District Grand Council Meeting 2019



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

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.   It is your meeting and I am delighted to see you all.

I thank all my fellow District Grand Masters for the hospitality that they give us when we visit their respective districts and we hope that West Yorkshire will be equally hospitable today.   Many of you have travelled long distances and I hope that is will be worthwhile.   During the past eighteen months my health has not been so good and that has meant that I have had to cancel visits at the last minute,  for which I apologise.   I hope that I shall be back to normal fairly soon.

When you are appointed to District Office,  it is a commitment and I must emphasise that point.   In the main most companions give their support to representing the District on Team Visits and private visits to Councils,  however, some do not.   Companions,  I remind you that I have a remarkable memory for those that support and those that do not and I can assure you that I do take this into account when I consider appointments and promotions,  particularly to Grand Rank.

I thank you all who have committed yourself to your District Office during the past year and I welcome those you I shall appoint this morning.   Congratulations to you all.

The Council Recorders do some excellent work within their own Councils.   The administration of the Councils is an important aspect of our success as an Order and I thank them for all the work that they do.   It is vital that you work and cooperate with the District Grand Recorder. 

Our Silver Trowel ceremonies are still performed to a very high standard and may that long continue.

During the past year we have concentrated on our weaker councils and decided to change venues for their meetings which has proved very successful in as much as we have attracted new members.   We shall continue with this policy although,  if a new council is proposed,  I shall give the matter due consideration.

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

Right Illustrious Companion James Henry Newman Grand Chancellor

Illustrious Companion Martin Murray Grand Manciple

Illustrious Companion Stanley Smith Past Grand Conductor of the Council

Illustrious Companion Graham Smith Past Grand Sword Bearer

Illustrious Companion Alan William George Perry 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.   Just to illustrate the problem that I have,  each year I have to consider up to twenty companions who are due for first appointments or promotions and I am allocated just three or occasionally four ranks.   The arithmetic speaks for itself and,  if you have any doubt,  please speak to my fellow District Grand Masters who will encounter to same problem..

I am pleased to say that we have a very good website and I encourage you to use it and I must thank Companion Jason Cunningham for its development.

Meetings like this do not just happen.   Ian Cotton is in his first year as District Grand Recorder and I thank him for all his organisation and administration,  not only today but over the past year.   

I also thank Hugh Moir and his DC team for organising the floorwork.   Hugh is a very sick man but his courage and determination makes him a very special man.   Thank you Hugh and we all wish you the best of luck with your treatment.

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.

It is essential that you enjoy your Cryptic Masonry because it is a pastime and we should have fun.  May the Supreme Master of the Universe bless you and keep you now   and forever more.

David M Cordell

3rd August 2019