprise came when our Candidate for the meeting suddenly produced a very professional looking set of lock picking tools, and with a practiced prowess worked on the lock.  All to no avail, the hall seemed impenetrable!  Then the lock smith arrived.  Using much more muscle than our Candidate he managed to remove the lock and we finally gained access to the hall.

Forty five minutes late, the Most Puissant Sovereign, Ill.Kt. Jeff Leach opened the Conclave and proffered the Baton to the Deputy Intendant General, Ill.Kt. Alan Cockman, the Intendant General, Rt.Ill. Richard Lucas having sent his apologies. 
 

The meeting then continued apace and the 'Lock Picking' Candidate, Companion John Sheehan was duly installed as a knight of our Order by the MPS in a superb manner, especially bearing in mind the trauma before the meeting.

The knights then retired to a Festive Buffet consisting of a large Cornish Pasty and a pint of beer.

And our Candidates Lock Picking prowess?  Apparently he is a member of a Lodge who regularly seem to have the same problem so has, over the years, become quite adept at 'Lock Picking' - well, that's his story!!

Anther interesting meeting at Bodmin!!

Highslide JS

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St. John the Evangelist Conclave No.238 50th Anniversary Meeting Wednesday 26th October 2016 - "They got it right!!"


Our Divisional Marshal, Ill.Kt. Paul Ackland was determined to arrive at the Exmouth Masonic Hall, the venue for the 50th Anniversary Meeting of St. John the Evangelist, with plenty of time to spare.  However our 2:30 arrival was greeted with locked doors!!  A cup of tea in a local cafe was called for.  However the local proprietor of the Exmouth Cafe was so taken aback in seeing the sword carried by our Marshal that he promptly spilled the tea all over the table.

Arriving back at the Hall we were greeted by many knights, still locked out, and all ready to take part in the practice preparations for the forthcoming meeting.  The Captain of the Sepulchre Guard, V.Ill.Kt. Bernard Winsor, was not amused!!

The Marshal of St. John the Evangelist then arrived with a key and we all piled into the Masonic Hall to find that the Dining room had been set out in a superb and very impressive manner with a 50th Anniversary Cake depicting the Banner of the Conclave taking pride of place in the centre of the room.  The Tables had been suitably adorned with some wonderful menus depicting the same Banner created by Mrs Carrol Silman who also provided the cake mentioned above!.

Our Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas headed the procession of Active and Grand Officers into the conclave under the Arch of Steel provided by the Sepulchre Guard and was offered the Baton of the Conclave by the Most Puissant Sovereign, Ill.Kt. Michael Jones.

Highslide JS

The Grand Sovereign, M.Ill.Kt. Graham Flight, G.C.C. was then received into the Conclave, accompanied by the Deputy Grand Sovereign, R.Ill.Kt. Peter Hawken M.B.E. G.C.C. and the Grand Sovereign was offered the Baton by the M.P.S.
The Ceremony then continued apace with the original minutes of the first conclave meeting being read by P.Kt. David Silman, a synopsis of the history of the Conclave being given by Ill.Kt. John Tilke, an Oration given by R.Ill. & Ven.Kt. Dr. the Rev. Charles Peter Bernard Blackwell Smyth G.C.C. and an address by R.Ill.Kt. Keith Barry Jackson which was given by our Intendant General, Keith having been taken ill.

R.Ill.Kt. Peter Blackwell Smyth also dedicated the new pair of Gladius Swords that had been presented to St. John the Evangelist Conclave to replace the original swords which had been purchased in a second hand shop nearly 50 years ago.

The Grand Sovereign then unexpectedly took the Chair and presented the Conclave with a 50 Year Certificate, the first such Certificate that had been presented anywhere in the Red Cross of Constantine Order.  He also requested that the worthy knights should 'keep this presentation quiet as all the other Conclaves who qualified would also want one if they heard about it!"

The assembled knights then retired to the refectory for a most enjoyable festive board which culminated with the M.P.S. and the Grand Sovereign cutting the 50th anniversary cake with a sword for its distribution to the worthy knights present

Overheard from a very senior knight sat close to me referring to the evening's events - "They got it right!!!"

And how wonderful that St John the Evangelist's 50th Anniversary should be so honoured by the presence of our Grand Sovereign, a leader who has such gentle and  commanding presence tempered with such superb humour!

If you weren't there you missed one of the best evenings that our Division could ever hope to see!!

Unfortunately, I never did get the £15 back from our Divisional Marshal which I paid for his meal whilst he was sunning himself in Sunny Spain!!  -  I live in hope!!

Click here to see the photos

A message from our Intendant General.......

 

Good Evening Alan,

Would you please convey my heart felt thanks to all the W.Kt's who attended the St John the Evangelist Conclave's 50th Anniversary Celebrations. Our Grand Sovereign Most Ill. Kt Graham Flight was very happy with the proceedings, and was chuffed to bits that so many W.Kt's had attended. It was also a pleasant surprise to see our Asst Grand Recorder V.Ill Kt Jonathan Roberts officiating as Grand Marshall. Both our Grand Sovereign and Asst Grand Recorder are very approachable, and were glad to meet so many members of our Division, I in turn was very proud of the way our W.Kt's conducted themselves, during the course of the evening.

 

My thanks  also must go to all of those involved with the organisation of the whole evening, much work behind the scenes made for an excellent evening, culminating in in a fine festive board, with all the trimmings and finished of by that superb cake , made by P.Kt David Silman's wife Carol.

 

Our Captain of the Divisional Sepulchre Guard V.Ill. Kt Bernard Winsor, as usual made sure that I was well attended, and also brought in our Grand Sovereign. And because he took wine with them after dinner, I am sure it is a moment they will long remember. Of course, V.Ill Kt Bernard wanted his Guard to be as good as the Grand Guard, I reckon they were pretty close!

 

Once again my thanks to all involved,

 

Very best wishes to all,

 

Richard  IG

 

And a message from the Most Puissant Sovereign.....

Worthy Knights of St John the Evangelist Conclave and Blessed Friends and Helpers,

 

Please accept my heartfelt thanks to you all for Wednesday evening.

 

We had much to celebrate and in my humble opinion we did that in a fine Christian fashion.

 

I did not make any of the speeches I had to make a litany of thanks for a number of reasons;  I would  possibly have missed out some, embarrassed others and some would not have been there to hear me.

 

Suffice it to say, those who worked before, during and after the event, in whatever minor or major capacity,  repaid and rewarded those Worthy Knights of Old, our founders, in ample form with their Faith, their Unity and their Zeal in writing another significant chapter in the history of St John the Evangelist Conclave.

 

And finally, to contradict myself immediately, a very special word of thanks to Carol Silman, who, as well as making the beautiful Menu Cards, produced the miraculous cake which served as such a spectacular finale to the banquet.

 

Thank you and God bless you all,

 

Mike

  

Ill.Kt. Michael R. Jones P.G.Prefect
M.P.Sovereign,
St. John the Evangelist Conclave 238
Red Cross of Constantine,
Devon & Cornwall.

 

 

And, a Halloween (All Saint's Day) email from Peter Blackwell Smyth following the meeting..........

 

I do not like driving long distances at night so when I visit SJE Conclave No 238, I usually stay at Fingle Glen and arrange for a kindly knight to pick me up and leave me back.

 

This was my plan for last Wednesdays 50th Anniversary celebrations  but things did not go according to plan! When 2 very senior and kindly Knights left me back to Fingle Glen about 2220 and rapidly sped off home, I discovered I was locked out with no key! There was no reply from the Club  phone number and booking.com was not able to contact the hotel either!  I did not have a directory of local knights with me and, to make matters worse, my car keys were locked in my bedroom!

 

So what could I do?! No use ringing my family to collect me because it was late at night and my car would still have to be collected.  To have called a taxi and gone to look for a hotel would (or could) have opened a bottomless financial pit.

 

SO I decided to walk to Tedburn St Mary about a mile away. It was very scary at that time of night on an unlighted road but I did make the village but not until after 11. There were no B&Bs and even the Pub was closed. 

 

However I did hear voices and saw an open door. When I went in,there were a few men around having a drink. They were well versed in Holy Scripture and there were a few quips about there being no room in the inn along with an enquiry about what I had done with Mary! 

 

 More relevantly, one of the men said he did not have much but that I was welcome to a crib in his poor manger!!    Fred  walked me to his home and when we opened the gate, there were 2 old bangers in the drive with a good spread of spare mechanical and body parts lying around.  

 

My hopes soared when he opened the front door to reveal a very friendly Jack Russell terrier!!   Fred was obviously OK !  The front room was cosy with a wood burner stove so Fred walked me past the general untidiness to a very rickety staircase leading to a small room with no curtains but, buried under an assortment of books. car bits and pieces, a few boxes and so on was not only a bed but a bed with a sheet ,a duvet and a pillow. 

 

I can't say I slept that well but I think Fred qualified for sainthood- don't you?!! 

 

PS  Next morning I did  have an apology  from Fingle Glen and there was no charge for my "accommodation".

 

Peter Blackwell Smyth

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Royal Citadel Conclave No.327 Enthronement Monday 24th October 2016 - What rain??


