The Division of Hampshire and Isle of Wight


Batt Dingle - 50 Not Out

Batt-Dingle - 50 not out!

Our picture shows R. Ill. Kt. Lt. Col. Gerry Southwell, Intendant-General of The Division, investing 'Batt' with his jewel on behalf of the Most Illustrious Grand Sovereign.

V. Ill. Kt. Major John Batt-Dingle was Installed in The Border Conclave on the 10th of May 1956, at the age of 32 and took his Appendant Orders on the 31st of October 1956. He was Consecrated Viceroy in June 1976 and Enthroned as Sovereign on the 29th June 1977. When he was Installed, the Conclave met in Aldershot, but after a few years, moved to other premises in the "Home of the British Army". Subsequently, the Conclave moved to Hartley Witney, then to Basingstoke, before moving finally to Alton.

'Batt' has been a leading light in the Conclave for many years and was the Marshall for thirteen of these. His services to the Order have been recognised by his appointment as P. G. Prefect in 1982, Grand Orator in 1987, P. G. H. Almoner in 1992. The combined efforts of the Intendants - General for Devon and Cornwall and this Division resulted in his promotion to P. G. Sen. Gen. in 2002. In addition to the Border Conclave, V. Ill. Kt. 'Batt' belongs to The Royal Citadel Conclave No. 327 and also The St. Peter and St. Paul Conclave in this Division.

Sadly, in all this time 'Batt' has committed just the one crime in our Order. He is responsible for the dreaded "Poosant" instead of "Puissant" and all efforts to break this habit have failed - but we seem to be winning as his immediate influence has waned somewhat of late. Alarmingly, however, the dreaded word appeared again at a recent meeting of The Forest Rose Conclave.

W. Kts., I am sure you will agree that, for a Brother to reach 50 years in any Order of Freemasonry, is tremendous. But, to achieve 50 years in The Red Cross of Constantine is exceptional because one enters this Order sometime after the Craft and Royal Arch and is therefore much older on entry. It was for this reason that the Most Illustrious Grand Sovereign introduced this magnificent jewel in recognition of a half-century of service.