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.



Consecration of Captain James Cook Council of Installed Masters No. 342

M.Ill.Comp. Kessick John Jones, Grand Master, signs the Warrant for the newest Council in the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters - Captain James Cook Council of Installed Masters No. 342

On Wednesday 23 May 2018, M.Ill.Comp. Kessick John Jones, Grand Master, accompanied by the Deputy Grand Master and a team of his Grand Officers, arrived at the historic Castlegate House, a striking 18th Century town house fronted by distinctive railings, a stone’s throw from the well know medieval landmark of Clifford’s Tower.

They were there to Consecrate the newest Council in the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters - Captain James Cook Council of Installed Masters No. 342.

Bearing the name of Yorkshire's most famous maritime son and under the mastership of R.Ill.Comp. Neil Thomas Woodward, District Grand Master for North and East Yorkshire, there can be no doubt that this Council will quickly become a shining light in the District and somewhere for Installed Masters of the Order to convene and enjoy their Cryptic masonry.

Address by The Most Illustrious Grand Master - 2018

Address by The Most Illustrious Grand Master
Kessick John Jones
to the Annual Assembly of Grand Council
Tuesday 17 April 2018

Companions, I welcome you most warmly to our Annual meeting of Grand Council. I am delighted to see such a splendid attendance, being especially conscious of the fact that many of you have travelled great distances to be here, and of course have to get back home afterwards. I thank you for that, and look forward to further sharing your company at our celebratory luncheon later.

I begin my address by congratulating all those whom I have invested as this year’s Grand Officers, or whom I have promoted or appointed to Past Grand Rank. Both promotions and appointments carry with them additional RSM Jones 800responsibility as well as new dignity and I wish you all good fortune, and I am confident, that you will continue to increase your efforts in championing every aspect of Cryptic Masonry. In underlining this, and with the kind permission of Michael Herbert, I will steal a phrase from the SMSA Ritual – meliora praesumo – I look for better things to come.

So I urge the new Grand Officers to keep up the momentum, dispense light and instruction to your junior colleagues, continue to set higher standards and reflect upon this – If the sky’s the limit – then why are there footprints on the moon!

Very shortly I intend to give you a brief snapshot of our joint activities during the past year, which have been quite considerable. During all of these activities I have been loyally supported by a diligent and enthusiastic Team of Active Grand Officers. Headed by the Deputy Grand Master and the Grand P.C.W., they have all performed their individual roles to great effect, but at the same time acted as an integral part of a Team. This Team have carried out many ceremonies in various parts of the country, often travelling at their own personal expense. These occasions have proved to be of great satisfaction to our various hosts and of course to my personal delight. I emphasise the importance of the Team ethic by quoting a little-known writer named Vesta M. Kelly; she said “Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things – but just look what they can do when they stick together!”.

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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, QC
Deputy Grand Master

R.Ill.Comp. Richard L. Gan, JP, IX
Grand Principal Conductor of the Work