Malta Ceremony Demonstration by the Provincial Team – Friday 26th May 2023
Hosted by Excalibur Priory No 574
Ceremony worked by EKt Julian Mitchell, Provincial Sub Prior and the Provincial team
Meeting at 6 pm
Venue is Brook House Masonic Centre, Brook Lane, Botley, Hampshire SO30 2ER
Part of the 175th anniversary celebrations
All proceeds go to the Eye Hospital Group in Jerusalem
Dinner cost £18 excluding wine
Please pay the dining fee by BACS, using ref MALTA + Your name
Excalibur Preceptory 30 93 17 03459552
Contact John Stovell, Registrar 20381 941837 / 07775 833044
PROVINCIAL SPONSORED WALK Sunday 30th April 2023
On an overcast Sunday morning a gallant group of Knights from the Province of Hampshire & IOW did not think it derogatory to their dignity to exchange the sword for the umbrella!
This was a sponsored event to walk one mile around Totton FC ground in full regalia to raise money for the Eye Hospital Group in Jerusalem.
Lead by the Provincial banner Bearer, the Provincial Prior, Provincial Sub Prior, several heads of orders, the valiant Knights completed their allotted task in just over 30 minutes.
The event was the idea of our Past Provincial Prior, David Coombes to be part of the provinces 175th anniversary celebrations and raised more than £14,000.
The event was well supported by family and friends who spurred the Knights on with cheers and even a Mexican wave as we passed by.
We didn’t break any speed records however we would probably be a contender for the “Most prosthetic hips and knees on a football field at any one time”.
Martin Colley – Provincial Registrar
Hampshire & IOW Provincial Prior Address – 3 September 2022
Brother Knights of the Province of Hampshire & IOW and our Distinguished guests.
1848 was a very memorable year, notably for the revolutions that befell many European countries and indeed some unrest in our own country forcing Queen Victoria to travel to the Isle of Wight and the formation of the Chartist Movement. Waterloo Station opened and in Hampshire Major Ferris Charles Robb, of Southsea, was appointed the first Provincial Grand Commander in our Order on the 5th day of October 1848. So, from January 2023 we shall celebrate our 175th Anniversary year with some special events.
We have planned for a Church Service in June at St Cross Church, Winchester to renew our Knightly Vows. R.E. Knight David Coombes, our Past Provincial Prior has planned a sponsored walk on 30 April to raise a goodly sum for the St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital. The Sub-Prior will undertake the Malta Ceremony, with the newly appointed Provincial Officers, at the May meeting of Excalibur Preceptory, a rare event as our Preceptories conduct their own Malta degree. We will have a celebration at our next Provincial Meeting as the nearest to our anniversary, and invitations have been sent to Great Priory.
I have been particularly pleased with all the Preceptories, this last year, in their hard work and in their ceremonial dealing with the backlog of Candidates, putting on additional meetings, encouraging our Brother Knights to return to their Preceptories and generally for the enthusiasm the Knights have for this wonderful Order. I always knew that 2022 would be affected by Covid, it had not gone away, indeed I succumbed in July, but we coped much better and I hope this coming year will give us some normality.
On a much sadder note, we have commemorated the loss of thirteen of our Brother Knights, all will be greatly missed both within their Preceptory and in this Province. I was particularly saddened and distressed by the passing of E. Kt. Leon Whitfield, our Provincial Chancellor, in tragic circumstances, and it reminded me of how I felt when we lost my Sub-Prior James Colville at the end of 2018. We also lost our Provincial Prelate, E.Kt. Bryant Sanders, who gave us spiritual comfort these last three years. There was one larger than life character, a Founder of my Mother Preceptory, E.Kt. Peter Dyke, a mentor and friend to many of us. You will have your own memories of our thirteen Knights, keep them in your prayers and thoughts.
We do have some key Provincial Officers missing today mostly through ill-health. I pay particular tribute to my Vice Chancellor, E.Kt. Ron Wray. A few years ago, Ron had Lymphoma and needed treatment which included chemotherapy, and it was successful. Unfortunately, this year he went from remission and the same disorder diagnosed. He is at the end of another series of treatment including stem cell transplant and is not here today because of possible infection, until he has the all clear. He has, however, undertaken all the pre-meeting work, dining arrangements and even attended last night to deliver the paperwork and plans. I am sure you will agree that this was way beyond the call of duty. Thank you, Provincial Registrar, for holding the fort today. Our new Deputy Marshal, Andrew Wilding, is away on a cruise, but I want to thank him for his years as our Provincial Treasurer. He turned our finances around and put us on a firm footing for the future as I know it can be a thankless job, but it is important.
I have individually welcomed our Visitors and Heads of Orders here today. I have had the pleasure of attending their meetings and their hospitality and we trust you will have enjoyed your day thus far and we look forward to your company at lunch. We need about an hour to re-arrange this room for dining and a drink awaits you at the Reception and Brother Knights of the Province the bar will be open.
I mentioned earlier that we had a backlog of Companions to Install and we have done the majority of those but new Companions are keen to join and so we have a continuing flow of candidates. This creates a separate problem in their Malta ceremony, but one which is pleasing and solvable. This year one Preceptory had three meetings and installed seven new Knights. I am very grateful to the Great Prior of Malta, a recruiting sergeant in his own right, who has practiced what he has preached ‘We are all in this Together’.
We have a new Team of Officers and I trust they will enjoy the opportunity to join me and the Sub-Prior on our Official Visits and remember it is not unknown for the Presiding Officer to be absent at very short notice as was this year and I thank Edward Giles, who was First Constable, for leading the Team.
It is not too late Brother Knights to book in and attend the Great Priory Cathedral Service at Wells Cathedral on Saturday 24 September which is always a very colourful and memorable occasion.
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.
I thank the staff of Brook House for making us welcome and working hard for our enjoyment and comfort, especially Mark who has to give up his many Saturdays for the benefit of the many Provincial and District meetings held here.
And finally, it is an honour and a privilege to be your Provincial Prior, one I do not take lightly and I am fortunate to have your support. I will work hard to regain the impetus we lost over the last two or so years so that this Province may go from strength to strength. Remember the Precepts of our Order, practice them, you will be a better Knight and a caring Brother.
God Bless you all Brother Knights
From the Provincial Prior
A memorial service for E. Knight Leon Whitfield is to take place at St Andrews United Reformed Church, Stephens Road, Bournemouth on Sunday 22nd May at 2:00pm. Full details are on Square Events. This has been organised by the Craft and there will be a tea afterwards at The Knole Masonic Centre afterwards.
From the Provincial Prior – Saturday 19th March 2022
I am very saddened to announce that our Chancellor, E. Knight Leon Whitfield, passed this afternoon after his very short illness.
Leon was initiated into Lyndhurst Lodge in the New Forest in 1982 and exalted into Wilfrid Attenborough Chapter in 1985. He was installed into Knights Templar in 1995, taking the Chair in 2002 of St. Mary and St. Michael Preceptory. As well as being honoured by Province and Great Priory, he played pivotal roles as the Commander of the Provincial Priors Bodyguard and Marshal of the Provincial 1825 Ritual Demonstration Team.
Chancellor: E.Kt. Leon Whitfield