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Memorable Service of Investiture, Glasgow Cathedral, 2014

The congregation of more than 100 were given the warmest of welcomes by the Minister of Glasgow, Rev Dr Laurence Whitley, at the opening of our annual service and Investiture. “I bid you all the warmest and sincerest of welcomes here in this ancient and historic site of worship” he said.

Members of Dr Whitley’s congregation had gone to particular trouble to prepare for our Investiture, for the flowers in the chancel were in Order colours of yellow and green.

Our numbers were distinguished by the attendance of three Great Officer of the Order: David Gibb from Scotland; and David Haywood and David Green from England & Wales. We were particularly honoured to welcome husband-and-wife confreres from Paris, M Eric and Mme Lillian Stoll.

The Call to Worship was preceded by blessing of a gonfannon showing the Cross of the Order, a magnificent piece of needlework which took embroiderer Sandra Grant an astonishing 900 hours of dedicated and devoted toil to complete. “Henceforth” said presiding cleric Rev John McConnell “it will be known as the Order Banner”.

Lessons were read by George Young (Old Testament) and by Roy Scott in the New Testament. The sermon was given by John McConnel in the enforced absence through illness of Rev William Colville Thomas.

At the Investiture following the service, the last to be administered by our retiring Grand Secretary Neil Donaldson, six postulants were welcomed into the Order as Officers – Dixon Drye; Dr Kevin Jones; Colin Russell; Gary Smith; and the Aberdeen husband-and-wife partnership of Mary and Norman McPherson.

Promoted to Commander were Col Martin Passmore and Ian Paul, while Elizabeth Partington, wife of our Baillie Ron Partington, was deservedly promoted to Dame for her long commitment to the Order. Another long-serving member, James Hodge, was made Knight.

In the Merit awards, Duncan Cameron and Dr Bruce Durie were made Officers of Merit, with a very popularly-received Hon OMLJ being given to Bob Hooker, organist at Order services for many years.

But top of the lists undoubtedly came Ross Mennie’s KCLJ. This promotion proved a hugely popular award, and at the lunch afterwards, Ross received a deserved ovation for the huge amount of work he undertakes for the Order that has been recognised by this Knight Commandership.

Col John Kelly, our Grand Baillie, in greeting everyone at lunch afterwards, said “We are part of the worldwide Order. Our origins lie in the First Crusade when our duties included looking after pilgrims, especially lepers. We have endured through the ages in spite of ups and downs, always contributing to charity. Last year, £6500 went to leprosy missions, and to helping here and abroad”.



This year's investiture, held on Saturday 17 May, took place in the mediaeval, gothic High Kirk of Glasgow before a congregation of more than one hundred members and guests. The principal guests were the Deputy Lord Provost of Glasgow, Baillie Gerald Leonard, and his Lady Nancy Leonard,  The visitors included H E Chevalier David Gibb, GCLJ, the Grand Custodian; Chev David Haywood, Commander of the John of Gaunt Commandery; Chev David Green, Herald of the John of Gaunt Commandery; Consoeur Lillian Stoll and Confrere Eric Stoll, both of the French Jurisdiction.

After the national anthem and the first hymn, the Minister of the Kirk, the Rev Dr Laurence Whitely, PhD, welcomed all present.  A beautiful new  gonfalon, which had been made by Mrs Grant, was blessed by the Chaplain General.  The Commander of the Dalriada Commandery, Chev George Young, read the first lesson (Psalm 49) with the Hospitaller, H E the Chev Roy Scott, reading the second (St Paul's Letter to the Galatians Ch1, vv1 - 24).

The service was conducted the Chaplain General, the Most Rev John Greenlees McConnell, assisted by the Rt Rev Alexander Macdonald and the Rev Colin MacAulay. Sadly, the Most Rev Dr William Colville Thomas was not well enough to attend. The organist was Dr Malcolm Sim and the soloist was Miss Fiona Wilkie.

In the following investiture, Mr Bob Hooker, although not a member of the Order, was made an Honorary Officer of Merit for his service to the Grand Bailiwick of Scotland over many years.  Postulants, Dixon Drye, Kevin Jones, Mary McPherson, Norman McPherson, Collin Russell, Gary Smith, were presented with their insignia. Companionate of Merit awards were made to Duncan Cameron, Bruce Durie and William Simpson. Ian Paul and Martin Passmore were promoted to Commanders of the Order.

Elizabeth Partington was created a Dame of Grace of the Order.  James Hodge received the accolade as a Knight of Grace of the Order.  Thomas Ross Mennie was promoted to a Knight Commander of the Order.

At the close of the service, eighty members and guests retired for  lunch  in the St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art.        

H E the Chev Neil F Donaldson, GCLJ, CMLJ

At the Investiture in Glasgow Cathedral, five Aberdonians (left to right) Gordon Casely, Duncan Cameron (promoted to OMLJ), Mary and Norman McPherson (both admitted OLJ), and Albert Thomson.