Forest fires in Odemira

F+ Jorge Amador, KTJ, National Vice-Commander Relief/Humanitarian Efforts of the Templar Corps with his team deliver basic goods to the firefighters in Odemira, Portugal. Forest fires have been raging in the vicinity of the Algarve Outpost since last weekend, with a record breaking burned area for the region.

The School in the Cloud

During the 4th Session of the Templar Corps Certification Course we talked about shifting trends in education. I said I would share with our members a video that is quite interesting. Professor Sugata Mitra from India explains his School in the Could concept for which he won an award in 2013.

Please watch the video and comment. If you want to know more, look for Prof. Mitra follow up videos on  YouTube. You won’t regret it!

 

Isla de San Simón – Small, lush island has a long and bloody history

ON THE ISLAND OF SAN Simón (Pontevedra, Spain), Canarian palms grow alongside acacia and eucalyptus. A pathway lined with boxwood trees known as the Paseo de los Buxos welcomes visitors to the small island off the coast of Vigo, Spain.

The Isla de San Simón is part of the San Simón archipelago along with several other islets. These small spits of land are part of an estuary environment that supports important biodiversity.

Though it currently has no permanent residents, San Simón has seen a number of inhabitants over the years. The earliest records of inhabitance dates back to the 12th century when a monastery founded by the Order of the Temple was established on the island. The Knights Templar (…) were the island’s main residents until the 14th century, when it was abandoned.

Over the following centuries, San Simón saw a number of naval battles and was used as a hiding place for valuable cargo. From 1838 to 1927 the island housed a quarantine station for those with serious contagious diseases including cholera and leprosy.

Not long after the quarantine site shut down, its buildings were repurposed for use as a penal colony during the Spanish Civil War. Political prisoners from all over Spain were held at the camp, where they were subjected to inhumane living conditions and mass executions. The camp was shut down in 1948.

Today, the Spanish government has turned San Simón into an “Isla del Pensamiento” (“Island of Thought”), meant to honor the history of the island and inspire deep, creative thought. In addition to the historic buildings, sculptures scattered across the island memorialize different parts of its heritage. A partially submerged monument on the east shore commemorates San Simón’s appearance in Jules Verne’s 1870 novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

The island houses ancient graveyards, sculpture gardens, and surprises around every turn. It can only be accessed by boat.

in atlasobscura.com [edited]

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Dover’s ancient Knights Templar Church ruins that aren’t all that they seem

Lying next to a main road in Dover, a stone’s throw from a residential street, is an interesting set of medieval ruins.

Known as the Knights Templar Church – by English Heritage and Google and pretty much everyone – they comprise flint and mortar remains in the shape of a rectangular chancel around 10 metres long.

It is believed to date back to the 12th century. But it’s not quite as it seems.

Despite its popular name, most experts seem dubious about its specific Knights Templar origins.

English Heritage describes the links to the famous order as “tenuous”.

The Knights Templar were a military and religious group founded in the 12th century during the Crusades, to protect pilgrims travelling to the Holy Land and to defend the holy places there.

Dover then would be a good location to do it from.

They became rich and powerful but increasingly unpopular, and were eventually suppressed in 1312.

Apparently, the form of the Western Heights ruins mirrors that of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, accounting for the link with the Templars.

But as English Heritage experts point out: “The port of Dover, the chief departure point for pilgrimages to the Holy Land, was an obvious place for the Templars to have held property.

“But they are believed to have left the town before 1185 and their links to this particular site are tenuous.

“An alternative interpretation suggests that the building was a wayside shrine on the Dover to Folkestone road.”

Experts also point to the site not being listed as belonging to the Order in surviving records.

The Dover area does have other strong links to the Knights Templar however.

They are believed to have established a church at Temple Ewell in 1170.

While only below ground ruins remain from their Preceptory, they are said to have founded St Peter and St Paul Church that stills stands in the village today.

Apparently evidence of the original Norman work can be seen in the north doorway and the high narrow window in the north wall of the nave.

Some suggest the Knights Templar may have used the Western Heights building before moving to Temple Ewell, but again an expert says it’s “more likely to have been a simple road-side shrine”.

Others say the shape, a smaller scale form of both the Jersualem church and the New Temple Church in London, indicate it may have had links to the Order’s supporters, even if it wasn’t a part of their formal estate.

Either way, it’s an intriguing thing to look at in a prominent location in Dover.

