Grand Master's Address 2019

Address of the Grand Master
M.Ill.Comp. Kessick Jones
Grand Council
Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Companions, I begin by welcoming you to our Annual Meeting and by expressing my appreciation that many of you have travelled considerable distances to be here. I look forward to sharing further time with you at our celebratory luncheon.

To start proceedings with an extended Obituary detailing the loss of so many well respected and revered Companions is not ideal. However, such sadness was quickly replaced by the joy and happiness of the Investiture proceedings.

I know that I speak on behalf of you all when I congratulate the Companions whom I have appointed to Grand Council Rank or promoted in it. The Investiture will have been a major and memorable event in their Cryptic careers, and they should need no reminding that their new status brings with it increased responsibilities which must be firmly grasped.

To those Companions I say, you are the future of our Order and although I stand centre stage today, today is primarily your day. But remember, I always expect more; the Impresario Irvine Berlin once remarked “The toughest thing about success is that you have got to keep on being a success. Talent is only a starting point. You have to keep on working on that talent, otherwise someday you’ll reach for it and it won’t be there”.

So, I will, as I said, be expecting much more of you.

May I take this opportunity now of thanking all the Active Officers of the last year for all your industry and endeavours, which I know you enjoyed. This goes for all of you, from the Deputy Grand Master and Grand P.C.W., right through the Team Sheet to the Grand Sentinel.

Now let me tell what Grand Council has been up to since we met here last April.

It has been a quieter year in comparison to 2017, but by no means an inactive one. As far as new Councils are concerned, I consecrated just one, way back on 23rd May 2018, namely the Captain James Cook Council No. 342 in the District of North and East Yorkshire.

Much later in the year on 1st December I had the pleasure of Installing Right Illustrious Companion Neil Hartburn as Dist.G.M. for North Midlands. This was following the retirement of R.Ill.Comp. John Clements who had served diligently for 10 years.

Not too far in the future, on 10th May I will be pleased to install V.Ill.Comp. Tim Hancock as Dist.G.M. for Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. This is of course in consequence of the very sad death of Nick Murzell.

Also, here today for the last time in his capacity of Dist.G.M. is R.Ill.Comp. John Jacobson, who after 7 years of exemplary service to Essex has announced his retirement. John, I thanked you personally at the Conference in January, for all you have achieved and I now publicly do so again. In consequence of this I have appointed Ill.Comp. Bob Potts to be Dist.G.M. for Essex and will be pleased to install him on 4th July.

Whereas, it has been quiet on the Consecration and Installation front, (although there are more scheduled for later in the year), it does indicate that we are entering a period of consolidation and equilibrium – and as I said to my Dist.G.M.s at their Conference - perhaps even contentment!

This is borne out by our overall statistics, which have remained almost constant, again indicating consolidation and contentment but without complacency.

I must at this juncture, pay tribute to my Dist.G.M.s and my District Grand Inspectors, they do a wonderful job.  They are all different in the way, in which they choose to superintend their Districts and Inspectorates, but all manage them firmly and fairly and seemingly happiness is every day increased! It is also heartening to see so many Past Dist.G.M.s in attendance today.

Occasionally I get to visit their bailiwicks, on what I see as learning excursions. John F Kennedy once said, "Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other". How true that has been. In the privileged position I hold in leading this Order, I have learned much and keep on learning during such visits. Not only by benefiting from their hospitality and generosity, but in witnessing the hard work and total commitment which they put into their meetings and ceremonies. Added to that, are one or two pleasing innovations, which just goes to prove that not all good ideas come from Head Office?

Let me give you a brief synopsis of my travels:

Early in May last year I visited our Inspectorate of the Channel Islands in Jersey.

In June I made a visit to St. James Council No. 143 in London and in July I went to Shiney Row in the District of Durham, to attend a Council that graciously bears my name, No. 337.

In October I was privileged to attend the Anniversary celebrations in Athens, of the Grand Council of the Royal & Select Masters of Greece, and thank the G.M. my good friend Athan Asios Lempesis for his welcome and hospitality.

I also visited Keith Hind Council when it met in Chester in May and afterwards attended the District Meeting of Cheshire, Shropshire and North Wales (including Staffordshire), now sporting their new name - "Cheshire and the Marches".

In March of this year I again visited Keith Hind Council, this time in Cumberland and Westmorland.

At all these meetings the work carried out was outstanding and of the highest professionalism.

I was also fortunate enough to be invited to the joint Allied and Cryptic Charity dinner in Tyneside. This was preceded by a golf challenge match between me and the Dist.G.M. for North and East Yorkshire versus the Dist.G.M.s for Northumberland and Durham. Their Website Newsletter reported the final result as an honourable half, but this was only because the G.M. was given an 8-foot putt on the last hole! The whole event was a most successful and enjoyable occasion which raised a considerable sum for a worthwhile charity.

