The Address by the Provincial Prior at the Provincial Meeting at Botley on 4th September.
Brother Knights of the Province of Hampshire & IOW and our Distinguished guests. Well, we are here, in a physical meeting rather than a virtual one and I welcome you all to this meeting at Botley. I am grateful to the Directors for finding us our regular date and I am especially grateful to Mark and his staff for catering for our needs. We will be dining in this room afterwards so we need to give him and some our of Brother Knights some time to set it up.
As you know, we are still under some constraints and following the protocols for this Centre, hence our reduced numbers in attendance today, but I and the Brother Knights of the Province are delighted to welcome our Visitors who have been able to attend and enhance our meeting today.
The ability to hold Virtual Business meetings became the bedrock of maintaining contact with our Brother Knights, for both this and the other Progressive Orders, over this last 16 months or so and I am sure that the virtual contact will be useful in doing some of our work in the future, especially our Executive meetings, and we should keep this option available for those who are still reticent in returning just yet.
We have some catching up to do, especially conducting ceremonies for our list of new candidates and also Malta ceremonies. We will facilitate extra meetings, if required, and assistance will be available if any Preceptory gives timely notice to our Vice-Chancellor.
Our Provincial Officers have been reappointed this year as they had no opportunity to partake in Official Visits in the last year. I look forward to seeing as many as feel able to accompany me and/or my Sub-Prior during the year. The Official Visits don’t start till late November to give the Preceptories time, either to have a meeting or rehearsal before being descended upon, however, I am keen to attend unofficially, whenever I can, to physically meet the Brother Knights after so long.
Seven Knights have heard the Great Captains call since we last met and you heard their names earlier. We will miss them all. Again, the limitations on funeral attendance meant we could not always say our farewells as we would wish.
The Chapter of Great Priory, normally held in May, had to be cancelled, yet again, as was the Great Priory of Malta meeting last November, but our Grand Master or the Great Seneschal made a personal call to congratulate those receiving appointments or promotion in Great Rank. I look forward to witnessing their appointments at the Malta meeting in November.
Not only were the Virtual Business Meetings important to maintain contact but I am again grateful to Em Kt David Nash who has continued with more editions of the Templar Times, including quizzes and articles to maintain interest.
I am very hopeful that we now have a clear path to prepare for 2023 and the 175th Anniversary of our Province. The Provincial Registrar is coordinating an update to our history, we have plans to hold a Church Service at St Cross in Winchester in June 2023 and of course our Provincial Meeting in the September will be another highlight.
Earlier you approved a donation from the Province of £500 to the St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital which is usually added to by the collection we make at this Annual Meeting. You will have seen an envelope or Gift Aid Form on your seat and these will be collected at the playing of the Templar Hymn.
Last year we had the 20 4 2020 appeal for the Hospital and our Province has raised £1420 to date from our Brother Knights. But the appeal was stifled by the lockdown and so in 2021 it will continue with the title Eye to Eye 2021 and I brought along some Swift Pins to sell today at £20 and these will continue to be available for sale, on an ongoing basis.
Although the Eye Hospital is where we put our main effort year on year, we cannot ignore the fact that we are all Masons and support and benefit from the Masonic Charitable Foundation. The Craft Province launched the 2027 Festival this year. In addition, we are Progressive Masons and a large number of our Brother Knights are Mark Master Masons and our Mark Province has commenced the 2026 Festival for the Mark Benevolent Fund. As we had no physical Provincial meeting last year the Executive have supported my request to donate to both these Festivals. I therefore call upon the Provincial First Constable for a Proposition and I call upon the Provincial Second Constable. Provincial Marshal would you escort the Provincial Grand Master of the Craft and Mark to me please.
Since March 2020 the burden of the administration of Virtual Business Meetings and advice on how to conduct them, as well as ensuring that the strict protocol was followed has fallen on our Provincial Vice Chancellor, Em Kt Ron Wray. It has not been easy and he has been a rock throughout this time. Even more, this meeting has had a much-shortened timetable and we were unsure if it would be cancelled if a third wave struck. I thank him for getting us to this point. I thank all the Provincial Executive for their fulsome support.
Finally, I must stress, that no Brother Knight should feel compelled to attend a physical meeting of his Preceptory or Priory if they have any concerns about their health or the health of their loved ones, nor should they feel duty bound to attend because they feel they may be letting their Preceptory or Brother Knights down. Brother Knights, remain vigilant, keep in contact with your fellow Brother Knights and stay safe.
God Bless you all Brother Knights
During the Provincial Virtual Business Meeting, the Provincial Prior made reference to “The Knights Templar 20 for 2020 Appeal on behalf of The St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group”.
