Crusaders in the Indian Ocean!
The Kent Vice-Chancellor, Peter Wise had the unique opportunity, as Grand Master's Banner Bearer, of working at the Consecration of the First Preceptory in the Seychelles in March 2010. Peter went – but didn’t get to carry the Banner!
Let’s start at the beginning.
The Consecration was preceded, the day before, by an Emergency Meeting of St George’s Preceptory No. 6, where, with the Great Marshal, R.E.Kt. Paul Clement in the Chair; watched by the Grand Master; assisted by R.E.Kt. Michael Morgan as Chaplain, and E.Kt. Peter Wise as Marshal, Installed 7 new Knights into the Order. There were also 12 Fratres affiliating from the Scottish Constitution. All went extremely well, and a very convivial time was had by all.
The next day, Peter arrived to "go over the plan of action" with the Great Marshal, as the former was also to act as Deputy Great Marshal for the Installation of the First Eminent Preceptor. Peter arrived at the Temple just outside of Mahe, after torrential rain (which subsequently lasted 3 whole days!), followed shortly after by the Great Marshal, without the Great Guard, Tommy Thomson, and with devastating news.
Leaving the hotel for the Hall, the Grand Master slipped on the wet steps, fell, dislocated his shoulder, and seriously injured his face!
The Great Guard accompanied the Grand Master to Hospital, where later that night, he was discharged, shoulder re-located, and 8 stitches in his face.
In the meantime, R.E.Kt. Paul Clement took on the duties of Consecrating Officer, as well as Installing Officer, and instructed Peter to act as Great Marshal throughout!
E.Kt. Richard Stuart of the Transvaal very ably stepped in to act as Banner Bearer, who has a specific role in a KT Consecration. All kudos has to go to the Great Organist, who, having placed the organ just inside the door, so that he could also act as Great Captain of Guards, suddenly found himself acting, in addition, as Great Guard. The censer, however, was well and truly lit, on time, and with no noticeable break in the music.
All went very well, and when the Warrant was presented to the First Preceptor, Andrew Brass, R.E.Kt Clement remarked that the “little red marks” were actually the Grand Master’s blood! Thus the Seychelles Preceptory No.676 was actually “born in blood”.
During the Festive Board, the news arrived of the Grand Master’s discharge from Hospital, at which everyone breathed a sigh of relief.
A number of photos were taken, courtesy of E.Kt. Andrew Brass, and E.Kt. Steve Cousens of the Transvaal, which are, with thanks, reproduced below.