Farewell to our District Grand Master

R.Ill. Comp. George John Deacon, was installed as the District Grand Master on 3rd March 2011 in succession to R. Il. Comp. Brian John Barfoot who had served the office for 15 years

R Ill. Companion George, was also at that time the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in the Mark and his experience became invaluable to him and the District as the new Head.

Just prior to his installation, with two other Companions he laid the foundation for a new Council to meet in Gosport and it was named after the late Nigel Buckingham who had been an enthusiastic Companion in the Order and also had been the Provincial Grand Master of the Mark Province.

Once installed as the DGM he then decided to take the Order into the New Forest and New Forest Council No 315 was consecrated in November 2012. This enthusiasm was furthered by having a new Council at Botley and the William Cobbett Council No 325 was consecrated in 2015. His main ambition was to have a Council in the name of R Ill. Comp. Brian Barfoot, but protocol being that a Council cannot be named after a living person, this was not possible.

However R Ill. Brian sadly died in April 2016 and early in 2017, it was decided that a Council could now be formed to meet in north Dorset, in Shaftesbury, and to named after Brian and work is in progress.

R Ill. Comp. George was very enthusiastic in visiting his Councils, both on his Official Visits and privately at other meetings, and was often taking part in ceremonies.

Overall Membership of the District has increased about 20% in the period of his leadership and individual membership is 245 and multiple membership stand at 336. His drive and determination was responsible for most of this increase.

In the spring, this year, R Ill. Comp. George announced that he was to retire on 25th August 2017 and would be succeeded by Ill. Comp. Jeremy Shaw.

To say a big Thank You to George for his excellent service as the Head of the District, a Valedictory Luncheon was held for him on 30th July 2016 at Botley. It was attended by 108 Companions and Ladies. Such is the respect that George is held in the Order in general, that some of the Guests had travelled from Yorkshire, Warwickshire, Essex and Somerset.

The Companions contributed to a presentation of an engraved Whiskey Decanter and two Glasses with a large bottle of Jameson Whiskey - his favourite- and also a cheque. The presentation was made by Ill. Comp. Jeremy Shaw. A presentation of a bouquet to Mrs Viv Kennett, his lady friend, was made by Ill. Comp. Peter Dack.

In his response to his Toast and presentation, R Ill. Comp. George thanked the Companions for their generosity of the gifts. He said that it had been an honour to lead the District and reflected on some of the highlights of his period of Office. He thanked everyone for the invaluable support that all the members have given him over the years.

He sat down to a rapturous applause.

(The full report of his address is printed in the District Year Book which will be available from Council Recorders and the Distinct Grand Recorder from 26th August 2017)

Ron Bentley
District Grand Recorder


The DGM with his Officers, together and the Principal Officers of Terra Regis Council No 263 on his final Official District Visit on 30th June 2017.



Presentation made by Jeremy Shaw



Presentation to Mrs Viv Kennett.



"Well it is all over now! Where is that Whisky?"

© 2013 District Grand Council of Dorset, Hampshire & Isle of Wight