Message from the Provincial Prelate, Eminent Knight Rev. Bryant Sanders, P.Gt. Almoner
Dear Brother Knights,
I do hope that you have been spared the worst aspects of the present pandemic and please accept my heartfelt condolences if you have been robbed of a close friend or relative because of it. The demographic of the members of our order means that many of us are in the group of people who are at most risk.
I am writing to you at this time when we would normally have been looking forward to our annual Family Service. It is always a most uplifting occasion and it serves in a very real way to help us recharge our spiritual batteries as a community of believers. We are able to re-affirm and display our belief in the one trinitarian God by worshipping him, by praying together, in the name of our Heavenly Captain, listening to the scriptures and by making, as the psalmist would say, a joyful noise… (some more joyful than others…I can’t sing a note!). It looks as if it will be a long time before we will be able to take part in public acts of worship again, but given safe, mitigating physical arrangements we may soon be permitted entry to our own churches for private devotion and prayer.
So, we may be sad that we cannot meet together in our various places of worship but there are effects of this crisis for which we may be grateful. You may, like me, have discerned several changes for the better, changes in the way we behave towards one another. There seems to be more compassion shown these days and more concern for those less fortunate than ourselves. As a community we show more gratitude for the work done by those who, in pre-Covid19 days, we might well have taken for granted. In many ways we seem to be living in a gentler, kinder, more generous country. Think of those hundreds of thousands of people who volunteered to help the NHS! All these changes cannot but please the great Captain of our Salvation.
As the country gently moves towards an end to the lockdown we have endured since the early Spring, there may, with good reason, be many who will be afraid to venture out into what is called a “new normal”. This might last for a long time. Our duty to help and support such folk will remain. If it is in our power this can be in the form of physical aid, but just as important we should remember them in our daily prayers. To be afraid is a perfectly understandable human reaction. No wonder the injunction “Do not be afraid” is mentioned in the Bible more times than any other commandment. I should point out that the fear of God, as we are reminded of every time we meet, has a different meaning…in this context fear means “awe and reverence” …after all, why would we as Christians be afraid of God? he loves us as a father loves his children, and we must try to love him back. We can demonstrate our love for him by loving our fellow men and women through prayer and through the way we behave towards them.
We as Brethren of the Temple are familiar with several passages of scripture from the Old as well as the New testament. When I arrived back from the Holy Land on the 6th of March this year, I heard that Bethlehem had that day been put under lockdown. I had been unable to visit the Eye Hospital in Jerusalem…And the Holy City features in our thoughts this coming Sunday with those familiar words “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” …” May they prosper who love you.” On Sunday we would also have listened to the excerpt from St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians where he asks that Christians should “put on the whole armour of God”. It’s a thought isn’t it? that only soldiers put on armour…in this case Christian Soldiers! Verse 18 of that letter enjoins us to “Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and persevere in supplication for all the saints.”
Our task is always to proclaim the gospel. We need to ramp up our efforts to spread the Good News, yes! By our prayers but also by what we say and do…how we lead our lives! And here’s the crunch…We mustn’t be complacent. STAY ALERT…SPREAD THE GOOD NEWS…SAVE LIVES!
Yours in the Bonds of the Order
From the Provincial Prior:
APPOINTMENT OF PROVINCIAL SUB-PRIOR
I am very pleased to announce E.Kt. Julian Mitchell, Gt Herald will be appointed and invested as Provincial Sub-Prior of the Province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight at the Annual Provincial Meeting, at the Novotel, Southampton, on Saturday 7 September 2019.
As our previous Provincial Registrar, Vice-Chancellor and now Chancellor he has worked tirelessly for the good of our Order and this Province and I am delighted he has accepted my invitation to be Provincial Sub-Prior.
From the Provincial Prior:
On Tuesday 5th September, the Grand Master invested the new Provincial Prior of Hampshire and Isle of Wight, Charles Aspinell. More details to follow.
The Grand Master, the Provincial Prior and the Provincial Sub Prior.
Rt. Em. Kt. Charles Aspinell with the Grand Master of Scotland
NEW PROVINCIAL PRIOR
The Provincial Sub-Prior in Charge is pleased to inform you that the Most Eminient and Supreme Grand Master, Paul Raymond Clement, G.C.T. has invited E.Kt. Charles Jonathan Aspinell, P.Gt.A-de-C, to be the new Provincial Prior for Hampshire and Isle of Wight.
E.Kt. Charles has accepted the office and will be installed as Provincial Prior on Tuesday 5th September 2017 at the Novotel in Southampton, details of which will be circulated shortly.
