Knights Templar Presentation
9th July 2016
Fleet House Light Blues Club Event
FHLBC contacted the RE Provincial Prior at the beginning of the year and asked if he would like to send a representative along to an event they had arranged to visit the Royston Cave on Saturday 9th July 2016. The event proved to very popular and as such, they had to arrange two tours of the cave instead of the one. The tour lasted about 45 minutes each and to point out and explain the special carvings in the cave, the FHLBC had invited Stephen Andrews, an independent researcher from suffolk. His masonic information includes PAGDC Hartismere lodge 1663 (Suffolk Province); Hartismere Chapter 1663 PZ; KT- Martyn Preceptory 544. Also attending the tour of the caves was Sylvia Beamon, M.A. (Cantab) who gave an invaluable insight to the carvings in the cave. Sylvia lives in Royston and is the author of a number of books on the subject. She studied archaeology and anthropology, graduating from Cambridge University in 1977(Lucy Cavendish College). She has held a long-term interest in underground structures and the reuse of the galleries and chambers left within disused mines. She has lectured and published widely in this field. Sylvia founded the national society Subterranea Britannica in 1974 editing its journal of the same name for ten years. Sylvia co-authored The Ice-houses of Britain (1990) Routledge, London which is recognised as the definitive work on Icehouses in this country. The National Monuments Record and the British Academy supported the project, with Dr Susan Roaf, which gained a British Archaeological Award in 1986. In addition to her roles as book reviewer, archaeological excavator, TV / radio contributor and conference organiser, Sylvia has interests in childcare and health issues. Since 1996, she has become a reviewer and consumer for the Cochrane Collaboration and continues research into the underground treatment of asthma known as Speleotherapy. Other titles by Sylvia include: Royston Cave Used by Saint or Sinners? The Ice-houses of Britain, Exploring Royston Cave, Underground Mythology and Speleotherapy for Asthma
Royston Cave is an enigma. No records of its age or purpose exist, but it is manmade and contains an extensive range of wall carvings representing the Crucifixion, the Holy Family and several saints including St Katherine, St Laurence and St Christopher. Other carvings are less easily identified and have been interpreted as possible pagan symbols.
Some studies have drawn comparisons with Knights Templar sites. Others point to possible Masonic symbols, that could link it to James I who maintained a hunting lodge at Royston. Some believe the Cave is a spiritual centre where two ley-lines cross.
Having completed the tours, the groups met back at the Royston Masonic Centre for lunch which was greatly appreciated. Once punch was finished, the 23 FHLBC attendees were presented with their first talk on the experiences of Kt Lester Wellington, a relatively new Hertfordshire Knight, whom the RE Provincial Prior had asked to attend. He gave a very informative presentation of what the Knights Templar Masonic Order was all about, explaining the Regalia worn by both KT and Malta knights and the qualifications needed to become a member of the Order. There was a question and answer session following the presentation which then lead to a digital presentation of KT related buildings and carvings around the world from Stephen Andrews.
There was a host of information on offer at both the presentations and the Royston Cave tour which is certainly recommended. If you need further information regarding the Royston Cave, please visit their website Royston Cave Website
Herts Provincial Priory
23rd June 2016
Metropolitan Police Sports Club, Bushey
Monsoon rain and flash floods in the car park were not sufficient to dampen the enthusiasm at the Annual Meeting of the Provincial Priory of Hertfordshire, which was held on Thursday 23rd June 2016, once again at the Metropolitan Police Sports Club, Bushey.
A large number of Knights of the Province were in attendance at the meeting to support those who were being appointed, re-appointed or promoted by the Provincial Prior, RE Kt Tony Lapsley, including E Kt Michael Stanforth PGtStB(B), who was re-appointed as Sub-Prior. The meeting was also well supported by a number of Provincial Priors and other senior representatives of Provincial Priories from all over the country, many of whom had travelled long distances in appalling weather conditions in order to be there.
As always, a large contingent of the Provincial Bodyguard, under the command of E Kt David Sodey, PProvStB(B), were on hand to support the Provincial Marshal, E Kt Mike Beaty PGtStB(B), and his Deputy, E Kt John Offord with the ceremonial duties in the Temple, which were performed to a very high standard.
During the meeting, the Provincial Prior was delighted to present the first ever Provincial Prior's Certificate of Meritorious Service to be awarded in Hertfordshire to VE Kt Les Butler, PGtReg, in recognition of his many years of long and devoted service to Knights Templar Masonry. This award, which had been kept as a closely guarded secret, was greeted with warm and prolonged applause from all present.
