The ancient city of York has a long and fascinating history so it made a particularly fitting venue to head to in celebration of the Sesquicentenary (150th Anniversary) of Ancient Ebor Preceptory, No. 101 on Thursday 14 February.

Having welcomed the Provincial Prior, Right Eminent Knight Paul Martyn Darley, BEM, K.C.T., and his team, the Eminent Preceptor, Eminent Knight Neil Webster, was pleased to receive the Very High and Right Eminent Great Seneschal, Malcolm Ernest Slater, OStJ, G.C.T., and offer him the Baton, which he was pleased to accept.

Following the reading of the original Warrant of 1868 the Knights present were treated to an excellent history of the Preceptory which took them on a gallop through the last 150 years of its working. The Chaplain then gave an Oration highlighting many key events that had occurred during the Preceptory’s existence. The Knights of the Preceptory were then arranged around the Sepulchre by Right Eminent Knight Timothy John Wheeler, K.C.T., Great Marshal, while the Sesquicentenary Warrant was read.

A pleasant surprise announcement came from the Very High and Right Eminent Great Seneschal who asked that Very Eminent Knight Eric Gordon Thompson be presented to him in order that he, on behalf of the Grand Master, could confer on him a field promotion to the rank of Past Second Great Constable, in recognition of his many years distinguished service to the Order since being Installed as a Knight of the Order in 1974.

This wasn’t the only surprise of the evening though as the Eminent Preceptor and the Provincial Prior made presentations to the Very High and Right Eminent Great Seneschal comprising cheques for the St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group, one from the Preceptory for £1500.00 and a further 10 of £150.00 from each of the Preceptories in the Province. The Very High and Right Eminent Great Seneschal accepted them with gratitude and gave the Knights present a moving insight into his experiences of the work carried out by the Hospital.

After the meeting the Knights moved to the dining room to enjoy a meal and the Knightly conviviality these meetings generate, at which time the celebration cake was cut by the Provincial Prior, the Very High and Right Eminent Great Seneschal and the Eminent Preceptor (pictured left to right).

More information about the St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group can be found here: St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Charity