The Division of Hampshire and Isle of Wight


2008 Address to Divisional Grand Conclave

Address to Divisional Grand Conclave
Saturday 28th June 2008

Worthy Knights, I rise for the sixteenth time to address some remarks to you as the Intendant - General for this Division. It has been quite a year for me, in that at the beginning I received promotion to the rank I now wear, in a wonderful and very personal ceremony conducted by the Grand Sovereign and ended with the extension of my Patent of Appointment "during the Grand Sovereign's pleasure". I am very pleased to welcome you here today and see an excellent representation from all of the Conclaves, - once again, the highest ever - together with friends, old and new from other Divisions, and I re - iterate my pleasure that the Grand Eusebius is here.

Grand Imperial Conclave will be held this year at Birmingham on Tuesday 1st July. At this meeting, P.Kt. Roy Rudling is to be appointed Past Grand Prefect, P.Kt Lee Robinson, Past Grand Warden of Regalia and P.Kt Steve Gröeger, Past Grand Vice - Chamberlain. In addition, in recognition of their continued service as Grand Officers, Ill. Kt Charles Shiveral will be promoted to Past Grand Chamberlain and Ill. Kt Jameson (Jim!) Beaney to Past Grand Standard Bearer (Constantine) We congratulate al these W.Kts. on their preferment. 

It has been another busy and, generally, happy year in the Division, the strength of which is 222 and with multiple memberships we are at 277. The Executive of the Division is well aware of difficulties within some Conclaves, especially Forest Rose, despite the move to Mudiford, Mystic Rose and Border Conclaves through lack of candidates and St Boniface Conclave needs renewed support. Let us all hope that 2008/2009 will be better for them and do all that we can to help them in difficult times. Naval and Military Conclave will also shortly be moving and we hope this goes smoothly. The standard of ritual is, on the whole, high, and I once again take the opportunity to stress that in this Division, where there is a choice of Englishor Latin in the rituals, then English is preferred.

The attendance at the GPC Meeting in March was excellent: communication continues to worry me, however, and please, Conclave Recorders, submit your forms and returns to the Divisional Recorder as soon as possible after the meeting or the event occurs; ideally this would be by posting the envelope on your way home from the meeting!! I am especially anxious to be notified, through the Divisional Recorder, please, when any member of the Division dies. We would rather be told 20 times than not at all! Also will Recorders please ensure that all information sent to you from the Divisional Recorder is passed to members of Conclaves especially when booking in is required!

I officially visited all the Conclaves, with the Divisional Team, once in the past year, and I was pleased to renew past acquaintances and meet the new Knights. I am always saddened, however, when appointed officers are absent from their duties and substitutes have to be arranged. Wherever the Divisional Team went, we were entertained with warmth and friendship, and I am most appreciative of the support given to me by the Grand and Divisional officers, Sovereigns and Past Sovereigns of Conclaves, and members of the Divisional Guard. The dates of the visits for 2008/2009 are being circulated following this meeting. The Meeting that stands out for me in the 2007/2008 season was that of the Cathedral Commandery in April. The Sovereigns conducting the three points were excellent as were their supporting officers and three superb candidates.

The triumvirate visited 9 other Divisions during the year, and enjoyed ourselves immensely, wherever we went! We are pleased today to be able to reciprocate some of the hospitality extended to us on those occasions and to welcome back so many visitors from other Divisions. It has also been an honour for me to be invited to represent the Red Cross at the Annual Meetings of other Orders within the Provinces, which has happened on several occasions.

Thank you to all those 120 or so who supported Evensong in Amesbury Abbey Church in April. We had a wonderful Service, which was conducted by the Vicar assisted by the Provincial Grand Chaplain- formerly a member of The Border Conclave- who also delivered the Address. The collection of £437.00, after expenses, was donated to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit of Southampton General Hospital. Another highly successful Ladies Evening was held at Winchester on 16th May and has been rated as one of the best yet. As there was a small surplus, we have given a further £63.00 to the ICU and I am very pleased to be able to tell you that the Millennium Fund has given £1000.00, which I shortly shall be presenting to the Unit.