Barnstaple was fine and dry when Paul Ackland, Roger Guest and myself left for the Enthronement Meeting at Royal Citadel Conclave No.327 at Mount Edgcumbe Masonic Hall in Plymouth on Monday 24th October 2016 via such foreign sounding places as Launceston, Callington, Kelly Bray and Saltash.

By the time we arrived at Mount Edgcumbe car park out Divisional Marshal wished that his regalia included a heavy waterproof coat and umbrella rather that a sash and sword!!  However, Deputy to the rescue as he had two umbrellas in the boot of his car!  An ex insurance man is always prepared for anything!!

14 Active Officers and Grand Officers paraded in with our Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas under the Arch of Steel provided by his Sepulchre Guard and 42 worthy knights watched as the Deputy Intendant General elect, Em.Kt. Nick St.J. White was installed as Most Puissant Sovereign of the Royal Citadel Conclave No.327 by P.Kt. Lt.Cdr. David Foreman in a most excellent manner.  Prior to that the Em.Kt. Nick, Consecrated and Installed W.Kt. Andy Fowkes as Viceroy of the Conclave.

After the Officers were appointed and installed the business of the meeting continued with the Deputy Intendant General presenting a certificate to W.Kt. Royston Lucas.

Highslide JS

As always at Royal Citadel, the assembled knights retired for a superb festive board with good food, good wine, good Christian company and short speeches.

And, to make the evening even better, Ill. Kt. Mike Daniels remembered to pay back the 50p he owed me, and the rain had stopped!!

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St. Ercus Conclave No.349 Enthronement Tuesday 11th October 2016 - Tractors, Tractors and more Tractors!


I know we're at the end of the "Farmer's Year", with the Harvest all safely gathered in, so why were we held up by what seemed like more tractors than cars and lorries on the way down the Atlantic Highway to Hayle for their Enthronement on Tuesday 11th October??

Once we'd managed to finally circumnavigate this 'herd' of tractors we were warmly greeted by the members of St. Ercus.  (what is the correct name for a group of tractors? - answers on a postcard to.....)

Our numbers may have been slightly depleted by the error on the Red Cross Web Site which showed the St. Ercus meeting as being on Thursday 11th October rather than Tuesday - sorry about that - I hope nobody turned up on Thursday!!!

Our Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas being away on Masonic Business, our Deputy Intendant General, Ill. Kt. Alan Cockman presided over the meeting, and paraded in with nine active divisional officers under the direction of our Divisional Marshal, Ill.Kt. Paul Ackland.

M.P.Kt. Mike Howard had decided to carry on for a further year and was quickly proclaimed as M.P.S. by V.Ill.Kt. Bill Lissamer, then the main event started with Ill. Kt. Keith Waters consecrating W.Kt. Paul Goody as Viceroy.  Now, you have to bear in mind that Keith agreed to do this consecration with only three days notice, and that the last time he did this ceremony was several years ago in the Middlesex area.

Keith consecrated Paul in the nicest possible manner, and I use the word 'nicest' advisedly.  Keith will be the first to admit that he was not 'word perfect' as per the Devonshire & Cornwall ritual however it was very apparent that he knew the ceremony well and, whilst the wording may not have been perfect according to our Division, the meaning certainly was!  And the gentle humour which Keith injected into the ceremony made it one of the most memorable ceremonies I have attended!  And his delivery of the perambulation with the full Latin Version could not help but impress us all.

However Keith did admit hat his wife had given him a bit of 'stick' when he had sat down at the Sunday Lunch Table with his ritual book in his hand trying to learn the Devonshire & Cornwall Ritual!  and the result was some gravy on his ritual book!

Highslide JS

 

The assembled knights then retired for a most enjoyable festive board with good food, good company and short speeches.

And, as we approached Barnstaple on our way home at about 11:45 we were held up by, guess what?  A tractor!!!

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Division of Dorset and Wiltshire’s Service of Rededication - 8th October.  Our Dep.I.G. represents our Division!

 

“Great Three-in-One, our living Lord

To Thee we pledge each knightly sword.” 

Such are the words of the Division of Dorset and Wiltshire’s Service of Rededication opening Hymn, the tune is familiar as it is ‘Eternal Father Strong to save’  Melita.

After a fairly early start on the 8th October to get to Wareham in Dorset, watching the sun rise and the mists on the fields along the Jurassic Coast route was a beautiful sight.    No stops for ‘Yum Yums’ on this trip though!   Arriving just in time to get the last official parking space, a couple of cups of coffee and all was well in the world.  The Conclave was opened by Rt.Ill.Kt Mathew Burt, I.G and his officers and we went into the Service of Rededication.  Prayers were offered by the Divisional High Prelate Ill.Kt. Honnor,  joined by us all.

Rt.Ill.Kt Mathew Burt began by investing a new Deputy Intendant- General  Ill.Kt. Alan Curley, P.G.Pref.  A part of the proceedings I was particularly interested in!  The appointment of the other Divisional Officers was managed in a very efficient manner by the Divisional Marshal and team.

We retreated to the Festive Board consisting of some lovely Lamb followed by a huge portion of Devon Apple Cake, Apples and Cinnamon – delicious!!

Departure was delayed slightly as the car park at Wareham Masonic Hall is tiny by any standards, cars had been shoe horned in and the choreography required to extricate all the cars required marshalling skills of the best organisers!  An uneventful journey home to be greeted by a lovely hot cup of tea and reflections on a great day in the Red Cross of Constantine!

PKt. Nic White DIG-Designate.

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Torquay Appendant Orders Meeting Thursday 6th October 2016 No Ratatouille for Richard!


A long drive down the North Devon Link Road, preceded the Appendant Orders Meeting at Torquay on Thursday 6th October 2016.

I was expecting just one candidate as per the summons but was delighted to learn the we did in fact have four candidates:- W.Kts Joe Sevieri Jnr., David Farley, and Andrew Legrys from Royal Citadel No.327 and  Philip Adam from St John the Evangelist Conclave No.238.

Over thirty Knights from around the Division watched as Ill.Kt. Keith Waters conducted the first point, Ill,Kt. Warner Barton conducted the second point and Ill.Kt. Richard Baber conducted the third point, all in an exemplary manner and with great feeling.

And, as always, the Sepulchre Guard added style to the proceedings under the direction of their leader, V.Ill.Kt. Bernard Winsor.

The assembled company then retired to the festive board.

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Highslide JS

Our Intendant General was a little disappointed to find that the main course consisted of chicken dressed with ratatouille, he confessing that ratatouille normally upset his constitution! 

On asking the caterers if they had any chicken without the said  ratatouille they quickly removed it, scrapped the ratatouille off, washed the chicken, and returned it to our Intendant General!  Richard, being well established in the food industry, could not be so easily duped, but being an understanding knight said nothing and just ate the veg!!  (A footnote to this is that he was offered exactly the same meal the following day at a Royal and Select meeting!!).

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Conclave of Ascension No.499 meeting - 4th October 2016 - Bakewell Tarts for Breakfast!

 

I always enjoy attending the Conclave of Ascension Daytime meetings because it means that I have scrounged a day off work!!  And I was particularly looking forward to witnessing our Deputy Intendant General designate perform an installation demonstration. 

 

The meeting at South Brent on Tuesday 4th October started off with a lovely drive through the Devonshire countryside on a beautiful Autumn morning to South Brent, and on arriving at the Conclave I was greeted not only by knights from Devon and Cornwall but also with a mound of Bakewell Tarts provided by a Knight who had newly moved into our area from London.  W.Kt. Andy Chapman certainly knows how to make friends quickly!!

 

Twenty five knights then watched as the Most Puissant Sovereign, P.Kt. Nick St.J. White and his team carried out  a demonstration of the installation of a  Companion which included the Oration given by E.Kt. Ian Pollock.

 

There then followed the 'business' part of the meeting in which E.Kt. Ian Pollock was elected as Sovereign and that old 'war horse' P.Kt. Dave Silman was elected as Viceroy!  (He really is a glutton for punishment - but well done Dave for helping out!!!).

 

The rest of the business having been carried out we retired to the refectory for an excellent lunch of soup and braised steak.  Should I admit at this point that in a short while I would be heading back to the South Molton Craft Installation that evening where I knew that a roast meal awaited me??  No wonder I've put on weight as the Deputy!!

 

 

 

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Mount Lebanon Conclave No.270 Meeting Monday 26th September 2016 - A damp night but a warm welcome!


It was a tad damp on Monday 26th September as many Knights wove their way across the moors from every direction to converge on the Stannary Town of Tavistock to meet at the Mount Lebanon Conclave No. 270. The occasion was to install Companion Michael Carter into our beautiful order.

The warmth of welcome by the knights of the conclave was wonderful and as expected the ceremony was delivered by PKt Roger Goulding MPS and WKt Barry Slade Viceroy and their officers choreographed by their Marshal IllKt Roy Ruddling in an exemplary fashion. The meeting was enhanced by the Presence of the Most Ill and Venerable Kt Peter Hawken MBE GCC Deputy Grand Sovereign supporting the Conclave and the candidate.


It was a delight to see PKt John Lynes with us after his recent bereavement and other officers of the division. There was one noticeable absence, our Deputy Intendant General Alan Cockman, who has been unwell in recent weeks. This caught our Intendant General out at the festive board when responding to his toast on turning towards where Alan would normally be seated to find another face looking up at him! We all send him our best wishes for a swift recovery.

