The Installation meeting of the St. Cuthbert's Preceptory No. 139 held on the morning of Saturday 15th February proved to be a milestone in the history of the Preceptory. This was only the second occasion since the formation of the Provincial Priory of Durham that the Preceptory had received a visit from the Provincial Prior accompanied by the Sub-Prior and a full deputation of Great Priory and Provincial Priory Officers.
Following the opening ceremony the Provincial Prior, Rt. E. Kt. Richard Scott accompanied by the Sub-Prior, E. Kt. Richard Tucker, and the Officers of the Provincial Priory entered the Preceptory under an Arch of Steel provided by the Provincial Prior's Bodyguard and were warmly welcomed by the E. Preceptor, E. Kt. Simon Atkinson.
A requiem was conducted in honour of E. Kt. John Coward whose recent sudden death saddened all who knew him. He will be missed as a very active member of the Preceptory and of the Provincial Priory.
The many Knights present then witnessed a very well conducted ceremony during which Kt. Laurence Andrew Morley was installed as Eminent Preceptor by the Installing Preceptor. E. Kt. Morley is to be congratulated upon taking the chair at short notice to facilitate the recovery and convalescence of the First Constable, Kt. Nigel Foster, following major surgery. The thoughts and prayers of all the Knights for a speedy recovery are extended to Nigel.
The investiture of officers and the business of the Preceptory having been concluded, the Preceptory was closed and a Priory of Malta opened. E. Kt. Morley was then installed as Prior by E. Kt. Atkinson and the officers of the Priory were appointed and invested.
Following the meeting, the Knights and their guests enjoyed an excellent celebratory luncheon after which the customary toasts were observed. During the reply to his toast the Provincial Prior displayed the statuette of a Swift which marks the donation made by the Provincial Priory to the Eye Hospital of St. John. As this was the final Provincial Visit before the Annual Meeting he thanked all of the officers of the Provincial Priory who had supported him so well during their term of office.