Annual Investiture 2015
This year’s meeting took place on 9th May at the Masonic Hall, Peterborough.
There was again just one postulant this year – Stan Smith, who was unable to attend the previous year, and we welcome Stan to the Order.
There were no St Raphael promotions this year, but the Grand Master then had great pleasure in promoting RE Chevalier Julian Gunnell to the rank of Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Mark in acknowledgement of his work as Grand Steward. Also promoted in the Order of St Mark were the Prior, Rt Rev’d Geoffrey Robinson, E Chevalier Alan Blackstone and Chevalier Leslie Grout, all to the rank of Knight Commander. Chevalier Clive Warham was promoted to Knight, and Chevalier Ian Cameron and Dame Sabina Cameron were admitted to the Order of St Mark in the rank of Member.
Following the service, the usual convivial meal took place, attended by only 30 members this year, and we were then introduced to Tammy Pearce, who has taken over as the new Regional Fundraiser for Whiz-Kidz. The Grand Master took great delight in presenting a cheque for £633 to Whizz-Kidz.
The Grand Council meeting took place after lunch, and items discussed were as follows:
- The new Grand Treasurer produced his first set of accounts for 2014. He explained that the figures for 2012 in the accounts did not properly add up because he had not been able to obtain the financial documents of the Order, and had therefore not been able to properly carry the figures forward. The 2014 accounts were accepted by the meeting as a true record of the current situation, showing a carried forward balance of £2887.91
- Charitable donations – Chevalier John Goodenough put forward a passionate case for us to once again consider Combat Stress as one of our recognised charities. As an ex Services officer, John was quite forthcoming about the support that he had personally received from Combat Stress. Whilst no payment is to be made this year, in future years it was unanimously agreed that our financial charitable support would be equally divided between Combat Stress and Whizz-Kidz. Because of the dilution of our support, fundraising is something that will have to be given extra attention in future.
- The Custodian of Insignia reported that she has still not been able to obtain the dies from Toye Kenning Spencer. There is still an ongoing discussion with them to try and get the dies back, and a couple of members made useful suggestions to assist in this.
- There were no promotions in the Order of St Raphael today, and Commanders and Vice Chancellors are again encouraged to put names forward from their Conclaves for promotions and awards in the future.
- The GM asked those Conclave Commanders present to present reports of events, and both St Martin at Sées and Lion Rampant Conclaves have continued to maintain regular activity. The Commander of St Thomas Becket is trying to arrange a meeting of members to start the Conclave in regular activity.
- The GM confirmed that he has not yet given up hope on St William of Rochester Conclave and will continue to try to revive it.
- The Grand Chancellor, RE Chevalier Barry Uttley, has given notice to the Grand Master of his intention to step down as Grand Chancellor next year. The GM thanked Barry for all his hard work for the Order during his term of office. The GM notified the meeting that RE Chevalier David Haywood had been asked to take over from Barry and had accepted. The formal handover will take place at next year’s meeting.
- The GM went on to say that he was also approaching the age of 75 and felt that it was time for him to step down and appoint a fresh leader of the Order. He will give this his due consideration over the next year and will make a formal announcement at the next meeting.
- Any other business. The Grand Treasurer has been looking at the members who have not paid subscriptions. Since there is a gap in our records for 2013, those who did not pay in 2014 will be given a further year to bring their payments up to date. However, there were thirteen who had not paid for up to five years, and after reading out the list, ten of these had their membership transferred to the inactive list and will receive no further communication, including the former Grand Treasurer. Three were to be sent a final letter at the behest of the Grand Master.
The Grand Master closed the Grand Council Meeting at 3.45pm.
New members admitted:
Chevalier Stan Smith (KSR)
RE Chevalier Julian Gunnell (GCSM)
Rt Rev’d Geoffrey Robinson (KCSM)
E Chevalier Alan Blackstone (KCSM)
Chevalier Leslie Grout (KCSM)
Chevalier Clive Warham (KSM)
Chevalier Ian Cameron (MSM)
Dame Sabina Cameron (MSM)