The Division of Hampshire and Isle of Wight

 

2013 Address to Divisional Grand Conclave

Worthy Knights this is the third occasion on which I have had the privilege and pleasure of addressing you at our Divisional Conclave.

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.  They were all well known to us all, but I would like to speak about Ill Kt Bert Hellyer individually. Ill Kt Bert has served the Order since 1980.  He had served this Division since 1999 as a Divisional Steward, Divisional Standard Bearer (Labarum); Divisional Sword Bearer a rank that he also held in our Royal Arch Province and due to his medical state performed brilliantly from a Wheel Chair; he was also the  Divisional Junior General, and then continued to support the Intendants General on their official visits as a Grand Officer.  In his latter years he had a number of medical problems but he did not waiver in his dedication to this Order.  I described Bert as what I believe to be a real Gentleman.  He will be missed greatly.

I congratulate those who will be appointed to or promoted in Grand Imperial Conclave on Tuesday 2nd July 2013 at the Annual Assembly in Birmingham. They are:-

On promotion
Jameson (Jim) Arthur Beaney to P G Almoner, a Very Ill Kt.
Peter Frederick Wyles to P G Almoner, a Very Ill Kt.

On first appointment
Malcolm Reston Melbourne Lloyd as P G Prefect
John Keith Murray as P.G. Warden of Regalia
William (Bill)Edward Ireland as P G Vice Chamberlain
Trevor Charles Gulliver as P G Vice Chamberlain

They are all very well deserved and follow many years of dedicated service to the Order.  I look forward to seeing them in Birmingham and also I trust many of you who will no doubt be supporting them.

The membership figures in the Summons for this meeting are for the period up to 31st August 2012 and can be seen to have a very small reduction in memberships.  This was largely due to the consolidation of individual Masons' activity due to the financial situation which resulted in resignations and a number of prospective members deciding not to go ahead with their Installation into the Order.  This year to date has been very different; with fewer deaths and resignations and an increase in Installations, coupled with the Consecration of a new Conclave has resulted in an increase in memberships of around 38 (20 from the new conclave but with a net gain in memberships of about 18).  This is very encouraging but I must remind you all that recruitment is very much the results of personal contact, and therefore relies entirely on your efforts.  You are well aware that I have requested that Sovereigns and Viceroys make it their responsibility to supply a candidate for the year they occupy those positions.  It is still necessary for the other members of the Conclave to provide other candidates each year.  Statistically, it is quite clear that a minimum of 3 is necessary for the Conclave to maintain an even membership, let alone grow.

It was with the very greatest pleasure that I was able to Consecrate our new Conclave on the 11th October 2012. at Andover.  The Milvian Bridge Conclave No 515 was initially made up of present and past members of the Divisional Guard.  Following its first year of operation it will commence taking in individuals for Installation into the order from the Andover area, in fact it has its first candidate ready to come in.  I wish to thank all those involved in getting the The Milvian Bridge Conclave off the ground, particularly P Kt Malcolm Lloyd who was its leader from its inception and P Kt Kevin Todd who’s ability to obtain equipment from E-Bay is incredible.

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 and warmth 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.

The Divisional Recorder III Kt Larry Peer, the Assistant Divisional Recorder Ill. Kt. Stewart Taynton have worked tirelessly throughout the year.  They have produced, an updated version of the Conclave Recorders' Aide memoire, the new Red Cross Year book which is gradually expanding its contents.  They have organised the Divisional General Purposes Committee meeting, the Divisional Ladies' evening, the official visits to other Divisions and to Conclaves within the Division, not to mention the work involved in bringing a new Conclave to its Consecration.  You are all aware that I undertake an official visit with the full team to each Conclave and that the Deputy I-G undertakes 5 visits in his own right supported by a reduced team.  Ill Kt Jim Beaney missed out on a number of his visits this last year due to health and my pinching visits for a particular purpose.  I therefore intend to let Ill Kt Jim do a further official visit in the coming year as the Past Deputy I-G on behalf of the Division to thank him and make up for my usurping some of his visits.  The Divisional Viceroy did one of Ill Kt Jim's visits very successfully and I intend to continue allowing him to do a visit as the principal Guest form the Division during the next year. The Divisional secretariat have also been responsible for the organisation of this Divisional meeting.  They have my grateful thanks for all that they do.

