the Intendant General's address to the 2015 Annual meeting of the Division

My first task today is to thank all those who have worked so hard in preparing this meeting, particular thanks to the Divisional Marshal, Simon McCarthy and his team and the outgoing Divisional Recorder Bob Shepherd and his team. Events like this do not just happen; and of course to thank so many of the Division for their attendance today.

I have already congratulated individually all those present who have received a divisional promotion or a first divisional appointment. I am fortunate indeed to have such a wonderful team of Divisional Officers to support me and I know they with me will be committed to support our conclaves in Surrey this coming year. A special welcome again to Chris Cradock who will be taking the Recorder’s reigns after this meeting and our sincere thanks to Bob Shepherd our outgoing Recorder for all his efforts over the past 3 years.

The Division has experienced highs and lows this year. The loss of our Primus Intendant General Ted Smith and a Past Deputy in Terry Cooke has been a sad blow. We received permission from Grand Imperial Conclave to change the name of our Enthroned Sovereigns Conclave to the Edward Smith Conclave of Enthroned Sovereigns and that came into effect at the conclaves March meeting. It will provide a lasting memory of Ted within the Surrey Division.

The divisional strategy of consolidation of conclaves will continue. Over the last year a number of conclaves suffered losses principally with members reducing their number of memberships within Orders. Worthy Knights we need to continue to focus on new blood to keep our units viable. The Friendship evenings have proved a success. We held one in Sutton and another in Surbiton recently. They continue to be a useful conduit into the Order. However the executive cannot sustain all the units on their own, my plea to all worthy knights is to broadcast the excellences of the order to all Royal Arch masons within Surrey and find recruits. If you want assistance with a friendship evening we will support you. The divisional team is committed to supporting conclaves not only with official visits but supporting the ritual as a when required.

The Appendant Orders continue to be worked at Empress Helena Conclave in November and Edward Smith Enthroned Sovereigns in March. We have yet to confirm an additional ceremony in October to accommodate overseas members. All are cordially invited to attend these wonderful ceremonies. If you have a worthy knight taking his Appendant Orders please come along and support him.

I need not remind that this year we celebrate our 150th anniversary of the Order. The Grand Imperial Conclave Church Service is at Lincoln Cathedral on 19th September. You should all have received the booking form, wives, partners and friends are welcome. If you are intending to go please inform our incoming Recorder so we have a Divisional Record of all Surrey attendees. I know our Divisional Officers have attending very high on their list of priorities.

Our Divisional celebrations will take place on 22nd June at The Edward Smith Enthroned Sovereigns meeting in Surbiton. Our Deputy Intendant General Frank Powell has organised a presentation on the life and work of Robert Wentworth Little the Order's founder.

I recently visited Rome with the Divisional Eusebius and we have put together a montage of photographs of memorabilia in and around Rome appertaining to Constantine and his mother St Helena . This will also be presented. Those attending will also be able to witness the Deputy Intendant General enthrone the Intendant General at that meeting.

A number of worthy knights will receive Promotions and first Appointments to Grand Rank at the Grand Imperial Conclave meeting as follows:

V Ill Kt Desmond Payne-JeremiahIll   Past Grand Junior General
Kt Len Hayward   Grand High Almoner (active)

First Appointments
P Kt Trevor Currans   Past Grand Prefect
P Kt Ben Dykes   Past Grand Prefect
P Kt Alan Brockwell   Past Grand Warden of Regalia

All have thoroughly deserved their Grand Rank appointments principally for their work in supporting Surrey Division. Let’s show our appreciation with a warm round of applause.

This division has rightly prided itself with its record in supporting charities within Surrey. In 2013 the Grand Sovereigns Care for Children fund supported Sight for Surrey with a donation of 2.5K and in 2014 Perseid School for severely handicapped children, Merton with a donation of 2.5K. I had the great pleasure of presenting both those cheques and if you look on our web site you can find me in a Santa Claus hat being pushed on the playground swing at Perseid School where the money went to support their playground development. The conclaves also rallied to my call to donate a similar sum of 2.5K to Sight for Surrey and I am delighted to say I was able to hand over another cheque earlier this year.

The Grand Sovereigns Care for Children fund generously supports charitable organisations wherever the need is identified. In this our 150th year I am asking all conclaves to support the fund. The charity collection today will also go to support it.

I have just mentioned our web site. Please make use of it not only to see latest news but also put information about your conclave on the site. Photographs after an enthronement or installation is an excellent way to advertise your conclave, you will see a recent snapshot of Emperor Heraclius Conclave taken in March this year. When I talk to masons about the Red Cross in Surrey invariably they go to our web site to look at what we are about. Bob Tuthill our web master is always available to assist you.

Now once again our annual assembly draws to a close. Today the 25th April is the feast day of St Mark, Evangelist and Martyr. His gospel writes movingly about our Saviours violent death upon the cross. He was a man of great principal and belief.

In a world that appears to have rapidly changing standards and demands we must stand firm in our Christian and Masonic beliefs and if we only have a very small portion of the strength and courage of St Mark we will continue to prosper.

Thank you for listening so patiently and may God bless you all.

Robert William Hancock, Intendant General, Surrey Division

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