I remain convinced that there is a need for a daytime Conclave within the Division and that this centre is the obvious place for it to be held. There are a number of options and the Executive will be addressing these during the year. Sadly, nothing has come from Wiltshire, but hopefully, now that he has relinquished his appointment as Deputy Provincial Grand Master of the Mark Province, Ill. Kt Bryan Little, will be able to make some progress in this direction. There are a number of Sovereigns who have not yet joined St Peter and St Paul Conclave and the Recorder thereof, will be, starting today, exhorting them " to repair that loss"!

I formally record my thanks, and those of the Deputy and all members of the Division to V. Ill. Kt. Bernard Miles for his devoted service as Divisional Eusebius over the past two years, in spite of indifferent health and to Ill. Kt Alan Hamilton for his years of service as Divisional Marshal. Alan leads by example and he is always on hand to give advice and, at almost every meeting he attends, take part in the ritual. He is now going to have a (short!) rest from formal duties but I reserve the right to recall him to active service when the occasion arises! Ill. Kt Tony Ould has also stood down as Divisional Almoner and I thank him for his loyalty and devoted service to this role.

I now congratulate those officers on whom I have this morning conferred, or re-appointed to, Divisional Rank or to membership of the Divisional Guard. Those of you who have received a first appointment have earned the higher status by diligent efforts during and following the year when you were the Sovereign of your Conclave, and those who have received promotion, by continued service to your Conclave and the Division. I ask you to continue that support by demonstrating your willingness to accept the wider responsibilities of your status, especially by attending ALL meetings of your own Conclaves and by offering guidance and assistance when required. Similarly, the members of the Guard have a duty to attend on Official Visits whenever possible and provide the Sepulchre Guard for Conclaves when they are conducting the ceremonies of the Appendant Orders.

I now wish to thank all those who have assisted in any way for the preparations for the meeting today. These things don't just happen and it requires good team work to make sure we all get our jobs done to our mutual satisfaction and enjoyment. I especially thank the members of the Banner Conclave, Cathedral No 398, Ill. Kts John Makin, Alan Hamilton and Larry Peer. I further thank the Divisional High Prelate, Ill. Kt. Bill Whitfield, for leading the Service of Re - dedication this morning and P. Kt Gordon Shergold for acting as Divisional Organist. Our thanks go to the Management of the Botley Centre, especially Mrs. Janette Holland and Mike Cleak and his catering staff.

I thank all members of the Divisional Administrative Team for their support throughout the past year. You have worked hard and all your efforts are both noted and appreciated. The Recorder is always busy and is ably assisted now by Ill Kt Larry Peer who has grasped the mantle of Assistant Recorder with especial responsibility for our social events. The Treasurer has streamlined our accounts and the Marshal and his Deputy have maintained our high standards. I again thank the Captain, Deputy Captain and members of the Divisional Guard for their unstinting support and enthusiasm throughout the year. Well done Troops! I also thank W. Kt. Rod Armitage for his continuing work on the Divisional Web site which I have no doubt will have been updated by this time tomorrow! Do please visit it!

W Kts, it cannot have escaped your attention that today we have a new Altar and Frontal in use for the first time. These have been beautifully made for us by W. Kt. Peter Dyke, who is with us, as a Divisional Guest, and "volunteered" to make them for us, together with a suitable storage box, when he heard we were moving the Divisional Meeting here. W. Kt. Peter, mere words cannot express the gratitude of the Division but we do sincerely thank you.... Applause!

Divisional Conclave will be held here on Saturday, June 27th, 2009, under the Banner of King Æthelwulf Conclave No 437. Thank you all for your presence here today and for your attention to this address: have a safe journey home, and "remember: we await your return"!