Our Order is often referred to as the Knights Templar but the correct title is
” The United Religious, Military and Masonic Order of the Temple and of St John of
Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta”. It requires its Aspirants to believe in the Holy
Trinity. It works the Degrees of Knight of the Temple and Knight of Malta.
By way of its very nature and its historical background, this is a Christian Masonic Order.
Both the Temple and Malta Degrees have their roots in the Holy Land during the Crusade era,
but on this question it must be remembered that there is no direct link of descent from the
Operative Templars or Hospitallers to the degree worked in our Preceptories today.
The Great Priory is a Sovereign Body in its own right with 14 Preceptories, 3 of which are
Scottish Working Preceptories, and is recognised by Great Priories throughout the world.
In September all the Great Priories of the World will be holding their Triennial Conference in
Rhodes. Most Preceptories meet four times a year with one of those being their Installation
The Installation/Proclamation meeting of Great Priory is held on the first Saturday in June
each year, and Most Eminent Knight Jack Manessarian GCT (Knight Grand Cross of the
Temple), installed his successor Most Eminent Knight Edward Ruska GCT as Grand Master,
Right Eminent Knight J.J De Kock KCT as High and Right Eminent Great Seneschal and
Right Eminent Knight John Howie as Great Prior of Malta this year.
While we are an Independent Body we are conscious of the need for a solid foundation on
which to grow our Order, and to this end we actively support the United Grand Lodge in its
endeavours to promote Freemasonry in the State. We encourage our members to support the
principles of the Craft, to be actively involved in their communities, and support the local
The Grand Master of our Order, on taking office, nominates a Charity of his choice and
funds raise during his term of three years is Donated on completion of his term.
Over the past two terms this Great Priory has donated some $20,000 plus to the Guide dogs
for the Blind and with the help of Hand Heart and Pocket $20,000 to the Melanoma Research
After the upheaval of the last couple of years we are looking to reinvigorate our members, to
raise the quality of our work, and to increase our numbers ,but we must be aware that times
have changed and younger men need to spend time with their families. We should ensure that
Freemasonry be a part of their lives and does not become their whole life. We must also
engage with our ladies, to be aware of their needs and encourage their involvement where it
is possible. The Great Priory is one part of the Great Order of Freemasonry and we look to
join with all Orders to ensure that Freemasonry retains its important place in our Society
today and for the future.
M E Grand Master Ted Ruska