R.E.Kt. Brian Blanchard
"A loss so important as that of this exceptional man could not fail of being generally and severely felt......"
It is with much sadness that we must report the passing of our much loved and highly respected Past Provincial Prior RE.Kt Brian Blanchard. He passed away at 1pm on Monday 7th January in the company of his wife and his 2 daughters. Brian's cancer came upon him suddenly a few months ago and was particularly aggressive but Brian remained cheerful and philosophical to the end even when he knew there was no chance of beating it. His wisdom, friendship and ability to inspire loyalty will be missed by all who knew him.
Provincial Vice-Chancellor E.Kt. Philip J. Hoy PProv1stCon
Antiquity Encampment No.1 at Bath
On Friday 30th November 2012, twenty two Knights from the Province of Hertfordshire visited the Antiquity Encampment No.1 at Bath. These included the Provincial Sub Prior, Mike Stanforth, the Provincial 2nd Constable Terry Bany, the Provincial Treasurer, Eric Misselke, the Provincial Vice Chancellor Phil Hoy, the Provincial Marshal, Mike Beaty, the Deputy Provincial Marshal, John Offord and the Deputy Commander of the Provincial Prior’s Bodyguard, Alastair White. The Provincial Prior, Tony Lapsley, and the Past Provincial Prior, Brian Blanchard, had both booked in to attend but were, unfortunately, prevented doing so by illness. The trip was prompted by a demonstration by members of Antiquity Encampment at the meeting of Macleod Preceptory in February and was organised by the Provincial Marshal, Mike Beaty.
There was a very large attendance, so large that, in fact, they had to perform parts of the ceremony that they would have normally performed in the chapel, in the main temple. They also had to convert the changing area downstairs to a dining room to accommodate the 30+ Knights they couldn’t get in with the 70 upstairs, and they still turned Knights away. There were 88 guests including 4 Provincial Priors, 4 Provincial Sub Priors, 3 V.E. Knights and 18 other Great Priory Officers, making a total of 118 attending and resulting in 3 processions into the Temple at the beginning. The members of Antiquity commented that (for no obvious reason) this was probably the biggest meeting they had held.
The setting was impressive and the building, right in the centre of Bath, used to be a Theatre and contained a separate Chapel and a masonic museum. In fact within two weeks of the visit, the building and Temple was featured in a “Flog It” programme on the BBC (no credit claimed by Mike Beaty !).
Some of the officers of the Encampment differed in title from that of a normal Preceptory and there was only one Herald. He needed to be in good voice for, not only did he have to perform the normal proclamation of the Candidate, but he had to proclaim twice and also announce all the names and ranks of the Knights honoured in the salutations. The Opening and Closing were very different to the modern working (as seen at Macleod) but the Installation of the Knight was very similar to that practiced in most Preceptories, albeit with a pre-amble not heard elsewhere. Companion Dudley John Tucker was duly admitted and Installed as a Knight of the Order in ancient form. The Charge was presented by E.Kt. Peter Doust and the Accolade was undertaken by the Provincial Prior using the Somerset Sword of Chivalry. Bro. Kt. Tucker was addressed (in a frightening manner to those who hadn’t heard it before) by Scullion the cook, suitably armed with a nasty looking butcher’s knife, and thereafter proclaimed in the West by the Herald. The Explanation of the Symbols was also very similar, but had a very interesting pre-amble too, containing parts of the Craft and Royal Arch ritual and snippets from others.
The meeting finished around 8.30pm and we sat down to dine a minute or two before 9pm. The Knights of Hertfordshire were immediately delighted and surprised that a request they had made through our Provincial Sub-Prior, was taken on board, and the Provincial Prior stood up and addressed those present. He informed them of the absence of Tony Lapsley, due to illness, and of Brian Blanchard, to whom he paid tribute. On the dot of 9pm he called everyone present to stand and raise their glass to Brian, Vera and the family. It was a very moving moment, and one those present, I am sure, will never forget.
I am sure both Tony and Brian would have been very pleased and proud with the splendid Hertfordshire representation, with Provincial ties, napkins, lapel badges and cuff links prominent. It was, if I may say, a very happy (although tinged with sadness) Hertfordshire occasion and a most enjoyable and interesting visit - one not to be missed.
Report by the Provincial Marshal E Kt M Beaty PGtWofR
Preceptory of Improvement
At the request of the R.E. Provincial Prior, a Preceptory of Improvement has been formed to be held at the Masonic Hall, Rose Walk, Radlett, Hertfordshire under the Banner of the Macleod Preceptory No. 463 at 11a.m. on the 1st Sundays in February, March, April, May, June, October, November and December. All Knights are welcome and should bring their sword and belt with frog. Newer Knights and Preceptors are particularly encouraged to attend. Further details can be obtained from the Provincial Marshal, E.Kt. Mike Beaty, Tel. 07909983179, or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Crossed Swords Preceptory No618
A Priory of Malta was held at St Michael’s Masonic Hall, Bishops Stortford on Wednesday 7th November 2012.
The Prior (also the R.E. Provincial Prior) Tony Lapsley, having vacated the Chair in favour of the Provincial Sub-Prior, E.Kt. Michael Stanforth PGtBaillie welcomed over 40 Knights and opened the Priory of Malta.
After the confirmation of the last Priory minutes, the Provincial Sub Prior asked the Provincial Mareschal, E.Kt. Mike Beaty PGtTurcopolier, to escort E.Kt. Colin Hellyer PGtBaillie, and the Prelate, E.Kt. Peter Frost PGtHospitalier, to the Guard Room, where the Representative Candidate, Kt. John Anderson, of St John the Evangelist Preceptory No.281, and Knights Brian Wall, Steve Taylor, Ernest Foulds, Robert Johnson and John Maciejczek were given the Mediterranean Pass and Installed as Knights of St Paul by E.Kt. Colin Hellyer.
E.Kts Colin Hellyer, Peter Frost, and Mike Beaty re-entered the Priory, and the candidates were admitted and made Knights of Malta by the Provincial Sub Prior, E.Kt. Mike Stanforth, ably assisted by E.Kts. Gavin O’Sullivan PGtAdmiral, E.Kt John Wicks PGtBaillie, and a number of Provincial Officers. The new Knights were presented with their breast jewels by the R.E. Provincial Prior, Tony Lapsley.
The Priory of Malta was then closed by the Provincial Sub Prior and the Knights retired to the Great Hadham Golf and Country Club for an excellent festive board.
Report by E.Kt. M.McCaw ProvA-de-C
Macleod Preceptory held a very special meeting at Ashwell House, St. Albans, on Friday 10th February 2012, at which members of Antiquity Encampment No.1 demonstrated their ancient and unique opening and closing, and of their presentation of the Symbols of the Order. Over sixty Knights were present to witness a very interesting and splendid demonstration which we were advised is even better in the unusual and impressive surroundings of their own centre.
Also at this meeting a presentation of a gold hunter pocket watch with chain, and a cheque "to spoil himself with", were made to the Provincial Prior, R.E.Kt. Brian Blanchard, as tokens of appreciation by the Knights of the Province for his service as Provincial Prior of Hertfordshire from 5th June 2004 until his intended retirement on 29th February 2012.
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