It is hoped that as many of you can attend the meeting to see the installation of E.Kt. Charles as well as the investiture of the Provincial Officers for the year.
Provincial Sub-Prior Appointment
The Provincial Prior Nominate, E.Kt. Charles Aspinell, P.Gt.A-de-C, is pleased to announce that E.Kt. James Colville, P.Gt.St.B. (B) has been pleased to accept the office of Sub-Prior and will be installed at the investiture meeting in September.
This photo was taken at Royal Naval on Friday 13th on the official visit of the Great Seneschal, Malcolm Slater who presented, on behalf of the M.E. and S. Grand Master, a field Promotion of P.Gt.A-de-C to E.Kt. Peter Gilham. Those in the Photo are: E.Kt. Timothy Wheeler, Deputy Great Marshal, Provincial Prior, Provincial Sub-Prior, Great Seneschal, E.Kt. Peter Gilham, R.E.Kt. Angus Hannagan K.C.T. the Great Vice-Chancellor.
At Royal Gloucester on Wednesday the 18th January, the Great Seneschal presented V.E.Kt. Walter John Wild, P.2nd.Gt.Con. with a 50 year of Service Certificate. He was installed into the Order at Royal Gloucester Preceptory on the 13th January 1967. The Provincial Prior presented John with a 50 yr Provincial Lapel Badge. Also at that meeting Kt. Stewart Wilkinson and Kt. Neil Ratcliffe received field promotions from the Provincial Prior to Past Provincial Aide-de-Camp.
Address at the Provincial AGM by the Provincial Prior:
Although I have welcomed everyone today, on behalf of the North & South Island I thank you all again for supporting the Province at its annual meeting here at Rookesbury Events Centre. Some of you have travelled far to be with us. It is an aspect of this wonderful, progressive and select order that support is exchanged all over the country and it gives a warm feeling. I have visited nearly every Province over the past year and know the joy it has given me and today we can repay the hospitality received and hopefully renew and recharge friendships.
As always at these annual gatherings, we have to say good bye to some Knights and welcome others into the team, it is a progressive part of what we are. So thank you in particular David Nash & Peter Sanders who have done so much for the Province whilst in office. Thank you indeed for the hard working Julian Mitchell our Provincial Vice-Chancellor and the support of my Sub-Prior and other Members of the executive. It is appreciated. To all the background team led by our Provincial Marshall and Bodyguard Commander I thank you and wish all those whom I have appointed and invested today a happy and enjoyable year.
My official visits to all twelve Preceptories over the past year have been very enjoyable, happy occasions and thank all Members for their welcome and good humour. The support you have given me in my golf challenge this year to raise monies for the Hospital of St John and Hospital of St Cross resulted in a cheque for £1135 (plus 20% gift aid) being donated to each. A hard day indeed consisting of 108 holes and 33 miles walked, but worth the effort. Our bi-annual church service was held in June at St Cross, it was led so well by E Kt Rev Bill Whitfield and was supported very well by other Heads of Orders in our Province, but attendance by our own Knights was disappointing.
It has been said that the membership of any organisation is made up of four sets of bones. There are wish bones, which spend most of their time wishing someone else would do the work. Along with them are the jawbones, who do all the talking about the work and very little else. Another group is the knucklebones, who knock what others try to do. But most valuable are the backbones that get under the load and actually do the work. Let’s all be backbones. Enjoy our Order. Support the Craft, the bedrock of our Masonic journey, but encourage our Chapter Companions to come along and crusade with us on our journey.
Today is the last time I will be attending as your Provincial Prior. The Grand Master has accepted my request to stand down next year on the 1st March 2017.(St David`s Day). I was `given` three years and will have done four and by this time next year I will be in my 78th year and think it right to stand to one side and let someone else carry on the work in this Province. Just to be sure and squash any rumour; I jumped and was not pushed. The Installation of the next Prior will take place on Tuesday 5th September 2017 and therefore from March until that meeting the Sub-Prior will be in Charge. I wish him well. I want to take this opportunity of thanking you Malcolm (Slater) for all your encouragement and advice since you installed me. Thank you!
I end this address by saying once again how unexpected the honour was to become your Provincial Prior in this Progressive & Select Order and the custodian of this Office. I have been proud and privileged to have served in this capacity over such a wonderful Province. I will miss you all!!
Thank you .
From the Provincial Prior:
I would like to you for your generous donations to the above in aid of Hospital of St John & Hospital of St Cross.
The total raised (so far) is approx. £1800, which is great.
