Enjoying the exceptionally warm weather, members of the Provincial Prior’s Body Guard held their annual lunch with wives and partners at The Chase Golf & Country Club on Sunday 20th May.

Guest of honour was the R E Provincial Prior, E Kt D Gary Read KCT. Close to 60 were in attendance with the added benefits of inviting past members of the Body Guard and members of the current Provincial team.

R E Kt D Gary Read said, “I am particularly proud of my Body Guard for all the work they have done this year – especially completing the Challenge in just two days and raising considerable sums of money in the process” He went on to thank those retiring members of the team, E Kt Howard Jenkins, PPr1st Her, the retiring Deputy Commander; E Kt Jonathan Bryan on recently being installed to Eminent Preceptor of Sir John Kent Preceptory No 369; and Bro Kt Andrew Tomblin who will become Eminent Preceptor of Robert de Stafford No 411 later this year. He then turned his attention to the retiring Commander, E Kt Ralph Ritchey PPr1st Her, thanking him for all the work he has put into the Body Guard in the past two years and looking forward to him becoming the new Provincial Deputy Marshal in June.

E Kt Ritchey thanked everyone for attending the Lunch. He paid tribute to E Kt Kevin Davis who sadly lost his fight with cancer only a couple of weeks before the Lunch, an event that both he and Penny, his wife, both thoroughly enjoyed.

After presenting gifts to the Provincial Prior and the ladies present, E Kt Ritchey introduced his successor as Commander, Bro Kt John Derry, GMBB.

Bro Kt Derry, delighted to be appointed to Commander then introduced the two new members to the team, Bro Kt Paul Lindop (42) and Bro Kt Tony McLaughlin (398). They were presented with their new mantle badges, and Body Guard kit.

In closing, Bro Kt Derry thanked E Kt Ritchey and presented him with a gift from all the members of the Body Guard, along with a bouquet to his wife Sara in recognition of all the work he has put into the team in the past two years.

Grateful thanks are expressed to Bro Kt Ralph Howarth and his wife Julie for the table centre flower decorations which were then presented to one of the ladies on each table, and the bouquet for the Commander’s wife; to all those who were present to make this a splendid afternoon; and, to the team at The Chase for making this such a very pleasant occasion.

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