The Silver Trowel and Excellent Masters continue to progress at an enviable rate. Since last April 148 candidates have received the Silver Trowel and 65 the Excellent Masters with 8 affiliations. In May we took our ‘Outreach’ program to Leeds and to Chester in July. The ceremonies were performed to a usual high standard by members of Grafton Council of Anointed Kings No. 16 and local Companions.

I thank the Installed Masters Councils throughout the land for their part in sustaining the momentum of the Silver Trowel and Grafton Council for what it does in London.

In Grafton’s meeting in November 2018 we had a 'guest King David' in the person of (now) R.Ill.Comp. Bernard Wayne, Essex bred, but now resident in the District of Devon and Cornwall who at the age of 92 has been the oldest King David we have ever had. Then in February this year V.Ill.Comp. Philip Purves took on the role and has probably been the youngest King David yet!

It was no surprise that they both put on a superb performance. Incidentally at that same meeting in February our G.D.C. was installed as Thrice Illustrious Master, thus adding to his myriad of responsibilities I thought I would throw that in, to keep him happy and smiling!

Three very significant and happy events took place during the year when 3 of our Companions celebrated 50 years in our Order.  On 9th July I was privileged to present R.Ill.Comp. Terry Bowler with his certificate in Kits Coty Council No.38, 50 years to the day that he was chosen as a Select Master in that wonderfully iconic Temple in Chatham. On 23rd February I had the honour to do the same for R.Ill.Comp. Charles Woodward at the delightful new venue at Marsh Bolton in Oxfordshire. Then I was pleased to present R.Ill.Comp. Alan Edgar Stewart with his 50-year certificate, quite unusually during a meeting of a Craft Lodge. My Dist.G.M. for East Midlands just happened to be W.M. of Old Kimboltonians Lodge and I am indebted to him and to R.W.Bro. Max Bayes P.G.M. for Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire, for allowing that unique occasion to take place. I now move on to one of the most agreeable aspect of this meeting, the opportunity to welcome our guests from daughter constitutions, overseas visitors and the Rulers of our own Progressive Orders. I ask you to suppress your rapturous applause until I have completed an impressive list.

From our Daughter Grand Councils

From France:

The Grand Master M.Ill.Comp. Guy Bertherat.

You are accompanied by R.Ill.Comp.s Bernard Girod, your Deputy, Francis Rhode your P.C.W., and Gerard Lemonie G.Rec.

Heureux De Vous Voir Tous! You have our sympathy with regard that dreadful catastrophe at Notre-Dame Cathedral yesterday.

From Greece:

The Grand Master M.Ill.Comp.Athan Asios Lempesis

And the Deputy Grand Master R.Ill.Comp Zack Epstein. Welcome.

From South-East Asia:

R.Ill.Comp. Dr Khoo Boo Khean P.G.Chan.

Ken good to see you.

From other Grand Councils

From the Grand Council of Delaware:

M.Ill.Comp. G Thomas Taylor the 3rd - Grand Master

And you have with you Comp. George Taylor the 4th (any relation?)

From the Grand Council of Ohio:

M.Ill.Comp. Stephen Hill G.M.

You are accompanied by R.Ill.Comp. Grover Manning Dep.G.M.

M.Ill.Comp Douglas Habeggar P.G.M.

And no less than 16 other Companions, including R.Ill.Comp. David Pratt Past Dist.G.M. for Yorkshire who of course always comes with the Ohio package!

Now from our own Districts

From Jamaica and the Cayman Islands:

R.Ill.Comp. Graham Smith P.Dist.G.M. the Grand Inspector

From the District of South and East Caribean:

Ill.Comp. Ralph Craig P.G.Lect.

Ill.Comps Errol Clarke P.G.Swd.B. and Winston Edwards P.G.St.B. all recipients today.

From the Inspectorate of the Channel Islands:

Ill.Comp. Michael Yates P.A.G.D.C. another recipient.

From Koning Salomo Council in the Netherlands:

R.Ill.Comp. Peter Kok now P.G.Coun., and Ill.Comp. Frank Poot P.G.Cond.C.

From Spain:

Ill.Comp. Keith Alcock P.A.G.D.C. of Elche Council No. 297 and Bob Munday P.A.G.D.C. of Indalo Council No. 284 also recipients today.


V.Ill.Comp Raymond Smith P.G.Lect. - Pro Grand Master, Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons

R.Ill.Comp Paul Clement P.G.Chan. – Most Eminent and Supreme Grand Master, Knights Templar.

R.Ill.Comp Graham Flight P.G.Chan. – Grand Sovereign, Red Cross of Constantine.

