Address of the Grand Master
M.E. & S.Kt. Paul Clement, G.C.M.
Tuesday, 19 November 2019
Brother Knights, I remember clearly, last year, sitting in this chair, watching and listening to the Installation of a Knight of Malta, and thinking, what a magical Ceremony it can be when conducted in such fine fashion. I feel exactly the same now, and my first impulse is to congratulate and thank the Great Prior and all his Officers for the inspiring ritual with which they have just regaled us. I do hope that Knight Martin Hawley enjoyed the experience as much as I know we did.
It’s certainly been a special and memorable day for R.E. Knights Michael Banbury and Raymond Smith and I know you would all want to join me in wishing them well on attaining this promotion in the Order. The honour of dignity of a Knight Commander is strictly limited in number by our concordat with our sister Great Priories of Ireland and Scotland and this, I am sure, will make it even more special for our two Brother Knights.
Today also sees the Investiture of those Brother Knights who received their Templar appointments and promotions in May and I am confident that their new Malta Ranks will be an inspiration to all of them to work equally as hard for the Order of Malta, especially after the splendid Ceremonial today. One of the challenges facing us all is recruitment of new members. In this Order, that can only mean stepping up our continuing commitment to the Craft and the Royal Arch. We must never lose sight of the fact that our success, or lack of success depends on the prosperity of the Royal Arch in particular.
The Maltese Cross is still probably one of the most recognisable symbols of the modern age and is particularly relevant to us as Brother Knights of the United Orders as it reminds us of our association with the Order of St John and more especially the Eye Hospital at Jerusalem. This bond goes back well over 100 years and was initiated by HRH The Duke of Connaught and Strathearn when he was our Grand Master and the Grand Prior of the Order of St John. The funds, exclusively provided by you, our Brother Knights, have enabled us to lend vital support to the Hospital Group to carry out their work, and most of you will remember me handing over a cheque for £250,000 at this meeting last year for the refurbishment of the Paediatric Ward, a project which is still in progress at the moment. We have now agreed to support their Outreach Programme, which takes medical treatment and even surgery out to those people in places where for a number of reasons, mostly political, they would not be able to be treated. We have committed ourselves to giving a further £100, 000 annually for the next three years which will assist in keeping this extremely valuable service on the road at a time when International politics have had a serious adverse effect on funding thus putting the whole programme in jeopardy. We are all conscious of the huge efforts that Provinces, Preceptories and Individuals are making in their continued support of the Hospital and so to aid this additional funding we are going to launch a 20 for 20 20 appeal early in the New Year and will be asking those who are able, to make a ‘one off’ donation of £20.00 for which we will all receive a Swift Lapel badge and if enough of us participate, we will have the necessary level of funding covered.
We are particularly fortunate this year to have representations from our Sister Great Priories with us, something we don’t always enjoy at this November meeting. I now want to welcome all our distinguished guests and as usual would ask that you retain your enthusiastic applause until I have completed the list.
Great Priory of Ireland
M.E. and S.G.M. Robert Quigley, G.C.M.
V.H. & R.E. Great Seneschal Michael Costello
Great Priory of France
E.Kt. Ronald Barham
E.Kt. Alan Guest
Great Priory of Netherlands
M.E. & S.G.M. Loek Captijn, G.C.M.
R.E.Kt. Antonie van Aartsen, K.C.M.
Brother Knights of our own Constitution overseas
Province of South East Asia
E.Kt. Karl Nikolai Nadrianov, P.Gt. Turc.
E.Kt. Andre Ravindran Arul, (Recipient) P.Gt.Turc.
E.Kt. Capt. Julian Christopher Patrick Brown
E.Kt. Dr Boo Khean Khoo,
Kt. Robert George Hoyes-Cock
Carantania Preceptory No. 683 - Slovenia
E.Kt. Franc Zupanic - Recipient Past Great Baillie
E.Kt. George Edgar Birchall
Kt. David George Hiscock
Kt. Primoz Peterca
Iyanola Preceptory No. 588 – St Lucia
E.Kt. LLewellyn Gill - Recipient Past Great First Lieutenant
UK resident in Germany E.Kt. Hugo Rietveld, P.Gt.Baillie
Representing the other Masonic Orders today are
R.E.Kt. Michael Edward Herbert, G.C.M. Grand Master, Knights Beneficent of the Holy City
R.E.Kt. Graham Leslie Flight, K.C.M. Grand Sovereign Red Cross of Constantine
R.E.Kt. Kessick John Jones, K.C.M. Grand Master of the Order of Royal and Select Masters
R.E.Kt. Thomas Firth Jackson, K.C.M. Grand Master of the Order of the Allied Masonic Degrees
R.E.Kt. Andrew Christopher Sweeney, K.C.M. Grand Supreme Ruler of the Order of the Secret Monitor
R.E.Kt. Christopher Gavin Maiden, K.C.M. Grand High Priest of The Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests and Order of Holy Wisdom
R.E.Kt. Raymond John Smith, K.C.M. Pro Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons
E.Kt. Ian Stanley Currans, P.Gt.2nd Lt. Grand Summus, Order of the Scarlet Cord
Two Members of the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Rite, E.Kt.Guy Elgood and E.Kt. Dr.Giles Shilson, both of whom received ranks today.
E.Kt. Anthony William Llewellyn, P.Gt.Baillie Supreme Magus of the Societas Rosicruciana In Anglia
E.Kt. Nigel Allan Willows First Grand Master Mason of the Worshipful Society of Operative Free Masons.
I think you’ll agree Brother Knights, a most impressive list, so let’s show our appreciation in the usual manner.
As we draw to a close let us all offer our thanks to those here at Freemasons’ Hall who have again made us feel welcome and done all in their power to ensure the smooth running of this event, to the Great Vice-Chancellor and those at the Chancery and to the Great Mareschal and his team, all of whom work so hard to make this day so very special and memorable for us all. You will have noticed that I have left the Grand Master’s Body Guard until last. This is because that in thanking them for their usual exemplary performance given today, I want to wish them well in the formation of their own Preceptory which it will give me immense pleasure to Consecrate of the day before our next meeting of Great Priory in May. They are very much hoping that some Brother Knights will be able to support them at the Ceremony and lunch that will follow, and the proposed timings are 11.00 am for the Consecration and lunch at 1.00 pm, and this will be at Mark Masons’ Hall. The Mark Masons’ Hall website, and our new weekly newsletter ‘Freemasonry@86’, which I do recommend you look at, will keep us all updated as things progress.
I am also pleased to welcome the Registrar of the Bodyguard, Richard Bedells.
Brother Knights, we are fast approaching Advent and it is my wish that you, your families and loved ones enjoy all the Blessings of the Christmas Season and remember, as always, our Brother Knights throughout the world, wherever you may be at 5pm on Christmas Day. At the same time, let us remain ever grateful for the freedom we enjoy to practise and witness our Faith without fear of persecution.
Let us hope and pray that we may enjoy that privilege until time with us shall be no more.