Surrey Provincial Priory —Medieval Hog Roast


I was asked to clarify why the Province is holding a 'Medieval Hog Roast' and thought it might be helpful to set out some relevant details. If I can take you back to 2007, our Eminent Prior, then new to the role, spoke to me about the possibility of putting on a social function to raise awareness of the Knights Templar Order as well as increasing the Charity contribution to the Eye Hospital. He was aware that I have been involved in organising events and functions for some years and so the seeds were born.

We (with a little help from friends) literally did start with a BANG! 'The Surrey Knights Templar Charity Fireworks' were held at Nutfield Masonic Centre in November 2007. The night went well with a Barbecue, a film presentation about the eye hospital, and, of course, fireworks, a large bonfire and the obligatory sparklers! Nutfield Centre loved it because we burnt all their old rubbish and that year, the weather was extremely kind to us (not that this was guaranteed for the following year!) and best of all, we raised lots of money.

That was it, we got the bug! From then on the Knights Templar events have seen more firework displays, a skittle lunch, coach trips for lunch and leisure time at Greenwich and not forgetting the Provincial Prior’s annual garden Barbecue at his home. All Events have raised money for our Provincial Charity.

This year is the 150th Anniversary of the Consecration of the Provincial Priory of Surrey. The Province had the formal celebration at Charterhouse back in February. The Provincial Hog Roast was to be an informal celebration that included family and friends and, more importantly, be fun. It was also be a great opportunity to invite other Freemasons to attend and find out more about our Order, in particular members from the Royal Arch because this is the only way that we can get new recruits. The year 2014 also marks the 100 year anniversary of the Knights Templars’ support of the St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group which last year alone treated 114,000 patients. Think how many have received support over the last 100 years as a result of the charitable contributions from the Bro Knights which include the Provincial Priory of Surrey’s contributions.

Matthew 6:22:- “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light”

Back to the current time and the Hog-Roast. The Hog Roast, being a full meal (not just meat in a bun), was just part of a fun afternoon which included a stage area as a focal point for attractions including the Stocks for Naughty Knights and a (not very) authentic 'Ye Olde Bouncy Castle' for the younger Knights and fair maidens. Sideshows and stalls were manned by different Preceptories with a variety of games and side shows, bric-a-brac, books etc.
There was even a demonstration of sword drill by the Provincial Prior’s Bodyguard who arrested the Provincial Sub Prior and escorted him to the Provincial Marshal to be put into the stocks. Quite a sum of money was raised from those willing to pay to soak our Provincial Sub Prior, who took everything in good humour.

One of the highlights of the afternoon was a flying display by the Henfold Birds of Prey Team. They brought along a Barn Owl and a Harris Hawk, that enjoyed himself swooping down among the bystanders making them duck for cover.

Teas and coffees were available throughout the afternoon as well as a very competitively priced bar. In the event that the English summer did throw down a few drops of rain, there were gazebos aplenty to provide temporary shelter if required. Fortunately the rain held off until later in the evening.
On a more personal note, the camaraderie between all involved in putting these events on and the managing and running of them, including the help from the Provincial Prior’s Bodyguard, was immense. This year for the first time, the Charity Representatives of all Preceptories in Surrey were invited to actively become involved in this and future functions. I think this is a major step forward in progressing structure within the Province for organising any form of event or activity which will benefit charity.

The Provincial Prior closed the event by thanking all those involved in making it such a huge success as well as everyone for coming along and enjoying themselves.

Article by Garry Lewis, Function Co-ordinator and photos by Chris Eley

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