And with the Western Heights fortifications and nature reserve trail nearby, there is plenty of history – not to mention spectacular views – to take in too.

in kentlive.news

Exultate justi in domino – New Armaments in Chivalry in the Good Land of Alentejo

In preparation for the eve of Santiago and the commemoration of the Battle of Ourique, the OSMTHU’s Grand Priory of Portugal gathered in General Chapter in the good land of Alentejo, to welcome new brothers and sisters, receive the commitment of service from Squires and arm Knights who demand the Order. Current Covid19 restrictions prevented many of those who wished to join the work from doing so. However there was a very significant number in attendance, ensuring two days of very fruitful work, in peace, serenity and harmony. Until the end of the year, un the hope for improvements in sanitary conditions, the Order will provide the opportunity for those who were forced not to attend, to resume their journey without delay. Their absence was felt. As in previous years, we do not want to expose to the public ceremonies that are reserved and contain ritual procedures and moments of study and explanation rooted in the richest Tradition of Spiritual Chivalry, in many cases lost in the fog of collective memory and absent in the Templar inspired movements of the nowadays.
After a morning of remembrance of the precepts of Chivalry according to 13th century sources, in a study session led by the Preceptor of the Grand Priory, João Pedro Silva, KOTJ, there was a convivial lunch that allowed us to catch up on long-awaited conversations. since we had not met since the Ecumenical Journeys of Lagos in February 2020. Since then an intense work of online study has been developed in parallel with some initiatives already fixed in our annual Calendar, as was the case of the Conference on Templars and Templarism in October 2020 and the 2021 Ecumenical Journeys, both in a virtual environment. The afternoon began with the ritual opening of the National Chapter, during which postulants in the degree of Novice were received and a large group of Novices who had already completed their degree passed to Escudeiro. Some of the Knights present contributed to consolidating the knowledge acquired, promoting the necessary reflection for progress in the understanding of Chivalry. A meditation on the Emmaus Way and its meaning was especially poignant, and the afternoon was completed with a reading of traditional texts, including an oral tradition tale of Chivalry fixated in text in the 12th century in Gascony in France, that always leaves a special mark, in the memory of the Squires. The preparation work for the night vigil, essential for the armament ceremony, began at the end of Saturday afternoon, with the departure from the Convent in procession through the Alentejo countryside to a fountain where the traditional washings were carried out and the spirit was prepared for the long journey that was still ahead, as the ceremony takes place only on Sunday.
Rui Herdadinha, KCTJ, Commander of Arraiolos , was the kind host of a convivial snack that preceded the ascent to the Castle, a moment of interior silence that marks the end of the clear Alentejo day, with the disappearance of the sun, opening the night period during which, in the darkness and uncertainty of the black night, one proceeds to complete vigil, without abbreviation or subterfuge, in hope and anticipation of the desired dawn.
Little more can be added about what followed. The procession descended from the Castle to the Chapter, which resumed its work and proceeded to clarify many points about Chivalry and the Templars reserved only for the most diligent. In the morning, the armaments were carried out following the traditional Ritual, with the Order being enriched with 4 new Knights and 1 Dame. They are the Brothers Paulo Fernandes, KTJ; Virgílio Gomes, KTJ; Bruno Correia, KTJ; Miguel Pereira, KTJ; and Dame Joana Frade, DTJ. We congratulate them and wish that Chivalry, as a tree of firm trunk and roots, may become green again and bear fruit in them. The 6th Commandery of the Grand Priory of Portugal was also created, the new Commandery of Lisbon – Sait Cathrin Hill, with Brother Commander João Pedro Silva, KCTJ being invested. Brother João took his oath in the traditional way and will begin work immediately. Sunday’s work ended in a traditional way with the celebration of the Eucharist by the Grand Prior and Bishop Tau Flammula Veritatis.
The Grand Priory is deeply grateful to all the Brothers and Sisters who worked tirelessly to make the Chapter a success, within the strict health regulations in place at the moment in Portugal. Special mention should be made to Sister Susana Ferreira, DTJ; to Brother Fernando Silva, KTJ who irrepressibly performed the position of Master of Ceremonies; to Brother Filipe Simões, KTJ and to the Commanders Rui Herdadinha, KCTJ; Paulo Valente, KCTJ and Victor Varela Martins, KCTJ as well as all those who participated and contributed to another unforgettable chapter in the history of our Grand Priory. Thank you all.

Global Forum on Education Leads the Way Forward

The Templar Corps Global Forum of April was dedicated to Education as the 4th Sustainable Development Goal of the United Nations. A recording of the full session, subtitled in English, will be available shortly.

