Commemorative Order of St Thomas of Acon

News

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Sat, 29th September 2018

Canterbury Pilgrimage

Saturday 29th September 2018

The Pilgrimage

As any member of our Order knows, Thomas Becket, Canterbury and Devotion are keywords!

We as an Order have been attending Canterbury Cathedral for many years to pay our homage to our God and respect the memory of that Great Inspiration to us as an Order, Thomas Becket.

Sadly, due to matters outside our control, last year we were unable to hold our Pilgrimage at the Cathedral, but we were determined to return as soon as we could.

Our new Protector of Canterbury, Sir William of Marchwood, The Reverend Bill Whitfield, has worked tirelessly, with the full backing of the Grand Master and myself, over the last twelve months in what became a most successful negotiation, resulting in restoring the event in our busy calendar.

Sir William is a modest man, but those of us who are in ‘the know’, are aware of the toll, that the task we gave him, placed upon him, his health and his life over the last twelve months. Bill, Thank You, somehow, does not seem anywhere near enough, in terms of gratitude, but is sincerely meant by us all in the Order.

Now, back to the day, The Grand Master, Grand Prior and several members of the Executive travelled down to Canterbury to join the some 160 plus members, wives and friends who had ‘booked in’ for the buffet at the usual venue, ‘The Pilgrims Hotel’.

First however the Grand Master, Tony Cross and I, along with Sir Alexander from Rio de Janeiro and Sir Felipe of Macuco, both of whom had travelled all the way from Brazil! visited the Museum of Freemasonry at the Masonic Hall in St Peter’s Place, right in the heart of Canterbury. I had previously circulated the Museum’s existence & facilities to the membership and I’m pleased to say that several other knights came to have a look around whilst we were there. Roger O’Brien, Sir Roger of Canterbury, the new RW Grand Preceptor of the South East Counties, who is trustee of the museum made himself available to show us round and explain the significance of many of the exhibits. Thankyou Roger, it was very interesting.

Then down to the Pilgrims hotel for lots of ‘networking’ and lunch. Now Stan Brown, ‘Stan of Croydon KC, had worked his usual oracle, and a superb buffet awaited those who had booked in. This year numbers were up, and this necessitated opening a further expansion area, (which will be opened from the moment we arrive next year) to accommodate the increased numbers.           

Buffet consumed, and we were able to take a gentle stroll down to the riverside and along the myriad of ancient byways on the way to the Cathedral.

There was time for a coffee in one of the many the local coffee houses, whilst the gathering masses formed. We were soon on our way into the Cathedral, led by Sam Royle, the gracious lady that I deal with in relation to our donations to the Cathedral Trust and its various fund-raising events. It was an impressive sight to see the huge following as we descended into the vault for our celebration ceremony, well over the 200 mark, the best attendance so far!

Before our devotions commenced, the Grand Master addressed those present and thanked them for attending in such good numbers. He went on to present the Arch Deacon of Canterbury, Very Rev’d. Jo Kelly-Moore with a cheque for £4,000.00 in respect of the Organ Stop Appeal. The donation was gracious accepted, and quickly passed to Sam, who then thanked everyone present, not only for the donation just given, but also the magnificent donations in relation to the previous appeals, well in excess of £40.000.

The ceremony then commenced with readings from a Past Grand Prior, Michael Harridine and the Grand Prior, Sir Lee of Bromley by Bow KH. The address by Sir William was well received, being not only appropriate, but of an appropriate length! Well done, again, Sir William.

Following the closing, the knights retired, many staying for evensong. Others made their way along, what for some was a long journey home. Knights attended from the UK, (all Provinces), Brazil, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland and very possibly many other areas.

Our one regret is that we could not meet and greet you all personally, but we did give it a good shot!

There was time to view the plaque which records our support for the previous appeal for repairs to the building, repairs which are now well underway, scaffolding was everywhere!

What more could a freemason wish for, but to leave his meeting with a warm and contented feeling of a job well done, Sir Knights the Job was Well Done, and our donation will, once again, be faithfully applied.

Mike Beesley,

Sit Michael of Accrington KH

Grand Secretary

Follow link for memorable photographs 

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Sat, 18th August 2018

Brazil Goes fro Strength to Strength

Brazil goes from strength to strength.

Grão Mestre Desembargador Murilo Pinto Chapel No 113, was consecrated at Kings Heath Masonic Hall, Birmingham on Monday the 16th April 2014, a day I remember well.

A number of Masons from Brazil had come over to the UK joining other orders and were intending returning to Brazil to develop those Orders, and why not take our special Order with them back to São Paulo!

