The History of the Province of Monmouth and South Wales

Province of Monmouth & South Wales Logo

In 1953 there were three Preceptories in South Wales that were part of the Province of Somerset, Monmouth and South Wales. It was decided to split the Province into two different Provinces, one to be named Somerset and the other Monmouth and South Wales.

On Friday 12th June 1953, an especial meeting of the Province of Somerset, Monmouth and South Wales was held at the Headquarters in the East i.e. Masonic Hall, Bath, under the banners of the Antiquity and Bladud Preceptories, for the purpose of winding up the affairs of the Province for it to cease on 30th June 1953.

On 30th June an Especial meeting of Provincial Priory was held at the Masonic Temple, Cardiff, under the banner of Morganwg Preceptory, for the purpose of installing V.E.Kt. Richard Wilson Bartlett, D.L., J.P., F.S.A.A., P.Gt.St.Br.(B), Sub-Prior in Charge, as Provincial Prior of Monmouth and South Wales by M.E. and Supreme Grand Master the Rt. Hon. Lord Harris, M.C., V.L., G.C.T., assisted by the Officers of Great Priory.

In the early years, the Annual Provincial meetings were preceded by a Church Service. Indeed, there are a couple of other Provinces in England which still do this.

The first Provincial meeting after the Consecration was held in Llanelli on 14th July 1954 following a meeting of Giraldus Cambrensis Preceptory. It was reported that membership of the Province was a very healthy 141 knights.

Subsequent meetings were held in one of three locations around the Province Llanelli, Newport and Cardiff. Then over the next few decades to other locations where Preceptories met.

It was only in 2003 that it was decided to hold every meeting of Provincial Priory at Bridgend in the month of May, except in Emergencies to Invest a new Provincial Prior.

List of all the Provincial Priors of Monmouth and South Wales

1953 – 1958 Richard Wilson Bartlett
1958 – 1966 Col. George Trevor Kelway
1966 – 1977 Henry Gethin Lewis
1977 – 1983 William George Leslie Pyatt
1984 – 1992 John Cornelius Lewis
1992 – 2000 Dr. Alan John Owen
2000 – 2001 Richard Charles Warburton
2001 – 2010 Graham Spencer Gubb
2010 – 2016 Peter Gordon Ward France
2016 –  Dr. Paul Richard Calderwood