Well, here we all are once more. A year passes and we continue to be grateful that pandemics appear past and lives are sunnier again. A cold winter is almost a distant memory and we look forward to good times ahead.
From hesitant steps from lockdown, people are getting out and about more and attendance at Preceptories – as well as other Masonic units – is steadily increasing.
It is good to see so many friends – old and new – some who have again travelled from afar to share in our celebration today.
As is the custom, I will welcome them all individually and would ask Cheshire and North Wales Knights to wait until I have finished before giving them a warm and hearty greeting.
We have much to look forward to in the time ahead some special celebrations are on the horizon and I hope plans are being made.
Interest in joining the Order is constant and numbers are creeping up as some Preceptories enjoy waiting lists of potential members – but sad to say, not all. We must work together to ensure a balanced intake of new candidates and if that means encouraging friends to join another Preceptory then that will give perfect reason to visit.
On the subject of visiting, Peter has brought forward a revised script with regard to the Travelling Cup of Memory – introduced to encourage visiting, dare I say, mob-handed. It is now a little more theatrical, and the right to challenge for the Cup of Memory is now blamed on me. Thank you, Peter.
I will repeat something that I said at last year’s Provincial Malta meeting – “I am the most important person in the room…. can only be said by the candidate.” The ceremony of Knighthood is spectacular and thought-provoking, and the candidates deserve the courtesy of it being well rehearsed and delivered as best it can be. I have witnessed excellent examples of the installation of new Knights over the past few months and if Preceptories need support then please tell us. We will help where we can.
The Provincial Team will be looking at ways to put that into practice and a Preceptory Marshals’ event will hopefully take place in the near future. I leave that to others to take forward.
Today we witness the appointment and investiture of Knights worthy of recognition in Provincial Priory. Two or so weeks ago some of us witnessed the investiture of Knights of the Province appointed to Great Rank in London – I am glad to say that this year I did (and did not make a spectacle of myself by fainting at the meeting).
I congratulate E.Kts. Chris MacDonald, Peter Hancock and Philip Edwards (who will all now stand up to be recognized) on achieving Great Rank and would warn them, that as in the case of all Officers appointed to Great or Provincial Rank – it’s not what they have done, it’s what they are going to do for the Order and for the Province of Cheshire and North Wales.
We also saw E. Kt. Eamon Quail appointed to the Grand Master’s Bodyguard – congratulations Eamon – a worthy appointment. Hopefully others from this Province will follow.
E.Kt. Fraser Fowlie supported the Great Marshal by being his legs; E.Kt. Glyn Hewitt undertook the duties of a Deputy Great Marshal E.Kt. Anthony Lloyd took part as a member of the Malta delegation.
and I didn’t faint. Well done everybody!
For the Knights attaining Provincial rank – either for the first time or having received promotion – well done. But please remember the bit about it’s what you’re going to do…
I thank my Provincial Officers, for the support and to the members of my Bodyguard too for supporting me and my Sub-Prior when we have visited Preceptories.
For those Officers stepping down this year, thank you. You have worked long and hard and it is difficult to name one without naming all, so I will restrain from doing so – or maybe not, for the moment at least.
Brother Knights, I expect all members of the Order to enjoy their membership. If you are not enjoying it, tell me and I will listen. But if you are enjoying it, tell others. They may wish to join us.
We have the Provincial Prior’s Luncheon coming up on 23 July 2023 again here at Cheshire View, Christleton. Knights, families and friends are most welcome and I would be grateful if raffle prizes could be donated where possible. If Preceptories wish to bring along the Preceptory banner they may of course do so – it does add colour to the setting.
The details of the annual Church Service, where again Knights, family and friends are most welcome will be circulated as soon as they have been finalized.
Finally Brother Knights, thank you to all the Knights who joined in the Christmas jumper escapade last year. Numbers are growing and it’s all a bit of fun!
Brother Knights, for now I will end, and I thank you all for your attention.
Diolch yn fawr