The event was coordinated by Vincenzo Tuccillo, Knight General Director of Bolívia and Cono Sur Countries. As keynote speakers the Forum had Prof. Rocco Romeo, of the G. Marconi University in Rome and L.I.E. Roger Errejon Alaniz, Coordinator of the Central Altiplano Zone of the Bachilleres College of the San Luis Potosi State of Mexico.

Prof. Rocco Romeo told the Forum about the challenges COVID19 and remote learning brought to Italy, where some regions still don’t have a robust internet connection, capable of withstanding the increased load in data exchange. He also explained how Piero Calamandrei, one of the fathers of the modern day Italian State considered Education so important that it should have a constitutional framework. Since the 1950’s, at east 8 years of schooling is guaranteed and scholarships are available to help the most needed. Prof. Rocco published on this subject and on the problems Italians face with the Digital Revolution in this sector.

L.I.E. Roger Errejon talked about his experience in rural Mexico, in regions where there is no internet and where schools are vital for the local economy. Indeed many children still depend on school meals for their daily food and a situation of confinement and the suspension of classes has impact on much more then learning and literacy. He also presented the Forum with a short study on the actions that should be taken to make Education more universal and balanced.

Overall it was a very inspiring Forum on one of the most fundamental topics that come under the interest of the Templar Corps. There were attendees from Bolivia, Chipre, Spain, Greece, Italy, Malta, Mexico, Portugal, Turkey and Venezuela.

The next Global Forum will take place on May 16 under the title “Countering Disinformation and Resolving Conflict”.

Please visit the list of current SUPPORTED AND AFFILIATED PROJECTS of the Templar Corps. A new project in the Educational sector will be presented within the next few weeks by Pierre Bertrand N’Gondi, representative of the Templar Globe in Cameroon.

Global Forum will discuss The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – Education

Sunday, April 15th you should not miss the Global Forum. We will be discussing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – Education.

The Sustainable Development Goals are a call for action by all countries – poor, rich and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection. More important than ever, the goals provide a critical framework for COVID-19 recovery.

Education enables upward socioeconomic mobility and is a key to escaping  poverty. Over the past decade, major progress was made towards increasing access to education and school enrollment rates at all levels, particularly for girls. Nevertheless, about 260 million children were still out of school in 2018 — nearly one fifth of the global population in that age group. And more than half of all children and adolescents worldwide are not meeting minimum proficiency standards in reading and mathematics.

Keynote Speaker: L.I.E. Roger Errejon Alaniz, Coordinador de la Zona Centro Altiplano, de Colegio de Bachilleres del Estado de San Luis Potosi, Republica Federal de Mexico.
Guest Speaker: Prof.Rocco Romeo, Universidad G. MARCONI, de Roma, Italia

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Fr+ William MacCallum, former Archivist of the Magisterial Council of the OSMTHU passes away

It’s with great sadness that we receive news of the passing of Fr+ Robert MacCallum of the Grand Priory of Australia. Fr+ MacCallum served as a member of the Magisterial Council as Archivist since 1999, under Master Fernando de Toro-Garland and later under Master Antonio Paris.

Fr+ Andrew Foster of Tasmania, Australia, says “William was taken into a nursing home in about August/September last year he started out with early signs of Alzhiemers Disease. He suffered a number of falls causing his condition to slowly worsen. Late September early October he was rushed to hospital and was diagnosed with cancer.”

For many years Fr+ MacCallum has been one of the most respected and beloved members of the Order internationally. His contribution to the compilation of the early Statutes and Bylaws of the OSMTHU was fundamental. His absence will be missed by all. Our prayers go to Sr. Anne, family, friends and brethren in Australia.

Global Forum will discuss poverty in South America with invited speaker from the Red Cross

Sunday, March 21st you should not miss the Global Forum. We will be discussing poverty in South America and ways to help those in need. The keynote speaker will be the Templar Globe Director Vincenzo Tuccillo and the invited guest will be Dr Reynaldo Ayala, President of the La Paz Departmental Red Cross, Bolivia.

The Global Forum is a global online Conference with exclusive access to active members of the Templar Corps. Some of the most relevant current topics are discussed, with a special focus on the leading projects carried out across the world. It’s a great opportunity to bring your own questions and comments the growing network of the TCI.

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H.E. Vincenzo Tucillo, Knight General, Director of Bolivia


Dr Reynaldo Ayala, Presidente Cruz Roja Departamental de La Paz Bolivia