The Division of Hampshire and Isle of Wight


2009 Address to Divisional Grand Conclave

Worthy Knights, I rise for the seventeenth time to address some remarks to you as the Intendant-General for this Division. I am very pleased to welcome you here today and see an excellent representation from all of the Conclaves- there are more than 100, including all but one of the Conclave Sovereigns - and from other Divisions, and I re - iterate my pleasure that the Immediate Past Grand Sovereign is with us.

Grand Imperial Conclave will be held this year at Birmingham on Tuesday 7th July. At this meeting, P.Kt. David Jassar is to be appointed Past Grand Prefect and P. Kt Bob Francis, Past Grand Warden of Regalia. In addition, in recognition of their continued service as Grand Officers, Ill. Kt Tony Ould will be promoted to Past Grand Chamberlain and Ill. Kts. Paul Adams and Frank Barton to Past Grand Standard Bearer (Constantine). We congratulate these W.Kts. on their preferment. 

It has been another busy and, generally, happy year in the Division, the strength of which is 216 and with multiple memberships we are at 267. The Executive of the Division is well aware of difficulties within some Conclaves, especially Forest Rose, despite the move to Mudiford, and the Border Conclave through lack of candidates. Let us all hope that 2009/2010 will be better for them and do all that we can to help them in difficult times. Naval and Military Conclave has moved premises and I enjoyed my first visit there, and the splendid Dining Room, but not the temperature!! The standard of ritual is, on the whole, high, and I once again take the opportunity to stress that in THIS Divisiont, where there is a choice of English or latin in the rituals, then English is preferred. 

The attendance at the GPC Meeting in March was excellent: but, I say again that communication continues to worry me. 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 of the Conclaves, with the Divisional Team, once in the past year, and twice to St Boniface, 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. On one occasion, we numbered 29! The dates of the visits for 2009/2010 have been, or are being, circulated following this meeting.

The triumvirate visited 7 other Divisions during the year, and enjoyed ourselves immensely, wherever we went and the Deputy and Recorder went to others when I was unable to attend. We even let the Recorder go to Sussex: on his own! 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 of Constantine at the Annual Meetings of other Orders within the Provinces, which has happened on several occasions.

Thank you to all those 160 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 Divisional High Prelate, who also delivered the Address. The collection of £447.00, after expenses, was donated to the Church Organ Fund. Another highly successful Ladies Evening was held at Winchester, on 1st May, where we had a full house, with some nice music played by Kai our Chinese violinist. Following on from what I said last year, about Charity, I visited the Intensive Care Unit at Southampton General Hospital at the end of September to formally make a presentation of £3,000.00 being £437 from Evensong, £63 from the Ladies Evening, £1000 from the Millennium Fund and £1500 from the Provincial Mark Province. In addition we gave £300 from the collection at that meeting to Wessex Heartbeat. As you heard, today's collection is going to Patient Support Services at Selly Oak Hospital, recently visited by the Prince of Wales.

I have been advised that there is little support for a daytime Conclave within the Division at present but I really feel that there should be a Conclave at this centre. Several options are being discussed, one of which is the possible move of the Sovereigns' Conclave from Winchester. My "gentle reminder" re membership of the Sovereigns Conclave last year bore fruit and several new members have since joined. Still nothing from Wiltshire, but I have met, and had a discussion with, the new Grand Superintendent of the R Arch Province. In August I shall be attending, and talking to, the Craft Installed Masters' Lodge about the Red Cross of Constantine. I shall be dressed as now, and accompanied by the MPS of Cathedral Conclave, which, as you know, meets in Salisbury.

I formally record my personal thanks, and those of the Division in general, for the 8 years of loyal and devoted service given by my former Deputy Intendant - General, V. Ill. Kt. Bob Freemantle, who, sadly, cannot be with us today. Mere words cannot express how much I have valued his unstinted loyal support, advice and friendship, and the occasional rocket which he gave me. As always, I reserve the right to recall him to the "Colours" should the occasion arise! Also now on the back benches, I thank the past Divisional Recorder, Ill. Kt John Makin, for all his hard work over the last 5 years. John, you have achieved a lot in this time when you have not enjoyed the best of health. You too can expect to be on call in the future! That stalwart of the Divisional Guard, P. Kt Graham Roberts, has also handed over the Captaincy and done a wonderful job there since 2005. You too, Graham, can expect further work in the Division in the coming years, as already warned! Lastly, P. Kt Frank Cousins has handed over the keyboard of Divisional Organist and I thank you for your delightful music and for covering the full meeting today. You too are on call for the future! W.Kts. please show your appreciation to these invaluable members of the Division who have given so much.

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 to provide the Sepulchre Guard for the Sanctuaries and Commanderies 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, King Aethelwulf No 437 and Ill. Kts. John Makin, Richard Dunleavy and Larry Peer. I further thank the Divisional High Prelate, Ill. Kt. the Revd. Bill Whitfield, for leading the Service of Re - dedication this morning. Our thanks go to the Management of the Botley Centre, especially Mrs. Janette Holland, and Mike Cleake and his catering staff who have promised us a curry par excellence! I also thank W. Kt. Peter Dyke for looking after our equipment, throughout the year and helping to set up this room for our use today.

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 has been assisted by Ill Kt Larry Peer who has now moved to that role, handing over the mantle of Assistant Recorder with especial responsibility for our social events, to P.Kt. Stewart Taynton. The Treasurer has kept our accounts in the black 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!

Members of the Division will know that the Hants and Isle of Wight Part 2 Year Book was not published last year and I am grateful to the late V. Ill. Kt. Bernard Miles and Ill Kt John Makin who worked so hard to produce the RCC Directory. Wait out for the 2009 streamlined version!

Also on the stocks is a new Divisional Tie on which the new Divisional Recorder is working and some of you will have noticed that we have a new Divisional Logo in use, in the Mark Masons' Hall preferred format, which will hopefully be taken into use by the Conclaves during the coming year. What a busy life we lead! Finally, I thank all those of you who answered my request to wear the Veteran's Badge today - it being Armed Forces or Veterans' Day.

Divisional Conclave will be held here on Saturday, June 26th, 2010, under the Banner of St. Peter and St Paul Conclave No. 450. 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"!