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WKt Mick Carter thanked everyone for the manner in which he had been installed and was looking forward to getting involved with the work of the conclave and Red Cross in general.

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The story of the smart young sword
 

Once upon a time there was a very smart young sword.  He felt a very lonely because all of his friends had gone off to war but his owner just kept him for ceremonies so he felt that he wasn’t doing the things that he was intended for and had no purpose in life.

One night, after a particularly long, arduous ceremony his owner popped him and the other regalia into the boot of a friend's car.

When the smart young sword awoke the next morning all the other regalia was gone and his only company was a set of golf clubs.  He felt very depressed!

Highslide JS

On talking to the golf clubs he found that they had a very  useful  function in life, most often getting their owner out of something called ‘the rough’ and back onto the green.  The clubs were all very proud of their ability to get their owner out of trouble, and they all had exciting names like ‘Driver’, ‘Five Iron’, ‘Wedge’ and ‘Putter’.  And the stories they told were very exciting.

The young sword felt very envious of these clubs and reflected on how quiet his own life seemed to be in comparison, so he decided to try to become a member of this group of clubs by climbing into their golf bag.

However the Big, Bad, Club Secretary saw him in the bag and pointed out that under rule 5612389 swords had no place in golf bags and so he was relegated to the car boot again.

The next day, the sword’s owner, who was a very important man himself, realised that his sword was missing and he began a frantic search throughout the land, knowing that without the sword one of the most Important Grand Officers in the country could not be admitted into the ceremony!

Everyone in the land was called upon to help find the sword, as without it the ceremony could not proceed.  After a long search the sword was finally found in the boot of the car and reunited with its owner.  The sword realised what an important sword he was, for without him the whole meeting would have been abandoned!!

And the moral of the story...... Never underestimate your importance in the great scheme of things!

Thanks to Roy Rudling and Peter Durrant for providing the inspiration for this short story!

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The Lord always smiles when he welcomes one of his Angels home.

 

And so it was when the sun shone on the families and friends of Gwen Lynes at her funeral and remembrance service at St. Mary's Church, Brixham today, Friday 23rd September 2016 at 11:30am

 

Rev. Louis Baycock delivered a very gentle and charming eulogy on Gwen, telling the assembled company what a full and wonderful life she had led, and extolling the wonderful part that John had played in her life.

 

Everyone then retired to the Berry Head Hotel for refreshments and time to reflect on the part that Gwen and John  had played on their lives and how hard John had worked to support Gwen.

 

I, like some others, for good reasons could not be there today, but, John, I can assure you that we were all thinking of you, and I know that Gwen would want you to carry on being with your family in Red Cross who will always support you in the days to come

 

God bless you Gwen.    And God bless you John!

 

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Holy Trinity Conclave No.311 Enthronement - 14th September 2016 - Followed by a 'Magical Mystery Tour'!
 

I was delighted to find out that six of us were to sojourn to Torquay for the Enthronement meeting of Holy Trinity Conclave No.311 on Wednesday 14th September, but we were all aware that we would need to use more than one car.  The choice of driver boiled down to an undertaker or a motor cycle racer.  I chose Adam Jeffery, the motorcycle racer and his Jag although Dave Williams might have been the more prudent choice. Needless to say we arrive at Torquay in plenty of time for the meeting, and at one point in the journey I had expected to see Air Hostesses appear!!

On this very warm day we had an even warmer welcome from the members of Holy Trinity, and how nice it was to renew acquaintances with old friends over a cup of tea and some biscuits.

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The Ceremony then started and the procession of Divisional and Grand Officers led the Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas and the Deputy, Ill.Kt. Alan under the Arch of Steel formed by the Sepulchre Guard under the leadership of their Captain, V.Ill.Kt. Bernard Winsor and their Deputy Captain Ill.Kt. Chris Bird.  We were all delighted when we were also joined by the Deputy Grand Sovereign, Rt.Ill. & Em.Kt. Peter Hawken, M.B.E., G.C.C.
 

We are very lucky in this Division to have several members who are superb at ritual and watching them it is sometimes hard to remember that many, like me, are not so good at ritual and have to work very hard to carry out any form of ceremony.  It was clear, last night, how hard  both P.Kt. Sidney George and Em.Kt. David Ellis had worked to provide us all with a super evening.  Backed up by the whole team at Holy Trinity,  Em.Kt. David installed W.Kt. Simon Wills as Venerable Eusebius then, P.Kt. Sidney enthroned Em.Kt. David as Most Puissant Sovereign for the ensuing year. The newly installed Most Puissant Sovereign then appointed and invested his officers.

During the ceremony the Deputy Intendant General asked if the two large fans in the ceiling could be turned on to help reduce the heat in the Conclave.  What he hadn't reckoned on was that the downdraft from the fans not only cooled the assembled company but also encouraged the candles on the alter to the extent that by the end of the evening most of the candles had been reduced to a sorry pile of red wax!!

The entire company then retired to the refectory for a most enjoyable Festive Board amongst good Christian Knights.

Highslide JS

And the 'Magical Mystery Tour'?  We were already aware that the North Devon Link Road would be closed for that evening and had resolved to travel home via Crediton, but after a short run along the new Torquay By-Pass we found that the flyover and dual carriageway at Pen Inn Roundabout were closed for road works.  Our quick thinking 'Racing Driver' decided to ignore the diversion through Teignmouth and headed off to Newton Abbot town centre and then on through Bovey Tracey, Mortonhampstead and Winkleigh.  And, boy could he handle that car through those country lanes!  Until, that is, one of our passengers mentioned that he thought he might need to stop.  This, and the ever thickening mist slowed our flight homeward somewhat but I still arrived home safe and sound before midnight thanks to the skill of our driver Adam Jeffery.  (But I think it would be terrifying to be on the back of a bike with him!!).

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Gwen Lynes Funeral

 

Gwen's funeral is on Friday 23 September at 11.30 at St. Mary's Church, Milton Street, Brixham, TQ5 0BU & afterwards at Berry Head Hotel. Family flowers only. Donations to Talking Books via Stockman, Holywell Road, Brixham.

 

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St. Brannock Conclave Business Meeting - 7th September 2016 - short & sweet!!

 

Sometimes a short business meeting can be as enjoyable as a full blown enthronement.  Such was the case at St. Brannock Conclave No 342 in Barnstaple on Wednesday 7th September.

 

The Most Puissant Sovereign P.Kt. David Williams quickly opened the conclave of twenty knights, and, after offering the Baton to Ill Kt Alan Cockman, the Deputy Intendant General, got the meeting off to a flying start.  Ill.Kt. Alan expressed the apologies of the Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas  for not attending the meeting due to a serious case of Osteoarthritis in his right hand (when the Deputy had asked him why his right hand was so badly effected he assured the Deputy that it was down to carrying out his butchery commitments and nothing to do with other cases such as raising his wine class!!).

 

The business meeting then proceeded apace with E.Kt. Neil Rayner being elected as Most Puissant Sovereign for the ensuing year, and W.Kt. Steve Marshall being elected as Viceroy.

 

The Deputy Intendant General then presented a Red Cross Certificate to Kt. Mike Skudder and the other business of the evening was concluded.

 

The entire company then retired for a most enjoyable Festive Board

 

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Sad news about Gwen Lynes

 

Hi Worthy Knights, it's my sad duty to pass on the news that John Lyne's wife sadly passed away last evening after having been rushed to  hospital last Friday.

 

Gwen was a lovely person and had dealt bravely with a long illness.  We will greatly miss her and our thoughts and prayers go out to John who I know will miss her greatly.

 

When I have further details I will put them on this site.

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Also, for those of you who hadn't heard......

 

It is also with sadness that I tell you that P.Kt. Malcolm Cheshire of St John the Evangelist Conclave passed away on 27th July this year.  Malcolm was a well loved and respected member of his Conclave and was sovereign in June 2013.  We will all miss him greatly

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Joseph of Arimathea Conclave No.253 Enthronement - 2nd September 2016

 

Yet another sunny trip to Joseph of Arimathea - how do they always mange to arrange such nice weather for their meetings?

 

On my trip along the Atlantic Highway I was accompanied by Ill.Kt. Roger Guest who pointed out as we reached Bude that he always took the Launceston route because of the number of tractors he always saw on the A39.  Up until that point we hadn't seen one tractor, but then, you've guessed it, we came across hundreds of them!  I became convinced that Roger was attracting them so from now on will refer to him  as Roger "Tractor" Guest!

We weren't the only ones to be troubled by traffic as the A30 was jammed with a bad accident just the Exeter side of the A30/A39 junction.  However, all our worthy Knights managed to get to the meeting - some just in time!!

 

We were, as always, warmly welcomed by the members of the Conclave and, after the opening, the procession of 14 Active and Grand Officers entered the Conclave under an Arch of Steel of the Sepulchre Guard led by their Deputy Captain Ill.Kt. Chris Bird.  The Divisional Deputy Marshal Ill.Kt. Roy Rudling presented our Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas and the Past Grand Eusebius, Rt.Ill.Kt. Peter Blackwell Smyth to the Most Puissant Sovereign, M.P.Kt. Steve Osborne.