As Deputy Grand Secretary at that time, I was Acting as Grand Secretary for the consecration and there was much that made the day memorable, not least was hearing the Lords Prayer recited in Portuguese by the candidates.

It was my first visit to Kings Heath and Chapel of the Holy Innocent No XIII, who meet there were our hosts for the day admitting the knights before the New Chapel was consecrated.

I, in addition to the other members of the Consecrating Team, were made honorary members of the Chapel as is customary on these occasions.

When I was appointed as Grand Secretary, I had need to contact Chapel on some constitutional issues and as a result Grand Masters Council took direct control of the Chapel and Sir Alexander of Rio de Janeiro, Alexander Mazolli Lisboa, a member of the Chapel, was appointed as an Assistant Grand Secretary and given the task of putting the Chapel back into Constitutional Order. This he has done in an exceptional manner.

The Chapel found a new meeting place and is now uninfluenced by ‘outside parties’.

Alexander is a very capable mason and is frequently over here in Europe where he is a member of several orders. His range of contacts both in the UK and Brazil is second to none.

Such is his circle of friends and acquaintances that 113 now has an active membership of seventy-nine knights.

The Chapel has already sufficient members who have successfully petitioned to form another Chapel in Rio de Janeiro to be called Master Felício de Paulo Chapel and will be numbered 129. On the 15th of August they admitted by dispensation a further 19 knights, 17 of whom are to form a Chapel in Recife and the remaining 2 are members of 113.

113 already has one member from Vitória, in the State of Espirito Santo, and he will be joined by a further20 in October. They will then go on to form a Chapel based in Espírito Santo.     

All this adds to work of the Grand Master and his team and the consecrations will now take place sometime early in 2019.

Well done Alexander and well done 113.

Michael of Accrington KH

Grand Secretary 

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Sat, 21st July 2018

New Grand Preceptor in S E Counties

 

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On a glorious sunny morning on the 21 July 2018 something stirred in the Town of Uckfield, in East Sussex. There was a certain hum going around that something was going to happen about the place as some 50 or so members of the Order of St Thomas of Acon attended the Masonic Hall for a ceremony par excellence, that would culminate in the Installation of Sir Roger of Canterbury (Roger O'Brien to you and me) be installed as the Grand Preceptor of the Province of South Eastern Counties. Taking over the reins from Sir Brian of Baldwins Hill (Brian Prevett).

The Grand Master and his team arrived with expectations of a Grand Ceremony and Festive Board afterwards, which I am delighted to say far exceeded those expectations.

How did this momentous occasion arise? Well in 1999 Roger was approached to join the order as it was thought there should be a Chapel in Canterbury especially as the order is based around Thomas Becket, who as you are fully aware was the Archbishop of Canterbury murdered by callous villains.

As it happened on the 27th November 1999 Roger was the representative Candidate along with 20 other Candidates was admitted into the Order and subsequently on the same day became a founder of the Canterbury Chapel, No7. Having been admitted into the order by Sir Barry of Ilford, the Grand Master at the time.

The consecration was a memorable one for Roger as during the ceremony the contents of the censer was spilt on the Temple carpet. It was smouldering away and the Grand Marshal, Keith Ansell had to pick up the embers with cotton gloves. He ended up with burned fingers and mittens.

Roger became Worthy Master of Canterbury Chapel in 2004 and subsequently was a founder of Geoffrey Chaucer Chapel, No 63.

He has now reached the pinnacle as Grand Preceptor of the Province and will lead the Province for some years to come.

Finally, for the scholars out there, there is a book called “Becket’s Bones” by John Butler of the University of Kent. He wrote on the whereabouts of Becket’s remains after his shrine was dismantled by Henry VIII “Reformation”. Roger made a small contribution to the book and is listed in the credits. This came about when was Clerk of Canterbury Magistrates’ Court when two lads appeared having been charged with attempted burglary of Canterbury Cathedral. They were going to try to prise open one of the tombs in the Cathedral which they thought contained Thomas Becket. They were students and only amateur burglars and were caught before they could attempt it. So, Roger has had a very small part in the story of Thomas Becket.

Sir Reginald of Paphos

Provincial Grand Prior

For further photographs follow the link Installation of Grand Preceptor

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Wed, 22nd November 2017

Visit to Humanitas Chapel No 34 by Grand Preceptor

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Sat, 21st June 2014

Grand Preceptor of Wessex Annual Meeting

It was a hot and sunny day when members and visitors gathered for the Grand Preceptor's Annual Council in June 2014. In addition to the usual business, four banners were dedicated. This is a colourful ceremony not often seen in 'quadruplicate'. The first banner Reginald Fitzjocelyn No 74 was brought into the Temple escorted by four bodyguards and presented to the RW Grand Preceptor of Wessex. He called upon the Prior for an oration describing the founding and history of the Chapel name. It was then blessed, and presented to the Worthy Master of the Preceptory. The new banner was paraded around the Temple with great pomp and dignity accompanied by a regal march and celebratory fanfare. This was then repeated three times for the banners of Priory of Woodspring No 97, Paul Bushe No 101 & Chapel of King Ina No 102.

