Royal & Select Masters
This interesting degree (sometimes referred to as the Cryptic degree) with its unusual triangular apron, covers the 410 years between the end of the Craft and the beginning of the Holy Royal Arch.
The Grand Council of the Order of
|Deputy Master||Ill Comp David H. Connor PGStB|
|Principal Conductor of the Work||Ill Comp Ian Ronson PAGDC|
|Chaplain||VIll Comp Brian S. Raby GChap|
|Treasurer||Ill Comp Malcolm I Bell PGStdB|
|Recorder||Ill Comp J Fraser McCord|
|Director of Ceremonies||Ill Comp Shaun Higson|
|Lecturer||Ill Comp Stuart Mowbray|
|Deputy Director of Ceremonies||Comp John Bicknell|
|Captain of the Guard||Ill Comp Peter Connolly|
|Conductor of the Council||Ill Comp Howard Emmett|
|Assistant Director of Ceremonies||Comp J Michael Green|
|Sword Bearer||Ill Comp Nathaniel Killen|
|Standard Bearer||Ill Comp Edwin Schofield|
|Assistant Recorder||Comp Michael P Birks|
|Organist||Comp Michael Hatton|
|Steward||Ill Comp Stephen Bolton|
|Manciple||Ill Comp David G Rainford|
|Manciple||Ill Comp Edwin Fisher|
|Sentinel||Ill Comp Peter Hegarty PDGStwd|
The Old “North Western Counties” District was briefly reformed on Friday 25th April at Oaklands Council Nº.245 in the District of Cheshire, Shropshire & North Wales when Companions from that District and from the District of Lancashire came together once more.
The soon to be Consecrated J. Alan Wright Council Nº.321, which will meet at Hemsley House in Salford, has attracted many petitioners – including three Companions not yet fully qualified to be Founders. It was a race against time to find ceremonies for these Companions to attend and become fully fledged Members of the Order and so obtain the all-important certificate number!
Hearing of the difficulty, Right Illustrious Companion Shaun B. Crutchley, the District Grand Master for C.S. & N.W., invited the Companions concerned to join with Oaklands Council's Robert Jordan who was to take the degrees of Most Excellent Master & Super Excellent Master. Accordingly, Michael Green of Vale of Weaver Council together with Len Hayes and Dennis Schiff, both from St. John's Council Nº 8, met at Hyde to complete their reception into the Order.
Also invited was Right Illustrious Companion Robert SC Mitchell, the District Grand Master for Lancashire, who was able to thank the District, the Council and the District Grand Master for their kindness in supporting a neighbouring District.
So, documentation now in place, it's full-steam ahead for the new Council which, not only has the honour of being named after the Grand Master of the Order, but which will also have the Grand Master himself as its first Thrice Illustrious Master. Watch this space for details of the Consecration.
Our picture shows, from left to right, Dennis Schiff, Michael Green, Shaun Crutchley, Robert Mitchell, Robert Jordan and Len Hayes.
St John's Council No.8 meets at Audenshaw and had its Installation on Thursday 8th May. On that happy occasion Professor Fraser McCord (seated) was Installed in the Chair as Thrice Illustrious Master for the first time.
Present at the Installation was the District Grand Master, Right Illustrious Companion Robert SC Mitchell who can be seen in the picture presenting a Grand Council certificate to Companion Dennis Schiff. This is the conclusion to the story above.
Everything is now in place for the Founders of the new Council at Salford for which we await the date of its Consecration. The Grand Master himself, Most Illustrious Companion J Alan Wright, has agreed to be the first Master of the new Council.
The Grand Master - MIllComp J Alan Wright
The Grand Master graciously agreed to be the first Master of the new Council, named after him, which was Consecrated at Salford Masonic Hall on Wednesday 6 August. In attendance were many District Grand Masters as well as Consecrating team from London.
Amongst those pictured with the Grand Master (seated centre) are The Deputy Grand Master, RIllComp Kessick John Jones, clothed in red, the Grand Principal Conductor of the Work, RIllComp His Honour Ian Douglas Gavin Alexander, QC, clothed in purple, and our own District Grand Master, RIllComp Robert Simon Curtis Mitchell, JP, on the extreme right of the picture.
In honour of the occasion, the Grand Master authorised the wearing of his initials upon the ribbon of the breast jewel. This honour has previously only been granted to his own Council "Euston" and to one in Cheshire, "de Tably".
The companions of the new J Alan Wright Council were presented with their monogram at the first meeting of the Council on 30 September and it can be worn upon the ribbon of the breast jewel throughout the English Constitution by current, honorary and future members of the Council.
Any Mark Man & RA Companion interested in becoming a Royal & Select Master should contact the District Recorder, Professor Fraser McCord. There are Councils meeting all over Lancashire and details of them can be found on this site.
You may well recognise EComp Stuart Hughes, Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principles for Manchester, who on Thursday 22 May was Chosen to be a Select Master at Saul Council No.136 which meets at Garstang. The Ceremony was beautifully worked by Ill Comp Ian Scott, the DC, shown shaking hands with Comp Hughes. Mention should most certainly be made of Companion Geoff Glover who Conducted Comp Hughes around the Council and did an excellent job (standing right).
Also shown (L to R), Ill Comp David H Connor, District Grand Principal Conductor of the Work; Comp Eric J Sarti, Deputy Master (seated left); R Ill Comp Glyn J Davies, Past District Grand Master and V Ill Comp Mel Cross, PGLect, Principal Conductor of the Work (seated right).
On 16 June, at the Blazing Star Council No.224 in Clayton, Companion John Radford was Chosen as a Select Master (First Ceremony) and on the same evening Comps Ivan Eastwood and Ken Olive were Honoured as Royal Masters (Second Ceremony). The Ceremonies were worked by the Master, IllComp Peter Hegarty (robed centre) assisted by IllComp Geoff Catterall (seated left) and Comp John Green (seated right).
In attendance were (left to right) VIllComp David H Kirkham, Deputy District Grand Master, RIllComp Glyn Davies, Past District Grand Master and RIllComp Robert SC Mitchell, District Grand Master. On the other side of Peter Hegarty are Comp Ken Olive, as cheerful as ever, Comp Ivan Eastwood and the newest member of the Council Comp John Radford.
At the next meeting on Thursday 23 October, Companion David Gallear will be Chosen as a Select Master. Invitations may be requested from the Recorder whose details are given above.
Below are links to some other Districts
Grand Council www.glmmm.com/rsm/default.aspx
Channel Islands (inspectorate) www.jerseymason.org.uk
Cheshire, Shropshire & North Wales www.rsmcheshireandnorthwales.co.uk
Cumberland and Westmorland www.cumbriafreemasons.org/orders.asp?ord=8
Dorset, Hampshire & Isle of Wight www.dorset-hants-rsm.co.uk
East Anglia www.rsm-east-anglia.org/rsm
Leicestershire & Rutland www.pglleics.org.uk/site/otheroders/2-public/orders/20-rsm.html
Northamptonshire & Huntingdonshire www.northants-huntsmasons.org.uk/index.php/other-orders/rsm
Oxfordshire, Berks & Bucks www.rsmobb.co.uk
Somerset & Wiltshire www.somerset-wilts-rsm.org.uk
South Wales www.rsm-southwales.org.uk
Yorkshire, West www.rsm-yorkshire.co.uk/index.htm
Yorkshire, North & East www.neyorksrsm.com