This year’s Annual General Assembly of The Order of Knights Templar in England and Wales took place in the picturesque seaside town of Llandudno, in North West Wales.
We initially all met on Friday night, 29th of June, at the Bonjour Restaurant on Madoc Street. Some of the members had travelled from their various corners of the U.K. and had booked into the Kensington Hotel earlier that day, while some had arrived on Thursday. For those of us, like myself, who live only a short car drive away from Llandudno the pleasant evening of French cuisine, complete with waitresses sporting berets, was the first glimpse we had had of old acquaintances and the new members who were to be Invested. Sadly, some of our members could not be present this year for a variety of reasons and while we remembered them in our hearts we did not let their absence sadden us overtly and a good night was had by all.
As usual on the Saturday morning of the A.G.A. weekend the ‘Executive’ met for a Chapter meeting where the day to day running of the Order was discussed. Normally, their meeting would be finished by about 10.15 a.m. allowing the other members of the Order to join them for the General Assembly at 10.30 a.m. However, this year, the discussions must have been more vociferous than usual as they continued until 10.50 a.m. As such, the main assembly didn’t start until around 11 o’clock. Despite the delay the meeting went well with reports by the General Prior, the Prior of Wales, the Chancellor, Treasurer and myself, the Webmaster, being greeted favourably by the enclave. It was with a sense of sadness that we bade farewell to our long standing Treasurer who retired from the position after many years of service due to ill health but at the same time our new Treasurer was welcomed warmly. The floor was then opened to the members and one of our new Postulants introduced himself and told us of his journey both literally (he resides in the Canary Islands) and spiritually to the Order and a warm welcome was given by all.
The business of the assembly finished we all converged on the hotel’s dining room where we enjoyed a pleasant lunch before departing for the Holy Trinity Church on Mostyn Street, the venue for the Initiation ceremo. This year the Initiation ceremony had been changed slightly from previous years new officers had been elected therefore, practice session we had prior to the main ceremony was well served. At 2 o’clock the main ceremony commenced and ran very smoothly with everybody playing their part extremely proficiently. We welcomed a new Knight and Dame into our Order and initiated two Postulants who I am sure will serve the Order honourably.
That evening we met once more to enjoy a six course banquet. The food at the Kensington Hotel was excellent and I for one had more than my fill. The wife of one person, who will not be named but is in the set of pictures above smiling, was not well so he ate most of her dinner as well (probably why he is smiling to be honest). During the meal the Prior General gave a talk on how he viewed Templarism and also recounted some of the travels he has been on during recent months. There were also the customary toasts and responses before everyone retired to the bar to discuss the events of the day. For the next couple of hours we relaxed among friends before retiring to our beds.
Sunday morning, those of us who didn’t have far to travel, attended the morning Eucharist at Holy Trinity Church and once again enjoyed a warm welcome from the rest of the congregation.
Although we may have been fewer in number this year than on previous occasions I feel I can safely say that what we lacked in quantity we made up for in quality. The Priory is growing from strength to strength and the members that we have are all dedicated to serving their communities, the Order and their fellow man to the best of their abilities…long may that last.