CSLI at the Order of St Joachim Investiture
London 13th September 2014
|Report by Mjr CSLI Mike Boxall|
On Saturday 13th September 2014, The Equestrian, Secular and Chapterial Order of Saint Joachim, United Kingdom Commandery ‘Edward the Confessor’, held its annual Investiture Ceremony at St Anne’s Church, Limehouse. Five members of the Corps St Lazarus International were present at the ceremony.
Commander of The United Kingdom Commandery, and also Colonel (CSLI), Simon McIlwaine lead proceedings, ably supported by the Commander of the Canadian Commandery, David Douglas, a Major-General (CSLI). Andy Smith, the United Kingdom Commandery Deputy Commander and a Major (CSLI) and David Johnstone, a Knight in the Order and Colonel (CSLI) were also present and, attending as a guest of the Order, Mike Boxall, Major (CSLI).
Vice Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson is arguably the most celebrated and recognized member of The Order of Saint Joachim, having been conferred the rank and title of Knight Grand Commander of the Order in recognition of his victory over Napoleon’s troops at the Battle of the Nile. It’s little wonder that the UK Commandery maintains a strong maritime connection.
Proceedings at this Investiture began with the entry of an Honour Guard formed of Sea Cadets from the Newham Cornwell VC Sea Cadet Unit under the command of Sub Lieutenant Adam Mendrys. The Officers and Knights of the Order then processed through the guard to take their places in the Chapter Hall.
The Rev. Gordon Warren, Honorary Chaplain to the Royal Navy, welcomed us to St Anne’s with some fascinating facts about the church. Built between 1714 and1727, St Anne’s has the highest church clock in London. With its prominent position near the Thames, it became a Trinity House seamark on all navigation charts for this part of the river and is permitted to fly the White Ensign, the exclusive Ensign of the Royal Navy.
After the formal opening of the Investiture and blessings, the Commander of The United Kingdom Commandery admitted one Postulant (Knight Expectant) to the Order, raised four Knights Expectant to the rank of Knight, installed one Knight and raised one Knight to the rank of Knight Commander.
Investing a new Knight in the Order is a six-stage process. The new Knight takes an Oath to the Order, kneels for the sword strokes of knighthood, has his heels tapped symbolically with a spur, receives white gloves symbolic of a Knight’s clear conscience. Then the Commander raises the new Knight to his feet and presents him with the Order’s Neck Cross and Certificate.
After all the Knighthoods had been conferred, the Convocation concluded with a blessing and the Order’s traditional words of closing: “Love and Peace be with us!” All then processed out and gathered for group photos on the church steps.
A short walk through Limehouse brought us to The Narrow, a Gordon Ramsey restaurant with panoramic views of the river Thames. After Loyal and Order toasts, taken sitting down In Royal Naval tradition, the three-course meal and wines were greatly enjoyed.
Speeches and the presentation of a donation to the Newham Cornwell VC Sea Cadet Unit followed before we all again assembled for another short walk to the Museum of London Docklands.
After a brief stay that wetted the appetite to re-visit this fascinating museum we all boarded a Thames Clipper for the journey up-river to Tower Bridge. The high-speed catamaran made short work of the journey, bringing us to The Tower of London to view the major artistic installation entitled ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’. This has filled the Tower’s famous dry moat with over 800,000 ceramic poppies to create a powerful visual commemoration for the First World War Centenary.
A visit to St Katherine’s Dock, to board one of the Little Ships that went to the aid of the British Expeditionary Force during Operation Dynamo (the evacuation of Dunkirk) in 1940, brought to an end a special day of maritime-related events.
As a first-time attendee at an Equestrian, Secular and Chapterial Order of Saint Joachim annual Investiture, I found the Investiture and programme of events inspiring. With so many fellow-CSLI members also members in The Order of St Joachim, the warm welcome I received reflected the closeness of our two organisations.