On a most glorious morning 211 Brother Knights from the Province accompanying many visitors, assembled at Ashlar House, Bury St. Edmunds for the Annual Provincial Priory meeting.

Before the meeting many of the members availed themselves with the plentiful supply of tea, coffee and the now customary bacon rolls, which were consumed with gusto.

The Malta meeting was conducted by V.E. Knight Bill Hagger the Sub Prior and Prior of Malta, in his normal competent manner, and I am pleased to report that all the active officers were present to be appointed and all but two in the past rank promotions and past rank appointments were there to be invested. The meeting was then closed whilst the room was prepared for the next meeting.

A requiem was then observed, which was conducted by V.E. Knight Bill Hagger, and the Brother Knights rose in respect to departed merit to George Williams, Clifford Anthoney, Paul Cammiss, Dennis Barton & David Preston.

The Brother Knights having been seated in the Chapter House, the R.E. Knights were processed in and conducted to their seats, the R.E. Provincial Prior then was paraded in together with his Provincial Officers of the year, and he proceeded to open Provincial Priory, and after being saluted, he welcomed all the visitors, in what has become the normal East Anglia fashion, and they were then salute by the Marshal E. Kt. Robin Shaw.

The Provincial Registrar then read the names of the Preceptory’s in the Province, and they assembled in procession, preceded by their Precptory banners, to present their reports to the Provincial Prior.

The minutes and accounts were presented. proposed, seconded and confirmed, as were the re-election of the Treasurer, E. Knight Roger Hack and the auditors V.E. Knight’s Richard Shipp & Roy Winfield-Low.

The Provincial Prior then re-appointed his Sub Prior V.E. Knight Bill Hagger, with suitable words of thanks, and the Sub Prior was then saluted with the honours of his rank, to which he suitably replied.

The Provincial Officers were then installed and invested with the authority of their rank and once again all the active Officers were present to receive their honours, and all the past rank appointments were also present and all but one of the past rank appointments, were also present.

The Bodyguard under the direction or their Commander E. Knight David Hedges, and the Deputy E. Knight Ian Gray, were assembled, and the Provincial Prior then re-appointed his existing Bodyguard, plus the new members and presented them with their collarets and jewels.

The Provincial Prior then addressed the Brother Knights, and a copy of this will be found separately on the website.

The Provincial Prior then accepted a kind invitation, from E. Knight Andrew Simpson, E. Preceptor of Prudence Preceptory No. 16, to hold next years’ Provincial meeting under their Banner.

There was no further communications from the Vice Chancellor, only to say that he had received apologies from Brother Knights who were unable to attend.

The Provincial Prior then accepted four cheques, from E. Knight Colin Birkbeck, Conformity, E. Knight David Hedges, from the Bodyguard, E. Knight Brian Hallard Past Warden of Regalia and E. Roger Dor Warden of Regalia, and these monies would be going to the Eye Hospital at Jerusalem.

A collection was then taken, with all monies going to the Eye Hospital and amounted to £813.90, and gift aid will be collected from those Bro. Knights, who filled in their envelopes correctly!!!

The Priory was then closed by the Provincial Prior, and after the customary prayers led by our Prelate V.E. Knight Dr. John Elmore, the National Anthem was sung.

The Brother Knights then retired in procession, and retired to the bar whilst the room was prepared for our meal.

During the meal the Provincial Prior presented a cheque of £500, to the Provincial Grand Master of Suffolk, R.W. Bro. Ian Yeldham, explaining that we did not use raffles but relied on gift aid and donations, and that we only supported one charity, which was the Eye Hospital in Jerusalem, he then went on to say that members of our Order had to be approved by himself and come in by invitation. He then stated that as the Provincial Grand Master was getting near the end of the term of his office, he now formally gave him an invite to become a member, this led to much amusement and applause, as the Provincial Grand Master, gave a suitable reply thanking the Province and the Provincial Prior for their generosity, friendship and above all their good humour.

A sentiment which says it all.

Stewart C.L. Middleton
Provincial Prior.