 

I've often commented on how good the ceremonies in our Division  are, and what followed was one of the best I've seen!  Nearly forty knights watched as Em.Kt. Graham Hooper consecrate W.Kt. Colin Rescorla as Viceroy.  He himself was then enthroned as Most Puissant Sovereign for the ensuing year by the current Most Puissant Sovereign, P.Kt. Steve Osborne.  P.Kt. Graham then appointed and invested his officers.  This was all carried out in a superb manner.  One interesting appointment was that of Peter Bradbury as Assistant Secretary thereby giving up his long held post as Sentinel and 'coming out of the cold' for the first time in nobody knows how many years!

 

The evening culminated in the usual excellent Festive Board that we always seem to get at Perranporth and I still managed to get home just before midnight.

 

There was one sad point in the evening P.Kt. John Lynes on leaving the temple found a telephone message awaiting him telling him that his wife Gwen had been taken seriously ill and had been rushed to hospital.

John, our thoughts and prayers are with both you and Gwen!!

 

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Ill.Kt. John Cory's Funeral

 

John's funeral will take place on Monday 12th September.  Firstly for the Family only at 11:30am at the Bodmin Crematorium followed by a Memorial Service at Launceston Methodist Church, Castle Street, Launceston, Cornwall, PL15 8BA at 2:00pm on the same day.

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Sad news from Mount Lebanon Conclave

 

I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I've just been told that Ill.Kt. John Cory Past Grand Prefect, passed away very peacefully in his sleep on Tuesday night, 16th August.

 

John, who was 82, was installed in Mount Lebanon Conclave No.270 twenty two years ago next month and became M.P.S in 2003.  He then became Recorder in 2006, finally standing down last year.

 

John was a quiet gentle man who was always willing to help and I know that we will all miss him greatly.

 

As soon as I have details of his funeral I will pass them on.

 

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The Past Grand Eusebius shares his experiences.


In his poem "Four Quartets", T.S.Eliot wrote “In my end is my beginning”. Even though I am of course continuing as a member of our wonderful Christian Order, I found these words very apposite at this time. I was installed as a Knight of the Order by Ill.Kt. Nick Barrington in Joseph of Arimathaea Conclave No 253 on 6th September 1986. Another influence in my early years was Rt. Illustrious Knight Keith Barry Jackson who was Intendant General at the time. Once I learnt to stand up to him(!!), Rt. Ill.Kt Keith became ( and remains) a good friend and counsellor and I am sure he helped me on my way up the Promotional ladder. Thank you, Keith. My first appointment was Grand Sub-Prelate from 2003-2007 and Grand High Prelate from to 2007-2011. My appointment as Grand Eusebius was a huge surprise to me and impressive beyond measure. To see my name on every RCC summons throughout the world was amazing!!

When I was appointed Grand Eusebius on 5th July 2015, I was only the third person to hold that rank. Prior to 2003 the Order was ruled by a Grand Sovereign assisted by a Grand Viceroy. In 2003 it was decided to split the Office of Grand Viceroy to create a Deputy Grand Sovereign who would look after the administrative side of the Order while the Grand Eusebius was to look after its spiritual side. My main function as Grand Eusebius was to assist the Grand Sovereign in the consecration of new conclaves and, over my 5 year term, I assisted at 11 of these. The most unusual was the consecration of Serdika Conclave (No.521) in Sofia where we were ferried about in large Mercedes with darkened windows and where, after the Consecration dinner, we ended up in a piano bar!

As only the third holder of the Office of Grand Eusebius, and the most active, (so far), I decided that, as well as my official duties, I would visit the Divisions and I managed 25 out of 29. My reason for this was to let the Knights see what a Grand Eusebius looked like and to explain to them what I believed to be my role in the Order i.e. to provide spiritual leadership and guidance. An example of this was to advise the Grand Sovereign’s Council about changes and clarifications of the ritual.

Whenever I visited the Divisions and was offered the baton by the IG, I always made a point of threatening to take it and explained that this was because I was from “The Premier Division in the Order”. I meant it too! 

I am being replaced. as Grand Eusebius by Rt. Illustrious Knight Tim L’Estrange who is a Vicar in North Acton in London. Prior to his appointment, Rt. Ill. Kt. Tim was Intendant General of Thames Division. He is also active in many other Orders e.g. Deputy Grand Chaplain to the UGLE, 3rd Grand Principal of the Metropolitan RAC and Grand High
Almoner in the Knights Templar. We all wish him well.

It was very pleasing to me to end my term of Office with 2 local events. One of these was, accompanied by our Intendant General, to present a cheque for £2500 to the Little Harbour Hospice in St. Austell from the Grand Sovereign’s Care for Children Fund. The second was (in the absence of our IG and his Deputy) to be the Presiding Officer at the Appendant Orders Ceremony in Perranporth on July 1st. I was discovered the truth of the words written by TS Eliot; ”In my end is my beginning”

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Middlesex Divisional Meeting - Saturday 16th July 2016 - No Yum Yums, but a Bacon Butty!


Imagine our disappointment when our  Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas and I pulled into the Service Station for our traditional Yum Yums only to find that they didn't have them any more!!  And imagine our delight when on arriving at Cole Court in Twickenham there was a most enjoyable Bacon Butty and coffee waiting for us!

Cole Court is the Masonic Centre in Twickenham for Middlesex Masons and provides superb facilities and parking for all meetings.

With coffee in hand we wandered out onto the terrace overlooking the gardens to catch up with many old friends from other Divisions who were taking advantage of the sunshine.  We were warmly greeted by the Intendant General for the Division of Middlesex, Rt.Ill.Kt. Denis Leigh  and one of the first people we ran into was a member from  Devon & Cornwall, the  Deputy Intendant General for Middlesex, Ill.Kt. Keith Waters (AKA Smiff and many other alias's).

Following the processions under a Arch of Steel provided by a very smart Sepulchre Guard, Rt.Ill.Kt. Denis Leigh carried out the meeting in a most proficient manner, welcoming his guests in his relaxed way, and with the gentle humour that he is well known for - he even made mention of the Devon & Cornwall web site when introducing me and asked me to write "something nice" about the meeting!

The usual business of a Divisional Meeting was then carried out and the Intendant General invested his Officers with a kind, caring word to each one.

Bearing in mind our own Divisional meeting in December I was particularly interested to see how the position of Deputy was 'handed over' when Ill.Kt. Keith Waters stood down as Deputy.

Following the meeting we had an opportunity to have a drink and chat to old friends before partaking of a most enjoyable Festive Board with good Christian Company and the wonderful food that we have become so accustomed to at Cole Court.

Another most enjoyable Divisional Meeting at Middlesex, and as I said to the Intendant General on the way out of the Temple, well worth the long trip from Barnstaple!

Denis - hope that was "nice" enough!!

Alan

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So who is this Nicholas St John Middleton White -  Deputy Intendant General Designate?

 
Nicholas StJohn Middleton White or Nicholas StJ M White.
Known as Nic.

Born in the West Midlands. Moved to Plymouth in 1986 from Northumberland. A former Registered Nurse working in Learning Disabilities and Mental Health now retired doing occasional training and consultancy work.

Joined St John's Lodge No.70 in 1988 and Chapter of Fidelity 230 in 1991. Subsequently has Joined the Mark, Royal Ark Mariners, Rose Croix, Red Cross, KT and latterly KTP.

Has achieved Provincial honours in Craft, Mark and Chapter and now Red Cross.

Married to Antonia. Two daughters, Amy and Jessica both working in healthcare in Plymouth. Granddaughter Lottie who is 5.

Enjoys Freemasonry, maintaining an old house, sailing and singing (please don't ask about 'The Birdie Song')!

Highslide JS

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Conclave of Light No.498 Enthronement - 12th June 2016.  The I.G. as Sentinel

  Highslide JS

The weather always seems to be nice for the daytime meeting at Bodmin, and Tuesday continued the tradition, beautiful sunshine shone on us as we journeyed down to Conclave of Light No.498 from Barnstaple for their Enthronement.

Heavy holiday traffic caused us to arrive with not much time to spare, and with all the parking spaces in the Lodge car park being taken,  a quick walk up from the large nearby park and we were greeted by many friends from both Devon and Cornwall.

The procession in of 14 active officers and grand officers was led by our  Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas under an Arch of Steel provided as usual by the sepulchre guard.

The business of the evening was to consecrate and install the Viceroy Elect, V.Ill.Kt. Bill Lissamer and Enthrone the Sovereign Elect, Ill.Kt. Jeff Leach.  All this was carried out under the supervision of the Most Puissant Sovereign, Ill.Kt. Colin Spillsbury.

With three such doyens (I had to get the wife to look that word up!) of Red Cross running the ceremony it was no wonder that the whole meeting was a joy to behold!!

During the appointment of the officers, Ill.Kt. R.C. Johns not only took on the role of Assistant Recorder but also was appointed as Herald earning the nickname 'Two Job Bob' from the Intendant General ('Bob' also ran the bar after the during the buffet)  -  Not bad for an 86 year old !!

The meeting culminated in a superb buffet with short speeches which enabled us to get back to Barnstaple by 2:30 pm

And the Sentinel?  After the 'V.I.P.s' had paraded out of the Conclave, the Sentinel, W.Kt. Peter Bradbury was busy setting out the buffet when the 'knocks' came on the door, and our I.G. being very close, quickly responded with, of course,  the correct knocks.

