KENNETH F. HERRINGTON III
We are still mourning the loss of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the beloved Patron of our esteemed Organization. Her Late Majesty was such an inspiration to all, and we will all miss Her. However, we are prepared to ‘carry on’ in meeting our mission to support St George’s Chapel.
…Long Live King Charles III!
This last year has been an exciting recovery, as we struggled through the now-past Covid crisis. We are a proud member of the U.S. Heritage Community; however, our primary mission is to support St George’s College and Chapel in maintaining, restoring, and preserving the many architectural treasures of St George’s.
After two years of missing our Annual English Tea during Heritage Week, this last April we had a wonderful experience at the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C. Our newly-elected Director, William Mott, OBE, MVO, provided an outstanding presentation, with many stories of his thirteen-year experience as Garrison Sergeant Major of the Household Division of the seven Guards Regiments, until his retirement in 2015.
Despite the continued Covid restrictions imposed on our normal operations and way of life, I am pleased to report that our organization has continued to prosper and gain quality members. This last year, we have added eight new Descendant, and ten new Friend Members; all distinguished ladies and gentlemen, who understand and support our mission.
I am particularly pleased that our close contacts at the Friends’ Office in Windsor Castle have returned to their offices, and that we have caught up with our administration, which has made my job also serving as the membership Chairman much easier! I must add that this could not have been possible without the continued, invaluable assistance of the Honorary Secretary of the Friends of St George’s, Linda Aitken, in Windsor. We have become very good friends!
This last June, I had the pleasure of accompanying fourteen of our Members to attend the Service for the Order of the Garter in St George’s Chapel, and we had an incredible, and most memorable experience. Our week began with a lovely dinner at the residence of HM’s Private Chaplain, who is Chairman of the Friends of St George’s, Canon Martin Poll. Martin also provided us with a personal tour of the Chapel in the Great Park, where The Queen worshipped, and where he serves as the Canon Chaplain.
Canon Martin Poll has again requested that our organization support St George’s with a Chorister scholarship. This request was accepted and passed by our board of directors at our Annual Meeting last April. At our Garter Dinner last June, held at Cumberland Lodge in The Great Park of Windsor, I announced our support of this £20,000 Chorister scholarship, and it met with an immediate response by one of our distinguished Members, that our Chorister scholarship would be matched 100% with another Chorister scholarship!
In July, I mailed out my annual message to our Members, and a request to support our Chorister Scholarship. As a result, I am pleased to report that we have recently met our fund-raising goal to provide this scholarship, and that we have qualified to receive the 100% matching grant for another Chorister Scholarship. We are currently working out the details of the matching gift. Or, with the permission of these generous matching contributors, and the recent US$ currency gain over GBPs, we may direct those excess British Pounds to assist in the restoration and repair of an ancient stained-glass window in St George’s Chapel that Canon Mark Powell has requested. This ancient window depicts the heraldic arms of twelve Knights of the Garter. I am so proud of our organization, and am honored to serve as the President.
At another event in London last June, I was introduced to Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, KG, GCVO, the youngest brother of King Charles III, and he personally thanked me for our support of St George’s Chapel. So, I am very pleased to announce that our organization’s support of St George’s is indeed known, appreciated, and recognized!
One of my objectives this year is for our membership base to become more organized through geographic regions, and the development of an active email base, so that we can become more effective in future communications, and fund-raising to support St George’s Chapel.
I have had the honor to serve as President since April 2020, and this will be my last Report. I am so pleased to announce the new President of our organization, a distinguished and recognized leader in the American ancestry profession, Mr D. Brenton Simons, who is the President and CFO of the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston, Massachusetts. Our organization is in very capable hands, and our Members should also be very proud.
Thank you all for your support to me in meeting our mission.
Brenton Simons writes: ‘Greetings. I succeeded Ken Herrington as your President in September 2022 (thank you to Ken for his many kindnesses to me during a transition of administration). ‘It has been a privilege for several years to serve as an officer of The American Friends of St George’s Chapel and The Descendants of the Knights of the Garter, to have initiated and organized a successful Chorister scholarship program a few years ago, and now to serve as your President. I am aided in this role by many others, including not only the talented staff at Windsor Castle, but also a group of dedicated officers, all of whom volunteer their valuable time to this beloved organization.
Finally, if you are an American citizen and are interested in joining our organization, please contact Mr Robb Aley Allan, our Membership Chair, at [email protected] We warmly welcome new members, either as Friends or as Descendants of Garter Knights. Mr Allan will be pleased to guide you in the membership process.