At the Festive Board that followed the meeting, the RE Provincial Prior was pleased to present the RW Provincial Grand Master with a cheque, on behalf of the Knights of the Province, for the sum of £1000 towards the 2019 Festival. A second cheque for £500 was then presented by E Kt John Milner PGtA-de-C, on behalf of the members of the Standon Priory Preceptory No. 581. Both cheques were very well received, and followed the earlier announcement in the Temple of a substantial donation of £2000 by the Province to the St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital.
The meeting was held under the Banner of the Stuart Preceptory No. 28, whose members were also proud to display the original banner of the Watford Encampment, from which the Stuart Preceptory is descended. This banner is believed to have originated in 1840, and whilst it underwent extensive renovation by the seamstresses at Great Queen Street approximately ten years ago, it still contains a substantial amount of the original material.
Next year's meeting will be held under the banner of the Melita Preceptory No. 37, after the RE Provincial Prior accepted the offer of the Sub-Prior, who is also the current Eminent Preceptor of Melita, on behalf of all the members of the Preceptory, to hold the meeting under their banner.
E Kt Alastair White DepGtSwdB
Click here for even MORE pics of the Knights.
Banner Dedication at The Preceptory of Saint Alban 266
25th May 2016
Ashwell House, St Albans
The Preceptory was consecrated in 1930 and it's banner, over the past 86 years has now seen better days. The Preceptory General Purpose Committee had decided that it either needed to be refurbished or replaced with a new one. The cost of refurbishment would not have been value for money so it was decided that a new banner of the same design should be the way forward. Together, EKt John Kimm and Kt Lester Wellington researched various manufacturers who were willing and able to produce the banner to the specification required.
The Province were informed of the intentions of the Preceptory and all was agreed and authorised. The Provincial Executive were now tasked with performing the Banner Dedication Ceremony on the night, so work was underway.
The day arrived and there were around 45 knights in attendance to witness this magnificent ceremony. The Right Eminent Provincial Prior entered the Preceptory and took the chair from the Eminent Preceptor in order to conduct this dedication. The Banner Escort team formed up and retired in order to bring the new banner into the Preceptory. On re-entering the temple, Kt Lester Wellington carried the covered banner in and the assembled knights received an oration from the Provincial Prelate, Jeff Hardie, before the Provincial Marshal unfurled the banner. It was then paraded around the Preceptory to the sound of 'Onward Christian Soldiers' when the RE Prior then presented the banner to the Eminent Preceptor. The Banner was then placed in its rightful place. The RE Prior wished the Preceptory the very best for it's future and endorsed the fact that the banner will surely provide at least another 100 years service.
After the Banner dedication, the Preceptory went on to proclaim EKt Rob Gurney, Eminent Preceptor for a further year. He then went on to appoint and invest his officers in both the Preceptory and having opened a Priory of Malta in shortened form, declared his officers. The evening ended with a fantastic Festive Board where the members sat with their guests and enjoyed each others company.
Service of Praise
8th May 2016
Once again The Knights of The Province of Hertfordshire assembled for The Annual Service of Praise. We were received with a most cordial welcome from The Rector – Revd Peter Smith. Accompanied by Knights of The Temple and Knights of Malta, The Provincial Prior processed in under the assembled banners of the Hertfordshire Preceptories. As always, this is a dramatic sight. The Abbey was again packed with Knights and their families. Fine singing was supported with The Director of Music, Jonathan Lilley, on the piano as the organ was not in a fit state of repair to be used. The church provided fantastic acoustics.
We are always most grateful for the continued permissions given by the Abbey, for us to hold our Annual Service in this beautiful medieval building, which never fails to provide a stunning venue.
We were blessed with fine weather, which continued as we strolled across the grounds to the social centre for an excellent tea. Tony Lapsley, The Provincial Prior was pleased once again, to present a substantial cheque to Rev Smith, which goes towards the upkeep of the Abbey.
We look forward to being here again next year, and extend a cordial invitation to all Masons and their families, to join us in this very special event next May.
Herts KT Weekend Away
30th April 2016
Following the great success of the ‘Away Weekend’ to Warwick in 2015, the venue this year was the beautiful city of York. And what a wonderful success it proved to be. Over 100 of us made our way to York with our families and friends. Using the Fairfield Manor Hotel as our base was a wise move. Set a little way to the north of the city, surrounded by the spring-fresh farmland, the venue in this former Manor House, proved an exquisite choice.
Quite a number of families had taken the opportunity of extending their stay and gave themselves more time to explore the region.
The city of York is one of the greatest historic gems in the UK. The original city was enclosed in medieval stone walls to protect the inhabitants from marauding Scots and Norsemen. Sections of these ancient walls are still visible in good condition, as you explore the older parts of the city.
