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District Grand Council Meeting 2018



Companions all,  welcome to Castle Grove Masonic Hall here in Leeds.   I have already welcomed our distinguished guests individually and I now thank the members of the District of West Yorkshire for attending this Annual Meeting.

Although my recent operation did curtail some of my visits to other districts,  I have tried to ensure that the District of West Yorkshire has been represented at most of the District Meetings and I thank my fellow District Grand Masters for their continued excellent hospitality.

I thank all the District Officers for their support during the past year.   We have carried out Full Team visits to our own councils and,  in addition,  for the number of times that District Officers have represented the District when a Ruler has not been present at  council meetings.   I hope that you all have enjoyed your year in office.   I welcome the new District Officers that I have appointed today and I trust that you will play your part in representing our District both within and without the District.  I have already thanked Illustrious Companion Ron Murtagh for his work during the year and I look forward to his continued commitment for the next twelve months.   My District Grand Principle Conductor of the Work has not had a very healthy year,  hence his absence today.   I am sure that we all wish Paul Cowley improved health.   I thank Very Illustrious Companion Gerald Anthony Granville Barker for standing in today.

My thanks and appreciation also go to the Council Recorders for their continued support in the administration of their own councils.   I encourage the council recorders to distribute their summons throughout the District and,  furthermore,  I encourage members to visit and support other councils.   In November this year Hallamshire Council No. 200 are holding an open day at Tapton Hall in order to  explain our Order to interested masons in the hope that they will be able to recruit new members.   If you are free on 29 November,  please try and support them.     Ghyll Kirke Council are considering a move from Barnoldswick with the hope of attracting new members and they also need your support.

We continue to carry out the ceremony of the Silver Trowel and we are very lucky in this District that we have excellent ritualists to do the work.   We were also honoured to host the Grafton Council of Anointed Kings to perform the Degree of Excellent Master here at Castle Grove on 30 May.   In this respect,  I was privileged to take part and I would like to thank those of our own members that assisted in the ceremony on that day namely,  Right Illustrious Companion James Newman,  Very Illustrious Companion Tony Williams,  Illustrious Companions Tony Kaddish and  Ron Murtagh.

In April of this year the Grand Master appointed and promoted the following companions in Grand Rank and,  ifyou are present,  please stand:

Right Illustrious Companion James Henry Newman​​ :- Grand Chancellor

Very Illustrious Companion Frederick George Cooper :- ​​Past Grand Lecturer

Illustrious Companion George Henry Philip Birch​​​ :- Past Grand Captain of the Guard

Illustrious Companion David Hartley Lees​​​ :-Past Grand Sword Bearer

Illustrious Companion Paul Richard Smith :- ​​​Past Grand Sword Bearer

Illustrious Companion Roderick Martin Shorrock​​​ :- Past Grand Standard Bearer

Congratulations to you all.

On the subject of Grand Rank companions,  they must be earned.  You will not be recommended for  this honour simply by regular attendance or having served the course of time.

One of the “thorns in my side” since I was appointed as District Grand Master has been an inadequate website and,  two or three months ago,  my patience ran out.   I appointed a new webmaster and the result has been astounding.   We now have an excellent website and I must thank Companion Jason Cunningham for his work which was ably assisted by Companion Ian Cotton,  the new District Grand Recorder.   Please visit the site companions and,  above all, feed new information to them so that the website is continually updated.

Meetings like this do not just happen.   I thank Fraser McPherson for all his organisation and administration,  notonly today but over the past four years.   Fraser has retired from office today because he was recently appointed as Provincial Grand Secretary in the Mark for the Province of West Yorkshire.   We wish you every success in your new and demanding role.   In his place I welcome Companion Ian Cotton.

There are times when certain companions deserve some reward for exemplary service and it is,   with this in mind,   that I have introduced the “District Grand Master’s Special Award.”   Companion Director of Ceremonies,  would you please conduct Right Illustrious Companion Sydney John Bruton Barlow to me.   John,  before presenting this award to you,  I think that I should read the content of this most valuable document.   The document was read and presented.  (Click to read)John,  it gives me enormous pleasure to present to you the District Grand Master’s Special Award for your exemplary service to the old District of Yorkshire and the current District of West Yorkshire.

In conclusion,  Companions,  may I remind you that the future of our wonderful Order lies in the support that you give to the Craft,  Royal Arch and the Mark.   If these Orders are strong then we stand a good chance that the Order of Royal and Select Masters will also be strong.   Our big selling point is that,  the Order of Royal and Select Masters is the only Masonic Order that connects the Craft to the Royal Arch through the Mark Degree.   Companions,  go out and sell yourself and attract those freemasons who would like to learn about those missing five hundred years.   Furthermore,  I am sure the experience of our four ceremonies will allow them to understand the Holy Royal Arch.   It could also follow that the “fallout” of the membership of the Royal Arch can be reduced by this greater understanding.

Enjoy your Cryptic Masonry and may the Supreme Master of the Universe bless you and keep you now   and forever more.

David M Cordell

4th August 2018

The Next meeting of District Grand Council of West Yorkshire is the 3rd August 2019 at Castle Grove, Leeds