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A 'Good Ol'' Debun buy tells us wot 'e finks
The Grand Eusebius presides at Perranporth Appendant Orders - 1st July 2016. (another take?)

Twas a lovely day when I picked up me frend frum Torpoint and us duly drawv to Perranporth were us wuz greeted by a number ov other Nights. The big buys wuz otherwise engaged (summit to do with MARK Masenry in Debn), anyhow, The Grand Eusebius, Rt.Ill. the Ven. Kt. Dr. The Revd. Charles Peter Bernard Blackwell Smyth, G.C.C. took over and did a marvellous job. He even told sum stories about he’s time in office. Twas all very enlightnen and most enjoyable. He had to do this cos the candidait wuz late in comin – He was on dreckly time!

When things got goin proper, the ceremony all turned out very well, a splendid cerimony was conducted by Illustrious Knights Peter Davies, Roy Rudling and V.Ill Kt.  Bill Lissamer (and Uncle Tom Cobbly an all), twaz real good! I tell ee another thing what wuz most spectacular, that wuz the new picture ov our Lord, he wuz surrounded by they there new-fangled LED lights, and looked absolutely marvlus. Course us had better mention the Sepulchre Guard, they did a proper job under V.Ill. Kt. Bernerd Winsor. Well twas to be expected really? Us ended up evin a fine Festive Board and the tausts. All together twas a winderfull evenin,

London - Grand Conclave

Us arrived in London after us had had a good trip on the train where us had a good old English breakfast to set us up for the day. Twas all very smart with the waitriss putting everything on yer plaat with a fork and spoon – her didn’t upset nort. Anyhows us got ourselfs to Great Queen Street on the Underground, but us wuz more lucky than tothers, and us didn’t hav to clime su many stairs. Us caught the lift down to thicky train and at tother end, Holborn, us had a wonderful ride up wun of they moovin stair caases. When us got near to Grand Lodge us spied a few moor of the buys from the West, they wuz sat surveyin the situation from a café and drinkin tay and coffee. Well, since twas laater in the morning us decided to be difffrent and proceeded to the Irish Bar just up the rawd, there us had a couple ov spritzers – they was very nice and most refreshin.

You’ve bin told all about the activities in the Grand Conclave Meetin and hoo wuz their, saw I waun’t go on about that other than to say it was maust memorable, especially to see all our volks gwain up to get their promotions. After the meeting us went into the Connaught Rooms for the Festive Board, you can see frum the picture what a smart paace twas. They chandeliers wuz magnificent and us half expected Del Buy to be around doin a drop of maytenence, he wodd’n there cos all the lights wuz still hangin when us left.

A marvellous day ended with us evin a taxy back to Paddington and a late train ride ome. I don’t naw if I wuz smellin after a long day out but when us got to Plimuth there wuz only two of us left on the train.

All in all twaz a wonderfull day out and if you ebbin bin yerself you aught to give it a go!

Jan

AKA Peter D.

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The Intendant-General for the Division of Devon and Cornwall, Right Illustrious Knight Richard Lucas has been pleased to appoint the officers listed below who will be invested at the Annual Meeting of the Divisional Conclave Saturday 10th December 2016 at Plymouth.

 

Deputy Intendant-General 327   N. St. J.M.WHITE
Viceroy 270   G. EVATT
Senior General 311   M.R.O. VINCE
Junior General 270   A.C. BARKER
High Prelate 432   Rev. P.L. BAYCOCK
Registrar 327   F.R. THOMAS
Treasurer 270   F.H. CORBRIDGE (subject to election)
Recorder 342   A.R. COCKMAN
Almoner 253   C.A. ADAMS
Marshal 342   N.P. ACKLAND
Sword Bearer 432   K.J.F. JONES
Deputy Marshal 270   R. RUDLING
Chamberlain 327   P. DURRANT
Sub-Prelate 349   K.R.D. WATERS
Standard Bearer (C) 253   A.R. MOYLE
Standard Bearer (L) 270   J.E. REDMAN
Prefect 238   A.R. BARAHONA-WILLS
Warden of Regalia 432   S.P. LEAHY
Assistant Recorder 253   W.G. LISSAMER
Organist 349   R.W. FREEMAN
Herald 1 311   J.F. BATE
Sentinel 253   P.G. BRADBURY
     
PAST RANKS    
Past Junior General 238   E.G. READER
Past Registrar 311   D.I. KNUTTON
Past Registrar 342   J. WHITFIELD
Past Almoner 432   R.F. DAY
Past Standard Bearer (L) 342   M.J. NAGLE
Past Prefect 349   C.T. MAJOR
   

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Grand Imperial Conclave 5th July 2016 - Let's take the stairs they said !!


It all went wrong the day before!  Knowing that I had a long drive to London and that the tread on my front tyres was suspect I decided to drop my car off on the way to work and get ATS to replace the tyres.  It all went well until I returned to collect my car when the guy on reception informed me that the computer records showed that my car had no MOT despite one having been requested at the local Kia Garage when they carried out the service in April.

Panic set in when I checked that the records were correct and that I faced a 400 mile drive the next day.  But the kind man at ATS arranged for an MOT to be carried out while I waited!!

So it was that at 5:45 am on Tuesday 5th July I picked up the Grand Sword Bearer, Paul Ackland, and the Past Grand High Almoner designate, John Vooght, and set off towards London.  Picking up Adrian Garrity on the way, and stopping off for coffee and Yum Yums at Taunton Services we arrived at Great Queen Street in plenty of time for Paul to attend the practice in the Great Hall.

A convenient cafe opposite provided nice coffee and a super vantage point to watch the comings and goings at Grand Lodge, and we were soon joined by many knights from Devon & Cornwall.

Twenty three knights from Devon and Cornwall then found convenient seats in the Great Hall and Grand Imperial Conclave began with processions of many important people including several knights from our own Division; our Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas, the Grand Historiographer, R.Ill.Kt. Keith Barry Jackson, The Grand Eusebius, Rt.Ill. & Ven. Kt. Dr. The Revd. Charles Peter Bernard Blackwell Smyth, G.C.C., and The Deputy Grand Sovereign, Rt. Ill. & Em. Kt. Peter Hawken M.B.E. ; not forgetting of course our Grand Sword Bearer, Ill.Kt. Paul Ackland who, for the last time, led the Grand Sovereign, M.Ill.Kt. Graham Leslie Flight G.C.C. into Grand Conclave.

The Grand Conclave Meeting then continued apace, but the installation of the new Grand Eusebius, Rt.Ill.& Ven. Kt. The Revd. Timothy, John Nicholas L'Estrange, and several knights who received the honour of the Knight Commander of Constantine for services to the Red Cross Degree did prolong the meeting a little, however our Grand Sovereign, aware of the length of the ceremony, kept his speech as short as he could without detracting from the contents of his speech and the message contained therein.

This was Grand Conclave at its best and I know that the 23 knights from Devon and Cornwall thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the day

And the stairs?  When we arrived at Covent Garden Tube Station, Rush Hour in London was well under way, and the queue for the lifts was horrendous.  So somebody said "Let's take the stairs down".  There were 193 steps in a spiral staircase (the equivalent to a 15-storey building !!).  No wonder I slept most of the way home - and I was driving!!

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A Donation of £34 takes the Mark Benevolent Festival Fund to £1,014,000 - 2nd July 2016.

 
A magnificent effort by the Mark Masons of Devonshire raised £1,013,966 in their Mark Benevolent Fund Festival which culminated in a Festival Banquet at the Palace Hotel in Torquay on Saturday 2nd July. Our  Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas, decided to make a final donation of £34 on behalf of the Red Cross Members taking the total to £1,014,000!

 

Well done Richard, a good decision!!

 

P.S.  At the end of his 'Thank You' speech Peter Hawken announced that he would be 'standing down' as PGM of the Mark Degree of Devonshire in October in favour of V.W. Bro.Peter Balsom. 

 

Peter - We will all miss you!!!

 

Peter - Congratulations and you can be sure of all our support!!

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The Grand Eusebius presides at Perranporth Appendant Orders - 1st July 2016.

 
Both Richard, our Intendant General and myself having a long time ago committed ourselves (and our wives!) to a weekend celebration of the Devonshire Mark Benevolent Fund Final Festival Dinner at the Palace Hotel, Torquay, neither of us had the courage to tell our wives that we had to go to Perranporth instead.  Our bacon was saved by the kind offer of The Grand Eusebius,
Rt.Ill. & Ven. Kt. Dr. The Revd. Charles Peter Bernard Blackwell Smyth, G.C.C. to preside over the meeting in our stead. Below is his brief report back on the evening....

 

Good Evening. Carried out my last duties at Perranporth tonight. All went well. The candidate was 30 mins late so , while we were waiting, I gave an account of some of my experiences as Grand Eusebius. The candidate eventually arrived and a superb ceremony was carried out by Illustrious Knights Peter Davies, Roy Rudling and V.Ill Kt.  Bill Lissamer. 

 

The ceremony was followed by a hearty Festive Board where the usual toasts were honoured.

