10th May 2020

Dear Worthy Knights of the East Midlands Division,
As we are approaching the date on which our annual Divisional meeting should have been taking place, I thought it appropriate to write to you, expressing my best wishes to you all in the hope that you, your families and friends are managing to keep healthy during this exceptional period in our lives.
During the last year our Conclaves and Order have suffered the loss of the following Worthy Knights and I ask you to pause to remember their lives and your connections with them.
Ill. Kt. Terence Gordon Bates, Crux Rubra Conclave, No. 481, 24th July, 2019
P. Kt. J. Robert Beeton, Crux Rubra Conclave, No. 481, 24th September, 2019
W. Kt. Thomas William Hemsley, Crux Rubra Conclave, No. 481, 16th October, 2019
P. Kt. Michael J. Gray, Durocobrivae Conclave, No. 367, 1st November, 2019
P. Kt. David O’Callaghan, Durocobrivae Conclave, No. 367, 17th April, 2020
We must remember also the passing of Most Illustrious Knight Commander Ronald (Ron) Albert Champion, RN, G.C.C., Past Grand Sovereign, who was called to higher service on 9th February 2020 at the age of 91.

On a brighter note, this week I would have had the great pleasure of Installing P. Kt. Christopher J. Mullen as Deputy Intendant-General of the East Midlands Division. Chris is a member of Northampton Conclave, No. 284 and served as Most Puissant Sovereign for two consecutive years: 2014 and 2015. He is a former member of the Divisional Sepulchre Guard and has been a keen supporter of the Order and the Division since joining. I will present P. Kt. Chris with his Patent of Appointment at the earliest appropriate opportunity. I am confident that he will carry out his duties as Deputy with enthusiasm and will become well known to you all when we are ‘released’ from our present situation. Chris will assume his new Office on Thursday 14th May in succession to V. Ill. Kt. Michael A. Robinson, P.G.H.Almoner, who relinquishes the Deputy’s position with my grateful thanks.
Michael has been a tower of strength during his period of Office. He has travelled the length and breadth of the country to Grand Imperial Conclave meetings; numerous Divisional meetings and has visited our Conclaves in the East Midlands on a regular basis. His knowledge and enthusiasm have been an inspiration to many younger Knights throughout the Division. His wise counsel and advice have been invaluable during the last two years, but more than that; he has fully supported me throughout that time. He has been a valuable mentor whenever I have asked for guidance or clarification. He is also circumspect and whatever needs to be confidential remains so with Michael. Whilst he will relinquish the role of Deputy Intendant General, I know that should I require advice, it will be readily forthcoming. Having served previously as Deputy Intendant-General he already possesses the collarette of a Past Deputy Intendant General, which I am sure he will resume wearing with pride and particularly fond memories.
The list of appointments and promotions to Divisional Rank has been circulated to all members and I offer my congratulations to those who are receiving a first appointment and to those who will be receiving a promotion. The executive team and I give considerable thought to these preferments and we consider them well deserved. To those who are continuing in office I convey my sincere thanks. Much work, thought and effort goes on behind the scenes by the Divisional Recorders; the Divisional Marshals; the Divisional Treasurer and the Sepulchre Guard: thank you one and all for all your effort and support.
This coming year it looks as though we will be starting our masonic engagements much later than usual and so I urge all those holding an active Divisional office to make every effort to attend Team visits: the dates of which will be published at the earliest opportunity and circulated to all Divisional Officers, together with Most Puissant Sovereigns and Eminent Viceroys. To the latter, I thoroughly recommend making yourselves familiar with the Enthronement ceremonies, as all will benefit (you especially). The Conclave Marshals are each in possession of comprehensive guidance notes and will be willing (and I am sure eager) to assist in preparation for the Conclave Enthronement ceremonies. Last month we received notice of forthcoming appointments to Grand Rank. Unfortunately, those Worthy Knights who should have attended Grand Imperial Conclave in July to receive their honours will now instead assume their appointments from the date of the cancelled meeting: 7th July 2020. With our current membership number the East Midlands Division is allocated by Grand Imperial Conclave a combination of four first appointments or promotions each year. I am delighted to announce that the following Knights have been offered and have accepted first appointments.
David F. Bull, Byzantine Conclave, No. 44, Past Grand Prefect
J. Guy Manners, Crux Rubra Conclave, No. 481, Past Grand Prefect
Ivan W. Scott, Isle of Patmos Conclave, No. 277, Past Grand Prefect
Geoffrey J. Warner, John Wiclif Conclave, No. 304, Past Grand Warden of Regalia
Two members of our East Midlands Division have been further honoured by the reappointment to their active Grand Ranks:
Ill. Kt. Timothy J. Barrett (Divisional Recorder) as Grand Standard Bearer Labarum
Ill. Kt. Timothy J. Almond (Divisional Marshal) as Grand Herald
I am sure you will join me in extending our congratulations to each one of them. As I travel around the Division I have noticed that a number of our newer members (and one or two of the older ones) have not yet availed themselves of the tie of our Order. This may be due to nobody having steered them in the right direction or being unsure of what is the tie of the Order and where one could be obtained. Provincial Craft ties, Royal Arch ties and ties of other Orders are not the correct attire for our Red Cross of Constantine assemblies. The presentation of a tie of the Order to a newly Installed Knight may be something that could be considered by the Conclave committees as a matter of routine. The embossed purple tie with red and gold diagonal stripes (including bow ties) is readily obtained online through Mark Masons Hall (The-Shop@86) or from a number of other regalia suppliers. For those who have not yet acquired one, please seriously consider doing so before we resume our Conclave activities.
Last Sunday via the internet, I watched The Right Illustrious and Venerable Grand Eusebius, the Rev’d. Timothy L’Estrange, G.C.C., together with his family and a team of mainly Divisional High Prelates deliver a ‘Service for the Discovery of the True Cross’ which of course had many references to and connections with our Order. For those who watched it, I trust you found it inspiring and interesting and for those who may wish to watch it, it is still available on the MMH website. Here is a link for the accompanying Order of Service:
Order of Service RCC_OoS_2020.pdf
I have received the good news that we have a number of candidates waiting to be Installed into our Order. Please make it your business to consider suitable candidates for recruitment to the Red Cross of Constantine and encourage them to become members.
Last of all, on behalf of the executive team, thank you all for your support and continued friendship. Let us ensure we continue to enjoy our Red Cross and our other masonry. I wish you all continued good health and let us hope for a return to normality before very much longer.
With all good wishes and in Faith, Unity and Zeal,

S. John Manby
Intendant General