The Division of Hampshire and Isle of Wight

 

2012 Address to Divisional Grand Conclave

Worthy Knights this is the second occasion on which I have been able to address you at our Annual Divisional Conclave and the first time having completed a full year in office.

May I first pay tribute to all the members of this division that were mentioned in our requiem earlier.  Their devotion and dedication to this order was immense.  I would like to speak about two in particular V Ill Kt Jack Elgie and V Ill Kt Frank Evans.  Both have played a very significant role in this division over many years.  Jack was the Divisional Recorder from 1979 to 1987 and Deputy Intendant General from 1988 to 1992, and Frank was Divisional Recorder from 1993 to 1998 also 2001 to 2003, and Divisional Viceroy from 2004 to 2006.  Both had been involved in the creation of a number of Conclaves and were stalwarts in many of them.  Their service to the Order was recognised by Grand Imperial Conclave on a number of occasions - Jack being finally promoted to Past Grand Senior General and Frank to Past Grand Junior General.  This division will miss their dedication, wit and enthusiasm.  They will not be forgotten.

May I extend my congratulations to those who will be appointed to or promoted in Grand Imperial Conclave on Tuesday 3rd July 2012 at the Annual Assembly in Birmingham. They are:-

On promotion

Richard Dunleavy             to P G Chancellor a V Ill Kt

John Wilson                    to P G Chamberlain

Stan Brooker                   to P G St B (Constantine);

Spike Bromley                 to P G St (Labarum)

On first appointment

Alwin Parsons                 as Grand Vice Chamberlain (ACTING)

Jon Whitaker                   as P G Prefect

Brian Wisbey                   as P G Warden of Regalia

Frank Cousins                 as P G Vice Chamberlain

Jim Whitemore                as P G Vice Chamberlain

Trevor Ross                      as P.G. Warden of Regalia via Dorset

They are all very well deserved and follow many years of dedicated service to the Order.

In May I was accorded the great honour of assisting the Grand Sovereign at the Consecration of the first Conclave for Brazil, by Enthroning 7 Sovereigns with the full ritual as part of the Consecration ceremony.  I have to admit it was somewhat daunting, particularly in the floor work and the fact that some of them had very limited English.  With hindsight I have to admit that I enjoyed the experience very much and it was a great honour and privilege.

This year has flown by even more quickly than my first 6 months.  It has been a year of consolidation.  We have suffered from the financial situation in two primary ways.  Some of our members have reduced their multiple memberships of not only this Order but also those who have been members of many of the smaller Orders.  It has also resulted in a number of members of the Craft and Royal Arch deciding not to expand their masonic activity at this time.  This resulted in a small reduction in our memberships in the last year.  We do however note an increase in new members towards the end of the year and looking into the first half of our next year.  Part of this is due to the recruitment evenings we have had, but primarilly due to your individual efforts.  I strongly urge you to continue in this field, without your efforts we will not survive.  It is clear that with our death rate , the small loss of members and the increasing age profile of our membership, the average Conclave needs to look towards 3 new members a year to continue to allow it to be a viable thriving unit, and to be able to fill all the offices, without duplication.

The Divisional Recorder has indicated in his report the visits that have been undertaken with our own Conclaves and also representing the Division with other Divisions and also other Orders within our area.  All these visits have been marked by the warmth of the welcome and hospitality and in the case of the Conclaves, the sincerity of the ceremonies we have witnessed. The visits within our own Division are enhanced by the support of the active Officers, the Divisional Guard and the many Grand Officers that attend with us.  They all have my grateful thanks; their support has been nothing short of magnificent.  I must thank 4 members of the active team individually. The Divisional Recorder III Kt Larry Peer, the Assistant Divisional Recorder Ill. Kt. Stewart Taynton and the Divisional Marshal III Kt Richard Dunleavy.  Life would have been very difficult without the advice, help and guidance I have received from all of them.  Ill Kt Richard is standing  down as our Divisional Marshal at this meeting.  He has been a tower of strength to me and also to my predecessor Gerry.  His advice, his calm assurance in the most trying circumstances, his ability with the ritual and his marshalling of our Divisional team has been remarkable.  His promotion to V Ill Kt shortly is a fitting acknowledgement and a splendid reward for all that he has done for us.  Richard, thank you for everything.  Finally to the fourth member, I wish to thank V.Ill.Kt. John Makin for his faithful service as Divisional Eusebius over the last two years and for his continued help and support of our Division.

I congratulate all those that have been appointed to office today. It is an honour that is well deserved by you all.  I look forward to working with you during the next year.

During the visits a number of questions have occurred about the ritual.  Some of the more important ones are these:-

We are all eagerly looking forward to the Consecration of the new Conclave in Andover on Thursday 11th October 2012.  We shall be undertaking the Consecration ourselves with the Grand Sovereign being present.  The new Conclave is to fill a geographical hole in our coverage within the Division.  To get it started members and past members of the Divisional and Grand Sepulchre Guard have agreed to form it initially.  After a year’s operation it will be open to anyone to join and for the installation of candidates into the Red Cross – Hopefully from the local area.

The Christian Orders Service at Amesbury Abbey Church was a great success; my thanks go to Rt Ill Kt Gerry Southwell for his organisation and all the arrangements for lunch as well as the service.  Next year it will be in Amesbury again on Sunday 14th April 2013, but this will be the last time.  It is possible that after 2013 this service will occur every other year at St. Cross in Winchester, alternating with the Knight Templar family service. St. Cross was built at the same time as the Cathedral by the same builders.  It is in many ways a miniature of Winchester Cathedral.

I confirm that the Divisional meeting in 2013 will be on the 4th Saturday in June at Botley – 22nd of June 2013.

Worthy Knights, I have found my first 18 months as your Intendant-General, stimulating, encouraging and above all most enjoyable.  We are a truly Christian Order and we should never forget it.  We should in fact emphasise it in our recruitment activity.  No candidate should ever arrive at his installation in any doubt as to the relationship between the Order and his Christian beliefs.

I must extend my thanks to all who have made the arrangements for today, both with the use of this centre, the setting up and control of this Annual Conclave and the festive board to come.

Worthy Knights may I thank you all for attending today.  I look forward to working with you in the next year and we part with the watchwords of our wonderful Order.

FAITH UNITY and ZEAL

R.Ill.Kt. Roger Charles Bricknell  
23rd June 2012