The actual holes played on the 23rd May was 108, Strokes 557 and 33 miles walked. The winners of the competition are:
Simon Bottom (Wilfrid Attenborough RA Chapter) 108 miles
John Kean (William Stuart 76A) 560 strokes
David Evans (Royal Gloucester 32) 30 miles
Well done to them and a bottle for each!
My special thanks to my `carers` for the day-Duncan Coombes, Pam Read, Roy Rowe and Dave Wood
The Provincial Prior is pleased to announce that the following Knights of the Province are to be honoured by the Most Eminent and Supreme Grand Master at the meeting of Provincial Priory on the 18th May 2016.
E.Kt. Brian Wisbey – Great Herald
E.Kt. John McKinlay – P.Gt.St.B.(B)
E.Kt. Robert Spilsbury – P.Gt.A-de-C.
E.Kt. John Marshall – P.Gt.A-de-C.
E.Kt. Robert Blackman – P.Gt.W.of.R.
Congratulations to all of those knights who are receiving honours. They are well deserved for all the dedication and hard work you have given to our order.
At the Great Priory meeting at Great Queens Street, on Tuesday 17th November 2015, V.E.Kt. Jon Whitaker was appointed and invested as the Great Prior of Malta in succession to R.E.Kt. Eddie Goodwin.
Other knights of the province were :
Anthony Lawrence Bargrove, Gt.1st.Lt.
Anthony James Digweed, P.Gt.1st.Lt.
Leslie Roy Dear, P.Gt.2nd.Lt.
William Whitfield, P.Gt.Hospitaller
James Alan Kerr Colville, P.Gt.Admiral
Lt.Col. Roger John Ellis Jenkins, TD, P.Gt.Turcopolier
Provincial Priors Golf Day
Next year on Sunday 26th June we will again be holding our Bi-Annual Church Service as in 2014 the Provincial Prior has set himself a challenge to raise money on behalf of the Hospital of St John and the Hospital of St Cross.
It is his intention to play golf from Dawn to Dusk at Wellow Golf Course and asks the Knights of the Province to support him in this venture with Sponsorship.To make thinks a little bit interesting he has set 3 categories with prizes to the closest in guessing how many holes he plays, how many shots he takes and how far he walks.
ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT V.E.Kt. Jon Whitaker
The Provincial Prior is thrilled to announce that at the Great Priory meeting at Great Queens Street, on Tuesday 17th November 2015, V.E.Kt. Jon Whitaker will be appointed and invested as the Great Prior of Malta in succession to R.E.Kt. Eddie Goodwin.
This is a tremendous honour for Jonathan and of course the Province of H&IOW .
The Provincial Prior has sent the congratulations of all the knights of the Province to Jon and wished him a long and happy tenure in this prestigious position.
This means that three of the key positions in Great Priory, that of Great Seneschal, Great Vice-Chancellor and Great Prior will all be held by members from this Province.
PROVINCIAL PRIORS ADDRESS 7th SEPTEMBER 2015
Well at last we have made a move to a new venue for our meeting and really hope the whole day is to your satisfaction. Please let me have your comments, whatever they may be, as we will be here again next year, on our normal Saturday. It has not been an easy transition and wish to thank everyone who has made it possible including our host Preceptory, Royal Naval No 2.
Thank you all again for travelling to our special day, when the North & South Island meet to greet you all.
As you heard in our requiem, the passing of R Em Kt Rev Dr Michael Morgan K.C.T., one of our Past Provincial Priors was noted and he was such a unique character in all Orders in this Province and will be sadly missed by all.
My special thanks to all who have worked so hard to make this day work, especially the Provincial Vice-Chancellor & our retiring Provincial Marshall, who has been a tower of strength and support. Thank you Steve. Good luck and congratulations to the new Provincial Team and those I have promoted and look forward to their company during the coming year. A special mention to E Kt Sydney Aynsworth who was promoted to PP2ndCon last year, who came on many of our visits, and celebrated 50 years of KT membership earlier this year. Congratulations. Thanks are due to my Bodyguard who have supported me with their special humour and willing services. During the year it was my pleasure and honour to award provincial rank to my bodyguard commander, Kt John Lemm and a promotion to E Kt David Bargrove. Well deserved.
