Tuesday 3rd October saw the Grand Temple at Great Queen Street packed with over 800 members of the Order of Royal and Select Masters, literally from all over the world. This has been described as a ‘Once in a Generation Celebration of Cryptic Freemasonry’ – the 150th (Sesquicentenary) of the formation of the R&SM Grand Council.
M.Ill.Comp. Kessick John Jones, IX, Grand Master, presided over the meeting, assisted by R.Ill.Comp. His Hon. Ian Alexander, KC, IX, Deputy Grand Master, and R.Ill.Comp. Paul Norman, IX, Grand Principal Conductor of the Work.
The commemorative brochure of the meeting can be accessed here
The first business conducted was the investiture of those being appointed and promoted in Grand Rank, including celebratory preferments. Warwickshire was very much a part of the investiture, having four Companions present who were appointed and promoted. These were:
Ill Comp Richard Barker, promoted to Past Grand Conductor of the Council
Ill Comp Chris Rogers, appointed to Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies
Ill Comp David Stanford, appointed to Acting Grand Manciple
Ill Comp John Hayward, appointed to Past Grand Sword Bearer
They are pictured below with the Grand Master, R Ill Comp Kessick John Jones
The next item on the agenda was to hear a very brief history of the Order, presented by R Ill Comp Richard L Gan, who is the Grand Historiographer of the Order. This was obviously greatly abbreviated from the book he has produced on the subject. We have copies which can be borrowed if any Companion wishes to read the full history.
This was followed by the consecration of a new Ark of the Covenant and an elaborate explanation of the symbols engraved upon the Ark. The Ark is shown below, together with some of the twenty Warwickshire Companions who had attended, including our District Grand Master R Ill Comp Peter Wellings (centre) and Ill Comps Roger Mac, Peter Stokes, Paul Harrison and Graham Masefield.
Finally, before the Grand Master’s address to the meeting, the Grand Master’s Council was recognised as having the status of ‘Time Immemorial’ or TI instead of a number.
This emphasises the fact that the Council has been in existence since the formation of the Grand Council.
The Grand Master welcomed everyone to the Festive Board. The dinner which followed was held in the Connaught Rooms, in a somewhat crowded but very pleasant environment.
Finally, the scene at the Festive Board, where Warwickshire and others were tucked round a corner, and might just be seen through the entrance in on the right!
All in all, a very pleasant day of celebration to mark a very significant milestone in our Order. A much more detailed article together with a multitude of pictures can be found on the 6th October Freemasonry@86 weekly newsletter https://sway.office.com/oT6RLeFwAJBUw7oo?ref=Link