R.Ill.Comp. Tom Jackson P.G.Chan. – Grand Master, Allied Masonic Degrees.

R.Ill.Comp. Andrew Sweeney P.G.Chan. – Grand Supreme Ruler, Order of the Secret Monitor.

R.Ill.Comp. Ian Currans P.G.Coun. – Grand Summus, Scarlet Cord.

Ill.Comp. Christopher Maiden P.G.Capt.Gd. – Grand High Priest, Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests and Order of Holy Wisdom.

R.Ill.Comp Michael Herbert P.Dep.G.M. - Grand Master, Knights Beneficent of the Holy City.

R.Ill.Comp. John Paternoster P.G.Chan. – Supreme Magus, Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia.

It is also wonderful to see another Past Deputy Grand Master present in R.Ill.Comp. Ben Addy and two Past Grand P.C.W.s Michael Spencer (upon whom has been bestowed the Order of Service to Cryptic Masonry) and Colonel John Chambers. & Another Custodian of the 9th Arch here. David Ivor Williams.

Companions let us now welcome them all.

Last year I urged you to keep your Craft Lodges and RA Chapters alive and active, by ensuring that high standards are achieved and maintained. This I still do, but in addition (I told you I always want more!) I urge you to take a sense of purpose to your Council meetings and accept nothing but the best. We are privileged to have one of the finest pieces of ritual in ALL Freemasonry in the Royal Masters perambulation.

Nurture that privilege, always do your utmost for the candidate, word will get around and that will readily attract others.

Despite a sombre beginning today, I hope that for you all, that this has been a happy and enjoyable occasion, indeed as should all our Cryptic activities. My continuing aim is to serve as I might towards those ends and your loyalty and your confidence will always be my abundant reward.

Albert Schweitzer is credited with saying “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful”.

As I approach the conclusion of my address, I must place upon a precipitously high pedestal the Grand Recorder and his Team from No. 86, for admirably coping with the administrative anomalies leading up to today and the smooth execution of the work at the meeting.

At a similarly laudative level I place, the Grand Director of Ceremonies and his Team, for his thought and preparation prior to, and the perfection of the ceremonial during.

And my thanks also go to John Vasquez and the staff here at Freemasons' Hall.

Mentioned in the Obituary, was the late Nick Murzell Dist.G.M. for Ox, Berks & Bucks. Whilst preparing this address I came across a copy of an e-mail Nick had sent to me the day before my Installation as G.M. in April 2016.

He was regretfully sending his apologies due to the commencement of many weeks of treatment for recently diagnosed prostate cancer. He stated that he was devastated, not as you would imagine because of his critical condition of his health and the daunting time ahead, but because he was missing the meeting!

Unbeknown to me, Nick had been a Queens Scout and in wishing me well for the future, he made use of a poignant phrase taken from the Queens Scout Certificate which says "May it prove for you a Joyous Adventure".

Remember his words Companions and may all your doings in Cryptic Masonry prove to be that joyous adventure. Enjoy it, it is very special please keep it that way. Finally Companions: Be of one mind; Live in Peace And may the God of Love and Mercy; The Supreme Master of the Universe; Delight to dwell amongst you; And bless you for evermore. 

Thank you. 



Grand Master Presents Fifty Year Certificate at Craft Meeting

On Friday 22 March the Grand Master Most Illustrious Companion Kessick John Jones attended the meeting of the Old Kimboltonians' Lodge No 7204 at Kimbolton School in order to present a 50-year certificate to Right Illustrious Companion Alan Stewart.

Right Illustrious Companion Alan lives on the Isle of Man and only comes over to the mainland on odd occasions so it was proving to be difficult to present him with his certificate at a Council meeting within the District.  Right Illustrious Companion Alan is a member of Charles Hebert Perram and Northampton Councils as well as being an Honorary member of Towcester and Leicester Councils.

Finding that Right Illustrious Companion Alan would be on the mainland when the March meeting of the Old Kimboltonians’ Lodge was to be held and the District Grand Master coincidentally being the Worshipful Master of the Lodge it was an ideal occasion to make the presentation.  Permission was obtained from the Craft Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother Max Bayes that the presentation could be made.  The main work of the evening, a passing, having been undertaken and the Worshipful Master called off the Lodge and then announced why the Grand Master was present and invited him to take the floor and make the presentation.

After saying a few words about Right Illustrious Companion Alan’s journey in Cryptic Masonry the Grand Master invited the District Grand Master to join him and read out the certificate.  Following the presentation of the certificate Right Illustrious Companion Alan Stewart admitted he was lost for words.

A very happy festive board followed the meeting with the Worshipful Master taking wine with Cryptic Masons present which to his surprise was almost half the room.