Our bi-annual Church Service at St Cross, Winchester will be held on the 26th June 2016 . Next May I will be undertaking another personal challenge in aid of the Eye Hospital in Jerusalem and Church of St Cross. I will be playing golf at Wellow GC from dawn to dusk (15hrs approx.) and to get some interest (and your money!!) three prizes will be given. To the person who guesses how many holes I complete, how many strokes played and what distance I walk! Thank you all in advance for your generous sponsorship and support. Talking about donations, it was with great surprise that I received a cheque for £1250.00 made out to the Eye Hospital from a Lodge in Devon that has had to close. This was `sponsored` by E Kt David Painter. Thank you David. Our Warden of Regalia, E Kt Peter Sanders sold many lapel badges and regalia and this contributed over £1700 to the St John hospital. Well done indeed! Congratulations to Mark Mills-Goodlet who won the Provincial Priors Golf Trophy in July after a wash out earlier in the year. The day was organised by E.Kts`s Angus Steel & David Nash and my thanks to them. The end result was another generous donation to the Eye Hospital.
The `Open Forum` has been held again and all Preceptories were represented. It was useful in many ways and is a very important annual event and some good two way discussions held. I appeal again for the Preceptory Registrars to keep up this communication channel to all your Members. Another new innovation has been `The Templar Times` edited by our Provincial Registrar, David Nash and it has been a positive addition in our communication to all in our Province.
Please continue to work as hard as you can in ensuring you support the Craft & Royal Arch, as without these foundations, this wonderful order will wither. To assist in this a banner is on show at the annual meetings of other progressive & select Orders, which sets out criteria and contact data for those interested in our Christian Order.
Thank you all for your attendance today, I am proud and humbled to be your Provincial Prior! Most important of all, enjoy your Freemasonry, have a safe journey home and God bless you all.
Templar Times : Each member of the Province should receive a copy of the Templar Times newsletter! If you would like to contribute, please contact the Provincial Registrar.
From the Provincial Vice-Chancellor:
The Christian Order’s Biennial Family Service of Evensong will be held at The Hospital of St Cross and Almshouse of Noble Poverty,St Cross Road – Winchester – SO23 9SD on Sunday 14th June 2015 at 2p.m.
This traditional evensong will be followed by a ‘High Tea’ in the Brethren’s Hall, the cost, £7.50 per head. If you would like to join us on this special occasion, with or without Tea, could you complete and return the form below together with payment if appropriate please, to Lee Robinson by the 7th June 2015.
Details of the Provincial Priors Golf Day are available by clicking here.
Provincial Priory Luncheon will be held in Winchester Masonic Centre on 19th April 2015 – Details at http://www.hantsiowkt.org.uk/event/provincial-priory-luncheon-2015/
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROVINCIAL MEETING IN SEPTEMBER
We have been holding our Provincial Priory AGM’s at Botley Masonic Centre, however the facilities at the centre have become increasingly cramped as attendance of the meetings has increased. In September 2014 we were having to turn away Knights because we had reached the capacity that the building is licenced to hold. In addition, there was a lack of changing and reception areas to accommodate the increase in numbers.
The executive have for some time been looking into the possibility of moving the meeting to more spacious premises and with the restriction of car parking that was announced recently it gave a greater focus to look at alternatives.
With this in mind there will be a change in venue, and for this year only, a change in date.
The meeting will be held at Rookesbury Event Centre (www.facebook.com/rookesburypark), Southwick Road, Wickham, Fareham. PO17 6HT on Monday 7th September 2015.
Rookesbury affords us ample parking, multiple changing facilities, separate dining and temple rooms and the ability to accommodate more knights at the meetings. The meeting from 2016 onwards will be held once again on the 1st Saturday of the month.
It has pleased our Provincial Prior to announce the introduction of a unique lapel badge for the members of our Province. They are available from me at a cost of £5 each; all proceeds will go to The St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group – a Foundation of The Order of St John, the oldest charity in the world.
Please see the attached application form for details. It would be appreciated if Registrars could distribute this information to their respective members, collate the requests made known to them, complete the application form and forward to me with cheques made payable to ‘The Provincial Priory of Hampshire & IoW’. Alternatively Bro. Kt’s can make an individual application, please add £1.00 to cover P&P. Orders will be dispatched upon receipt.
In addition to the postal service badges will be available during the official visits throughout the year, however get yours early and wear it with pride.
Yours in the Bonds of the Order
E.Kt. Pete Sanders
Provincial Warden of Regalia.
Click here to download the form
I feel we have had enough excitement for one day and hope those who took part will remember it with affection.
Once again many thanks to all who are here today, some have travelled far to share this special day in H&IOW KT Provincial history.
My special thanks to all who have worked so hard to make this day work, especially the Provincial Vice-Chancellor & Provincial Marshal and to the Members of the Provincial Team who are stepping down today, especially E.Kt. Tony Bargrove, V.E.Kt. John Wilson and E.Kt. Brian Wisbey, all of whom have been a tower of strength in all they have done for the Province. Good luck and congratulations to the new Provincial Team, those I have promoted and look forward to their company during the coming year. Thanks are due to my Bodyguard, many of whom are standing down this year, who have supported me with their special humour and willing services. Our host Preceptory, Parsifal have done a fine job in assisting in whatever has been asked of them.
