St. Thomas of Acon - Province of East Anglia

Grand Preceptor's Address 2016

Sir Knights;

This marks my first full year as your Grand Preceptor and quite a lot has happened. For instance last month I successfully reduced our membership by some 140 Knights or more!

I can’t take all of the credit; Sir Melvyn of Wud Plumpton is at least equally culpable. Because on the 8th of October last, the Grand Master and his consecrating team travelled to Toulouse to Constitute the Province of France.

With that the Knights who’d been installed into the Chapels of;

Saint Jean D’Acre, Saint Honorat de Lerins, Saint Louis and Alphonse Jourdain,

Ceased to be a part of East Anglia, as of course did the Chapels themselves. We knew this was coming of course and it’s something we can be proud and happy to have been a part of, and it was an added pleasure this morning to be able to welcome Sir Christian of Marzan as the new Grand Preceptor of France and his comrades. Many other Knights of Outremer have retained membership of their mother Chapels in East Anglia and I want to thank them for their continued support. As I stated last year I hope we can maintain close ties with the Province of France and perhaps we can arrange an inter-visit alternating every other year.

VISITS

On visits; along mostly with Sir David of Epping Forest I visited the Provinces of Greater London, Central Midlands, East Midlands, Wessex, South Wales and the West Country and attended the Consecrations of several new Chapels including all bar one of those that took place overseas.

I have also had the honour of representing the East Anglian St Thomas of Acon at the Provincial and District meetings of other Orders;

At the Suffolk Provincial Holy Royal Arch Chapter of Jerusalem

The Essex Provincial Knights Templar

(And the Provincial Grand Prior Right Eminent Knight John Hellier; soon to be Sir John of West Ham! will be joining us later)

The Divisional meeting of the Red Cross of Constantine

The Provincial Grand Priory of Malta

At the District meeting of the Allied Masonic Degrees

And I was particularly proud to be able to represent you and be officially recognized at the Craft meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Essex at Freemason’s Hall, Great Queen Street. An opportune moment to thank the Provincial Grand Master; Right Worshipful Brother Rodney Bass, (Totham Magna to us!) for his continued support of this Order and of all of the Appendant Orders in Essex.

CARITAS

Thanks to your generosity Sir Knights, we have been able to continue with our charitable contributions. We were able to top up the previous donations and individual donations from Chapels and members by donating a further final sum of £500 to the Canterbury Cathedral appeal. Many Knights of the Province made the Pilgrimage this year some for the first time and witnessed the Grand Master handing over a cheque for £35,000.00.

As a Province we were also able to make a very substantial donation to the UGLE’s Tercentenary Appeal.

 

GRAND RANKS

We have been very fortunate this year when it comes to Grand Rank preferment with some Thirteen Knights of East Anglia being recognized.

As first appointments

Sir Dominic of Montmirail as Past Grand Almoner

Sir Raymond of Temple Wood as Past Grand Banner Bearer

Sir Patrick of Aulnoy as Past Grand Herald

Sir Peter of New Catton and Sir Alan of Hansen as Past Grand Doorkeepers

Promotions

Sir Adrian of Epping as Grand Treasurer

Sir David of Wixoe as Past Grand Registrar

Sir David of Epping Forest and Sir Barry of Braintree as Past Grand Almoner (And Sir David of Epping Forest was also reappointed as Active Assistant Grand Sentry.)

Sir Nicholas of Berkhampstead as Past Grand Banner Bearer

Re-appointments to active rank

Sir Daniel of St. Albans as an Assistant Grand Marshal

Sir Rodney of Totham Magna as the Grand Herald

And of course Sir Stanley of Clay Hall Knight Caritas, as the Grand Sentry

I hope to see as many of you as possible at the Grand Master’s Council meeting at the Grange Banqueting Suite, in Littleover, Derbyshire on the Feast Day of St. Thomas a Becket when the above Sir Knights will be invested.

MALTA

Sir Knights on a recent holiday to Malta I had the opportunity to capitalize on the groundwork done by Sir Walter of Runnymede on consecrating a new Chapel there.

The Grand Inspector of Malta Very Worshipful Brother Lawrence Porter had already indicated he would be supportive of the idea although would not be interested in joining the Order due to his commitments. I had a couple of very productive meetings with Lawrence and it transpired that of the two KT’s that meet on the island 90% of the membership live in England and travel to Malta twice a year for meetings. In addition a large percentage of these are members of KTs covered by our Province.

Once Lawrence became more acquainted with the Order and its history, I am very happy to say he now wishes to become a member.

On their visits the “Malta” masons have a tight schedule fitting in 3 or 4 meetings over a four day visit so we thought the best idea might be to have a Chapel that would meet once a year peripatetically  in East Anglia and once at Valletta in Malta.

We have a few Knights here today who are members of the KT’s in Malta and who I hope will play an active role in getting things off the ground.

 

THOMAS OF ACON PROVINCIAL WEBSITE

  • Interaction with-from Chapels / Chapel Secretaries,
  • Designated link(s) / page(s) for each Chapel etc.
  • “Web Knight”
  • Accounts?

FACEBOOK GROUP

Our Facebook group has some 60 members, It’s a handy way to communicate immediately with a large group of Knights and more or less runs itself!

CUBE”

We have an excellent presence on the Essex Provincial Website with our own Provincial page, Chapel pages and events page etc.

PROVINCIAL CALENDAR

Hard copies available on the Secretary’s desk.( By email if you sign the request form with Clickable emails and links etc. Leave email address on form)

SHELL

Now i know some of you are disappointed, the costliness and splendour of our Provincial Shell having spread throughout the known world. But the logistics and cost of getting it here this morning were just too much. Who knows? Maybe next year if the Shell can’t come to the Provincial meeting then the Provincial meeting may have to go to the Shell!

PROVINCIAL SECRETARY

Now, the Provincial Secretary, (The old one!) I don’t even know where to start. What can I say about Sir David of Wixoe? He’s been a tireless worker for the Province and the Order. I really had no option but to respect his wish to step down after nine years in the post. I did manage to talk him into an extra 18 months and I think we both knew I would have been in trouble without him!

Wixoe, you’ve been a brick mate, thank you for everything you’ve done for me and for our Province. He’s a Secretary, Scribe, Registrar, Recorder etc of many units, yet still found time to be the Secretary of two Chapels and the Province to boot! He’s always available; 6 ¾ days a week, 52 weeks a year. Only 6 ¾ days mind you as he likes to keep Sunday evening free, as a few Knights have had the misfortune to find out if they’ve rung him during “Songs of Praise”!

SUMMING UP

I have invested some very worthy knights this morning and look forward to working with them all in the coming year.

Sir Knights thank you all for your support and for your kind attention this morning and I hope you will continue to enjoy the rest of our day together and if I don’t see you before then, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy and Prosperous New Year.