On this occasion the Deputy Grand Organist was playing a Wyvern Prelude digital organ, which had been brought in for the occasion. He said afterwards he was most grateful for the knights who carried this on such a hot day, and to the architect who'd had the wisdom to install a lift at the Nailsea Masonic Centre.

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Wed, 4th December 2013

Letter from the Dean of Canterbury

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Wed, 10th July 2013

Surprise Visit of MW Grand Master

At the Central Midlands Grand Preceptor Council meeting today at Evesham the Most Worthy Grand Master made a surprise visit to the meeting where he promoted Sir Barry of Clifton Campville (the outgoing Provinvcial Grand Prior) to the rank of PGMar and also honoured him with a further promotion to Knight Caritas. Sir Barry was Provincial Grand Prior since the conception of the Province of Central Midlands 7 years ago

Sir Peter of Floetbury replaces Sir Barry of Clifton Campville as Provincial Grand Prior

Congratulations to them both from all the Knights within Central Midlands

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Sat, 17th November 2012

New News Item

Osric Chapel No 60 celebrated a double celebration at their meeting in Stourport today with the dedication of both their Banner and the Roll of Past Worthy Masters. The dedication was performed by the Right Worthy Grand Preceptor Sir David of Dudderston and the Right Eminent Provincial Prior Sir Barry of Clifton Campville.

These dedications further enhance the progress Osric Chapel has made following its move from Gloucester to Stourport where the membership has flourished.

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Mon, 12th November 2012

Canterbury Pilgrimage November 2012

Canterbury Pilgrimage November 2012

The Annual Pilgrimage to Canterbury took place on Saturday November 10th where a number of Knights many accompanied by their partners (175 in total) enjoyed our Special Service in the East Crypt of the Cathedral.

The Most Worthy Grand Master Sir Melvyn of Wudplumpton addressed the congregation prior to the start of the service and then presented a cheque on behalf of The Commemorative Order of St Thomas of Acon for £3500 to the Canterbury Cathedral Restoration Fund which equates to £1 for each member of the Order

The Pilgrimage Service was then led by The Most Eminent Grand Prior Sir Michael of Seasalter (Michael Harradine) and The Right Worthy Grand Preceptor of South Eastern Counties Sir Brian of Baldwins Hill (Brian Previtt).

Sir Melvyn concluded the service by thanking everyone for their participation on a very wet November Saturday.

From a personal perspective, it was my first visit and I found the day very moving and worthwhile, gave me an opportunity to meet several other Knights and obtain my “Chuffs”. I went to the Cathedral Evensong after our service which again was a very enjoyable service.

Sir Geoffrey of Esplavis

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Mon, 22nd October 2012

New Right Worthy Grand Preceptor of Lancashire

On Saturday 20th of October, the Province of Lancashire was honoured to receive The Most Worthy Grand Master, Sir Melvyn of Wud Plumpton K.H., when he Installed Sir William of Atherton, William David Swindlehurst as the new Right Worthy Grand Preceptor for the Province of Lancashire.

The Most Worthy Grand Master was accompanied by The Most Eminent Grand Prior, Sir Michael of Seasalter K.H., supported by a galaxy of R.W. Grand Preceptors, R.E. Provincial Grand Priors, his Installing Officers and Grand Officers, together with many Sir Knights from this and other Provinces.

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Thu, 18th October 2012

The Bedestan in Nicosia, Cyprus

The Bedestan in Nicosia, Cyprus, thought to have been the Church of St Nicholas Anglicorum and featured on the "Tracing Boards" used during our ceremonies, has been restored by the UNDP with funding from the European Union. A YouTube video is now available and may be viewed at

http://youtu.be/07VhOuL3jj4

Courtesy of Richard Num, Chapel of St Peter No.73, Adelaide

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Tue, 10th July 2012

Central Midlands Provincial Meeting at Stourport

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Fri, 25th May 2012

Latest newsletter from Province of Wessex

Click here to read the latest news from the Province of Wessex - Wessex Herald

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Wed, 23rd May 2012

Another Chapel Consecrated

King Ina Chapel No 102 consecrated at Taunton by the Most Worthy Grand Master on Tuesday 23rd May

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