Our bi-annual Church Service at St Cross, Winchester held on the 8th June was a great success with other Heads of Orders from this Province supporting us. As you know last year I said I would complete The Pilgrims Trek of approx. 180 miles around the Province, visiting every Preceptory meeting place. This was completed with the help of Pam & Kt. Ron Mabey and £3750 has been donated to the Eye Hospital in Jerusalem, RMTGB and Church of St Cross. Thank you all for your generous support.
The `Open Forum` started last year has been held again and all Preceptories were represented, some good discussions held and the future looks bright. Preceptory Registrars, please keep up this communication channel to all your Members.
We are in preliminary discussions with Great Priory of France re involvement with the formation of a Preceptory in Normandy and E.Kt. Tony Bargrove is our liaison man. More details will be sent out when available.
Congratulations and good luck to our new Sub-Prior; he will be carrying out at least two official visits when the Malta degree is carried out. Please support him in his endeavours.
Please can I ask that you continue to work as hard as you can in ensuring you support the Craft & Royal Arch, as without these foundations, this wonderful order will wither?
Enjoy your Freemasonry, thank you for your attention and God bless you all.”
News from the St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group
I have been sending out a Gaza update to some people. I thought you might be interested. I’m afraid it makes for a very depressing read.
I am sending you what I can, some of this update will not be new, but I have included info from statements from the Palestinian Ministry of Health and the UN/WHO on the healthcare situation. It is increasingly difficult to get in touch with our staff on the ground as they now have no power.
The UN, in a statement co-signed by the World Health Organisation, have declared “a health disaster of widespread proportions is rapidly unfolding in the Gaza Strip as a direct result of the ongoing conflict.” The statement stressed that one-third of Gaza’s hospitals, 14 healthcare centres, and 29 ambulances have been damaged by Israeli fire since Operation Protective Edge began (fortunately not our clinic).
As of a couple of days ago Israel advised over 460,000 Palestinians to vacate the Gaza their homes and move to a buffer zone next to Israel (see the map below). Our staff are terrified and we are all terrified for them. I also attach the link to the BBC website where this map and the latest is featured.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-28458377 . As you can see, over 40% of Gaza is now meant to be a no-go zone, yet with very little place to go instead.
The recent conflict between Gaza and Israel has severely affected our services. We are working hard to ensure that the long-term negative impact is minimal, and that we can resume our services swiftly once the conflict is over in order to cater for the large influx of patients we are expecting. We have been forced to close our Gaza clinic since Monday 7th July in the interest of staff and patient safety. It remains unclear at this time when it will become safe to reopen. Currently, and fortunately, we have not lost any of our staff members, and our Gaza Clinic itself has not been damaged by any of the air strikes.
In the meantime, our doctors are on-call at hospitals across Gaza to lend their specialist ophthalmic and general medical skills to emergency cases. When similar situations have occurred in the past, our services have been desperately needed to help people who are suffering from debris in their eyes or who have been hit with rubber bullets. Indeed only this month we were unable to save the sight of a young man who was hit in his only eye with a rubber bullet; he is now completely blind. The fragile eye needs immediate expert care if sight is to be saved and sadly it took some time for this man to reach us.
With the situation in Palestine at the moment we are urging all friends to do what they can.
Our medical director gave us this update from our staff in Gaza but this was a week ago. We have decided not to share the names of the doctors and nurses, as medics have been targeted. To protect them we have kept their updates anonymous. We can tell you that two of our doctors have managed to get their families evacuated, although they themselves have decided to stay to help on the ground. Two of our nurses have had their houses severely damaged.
One doctor has managed to speak to us directly. He said there is no safe place in Gaza right now. They just have to pray that they will make it to the next day. Some patients have been transferred to Jerusalem. An example of two injured Gazan patients with eye problems who were seen in Jerusalem by our staff gives an idea of the conflict.
One of our trustees Dr Majed Abu Ramadan who lives in Gaza has said that he has 60 people who he has taken in to his home as they have lost theirs. This was last week so there may now be more. Although the hospital isn’t seeing patients we know from previous experience we will be inundated with not only those who had appointments or required surgery and whose conditions will undoubtedly have got worse but also the normal additional patients numbers and those who have suffered eye problems from shrapnel, masonry etc and other complications. It’s hard to put any number on this we just know we will be stretched when the time comes. The Gaza Ministry of Health has just yesterday released a statement saying that 35% of those injured in the conflict will have long term or permanent disabilities. This includes visual impairment or complete blindness. As you can see from the two case studies mentioned, sadly many will suffer multiple long term disabilities.
