2022 Christmas Celebration at USA National Headquarters, The Ancient Spanish Monastery

Santa Barbara Commandery’s 2022 Christmas Gathering

On Monday December 12th the Commandery of Santa Barbara in South Florida held our 1st annual Christmas gathering and it was an overwhelming success!

Our party was held at the USA National Headquarters located at The Ancient Spanish Monastery (SpanishMonastery.com) The catered cuisine was scrumptious, the fellowship and camaraderie were amazing, and a good time was had by all!

We started out with a cocktail hour in the Garth from about 6:00pm to 7:30pm. Dinner in the Knights’ Chapter house followed and was kicked off with a speech by Dr. Gregory Mansfield, Rector of The Church of St. Bernard de Clairvaux and Chaplain of the Commandery of Santa Barbara. “Father Greg” spoke about the history of the monastery and he concluded with an invocation and a blessing.

At 8:30 pm Richard Smith, KCTJ gave the host’s welcome speech and he concluded by introducing our guest of honor: Grand Prior of USA, Caesar Johnson.

At 8:45 pm Grand Prior gave a speech that included a Christmas message and greetings from the National Order. In addition to dinner, the evening also featured an open bar with beer, wine, top shelf liquor. We had a “cigar bar” manned by a cigar expert. And we had a game table for people to play chess. The utmost attention to detail was paid to every facet of the event including our stunning table settings that featured golden table cloths, menus and schedules at every place setting, table centerpieces made out of Knight in armor statuettes surrounded by festive and seasonally correct poinsettias with candles adorning the perimeter of the table centerpieces.

Every single attendee was given a gift of Swag by the Commandery. The swag consisted of customized 15 oz. mugs emblazoned with our Commandery logo and sourced from crusadercrafts.com. Each mug was filled with patches and stickers sourced from both etsy.com/shop/KnightsTemplarCoins and crusadercrafts.com – both Templar owned businesses, along with 3-4 pieces of some top shelf candy to top it off. We held a raffle that had a dozen winners. The raffle items included 18 customized shirts each with a different Templar motif, 2 copies of the excellent book: “Templar Succession Establishing Continuity 1307-Present” by OSMTJ Grand Historian Daniel J. Clausen, KGCTJ, and several other Templar appropriate items. We ended up with 28 people in attendance!

Unfortunately, there were several people that had planned to come but for one reason or another were not able to join us. We ended up collecting 105 toys for our charity: “Heroes Hangout” A ministry for sick children battling cancer. Please enjoy these photos that depict a small glimpse of the evening’s festivities.

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