 

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The Grand Master's Fund Donation to the Children's Hospice, Little Harbour, St. Austell - 30th June 2016


On 30th June 2016 our Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas and The Grand Eusebius, Rt.Ill. & Ven. Kt. Dr. The Revd. Charles Peter Bernard Blackwell Smyth, G.C.C. had the great pleasure of visiting Little Harbour, St. Austell, one of the three children's hospices run by Children's Hospice South West to present a cheque from the Grand Sovereign's For Children Fund in the sum of £2,500 to that very worthy cause.

Both Peter and Richard were moved by the inspirational care and devotion shown by the Staff at the Hospice.And can anyone work out what the last photo is about?  To find out go to https://www.chsw.org.uk/25th-anniversary/butterfly

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Royal Citadel Conclave No.349 meeting - 24th June 2016.  The first of the Christmas Meals!!

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The absence of several of the Conclave Officers at Royal Citadel Conclave No.349 at Plymouth didn't bode too well for the double installation ceremony that was about to be performed on Friday 25th June.  However, the Most Puissant Sovereign, Lt.Cdr. David Forward assisted by the Marshal, Ill.Kt. Bill Oats and the Recorder, W.Kt. Bill Clements quickly 'press ganged' knights to fill the vacant offices and what a superb ceremony they performed.

The business of the evening was to Install TWO companions, elect the principal officers for the ensuing year and present a Red Cross Certificate!!

After opening the formalities were quickly dealt with, then Companion Jo Sevieri Jnr. and Companion Andrew LeGrys were

installed by the M.P.S. in a most enjoyable and proficient manner with the accolade being performed by our Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas and the Oration being faultlessly carried out once again by P.Kt. Sidney Booker.

The meeting then continued with Em.Kt. Nick White being elected Sovereign for the ensuing year and W.Kt. Andy Fowkes being elected Viceroy.  The Deputy Intendant General then presented a Red Cross Certificate to W.Kt. David Farley.

And the Christmas Meal?  Well, the festive board had a main course of Turkey with lashings of Roast Potatoes and Cranberry Sauce, and the small number of Sepulchre Guards present meant that there were many more roast potatoes for the rest of us!!!

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The Grand Sword Bearer shares his experiences.

Sadly my year as Grand Sword Bearer is now coming to an end but what a fantastic year it's been!  Whilst carrying out my duties as Divisional Marshal for Devonshire and Cornwall, I have also enjoyed the honour of being recognised throughout the Division as an Active Grand Officer!  I have had the privilege of taking part in five Grand Ceremonies presided over by the Grand Sovereign, M.Ill.Kt. Graham Leslie Flight, escorting him into various temples across the country including Newcastle, Worthing (where we were welcomed with bacon butties), Olney, Aylesbury and finally last Saturday, Cambridge.

 
Cambridge is a very grand looking Masonic Hall and the Grand Team were well received as they were at all of the previous Conclaves.  This ceremony was to consecrate a new Conclave, St. Huna No.525 which was the second new Conclave created this year.  The Grand team consists of twelve members and as this was to be a consecration the team it also included  Rt.Ill. & Ven. Kt. Dr. The Revd. Charles Peter Bernard Blackwell Smyth, G.C.C. the Grand Eusebius, and a member of our own Division.  The Grand Standard Bearer followed by myself as the Grand Sword Bearer entered the temple just ahead of the Grand Sovereign, leading him through an arch of Steel created by the Grand Sepulchre Guard to the applause of all those gathered.  The Grand Sovereign called the name of each individual member of the Grand Team and requested that they assume their individual offices.   Graham Lesley Flight, assisted by Peter Blackwell Smyth then carried out a flawless consecration ceremony

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After the meeting and while at the bar the Grand Sovereign came to thank the Grand Team, bearing an empty glass, so I took the opportunity to buy him a Gin and Bitter Lemon (Double of Course) on behalf of all the Knights of Devon and Cornwall.

The festive luncheon was excellent as was the copious amounts of wine that flowed to celebrate the new Conclave of St. Huna No.525.  After a few speeches we bid our farewells until the next meeting which will be the Grand Imperial Conclave to be held at Grand Lodge on the 5th July 2016 when our I will be acting as Grand Sword Bearer for the final time.

Being a member of the Grand Team has been a wonderful, once in a lifetime experience and as a Grand Sword Bearer it was a privilege to work so closely to our Grand Sovereign.  Despite our Grand Sovereign's high office he really is a nice and approachable guy!

Paul Ackland.  Divisional Marshal and Grand Sword Bearer (until 5th July!).

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Paddy the Bin Man - Good Samaritans are still out there !!!

 
 Following the meeting at Hayle I received the following email from our Divisional Senior General, P.Kt. John Lynes.....

 

Returning home from Hayle on Tuesday night I successfully negotiated the road works on the A30, only to suffer a tyre blow out between Bodmin and Plymouth.  It was dark, damp and eerie and ,unable to get a mobile phone signal, I had visions of being there till first light.

 

I activated my hazard lights and held out my hand to the  oncoming traffic.  After about 10 minutes a van stopped to help.  He turned his van around, shone his headlights onto our car, donned his miner's type cap lamp and proceeded to change the wheel.

 

He refused to take any money saying that it was his good deed for the day.  All I know about him is that his name is Paddy and he is a Bin Man for the local council.   I have informed Radios Devon and Cornwall in the hope that he will hear our thanks.  Gwen says next time we stay over night at the White Hart.

 

Regards John.

 

If Paddy is not already a Freemason then he should be because he certainly is in his heart!  Thank you Paddy for helping 'our' John!

 

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Bill lights up the Town

 
After quite some time at trying to get the image of our Saviour to light up at the appropriate moment in one of our ceremonies, V.Ill.Kt. Bill Lissamer tells me that he has now got it all working ready for 1st July.

 

He tells me that he is delighted  that it is now working!

And that all who attend will have an enlightening experience!

It will provide a new element to the proceedings!

 

Any other descriptive suggestions will be gratefully received and faithfully applied, and may even be entered into a competition!!

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St. Ercus Conclave No.349 Official Visit - 21st June 2016.
The Official Visit to St. Ercus Conclave No.349 in Hayle yesterday ensured that 34 knights attended to watch the M.P.S. Most Puissant Knight Michael Howard and his team emulate a Ceremony of Installation.

As has become the normal practice at Official Visits our Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas accompanied by his Deputy, Ill. Kt. Alan Cockman and 11 Divisional and Grand Officers paraded into the Conclave under an Arch of Steel provided by the Sepulchre Guard.  After the salutes were completed Rt.Ill. & Ven. Kt. Dr. The Revd. Charles Peter Bernard Blackwell Smyth, G.C.C. the Grand Eusebius was ably presented to the Conclave by V.Ill.Kt. Ed Purkis.

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The meeting then continued apace with W.Kt. John Anderton acting as the candidate.  The M.P.S. couldn't help but show a little nervousness in front of such an imposing audience, this being his first attempt at an Installation, but it was obvious to all that he had spent a lot of time in learning the ceremony and the Oration carried out be V.Ill.Kt. Roger Freeman was a joy to listen to!

The ceremony was followed by the Deputy Intendant General presenting a Red Cross Certificate to W.Kt. John Anderton and our Grand Eusebius presenting an Appendant Orders Certificate to the same knight.

The other business of the evening was then completed in which the M.P.S. was elected to continue in his important role for a second year and W.Kt. Paul Goody was elected as Viceroy for the ensuing year.

The knights then retired to enjoy a most enjoyable festive board in good Christian Company with good food and short speeches.

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Is 'The Rocket Man' a Freemason?
 
Like 14,999 other fans I headed off on Sunday 19th June to see Sir Elton John perform in an open air concert at Westpoint, Exeter.  And the rain came in torrents!!  And the traffic was horrendous!!

But despite all this Elton was magnificent!  What a performer!  What a musician!!

And what a stage backdrop!  Anyone recognise the squares?

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Conclave of Ascension No.499 meeting - 15th June 2016

 

Tuesday morning turned out to be rather wet as I set of to work, a bit earlier than usual, to make sure I was not late for the Conclave of Ascension meeting later that morning. However just as I left work the sun came out and I new that it was a good omen for the rest of the day.

 

I arrived in good time and the W.Kt.s were entertained in the usual way, by good a Ceremony ably led by M. P Sovereign P.Kt. Nick White. P.Kt. Nick presented a very interesting talk on the life and times of Constantine given to him by our Divisional Recorder V.Ill Kt George Evatt

 

I must say that my Deputy Alan could not get to the meeting due to work commitments, I think it is the first meeting of Ascension Conclave he has missed in a number of years.

 

We had a smashing meal of soup, beef stew and chocolate dessert, quite a meal!

 

Later that day I went to Exeter to see my Brother Peter installed as the Sovereign of the Coryton and Rougemont Rose Croix, in an equally good Ceremony, and a very tasty meal, needless to say I haven't eaten much to day!

 

Richard, Intendant General

 

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Some sad news for Jeff and Gill Leach.

 

You may be wondering where Jeff Leach is - he doesn't normally disappear off of the scene until his Australian trip in January.

 

Sadly his mother unexpectedly passed away on 5th June so he has had to go to Cheshire to deal with her affairs.  Below is an email Dave Silman has received from him which is self explanatory.