NAME NOT GIVEN TO PROTECT PRIVACY
6 years old – Paediatric ICU
Seen by Dr. Husam Rahal on 21.7.2014
A rocket hit the house and the ceiling fell on Khaled.
Coma – Paralysis
Left lid retraction
Slightly pale optic disc
NAME NOT GIVEN TO PROTECT PRIVACY
22 years old – ICU
Seen on Dr. Yahya Sweiti on 18.7.2014
Blunt trauma to the head and the right eye with rocket shrapnel
Coma – Paralysis
Right severe direct trauma
No view of the funds
Sorry for the incredibly depressing email. I pray that I can one day soon send a more hopeful email.
Diana Safieh – Individual Giving Manager
150th Anniversary Meeting of William Stuart Preceptory No.76a
Monday 2nd June saw the 150th Anniversary of the William Stuart Preceptory!
As well as the Provinical Prior, R.E.Kt. David Coombes, and his bodyguard, they were also honoured by the presence of the Great Seneschal, V.H.&R.E.Kt. Malcolm Slater.
The candidate for the evening was Anthony Hill who was presented with a copy of the history of the Preceptory up to 1960, written by E.Kt. Lt.Col. Graham Crewe – a previous registrar of No.76a.
The after proceedings was closed with a toast to the Preceptory – may in continue for another 150 years!
Pictures of the Pilgim’s TrekWe cannot display this gallery
20TH March 2014
At 10:00 on Thursday 20th March, the Provincial Prior, R.E.Kt. David Coombes took the first steps on his “Pilgrim’s Trek” where he will visit all the Masonic Centres in Hampshire and Isle of Wight that host KT meetings.
During the first part of the first day he was accompanied by Loveland Registrar, Peter Martin and Loveland and Sepulchre member Keith Rushall-Smith. 5.69 miles and 1 hour 42 minutes after leaving Knole Road, Bournemouth they were welcomed at Christchurch’s Warren Avenue Masonic Centre by Harold Birch and Trek “road manager” Ron Mabey.
At the start of the Trek over £2,000 had been pledged with the proceeds going to the Eye Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, the Church of St. Cross and the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys.
20TH FEBRUARY 2014
The Right Eminent Provincial Prior has great pleasure in announcing that the following knights of the Province have been awarded Great Priory rank by the Most Eminent and Supreme Grand Master and will receive their rank at the May meeting of Great Priory at Great Queens Street, London.
2nd Great Constable – V.E.Kt. Brian Charles Bellinger
Past Great Herald – E. Kt. Jeffrey Charles Southwick
Past Great Standard Bearer (B) – E.Kt. Peter Frederick Wyles, JP
Great Aide-De-Camp – E.Kt. Ronald Horley
Past Great Aide-de-Camp – E.Kt. Ralph Walter Coney
Past Great Warden of Regalia – E.Kt. Trevor John Ross
From the Provincial Prior:
I have much pleasure in advising you that at our next Provincial meeting to be held at Botley on the 6th September 2014, I will be appointing and investing E. Kt. James Colville as my Sub-Prior.
James is a Member of Royal Naval Preceptory & Priory No 2 and is a Grand Officer in both Craft & Royal Arch, so brings close & important links to these important Orders.
Whilst announcing this, I wish to pay tribute to the stirling work & support of E Kt Tony Bargrove P.Gt.Her. for all his work for the Province, not only as Prov Vice-Chancellor, but as a very active Sub-Prior. Believe me, his talents and his love for the Order will be used in the future.
I am sure you will join me in wishing both of the above named Knights all the very best for the future.
First of all a hearty welcome to everyone attending today, I know some of you have travelled far and wide to be with us here at Botley. Thank you.
I said it in February, at my Installation, but will say again how proud and honoured I am to pick up the fine legacy of Trevor Gulliver As your Provincial Prior I promise to devote myself to the Province of Hampshire & Isle of Wight.
My special thanks to all who have worked so hard to make this day work and to the Members of the Provincial Team who are stepping down today, especially V Em Kt John Prizeman, who has been a tower of strength in all he has done for the Province. Good luck and congratulations to the new Provincial Team, those I have promoted and look forward to their company during the coming year. Thanks are due to my Bodyguard, who have supported both Trevor & I, their special humour and willing services are much appreciated. Our host Preceptory, Frescewatre, from the South Island have done a fine job in assisting in whatever has been asked of them.
