© Province of West Yorkshire KT - 2011
History of the Preceptory
The Cohors Praetoria Preceptory was consecrated in 1994 with the notion that members of the Provincial Prior’s Bodyguard could meet together in circumstances other than the Provincial Annual Meeting and discuss issues relating to their role.
There were many great masonic names in the list of the original founders, including E. Kt. Alistair Dick, E. Kt. David J. Welsh, V. E. Kt. James P. Greenwood, V. E. Kt. Leslie Lancaster and even our present Provincial Prior. All were high ranking members of the Craft, the Royal Arch and other Masonic Orders.
For quite a few years the “raison d’etre” was sketchy and it was felt that just having a meeting twice a year was not enough to develop the aims and purpose of the Preceptory. In the early years members of the Preceptory accompanied the Provincial Sub-Prior, V. E. Kt. Bill McGolpin, in delivering lectures to Royal Arch Chapters about the Order, whilst the Bodyguard Commander would visit Preceptories giving practical demonstrations of sword drill. These two activities are still carried out, “on demand”.
In recent years members of the Bodyguard have accompanied the Provincial Sub-Prior at Installations and the Provincial Prior whenever he attends a Preceptory. Further activities in the development of the Preceptory include visits to Bodyguard Preceptories in other Provinces, generally for their installations. If asked, the Knights of the Bodyguard will help out in ceremonies as Guards to the Sepulchre in the Templar ceremony and as Banner Guards in the Malta ceremony. The Bodyguard Commander may ask members of the Preceptory to help out if required.
Socially the bodyguard members meet for breakfast before their final practice for the Provincial meeting and this year have had a dinner which hopefully will become annual events.
Life in the Provincial Bodyguard is hectic but enjoyable and either during or after a Knight’s term of office, he may be invited to join the Bodyguard Preceptory and take part in Preceptory visits as well as maintaining friendships formed during his service. If you feel you have “got what it takes” to be a member of the Provincial Prior’s Bodyguard, ask your Registrar to get in touch with the Commander on your behalf and he or the Deputy Commander will come and see you. Don’t forget, you do need the support of your Preceptory.