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629
Kent Preceptory of St George

Date of Warrant 8 December 2001

History

Back in early 2000 Dennis Fountain suggested to Roy Pike that they should set up a new preceptory, but the latter was not that keen as he thought it would not receive the support of the Provincial Prior or the Vice Chancellor. However, Roy Pike did not allow for the perseverance of Dennis who contacted them and managed to obtain their approval to investigate the matter further.

The Provincial Executive laid down some guidelines by which the new Preceptory would gain their support. These were:

With this in mind the following list of founders was suggested:

Founding Preceptor V E Kt A Semple First Herald Kt T Sharpe
Chaplin E Kt J McCully Second Herald Kt A Wilson-Storey
1st Constable E Kt D Fountain Standard Bearer B Kt D Griffiths
2nd Constable Kt E J Folkard Standard Bearer VB Kt D Hiscock
Treasurer E Kt L West Banner Bearer E Kt J Sprackling
Registrar E Kt R Pike Capt of Guard Kt T Tanner
Marshall E Kt R Alderson Organist Kt Watson
Deputy Marshall E Kt K Murphy Guard E Kt Birchell
Almoner E Kt Tuthill Capt of Lines E Kt Brazier
Arch of Steel consisted of Kts Castleton, Davies, Draper, English, Firth, Hutchings, Keys, Page
The other founder member was E Kt Moore

These names were submitted and approved on 17 July 2001.

At various meetings the terms of the original letter from the Vice Chancellor were adopted, it was agreed that this would be a dining preceptory and that all founders would put in an initial 100 into a fund for purchasing the equipment, although this money was not used for this purpose as every member donated some part or other of the regalia or furniture at their own expense.

The name of St George was originally suggested but was turned down as this is the name of the Great Prior's Preceptory, but Dennis Fountain with his usual perseverance put forward the present name, which was then formally proposed by Kt T Sharpe and approved.

The next problem to be solved was the location of the Consecration ceremony. Several venues were investigated and ruled out, and until someone suggested as "we are called St George, why not the St George's Centre at Chatham"? The venue proved an excellent choice and the resulting Consecration on 8 December 2001 was a sight to see with 132 Brother Knights in attendance. To quote the Provincial Prelate, Rt Rev Gerrard Crane, "In years to come people will say, 'do you remember the Consecration of The Kent Preceptory of St George' and you will answer with pride, 'I was there'."

Since then the Preceptory has gone from strength to strength and in its first four years, has installed over 10 knights, four joining knights and has four waiting installation. The June Malta meeting has had no less than 42 knights in its four meetings to date.

Our Christmas meetings are also a great success, despite reservations from the Executive Office saying it was too close to Christmas.

In the four years (at time of writing) the preceptory has become the fifth largest in the Province and we have contributed 750 to the Eye Hospital in Jerusalem.

Grateful thanks to E Kt Roy Pike for supplying the background information