Royal & Select Masters

The Grand Council of the Order of Royal and Select Masters of England and Wales
and its Districts and Councils Overseas


RSM Jones 300The Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of England and Wales and its Districts and Councils Overseas was formally constituted on 29 July 1873 by four Councils chartered just two years earlier by the Grand Council of New York.

They organised themselves into a Sovereign body under the Patronage of the Rev. Canon G.R. Portal, a Past Grand Master of Mark Master Masons, who was Installed as the Grand Master of the Order. By the turn of the century there were twenty seven Councils and a similar number Consecrated by the end of the second world war. The Order then grew rapidly with the number on the Roll at the end of 2013 being over 250 Councils.

The Degrees in the Order - four in total - are often referred to as the 'Cryptic Degrees', and the Order sometimes as 'Cryptic'. The ceremonies complete the Solomonic legend as they prove the essential link between the Degrees of Mark Mason, the Raising in Craft, and The Royal Arch.

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Royal & Select Masters

Address by The Most Illustrious Grand Master

Address by The Most Illustrious Grand Master
Kessick John Jones
to the Annual Assembly of Grand Council
Tuesday 18 April 2017

Companions, I am so delighted to see so many of you at Grand Council today, and I bid you all a very warm welcome. It is most heartening that you have been able to travel to London to participate in what I am confident will be a happy and joyous occasion, and that many of you will be able to join us at our celebratory luncheon afterwards.

RSM Jones 800I know that I speak on behalf of you all when I congratulate all the Companions whom I have today appointed to, or promoted in, Grand Rank.

To those Companions, I will say that our Annual Investiture should be a major milestone in your Cryptic careers and I trust that you will remember today for a long time to come. You should need no reminding that your new status brings new responsibilities and I wish you well as you continue to serve both your Councils and Grand Council and, I hope, to play your part in serving society at large.
It would seem logical to begin my address with a glance at the past year, my first year in office, which has been an eventful one. It hardly seems possible that 12 months has elapsed since that wonderful day last April when I was Installed as your Grand Master.

I wouldn’t say that my first year has been a ‘baptism of fire’, but it has certainly been a busy one. Together with a Team of faithful and diligent Active Grand Officers of the Year, most of whom travel at their own expense; we have Consecrated no less than 6 Councils. These were in Crook, in Durham, Southport and Leyland, in Lancashire, London, St Albans in Hertfordshire and Beverley in the District of North and East Yorkshire.

I am also delighted to say that 4 other Consecrations are already in the planning stages and will take place in Newark, Durham, London and Barcelona, later this year.
During the last year I have also installed 3 new District Grand Masters and will tell you more about that shortly.

The usual custom practiced by Keith Hind Council of putting on a demonstration changed last year and I am very grateful for that, as it allowed a personal friend of mine the opportunity of being chosen as a Select Master. The ceremony took place in that Council, under the Banner of McMahon Council and it was a very impressive occasion. I must thank the Thrice Illustrious Master, Right Illustrious Companion Vincent Driver, together with all the members of both Councils. I was further privileged to be with them again in January when the same Thrice Illustrious Master, skilfully installed his successor, Right Illustrious Companion John Harvey my District Grand Master for Northumberland. So, all in all, Keith Hind Council has had a very good year.

I mentioned earlier the 3 new District Grand Masters. In July last year I was privileged to Install Right Illustrious Companion Ken Downes as District Grand Master for Wyvern, this was in consequence of the retirement of Right Illustrious Companion Eric Bourne.

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M.Ill.Comp. Kessick J. Jones
Grand Master

R.Ill.Comp. His Hon Ian D. G. Alexander, KC
Deputy Grand Master

R.Ill.Comp. Paul A. Norman
Grand Principal Conductor of the Work


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