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To borrow a line from the Blues Brothers (almost) there’s 4341 miles to Nassau, the plane’s got a full tank of fuel, it's dawn and we've packed sunglasses.
So it was, that an intrepid band of representatives from the Red Cross of Constantine and the Royal and Select Masters set of for an 8 day, 3 Island, 4 flight, 6 ceremony visit to the Caribbean.
The itinerary was full. First stop Nassau, Bahamas, to Consecrate Dennis Artemas Nottage Conclave No. 530. We were delighted to be joined not only by representatives from the Red Cross Division of Jamaica and also the Intendant-General from the Scottish Constitution, but also the UGLE Craft District Grand Master and Past District Grand Master, amongst many other notables in attendance.
Stop two on the trip was Kingston, Jamaica. We had been invited to attend the Installation meeting of Centenary Conclave No. 394 on the first evening and then our ceremonial team performed two ceremonies on back-to-back evenings, the Consecration of Cornwall Conclave No. 529 followed by the Installation of R.Ill.Kt. Errol Lloyd Wright as Intendant-General for Jamaica. Here the M.Ill. Grand Sovereign, Graham Leslie Flight, G.C.C., was pleased to surprise two stalwarts of the Division with promotions; R.Ill.Kt. Errol Charles Alberga to K.C.C. and V.Ill.Kt. Sterling Bryan Soares to P.G.J.Gen.
Last stop Barbados and it was the turn of the Royal and Select Masters. M.Ill.Comp. Kessick John Jones, Grad Master, swapped his R.C.C. (acting) Grand High Prelate’s surplus for the more familiar regalia of his own Order and led his team in conferring the Degree of Excellent Master on the chosen few from the region as a reward for their sterling service to the Order.
This was followed immediately by the final ceremony of the trip, the Consecration of Friendship Conclave No. 531. Amongst the Petitioners were the R.S.M. District Grand Master, Llewellyn Gill and the District Grand Prefect for the A.M.D. Richard Mayers. After this, the Knights and Companions settled to down a meal of traditional Bajan food and an opportunity to get to know one another, as we had been able to after each of the preceding meetings.
The Caribbean is well known for being a place of warm welcome and generous hospitality and our hosts on all three Island had these qualities in abundance. We were tremendously well looked after wherever we went and many lasting friendships were made, as well as old ones being rekindled. We all would like to thank everyone who took such time and care to ensure our visits were happy affairs. Their hard work has left a long and lasting impression.
It’s not until you make the internal journeys between Nassau, Jamaica and Barbados that you realise how exceptionally hard our Brethren in all of our Orders work to keep relationships going in this region. For many a trip across from one Island to another for an annual Investiture meeting costs in excess of £1500 per person. However, this effort pays great dividends when you see the way the members of the Orders, originating from English, Scottish and Irish Constitution Craft Lodges, all mix happily together and the enthusiasm for our Orders is very evident. Long may it continue.
L to R V.Ill.Kt. Errol Wright, P.G.H.Alm., Intendant-General designate; P.Kt. Wade Morgan, conclave Viceroy; R.Ill. and Ven.Kt. The Revd Timothy L’Estrange, G.C.C., Grand Eusebius; R.Ill.Kt. Neil Matthews, K.C.C., Grand Marshal; P.Kt. Linton Walters, Most Puissant Sovereign; M.Ill.Kt. Graham Leslie Flight, G.C.C., Grand Sovereign; Ill.Kt. Dries Van Der Burgh, Dep.G.Mar.; R.Ill.Kt. Errol Alberga, then Intendant-General for Jamaica; V.Ill.Kt. Kessick Jones, P.G.S.Gen., (Grand Master of the Royal and Select Masters) acting as Grand High Prelate; Ill.Kt. Ian Glister, P.G.St.B.(L.); V.Ill.Kt. Paul Norman, P.G.H.Alm. (Grand Director of Ceremonies of the Royal and Select Masters).
R.Ill.Kt. Errol Alberga, then Intendant-General for the Division of Jamaica (far left). Joined by R.Ill. and Ven.Kt. The Revd Timothy L’Estrange, G.C.C., Grand Eusebius (in mitre and clerical garb); M.Ill.Kt. Graham Leslie Flight, G.C.C., Grand Sovereign (purple robe); the Most Puissant Sovereign of the newly Consecrated Cornwall Conclave No. 529, Ill.Kt. Kirkland Douglas, P.G.W. of R. (red robe); the Viceroy of the same Conclave, P.Kt. Lloyd Barnett (white surplus with red cross); and next right V.Ill.Kt. Kessick Jones, P.G.S.Gen., (Grand Master of the Royal and Select Masters) acting as Grand High Prelate (white surplus).
L to R from 3rd from left, V.Ill.Kt. Sterling Soares, P.G.J.Gen., Divisional Recorder; V.Ill.Kt. Sylvester Le Roi Lorde, P.G.H.Chan., Deputy Intendant-General; Ven.Kt. The Revd Timothy L’Estrange, G.C.C., Grand Eusebius; M.Ill.Kt. Graham Leslie Flight, G.C.C., Grand Sovereign; R.Ill.Kt. Errol Lloyd Wright, newly Installed Intendant-General for Jamaica; R.Ill.Kt. Edgar Moxon, Intendant-General for the Caribbean in the Scottish Constitution; R.Ill.Kt. Errol Alberga, K.C.C.
A now familiar team, with the addition of E.Kt. Gregory Nicholls, Conclave Viceroy, second from left and M.P.Kt. Llewellyn Gill, Most Puissant Sovereign, (centre in red robe) and other members of the Conclave.