Central to the city is the magnificent York Minster Cathedral Church. As a visitor into this ancient monument, you are immediately aware of the immense size of the building, as can be seen from the photographs. One of the most interesting and helpful aspects is that throughout the Minster, there are displays with thorough and detailed explanations of every part of the 2000 years of construction, decoration and architectural detail. This really has improved over the years, and makes a visit - a most informative and enjoyable experience.
For an architectural and masonic journey, the crypt and undercroft have been opened, so that parts of the foundations and massive supporting stonework are exposed, again with the most informative display cards.
Around the main aisles of the nave, quire and apses, there are exhibitions demonstrating how the stained glass is made and conserved, (you can even design your own panel) along with various icons and decorative panels, which will intrigue not only the KT visitors, but also the Rose Croix and Pilgrims.
Across the road from the cathedral entrance there are many narrow and winding streets of the ancient city, with a considerable number of the original buildings carefully preserved, and still in use.
Close to the main city station is the National Railway Museum, which has original massive locomotives and railway memorabilia, taking you right back to the origins of steam engines and rail travel, including Stephenson’s Rocket. This museum proved popular to a surprising number of very young children as well as many rail enthusiasts in their engine drivers’ hats!!
On the Sunday night we all came together for the banquet and dancing. This was a charming and energetic evening where Tony Lapsley’s daughter could be seen organizing the dance floor, displaying considerable talent with YMCA!!
So – a very successful and enjoyable weekend whatever your interests. Our congratulations and sincere thanks must go to Mike Stanforth, for organizing the weekend, and we shall look forward with intrigue to his choice for next year.
Should anyone require copies of the photos, please contact me.
St George's Dinner
24th April 2016
Halsey Hall, Cheshunt
This Provincial event of The Knights Templar, has been held in Hertfordshire for 10 years. It is always a great festival of colourful fun and camaraderie. This year was no exception. Over 100 Knights with their families and friends gathered again for what turned out to be a superb afternoon.
Entering the dining hall before the knights came in was quite a beautiful sight. The whole room was decked out with all forms of red and white decorations and St George’s flags.
In traditional form, the ‘Roast Beef’ was paraded in under an Arch of Steel in the firm hands of Bob Landragin, and after circling the hall, was presented to The Provincial Prior Tony Lapsley, and was duly ‘Knighted – Sir Loin’!!
The meal was excellent, and as the afternoon progressed, and much ale was quaffed, the wenches were kissed, and the jollity continued!! Mike Beaty and Bob Landragin led the Stand Up Bingo, which caused great rivalry.
We were entertained by the lovely soprano – Gemma Turner, who gave us a medley of traditional English songs, leading up to the wonderful singing of the patriotic hymns, when everybody joined in with great enthusiasm.
Many knights by this time had shed their formal dinner suits and had donned patriotic fancy dress. Our Green Dragon re-appeared looking vaguely like Bob Landragin. It was also good to see John Paternoster in full flow, although confined to his wheel chair following his recent injury.
Our pictures will show what a happy occasion this was and we hope will continue to be so for many years to come. Certainly not an occasion to be missed.
Malta Priory Meeting
Monday 22nd February 2016
There were over 50 Knights attending the annual meeting of the Stuart Priory No.28 at Halsey Hall, Watford, these included the Provincial Prior, R.E.Kt. Tony Lapsley, together with a number of Provincial Officers of the Year, and his Bodyguard.
After the Eminent Prior of Stuart Priory, Tony Potton, had opened the Priory and the normal Priory business had been transacted, E.Kt. Michael Beaty PGtStB(B) took the Chair. This was notable in that E.Kt. Beaty took the Chair for the meeting in 2000 when the Stuart Preceptory re-commenced their Malta meetings after a break of many, many years.
The Knights of the Priory having voted to admit them, E.Kt. Peter Mitchell GtStB(VB) Installed the candidates as Knights of St Paul, and entrusted them with the Mediterranean Pass. E.Kt. Michael Beaty then Installed the representative candidate, Kt. Tony Brookfield, and five other candidates, as Knights of the Ancient and Masonic Order of St John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta, ably assisted by E.Kts. Gavin O’Sullivan PGtStB(B) and Geoff Cheshire PProvHer.
E.Kt. Tony Potton resumed the Chair and proceeded to Install Kt. Steve Batty as Eminent Prior for the ensuing year, and the newly Installed Prior appointed his officers. This meeting marked the end of an era in the retirement of E.Kt. Eric Misselke PGtHer, who had given sterling service to Stuart Preceptory and Priory as Preceptory Registrar and Priory Chancellor since October 1997.
This was, as it always seems to be, a splendid meeting, enhanced by the colourful regalia and the set up of a full Priory of Malta.