Pictured left to right are: Most Illustrious Companion Kessick J Jones, Grand Master; Illustrious Companion Alan Stewart; and Right Illustrious Companion Martin Wilson, District Grand Master and Worshipful Master.

In Memoriam: M.Ill.Comp. Col R Keith Hind (1926-2019)

M.Ill.Comp. Col R Keith Hind

1926 - 2019


M.Ill.Comp. Col R Keith Hind was appointed Secretary of the RMIGirls and designate Secretary of the MTGB on the 1st of November 1978, a few months after retiring from the Army. The MTGB was inaugurated in 1982 and required to take over as the new central Masonic Charity responsible for both Girls and Boys in 1985. In that year the former separate charities merged with the new Charity and he was appointed Secretary of the MTGB, a position he held until retiring on the 31st of October 1993.

He was initiated as a Freemason in Mayo Lodge, No. 1413 in the Province of Middlesex on the 25th of June 1955 and exalted in Mayo Chapter, No. 1413 on the 11th of February 1960. During his service in the Province of Middlesex he was a Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies from 1976 to 1978 and Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies from 1985 to 1990. He was promoted to Provincial Senior Grand Warden in 1994. He held the Office of Second Provincial Grand Principal for Middlesex for 1990.

He joined St Alban’s Lodge No. 29 on the 2nd of December 1974 and was  Grand Steward for 1981. In Grand Lodge he was appointed as Grand Sword Bearer in 1993.  In Supreme Grand Chapter he was appointed Grand Sword Bearer in 1985.

In 1978 he was also appointed as the Company Secretary of the Royal Masonic School for Girls, a position he held until 2004. In 1985 when the School became independent a Trust was formed, known as the RMIG Endowment Trust, to provide support for the School. In that year he was appointed a Trustee of this new Trust and a Governor of the School, positions held until his retirement in 2013.

Father held rank in several Masonic Orders as follows.

  • In the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons and the Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners he was a Past Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Middlesex and is a holder of the Grand Master’s Order of Service to Mark Master Masonry.  He was a Member of the Grand Master’s Royal Ark Council, Honoris Causa.
  • Knight Commander in the Order of the Great Priory and Great Priory of Malta.
  • Most Illustrious Grand Master in the Order of Royal and Select Masters from 1994 until 2005.
  • Sovereign Grand Inspector General 33rd Degree in the Ancient and Accepted Rite under the Supreme Council 33rd Degree.
  • Past Grand Senior General in the Order of the Red Cross of Constantine.
  • Past Grand Junior Warden Order in the Order of the Allied Masonic Degrees.
  • Past Grand Counsellor in the Order of the Secret Monitor.
  • Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden in the Provincial Grand Lodge of London and the Metropolitan Counties in the Royal Order of Scotland.
  • Knight Beneficent of the Holy City in Prefectory of St George of London No. 1.


Please kindly accept this communication from my father as a permanent message of goodwill to the many Freemasons  of all ranks who he met and worked with, both at home and overseas, with his thanks for the honour they afforded him over so many years.

- Dr Charles R K Hind

The funeral service will be held at St Helen’s Church, Etwall, Derby DE65 6LP, on Monday 11th March at 9.30 am.  Donations if desired to the Dogs Trust via


Royal and Select Masters “Outreach Programme” arrives in Cheshire

Outreach Programme

L to R: Ian Currans, R.W. & E. Master; Kessick Jones, Grand Master; Paul Norman, D.C.; Stephen Ayres, Conductor; Len Millings, Tyler, with “The Marches” in the background.

On Thursday 19 July 2018 M.Ill.Comp. Kessick J. Jones, Grand Master, accompanied by a team of Officers from Grafton Council of Anointed Kings, arrived at Christleton in Cheshire to confer the Degree of Excellent Master on eight Candidates from the North of England.

This was part of the Grand Master’s “outreach programme”; taking the conferral of the Degree away from its usual London base of Mark Masons’ Hall, and was the third such outing, following visits to Bristol and Leeds.

They were welcomed by R.Ill.Comp. Shaun Crutchley, Dist.G.M., and his team, who had gone to great lengths to ensure that the furnishings required for the Ceremony were in place.

Cheshire View, the Masonic Hall in Christleton, looked magnificent in the summer sunshine. Its sun-trap patio was the perfect place to relax and enjoy the views, across the immaculately manicured bowling greens, to the splendour of the rolling countryside in the distance, before being called to dinner.
What better location, and a perfect opportunity, for the Grand Master to announce that, in light of recent conversations with members of the District, he was now considering changing the name of the District from “Cheshire, Shropshire and North Wales” to “Cheshire and The Marches”, bringing out of relative desuetude a term for an unclearly defined geographical area along the English/Welsh borders.

From the audible approval that greeted the announcement it appeared to be a very popular decision.