 

Jeff and Gill, if you read this then please be assured that we are all thinking of you and missing your cheerful face - take care!!

 

Hi Dave and Carol,

Thankyou very much for your kind wishes which are much appreciated.  Just to keep you informed, and please pass on if you can, we have arranged mums funeral date which is 16th June but there have been problems as the coroner won't sign the death certificate until they do an autopsy.  Although mum was nearly 92 and died of a massive heart attack in front of her brother, my
Uncle, and the emergency response ambulance man and the warden of the piper lifeline, the coroner still wants to know cause of heart attack.
So now we are still going ahead with the service and funeral tea on that date so that my brother from Oz Joanne and family and Damian can be there, then we will have to have the burial later without them. So it's looking as though we may be away longer or have to come up again.

Kind regards,
Gill and Jeff xx

 

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Happy Birthday Wilf Leahy

 

If you happen to see Wilf will you wish him a happy 98th Birthday for tomorrow, 12th June!!!  Doesn't he look well !!

 

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St. Brannock Conclave No.342 Meeting Thursday 9th June 2016 - 1st Ceremony of a New Team.
 
Five Meetings, six certificates, all in seven days!!!  This Freemasonry lark can be quite tiring some times!!

However, the meeting at St. Brannock No.342 was in Barnstaple, just a mile or so from my house, and once again I was lucky enough to be offered a lift!

The first meeting of the new team at St Brannock was to install Ex.Comp. Mike Skudder, a well known North Devon Freemason and a Grand Officer in the Craft Degree.

The Most Puissant Sovereign, P.Kt. Dave Williams, opened the Conclave in a most confident manner and then proffered the Baton to the Deputy Intendant General. Ill.Kt. Alan Cockman who was presiding.

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The meeting then proceeded apace with the Marshal, Ill.Kt. Ed Dymond conducting the proceeding in a most accomplished way despite this being his first meeting as Marshal.  The whole team provided the nearly thirty knights who attended, including knights from Brixham and Cornwall, with a superb ceremony and reinforced a conversation that I and our  Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas had recently in which we both agreed that the standard of the Ceremonies in our Division was getting better and better!I was then asked to present Red Cross certificate to W.Kts. Dave Hingston and Colin Pomeroy and Appendant Orders certificates to W.Kts. Dave Hingston and Gilbert Coles.

The knights then retired to enjoy a most enjoyable festive board in good Christian Company

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St. John the Evangelist  Conclave No.238 Enthronement Tuesday 7th June 2016 - An Absolute Challenge!!
 
I seem to have struck lucky with lifts this week as the Grand Sword Bearer who is also our Divisional Marshall, Ill.Kt. Paul Ackland offered to drive me to the St. John the Evangelist Enthronement meeting in Topsham on Tuesday 7th June - however, he wouldn't allow me to sit in the back seat like the Queen!.
 
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The Most Puissant Sovereign, P.Kt. Mark Richardson and the Viceroy, P.Kt. Michael Jones, aided by the Recorder, Ill.Kt. John Tilke and the Marshal, P.Kt. Mike Daniels showed their experience and soon had things under control and P.Kt. Jones was enthroned as M.P.S. of the Conclave by P.Kt. Richardson in a most efficient manner in front of thirty two knights.  P.Kt. Michael then invested his officers with an authority you would expect from such a larger than life figure!

After the Enthronement the M.P.S. turned to the Intendant General and his Deputy and enquired who would be presenting the Grand Imperial Certificate.  Without a word or pause, and in unison, they each pointed to the other!!

Needless to say the Deputy Intendant General lost!! 

Ill.Kt. Alan Cockman presented the Red Cross certificate to W.Kt. Philip Adam, who even though he hasn't yet done his Appendant Orders was invested as Herald in the foregoing ceremony, a task which he had carried out throughout the evening in a most proficient manner.

The whole evening was again enhanced by the presence of the Sepulchre Guard.  And we all enjoyed a superb festive board with good food, good company and short speeches.  And as the M.P.S. said the evening had been an "Absolute Challenge".

Well done St. John the Evangelist for overcoming all difficulties!!

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Mount Lebanon Conclave No.270 Enthronement Monday 6th June 2016 - What a Ceremony!!
 
Once again our Divisional Junior Warden, P.Kt. Gwyn Thomas took us through unknown country to arrive at Mount Lebanon Conclave No.270 at Tavistock on Monday 6th June just in time to find a parking space right outside the Lodge - I don't know how he does it!!
The Enthronement meeting started with the now traditional procession in by our  Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas, accompanied by sixteen Provincial and Grand Officers, through the Arch of Steel formed by the Sepulchre Guard under the guidance of their Captain, V.Ill.Kt. Bernard Winsor and their Deputy Captain Ill.Kt. Chris Bird.  The M.P.S. then offered the Intendant General his baton after which the I.G. was saluted with seven, which was followed by a wonderful fanfare which I think might have been a fax arriving on a certain person's mobile phone!!  Should he have been fined a bottle of Port?

Nearly fifty knights then witnessed one of the most superb ceremonies you could ever hope to see when Em.Kt. Roger Goulding consecrate Kt. Barry Slade as Viceroy. 

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He himself was then enthroned as Most Puissant Sovereign for the ensuing year by the current Most Puissant Sovereign, P.Kt. James de Lisle Innis.  P.Kt. Roger then appointed and invested his officers.  This was all carried out with style and aplomb and emphasised what a high standard we try to attain in our Division.

After the Enthronement the Deputy Intendant General, Ill.Kt. Alan Cockman presented the Red Cross certificate to W.Kt. Jim Davis.

The ceremony was then followed by the type of Festive Board that you can only experience at Tavistock!!

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Our Captain of the Sepulchre Guard and Black Pudding

 

Now I'm not one for rumours but I understand that our Captain of the Sepulchre Guard has a certain liking for Black Pudding - you might ask him about it when you see him next !!

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Thames Divisional Meeting - 4th June 2016 at Aylesbury - A yum yum tradition broken!

 

On the road again!  After attending Joseph of Arimathea Conclave the night before the 5:30 alarm was not very welcome!

 

However our Divisional Marshal. Ill.Kt. Paul Ackland, who is also the Grand Sword Bearer, set off on the 200 mile trip from Barnstaple to the Thames Divisional Meeting held at Aylesbury.  A few miles up the M5 and the traditional stopping place for coffee and Yum Yums approached, but our Grand Sword Bearer, on being asked if he would like to partake of the traditional breakfast replied "No thanks, I'm all right."  Now I know that I would have felt guilty scoffing a Coffee and Yum Yum on my own, and my waistline would certainly benefit from a fast so we drove on by the revered "pull in" and broke a tradition that has been going on for some years!.

 

Arriving at the Aylesbury Masonic Hall at 9:30, and finding a nearby parking spot, we joined the assembled Knights and our Grand Sword Bearer headed off to attend to his duties whilst I set about finding my appointed seat both in the Temple and in the Dining Room. But, imagine my horror when I discovered that after a 200 mile drive of over 3 hours I was not on the list!!  However an inventive Divisional Secretary soon corrected the matter and I was fully accomodated.

 

Once again, the Grand Sepulchre Guard heralded the start of the proceedings and the Grand procession entered the Grand Conclave with our own Paul Ackland carrying the Grand Conclave Sword ahead of the Grand Sovereign.  The Installation of the new Intendant General for Thames Division, P.Kt. Alan John Baverstock and his Deputy V.Ill.Kt. Ronald James Bridger, then proceeded apace, and the Grand Sovereign, M.Ill.Kt. Graham Leslie Flight, G.C.C. carried out his part of the ceremony in his usual relaxed and friendly style.  He really is a wonderful example of "the more important a person is, the more amenable and approachable he is"!

 

We all then retired to the refectory where we partook of a good meal in good (if somewhat squashed) company.

 

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Joseph of Arimathea Conclave No.253 Meeting - 3rd June 2016  - Doesn't it ever rain in Perranporth?

 

Another enjoyable drive along the North Devon Highway in glorious weather down to Perranporth and a warm welcome by the knights of Joseph of Arimathea Conclave made the apparently lengthy agenda on the summons seem less daunting.

 

Some time to catch up with both old friends and new and the meeting got under way.  The M.P.S. M.P.Kt. Steve Osborne was unable to attend the meeting for personal reasons so, with just a few hours notice, P.Kt. Tony Moyle took the chair and welcomed our Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas and myself to the Conclave.  He then shortened the agenda to a talk by W.Kt. Marc Quigley-Ferriday and a business meeting.

 

The paper given by Marc was a most interesting paper on "Guthlac and Constantine: two saints with remarkable vision".  Now I for one had never heard of Guthlac and hadn't been aware of some of the similarities of their visions. All present enjoyed Marc's paper very much!

 

Em.Kt. Graham Charles Hooper was then elected Most Puissant Sovereign for the ensuing year and W.Kt. Lewis Colin Rescoria was elected viceroy

 

The assembled knights then retired to the refectory for the normal high quality meal we have come to expect at Perranporth and short speeches during which our Intendant General stated that he can't ever remember coming to Perranporth on a wet day - now I think that's asking for trouble!!

