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Knights Templar
Scottish KTs made the Grade for International Membership


28th April 2007, At the Historic Colonial City of Williamsburg, VA, USA, the recently formed Commandery of St Clair, Scottish Knights Templar, achieved Membership of the International Knights Templar Order, Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani (OSMTH).


OSMTH is a Christian Chivalric Order, registered as a Non Governmental Organisation in Switzerland and has been recognised by the United Nations with Special Consultative Status. Its yearly conference was held over the last few days in April with over 500 Knights and Dames from all over the world in attendance.

Secretary of the Knights Templar in Scotland, Chevalier Paul McGowan GCTJ, who resides in the Kingdom of Fife, was in attendance throughout the largest Knight Templar convention in the last 200 years. “This event has been historical in so many levels” Chev McGowan noted. “Being admitted to the International Order has taken a number of years of hard work and dedication. With the increase of United Nations delegations and duties we are looking forward to supporting the work of the International Knights Templar Order, OSMTH”. He continued “During the Grand Convent the Pakistani Ambassador to the USA, His Excellency Mr. Mahmud Ali Durrani, was introduced as a Member of the Order of Merit and the Right Reverend Dr Bishop Riah Abu Ei-Assal, from Jerusalem, was introduced to the Chaplain Corps of the Order. These are significant additions to the International Order that reflects the high standards of the Order and its Advocacy, Humanitarian and International Peace efforts.”

Colonial Williamsburg itself has a strong historical background. Being one of the first places that the English Colonised in America and being the scene for a number of battles during the wars of the American Revolution. Queen Elizabeth will be in attendance later on this week for the celebration of the 400 years of its colonisation by the English.

As an added cause for celebration, Chev McGowan was promoted to the highest rank of the Order, that of Grand Cross of the Temple of Jerusalem (GCTJ) during the Grand Convent held in Bruton Parish Church, Williamsburg in front of over 380 Knights and Dames. Chev McGowan added “I am very grateful that our sponsor Order, the Grand Priory of France, decided to surprise me with this promotion to the highest level possible at this Convent”. He gave thanks to the Immediate Past Grand Prior of France, Dr Marcel De Picciotto, who has supported the application of the Scottish Knights Templar Order in a scene reminiscent of the Auld Alliance.

Chev Picciotto told us “We are Proud to be the Sponsor Order for the Scottish Knights Templar. The fraternal relationship between France and Scotland remains just as strong as it was in the 13th Century”.

The Grand Master of the International Knights Templar is USN Rear Admiral (Retired) James J Carey GCTJ. He told us “We are very proud to have a Professional and Committed Order join us from Scotland. Scotland has been very important in the history of the Knights Templar and I am sure that their continued growth and expansion in Scotland will be carried out with our main objectives in mind, that of:

1. Supporting the Holy Lands and Christians at Risk.

2. Building bridges between all Christian faiths through the Senior Clergy and reaching out to assist all the sons of Abraham.

3. Advocacy and Humanitarian Support through the local, national bodies and our work with the United Nations.”

When Chev McGowan was asked about the secret ceremonies and hidden treasures that seem to follow Knights Templar tradition around, he laughed. “We are an Order of Christian Knights and Dames with no secrets. Our ceremonies are held in the public domain. We admit both male and female Christians who want to make a difference to the world that we live in. Our hidden treasures are within ourselves and are not of a material world!”

The Scottish Order meets regularly at Rosslyn Chapel, which it sees as its Spiritual home in Scotland.

When questioned about the “Da Vinci Code”, Chev McGowan replied “There are a number of misconceptions about the Knights Templar. Our website at www.scottishknightstemplar.org tries to dismiss the myths and allows the public at large to apply for membership. Emails should be sent to: secretary@scottishknightstemplar.org . We welcome applications from serious and committed Christians that wish to assist us in our objectives.”

He continued, “Our latest project is to secure over two hundred thousand Euros for the development and improvement of over 30 Polish Orphanages. We are meeting with Senior Polish Officials in the next fortnight to drive this project along”.

Chev McGowan thanked the Members of the International Order for voting for Scotland to be admitted. The 13 voting countries that were present, included Austria, Canada, England and Wales, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Mexico, NATO, Norway, Serbia and the USA who, collectively, have over 5000 members worldwide. Further information on the International Order can be found at www.osmth.org.


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