Next year we will have the bi-annual Church Service at St Cross, Winchester on the 8th June and look forward to seeing you there. To `celebrate` this (if that is the right word!) I hope to do a walk next Spring from Mudeford to Winchester, but will take in every Preceptory meeting place, including the South Island. This will be approx. 180miles and will be called `The Pilgrims Trek`. Full details will go on our website, but sponsorship monies (gift aided I hope) will go the Eye Hospital in Jerusalem, RMTGB and Church of St Cross. Please support these worthy causes and join me on the way!
An innovation this year saw us have an `open forum` whereby all Preceptories were represented and a wide range of views were sought and discussed. This is of great assistance to your executive.
The Preceptory of Improvement was a mixed bag and I look forward to progress of this in the coming year when I have asked that some concentration be given to the Malta Degree; it is well worth it, so please support this initiative.
Can I please ask that you all work as hard as you can in ensuring you support the Craft & Royal Arch, as without these foundations, this wonderful order will wither.
Our web site is now under new `management`, so please give feedback, as information is there for your benefit.
In a moment we will all listen to our Precepts, let us all try and keep to them, they are worth the effort of that I am sure.
As Stuart Middleton says to me often, there is no i in teamwork. Let us continue to work together in friendship and harmony in the year to come.
Enjoy your Freemasonry, thank you for your attention and God bless you all.”
Installation of New Provincial Prior
A new era was ushered in on Friday the 22nd February 2013 when Officers of Great Priory, led by the Very High and Right Eminent Great Seneschal, Malcolm Ernest Slater G.C.T. opened a Chapter of Provincial Priory at the Masonic Centre, Botley, for the purpose of installing a new Provincial Prior and Sub Prior. As a large contingent of the Great Priory team were Hampshire Knights this gave a local feeling to the whole proceedings.
Those Knights from the Province who assisted the V.H. & R.E. Great Seneschal, were V.E.Kt. Walter John Wild, P.2nd.Gt.Con, who acted as 1st Great Constable, V.E.Kt. John Herbert Prizeman, P.2nd.Gt.Con, who acted as 2nd Great Constable, E.Kt. Steven Groeger, Great Herald and E.Kt. Jonathan C. Whitaker, P.Gt.Std.B. (B) who acted as Grand Master’s Banner Bearer.
The other members of the Great Priory team who assisted the V.H. & R.E. Great Seneschal were, E.Kt. Lt.Cdr. Angus P.D. Hannagan, P.Gt.A-de-C, who acted as Great Vice-Chancellor, R.E.Kt. Paul R. Clement, G.C.T. Great Marshal, V.E.Kt. John C. Chambers, P.Gt.Reg, Deputy Great Marshal, E.Kt. Peter G. Halls-Dickerson, P.Gt.Std.B. (B) who acted as Great Sword Bearer, E.Kt. David Jordan, Great Captain of Guards, E.Kt. Naunton C.W. Liles, Great Organist and V.E.Kt Thomas Thomson, P.Gt.Reg, Great Guard. There were also a large contingent of official guests from other provinces, 68 in total, who travelled from as far away as Durham and East Yorkshire to see our new Provincial Prior installed; in total 181 knights attended the meeting.
The Provincial Prior Nominate, E.Kt. David Frederick Coombes was admitted, presented by the Great Marshal, R.E.Kt. Paul Clement, G.C.T. and installed as Provincial Prior by The V.H. & R.E. Great Seneschal.
The Provincial Sub-Prior Nominate, E.Kt. Anthony Lawrence Bargrove was admitted, presented by the Deputy Great Marshal, V.E.Kt. John Chambers, P.Gt.Reg, and installed as Provincial Sub-Prior by the R.E. Provincial Prior. The R.E. Provincial Prior then invested E.Kt. Rod Armitage as Provincial Registrar and E.Kt. Julian Mitchell as Provincial Vice-Chancellor. The Great Priory Officers retired from the temple and the R.E. Provincial Prior closed the meeting.
The Provincial Priors Bodyguard sprang into action with the assistance of other members of the Provincial team and cleared the room and set it up for the dining. After the meal the V.H. & R.E. Great Seneschal rose and proposed a toast to the new Provincial Prior wishing him every success in his new role. The R.E. Provincial Prior responded to his toast by thanking everyone for attending the event and making it such a success. He had no doubts that he would enjoy his time as Provincial Prior and that he could rely on the same level of support that his predecessor received.
As a token of thanks, the R.E. Provincial Prior then presented gifts to the installing officer, V.H. & R.E. Kt. Malcolm Slater, the Great Marshal, R.E.Kt. Paul Clement and E. Kt. Angus Hannagan.