 

All in all another enjoyable evening at Joseph of Arimathea Conclave and I was still home in Barnstaple by 10:00 pm

 

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Sussex Annual Divisional Meeting - 14th May 2016 at Worthing - Devon and Cornwall well represented.

 

5:00 am is too early for anyone to have to turn off an alarm clock!! But some people had to turn it off even earlier than me!!

 

 I met our  Intendant General, Rt. Ill. Kt. Richard Lucas at Tiverton Parkway Railway Station at 6:45am for our trip to Worthing in Sussex (which included the customary stop for coffee and Yum Yums at Taunton Services) where the Sussex Divisional Meeting was to be held and where the new Intendant General of Sussex was to be installed by our Grand Sovereign, M.Ill.Kt. Graham Leslie Flight, G.C.C.

 

And what a grand occasion it was!!

 

The Grand Sepulchre Guard heralded the start of the proceedings (and their number included our own Michael Jones and Richard Thomas) and the Grand procession entered the Grand Conclave with our own Paul Ackland carrying the Grand Conclave Sword ahead of the Grand Sovereign.

 

 I've used the word "Grand" a lot already, but I really can't tell you how much it was a meeting of tremendous Grandeur!!

 

The Grand Sovereign carried out the installation of the new Intendant General for Sussex, Ill.Kt. Paul Norman Rose PGSTB(C) in a most professional, but relaxed manner, with casual, gentle humour where appropriate in this most Grand Ceremony.

 

As well as our Intendant general and myself, Paul Ackland, Michael Jones, Richard Thomas and Eddie Dymond enjoyed the festive board that followed the installation of the Intendant General during which we were able to renew old friendships and make new acquaintances in our wonderful Christian Order.

 

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St. John the Evangelist Conclave No.238 Meeting - Tuesday 2nd February 2016 - A Candidate who can pronounce "Puissant"
 
Having volunteered to drive me to the meeting at St. John the Evangelist Conclave No.238 at Topsham on Tuesday 2nd February, my driver, our newly appointed Junior Warden Gwyn Thomas, had allowed plenty of time to negotiate the North Devon Link Road which allowed us, on a cold evening, to partake of Joan's wonderful hot 'Topsham Coffee' with cream!

A quick chance to renew old friendships then 30 knights (including 7 Active Officers) settled into the Conclave to await the evening's entertainments, and despite their being several officers off with sickness, what an evening we were treated to! 

Our Intendant General, Rt.Ill. Kt. Richard Lucas, unusually retained the Baton proffered to him by the Most Puissant Sovereign and took the opportunity to invest P.Kt. Gwyn Thomas as Divisional Junior Warden.

I should perhaps mention at this point that the Most Puissant Sovereign was celebrating his 48th Birthday on that very day and he admitted to having just returned from 2 days with a bunch of friends celebrating his birthday in Gibralter.  One certain wag (who shall be nameless but was wearing the the uniform of the Eminent Viceroy) remarked "after two days with his mates in Gibralter I'm surprised he can still walk and talk!".  But, not only could he 'walk and talk' but he Installed E.Comp. Brian Ludford as a Knight of our Order in superb style assisted by our Intendant General, Rt.Ill. Kt. Richard Lucas, and the rest of his team which included two or three officers 'standing in' for others, especially a certain member of the Sepulchre Guard by the name of Andy who, carried out the duties of Sentinel, Standard Bearer (C), Standard Bearer (L) and Pillar Officer, but apparently he drew the line at doing the washing up!

The Candidate, E.Comp. Brian Ludford, showed his experience in Masonry by the excellent way in which he conducted himself and being one of the few candidates that I've seen who could pronounce "Puissant" correctly!

The other business of the evening was then conducted in which P.Kt. Mike Jones was elected M.P.S. and P.Kt. Alexander Barahona-Wills was elected as Em. Viceroy for the forthcoming year.

The meeting was followed by the usual high quality Festive Board that we've come to expect at Topsham.

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Appendant Orders Meeting in Barnstaple on Monday 25th January 2016 - watch what you say in a butcher's shop!!

 
"We've got to be able to improve on that!"  so said the captain of the sepulchre guard as they came out of the temple in Barnstaple after a practice of the Guard before the Appendant Orders Ceremony in Barnstaple on Monday.

And so they did!!  Despite not having had an Appendant Orders meeting last year in Barnstaple the entire ceremony was carried out superbly by V.Ill.Kt. Roger Duffet (1st Point); P.Kt. Gwyn Thomas (2nd Point) and Ill.Kt. Paul Ackland (3rd Point) ably assisted by their entire team and the Sepulchre Guard led by their Captain, V.Ill.Kt. Bernard Winsor and their Deputy Captain, Ill.Kt. Chris Bird.  The Divisional Prelate and Divisional Grand Commander, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas carried out the accolade and the candidate, W.Kt. Dave Hingston and the other, nearly 40 knights (including 9 Active Divisional Officers), could not but have been impressed by the 'Barnstaple Workings' of this wonderful ceremony!  And, needless to say,  the Sepulchre Guard rose to the occasion!

The assembled knights then retired for a most enjoyable festive board which included the new (corrected) Toast to The Right Illustrious and Venerable Sub-Patriarch & Deputy Grand Commander Dr. the Revd. Charles Peter Bernard Blackwell-Smyth and the other usual toasts; and in response to his toast The Divisional Prelate and Divisional Grand Commander, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas, accidentally let it slip that on several occasions wives of Masons had revealed things about their husbands whilst buying the Sunday Joint in his shop in Totnes!!  I'm glad I live in North Devon and Totnes is too far for Sandy to travel to buy our Sunday lunch!!

Another most enjoyable meeting in North Devon and everyone was on their way home by just after 9:00 o'clock, along a link road that was finally open in both directions!!

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News from our correspondent in the Antipodes

 

Dear Alan,


Thanks for update. We are now in a very wet Oz. Storms yesterday & night. The rain is warm though! We had a lovely swim on our first day in the ocean baths at Newcastle but anyway it's good for the farmers to have the rain.Singapore was very humid & hot so it's nice to have a night without aircon on. 


I shall drink a toast to you tonight & wish you all a Happy & Healthy Chinese New Year of the MONKEY.
Best regards Jeff & Gill.  


Sent from my iPad

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Holy Trinity Conclave No.311 Meeting - Wednesday 13th January 2016 - Santa and St. George!!

 
The problem with owning a posh car is that sometimes they have too many helpful gadgets!  A fact that came home to our Intendant General when he parked in a heavy downpour and realised that he could not find his car keys!  Apparently as long as the keys are in or very near the Jag then they don't need to be in the ignition, and whilst Richard knew the keys were nearby he just couldn't find them and thus would be unable to lock the car whilst he was in the meeting.  Finally having got out of the car and almost kneeling on the pavement he was able to search under and beside the seats and thus find the errant keys but this resulted in our Intendant General having a somewhat damp rump.

Never mind, a warm welcome with hot tea and coffee, biscuits and even Bakewell Tarts and Chocolate Cupcakes awaited us inside the Holy Trinity Conclave N0.311.  Several officers of the Lodge were absent so all the visitors were given jobs for the evening - all the visitors but one who shall be nameless but who is well know for driving a mini bus with a wheel or two missing!!

I the absence of the M.P.S., P.Kt. Sidney George, P.Kt. John Bate took the chair and, after offering the Baton of the conclave to our Intendant General, Rt. Ill. Kt. Richard Lucas, promptly set about the business of the evening which included a talk by myself, the Deputy Intendant General, Ill. Kt. Alan Cockman, entitled "Background little known facts concerning Constantine".  All the knights in attendance showed me great kindness by applauding loudly when I finished - or was it because I'd finished?

We all then retired to the refectory for a most enjoyable festive board with the tables unusually formed in square making conversation with everyone much simpler and more sociable.

And Santa and St. George?  There is a definite connection between the two which only those who were at Holy Trinity (and my wife Sandy) know about.  You should have been there and heard my talk!!!

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Joseph of Arimathea Conclave No.253  8th January 2016 - Damp in my wardrobe!

 

Throughout the Christmas Holidays  I've had great sympathy for those in the North of our country who have been so badly affected by major flooding!  But I hadn't realised that the unceasing downpours had  also attacked my cupboards with the effect that the dampness in my wardrobe had shrunk my 'Masonic trousers' over the Christmas period!  Anyway, I bravely breathed in and forced myself into them and set off for the first meeting of our Division this year to Perranporth with two other knights of our order.

 

As is always the case we were warmly welcomed by the knights at Joseph of Arimathea Conclave No.253 and, because one or two officers were still away on their Christmas Holidays, my two companions were quickly pressed into service for the ceremony; one of whom, Dave Hingston, will be receiving his Appendant Orders on 25th January at Barnstaple.

 

Bearing in mind that this was the first ceremony by this new team, the Most Puissant Sovereign, Steve Osborne assisted by his Eminent Viceroy, Graham Hooper and the rest of his officers did an excellent job!  His face was however a picture when our Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. Richard Lucas told the M.P.S. that since this was only a "practice" then the M.P.S. himself could do the Accolade!  And what a fine job he made of it!!

 

The assembled knights then retired to the refectory for the normal high quality meal we have come to expect at Perranporth.

 

All in all another enjoyable evening at Joseph of Arimathea Conclave and I was still home in Barnstaple by 11:00 pm.

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