Provincial Prior's 2019 Address to the Provincial Priory Meeting following his Installation 

DSCN0949R.E, V.E., E. KTs & Knights all, I now address you all for the first time as your Provincial Prior.

I am minded of Roger McGough’s poem called The Leader which I paraphrase like this; I want to be the leader, I want to be the leader, Can I be the leader? Can I? I can? Really? Promise? Wow! Yippee I'm the leader, I'm the leader, Yaay!! Right, OK, Ohhh God, now what do I do?

Well, as a start, I have to say I am truly overwhelmed by how many of you have taken the time out of your busy schedules to be here this afternoon, it is heart-warming and encouraging and is an example of how much we enjoy our Knights Templar Masonry and our Masonry in general & I thank you all sincerely for your generosity and kindness.

My Predecessor

It is sad that my predecessor, R.E. Knight Ray, cannot be with us today for reasons of protocol. We have worked extremely well together and have enjoyed each other’s company on our many trips to meetings both in & beyond the Province.

He has been a steady hand on the tiller, and I have learnt a lot by his side. I cannot remember him every raising his voice and he has always exuded a quiet strength of character and confidence and, most importantly, we have had some great fun as well and has handed me a Province in very good shape.

New Sub Prior

2016 17 Address 1 cropI now look forward to working with my new Sub-Prior, E. Kt. Dean, who, as a very, very experienced Mason, I know will be a greatsupport to me and the province. His time on the Bodyguard has shown me he is a very capable and well-liked chap though don’t mess with him Brother Knights; he knows about guns…

New Provincial Officers

I give my heartfelt thanks to those Knights who have just stood down from their Provincial Offices and thank them for their support throughout the year. Our Provincial 1st & 2nd Constables have been great supporters, visiting many Preceptories and coming out into the Provinces. My very hard-working Vice-Chancellor, E. Kt. Bob Diplock and our Marshal, E Kt. Bob Chevin keep the province moving in a well oiled and shipshape fashion {I was going to say ‘Bobbing along’ but thought better of it}. I welcome the new members of the provincial team and hope they enjoy their new roles and get as much out of as they can.

New Members

Like R.E. Kt. Ray, I always find the enthusiasm of new Eminent Preceptors encouraging. The Province cannot fail to prosper with such a fantastic energy. This is reflected in the time and effort theyput into visiting other Preceptories. Get out and visit as many Preceptories as your time and circumstances permit. It is highly rewarding, and you will not regret the effort.

Brother Knights, most of you are, by default, members of a Royal Arch Chapter. There will be companions in those Chapters who will be interested in joining our wonderful Order so why not start a quiet conversation with them and introduce them to Knights Templar concept?

To those knights who have taken that step this year, I bid you welcome and hope you are enjoying your time with us. I do hope you will be able to take your Malta Degree this November. Brother Knights – nurture and look after them, they are the lifeblood of our Order.

Preceptory of Instruction

E. Kt. Malcolm Woolgar runs our Preceptory of Improvement and this meets four times a year at the Wokingham Masonic Centre and is well worth attending for those approaching and in the chair. Just bring your swords along and enjoy a relaxed evening returning to your Preceptories with a fuller understanding of your roles and the ritual surrounding them.

Conclusion

DSCN0951So, Brother Knights, I look forward to my first year whilst I find my feet and settle in as your Provincial Prior.

I will be working on your behalf and looking for ideas and strategies to maintain and improve our membership. Our Vice-Chancellor will be keen to have your thoughts.

I have had to rely on the superb support of my wife Kate this year and she has been a fantastic help. I could not be here without her support. That can probably be said about most of us in this room today, I think.

I try to remember to acknowledge this by saying ‘thank you’ to Kate every now and then and giving her a hug. It works for me.

So, Brother Knights, you’ve heard enough from me.

Thank you for being here and thank you for listening and I wish you all a safe journey home.

R E Kt Graham McGowan-Smyth
Sindlesham, 16th September 2019

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