Address to Provincial Priory – July 2017

Right Eminent Knights, Eminent Knights, Brother Knights all.

It is said that; the secret of a good address is to have a good beginning, a good ending and to make sure the two are as close together as possible. The purpose of a Provincial Meeting is; I suggest, three fold:

1. To welcome our honoured guests.
2. To gather together as Knights of this Province and to re-affirm our Knightly friendship to each other and to those that are visitors.
3. To review the previous year, set out our plans and aspirations for the year ahead and appoint and promote those who have contributed significantly to the Province.

It is interesting to note that the sacred number 3 appears in the Holy Bible 467 times. Three Wise Men. Noah had three sons. Our blessed Saviour denied three times. Three days in the tomb, these are but a few examples.

In Knight Templar we have many representations of that number; In our Province. Prior, Sub-Prior. Vice-Chancellor. Our regalia. Representation of a cross; on our hat, mantle/ cloak, belt. In so many ways these symbols remind us of the spiritual foundation of the Order, our Precepts and the charitable approach we have to the needs of the world.

Today it is important that I say a sincere thank you to three long standing members of the Order in this Province, who are retiring from their post. Rev. David Allonby, Prelate of this Province for so many years. In that role he provided us with spiritual guidance and continues to be an advocate of tolerance and respect for all faiths. Eminent Knight David de Ville provided tremendous service as Almoner to the Knights of the Province and also acted as the official historian. Very Eminent Knight Ernie Wonnacott, probably the model for all Wardens of Regalia. Never defeated when asked; do you happen to have one of these items, ‘yes’ was always the reply.

To each of these Knights I issue the following command; Very Eminent Knight Rev. David Allonby - to work with his successor in producing a ‘Surrey Provincial Booklet on the spiritual value of Knights Templar. Eminent Knight David de Ville - to work with his successor to ensure the welfare of our Knights is maintained and to complete the second volume of the History of the Province. Very Eminent Knight Ernie Wonnacott, who is sadly rather inform, - to assist the new Warden of Regalia to develop further the process for securing, to catalogue and recycle regalia so that we may keep costs down for new knights. During the past year I, along with the Sub-Prior and Vice Chancellor, have ensured that every Preceptory in the Province was visited. The welcome we received was generous in spirit, excellent ceremonies performed and a happy atmosphere at the festive board. We also had the opportunity to visit many Provincial Meetings through the country for which we say a sincere ‘thank you’ for the way we were received. Today we have made, on your behalf, (for it is through your contributions), significant donations to the Craft & Mark Festivals, the Eye Hospital in Jerusalem and the Surrey Craft Widows Association. We received generous donations from the Right Worshipful Grand Preceptor and members of St Thomas of Acon, as well as the Provincial Grand Master of the Royal Order of Scotland and its members. Please be assured, they are thankfully received and will be faithfully applied.

Sadly we lost a number of knights who obeyed the call of the Great Captain of Salvation. We paid homage to them today but let us remember them in our prayers ask them to act as Guardian Angels, to watch over us and keep us on a steady path. On a happier note a number of our brother Knights were honoured at Great Priory: V.E. Kt. Christopher Cradock to Past Great 2nd Constable; E.Kt. Peter Brown to Past Great Herald; E.Kts . Charles Stoddard and David Medley to Past Great ADC. Congratulations to you all.

To those receiving appointment/promotions today, congratulations to each of you.

How could I survive without the Bodyguard? Collecting me, making sure I do not lose /misplace my regalia and above all, being professional in their duties. Let there be no doubt, there is no favoured child status in this Province. But I do thank the members of my Bodyguard for their attention to detail, support and assistance, when called upon, to Preceptories in the Province. They will be fully engaged in car parking duties on the 23rd July at the Garden Party to be held at my home.

In our busy world we can sometimes forget, ignore or just not see the need to extend a helping hand. It is an opportunity at these Provincial meetings to remind ourselves of the values contained in our Precepts. In this Christian Order and Masonry in general we can have a positive influence on society, especially; to the welfare of the elderly, infirm, and lonely.

When asked why; we are members of this order, the unusual regalia we wear? Perhaps we can draw their attention to the symbolism of our regalia. That we, despite the imperfections we possess, are encouraged to say the Lords Prayer, daily, but convey an assurance that we are not zealots. That our aspirations are to contribute in a positive way to society.

My challenge to all of the Knights of this Province for the year ahead is three fold: When in the presence of the elderly, infirm, lonely, respect and honour them. They were not always so.

Speak to at least one person (other than your family) each day, a friend, stranger, neighbour and in a subtle way let them know we care about their welfare. Hello is a small word but means a lot Symbolically draw your sword, put on the breastplate, carry your shield and help make the world a better place.

Society may then say; he is one of those people who dress up in unusual regalia. They call themselves Knights and they always appear to try and do good deeds, in a quiet way.

Sincere thanks to my Sub-Prior, Chris, for your unstinting support (and for our deep and meaningful conversations in the car). My Provincial Vice-Chancellor, Peter, thank you for all that you do for the Province and for me as Prior. To the planning team (Chris, Hugh, Tim, Miguel, Garry and others) for their support and energy in arranging the programme for today. Incidentally, the Baker in my village asked me to thank you on his behalf for all the jam filled doughnuts I purchased, on your behalf (and you consumed). It has helped pay off his mortgage.

I hope that I have brought the beginning and the end of this address together and used the sacred number three to good effect? The challenge in my address is to combine the serious with the light-hearted aspects of matters relating to the province, yet make it meaningful.

Thank you all for listening to me today. I wish you and your family every health and happiness for the forthcoming year. May God look after you all.

Patrick P Crossan, Provincial Prior, 8th July 2017

Click here for a pdf version of this address.

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