the 2014 annual meeting of the Division - the address by right illustrious Knight bob Hancock, intendant-General

I address you today after my first full year in office; it has been an exciting and enlightening time. Firstly of course on behalf of the division I wish to thank all our visitors for their attendance. Some have come long distances to search out the hidden recesses of downtown Croydon. You are all very welcome and a very important part of our proceedings here today.

This time last year, just out of my embryonic state, I stated that the priority for the Division in the immediate future was to sustain and build all our conclaves into strong units. Bringing the good news of this wonderful order to all Royal Arch masons within Surrey was our main objective. Personally I was a Royal Arch Mason for nearly 25 years before having the beauties of this order opened to me.

Frank, my Deputy and I are extremely grateful to Simon McCarthy, Mike Ellis, Keith Waters, Mike Neville and others within the divisional team plus other senior RedX masons who have prepared and managed Friendship evenings; identified new meeting dates to accommodate interested candidates and generally advertised the Masonic values of the order.

The support of the Provincial Grand Superintendent and his executive team in encouraging the friendship meetings has been and remains much appreciated.

These initiatives have brought forward some 15 applications to join the order and many have already been installed. We will continue our objective of consolidation of conclave numbers in 2014/15. I encourage all conclaves searching for new candidates to make use of our friendship pack information; the division is committed to supporting any ‘friendship’ evenings that you arrange.

This order has so much to offer any Christian mason wishing to further his Masonic knowledge. The ceremony properly worked is a memorable evening for any installed knight and conclave officers have a responsibility for ensuring a good standard of ritual to make the evening a special one. I encourage all conclave officers to visit other conclaves as a way of improving your knowledge of the ritual. The division has two regular Appendant Orders meetings, Surrey Enthroned Sovereigns meeting at Croydon on the 4th Thursday in March and St Helena’s Conclave at Surbiton on the 3rd Wednesday in November. Please support your worthy knights who are taking their Appendant Orders at these meetings. I would remind you that the Surrey Enthroned Sovereigns conclave welcomes all new Puissant Sovereigns within the division and St Helena Conclave welcomes all new members of the Sephulchre Guard, forms are available at this meeting.

It is also important to recognize the unstinting work of our Divisional Recorder and Divisional Treasurer. Bob is an active member of a number of conclaves in the division and on behalf of the division I thank you and your deputy Mike Ellis for your hard work throughout the year and preparation of today’s event. Arthur you have been tireless in ensuring that conclaves and the division are in good order financially.

My thanks also to our Divisional Marshal, Simon McCarthy and his team in ensuring the proceedings of the meeting have gone very much to plan.

With personal contributions from Ill Kts Frank Powell, Bob Shepherd and Em Kt Bob Tuthill we now have a new Divisional Viceroys robe and Pastoral staff, altar frontal and collarettes and jewels for the Sepulchre Guard. Worthy Knights of the Division please show your appreciation to the donors.

Charity is an important part of any Masonic order and no less in the RedX of Constantine. I will on Thursday be making a presentation to the Provincial Grand Master of Mark Masons of Surrey of a Cheque for 5K to support his charity festival. Last summer I had the privilege of presenting a Cheque for 2.5K to the Surrey Association for Visual Impairment on behalf of the Grand Sovereigns Care for Children in the Community fund. I was so impressed with the work being carried out by the dedicated staff of this charity that I committed the division to donating a further 2.5K. I am pleased to say that so far the Surrey conclaves have donated over 2K of the target, and looking around here I have no doubt there is, in racing parlance, a monkey in this room which will get us to the target.

Next year as many of you already know will see the celebrations of 150 years on this order. There is a service planned by Grand Imperial Conclave at Lincoln Cathedral in September 2015. I have asked a small team within the executive to provide a suitable celebration within the division. Grand Imperial Conclave are asking for charity donations to the Grand Sovereigns Care for Children Fund and I would ask all conclaves to give generously to support the fund, cheques please to the Divisional Treasurer so we can make a single presentation on behalf of the division in due time.

I am delighted to formally announce appointments and promotions to Grand Rank within the Division.

To Past Grand Chamberlain Nigel Thomson

First Appointments
Grand Prefect (active) Mike Neville
Past Grand Prefect Andrew Wareham
  David Wilmott
Past Grand Warden of Regalia Bill Frewin
  Tom Livingstone
  Simon McIlwaine
  Michael Spicer

Members of Surrey Division also receiving Grand honours
Promotions to Past Grand High Almoner Tony Barton (Sussex)
  Steven Warwick (Metropolitan)
Past Grand Prefect Keith Waters (Grand Sovereigns personal award)

Many congratulations to you all and I trust many here today will be at Freemasons Hall on 1st July to witness your investiture.

Our Grand Sovereign elect R Ill Kt Graham Flight will also be enthroned on that day, so even more reason for you to attend

To all the divisional officers for 2014/15, many congratulations, your appointments and promotions are in recognition of your commitment to the Order and Surrey Division in particular. I look forward to working closely with you on our visits and support for our conclaves. I will be setting out the official visit programme for myself and the Deputy Intendant General shortly. All active Divisional Officers will receive the programme in due course and I look for your support on these important occasions.

Date of next year’s meeting Saturday 25th April and the Banner conclave will be Empress Helena.

God bless you all and let us move quickly onto lunch.

R. Illustrious Knight Bob Hancock

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