The Divisional Marshal III Kt Graham Roberts, the Deputy Divisional Marshal M P Kt Rod Armitage and the Divisional Guard have also had a very busy year.  Ill Kt Graham and Ill Kt Rod have produced a Conclave Marshals' Aide Memoire, in fact the first one to have been issued.  They have organised the ritual for all the Official visits and most particularly for this Divisional meeting.  They both have an immense task during the year and I thank them both.  In this Division the Divisional Guard are present on all official visits and they also attend all Appendant Orders meetings to participate as the Sepulchre Guard.  We have each Conclave undertake their own Appendant orders ceremonies.  My grateful thanks go to the Guard Commander, his Deputy and the members for a job very well done.

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.  I would remind you all that you are expected to attend as many official visits as you can, that also includes those promoted to a Past Divisional Rank, as we treat you all as active for this year.

We have had a very successful year in our donations to Charities.  Early in the year the Division donated £400 to the Craft Festival in 2016 for the The Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys.  Following the appeal from the Provincial Grand Master in the Mark for Hope for Tomorrow (The supply of mobile Chemotherapy Units) we donated from the Division £1700.  From the limited number of members we have that were undoubted donating to both of the above through other Orders, this was a magnificent effort – Thank You.  

The above contributions highlighted that we do not have any funds in reserve at Divisional level to be able to respond to Charity appeals.  I discussed the situation with many of you at the Divisional GP meeting and to endeavour to alleviate this problem, I am now requesting all Conclaves to contribute this year and next year to a fund for this purpose.  I am very happy to see the proceeds of Raffles, or any other means, used for this purpose. 

In addition to the two donations already mentioned we applied to the Grand Sovereign's Fund for Children for a grant for Naomi House for the purchase of tablet computers that they were urgently in need of.  The fund granted us £2,500, and Myself and the Divisional Recorder made a private visit to Naomi House and were able to present the tablet computers to two of the Children.

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.  This was the last service we shall have at Amesbury.  We have agreed that in future we will alternate with the service held by the Knights Templar at St Cross in Winchester.  St Cross is a miniature of Winchester Cathedral, built by the same Stone Masons that built Winchester Cathedral and at the same time.  It is situated with the oldest operating Alms House in the Country.

I am sure that most, if not all of you, are aware of the discussions we have been having with regard to the position of Wiltshire within the Red Cross Order.  We have made strenuous efforts over the last 15 years to expand the activity in Wiltshire to increase the membership and open new Conclaves.  With the exception of Cathedral Conclave in Salisbury, this has been totally unsuccessful.  It is clear that our contacts in Wiltshire are very limited.  Dorset, however, has 3 and about to be 4 Orders that are a joint Province, Division, District etc of Dorset and Wiltshire.  They therefore have readymade contacts between the two and it was felt that a similar arrangement would have the best long term prospects for this Order in Wiltshire.  Discussions have taken place with Dorset's Intendant General and Cathedral Conclave and it is clear that that such a move would be supported.  We shall shortly be in a position to make the request to the Grand Sovereign to consider such a move.  Should it go ahead with the approval of the Grand Sovereign, it would involve the dissolution of the two existing Divisions and the Constitution of two new Divisions “Hampshire and Isle of Wight” and “Dorset and Wiltshire” by the Installation of new IG’s in charge of them (Hopefully Myself and Matthew).

Worthy Knights, I have found my first 30 months as your Intendant-General, stimulating, encouraging and above all most enjoyable.  You are all well aware that we are a truly Christian Order and it should be emphasised throughout our sojourn as a member of this order.  In fact, we should emphasise it in our recruitment so that no candidate should ever arrive at his Installation in any doubt as to the relationship between the Order and his Christian beliefs.

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   June 2013.