Grafton Council of Anointed Kings No.16 held its first meeting since lockdown, on Monday 22nd November, facing a lengthy backlog of work to catch up with. One of its Regal duties is to confer the Excellent Master degree upon worthy candidates, all of whom are well experienced Royal and Select Masters, suitably named in view of their significant position connecting the Craft, Mark and Royal Arch.

The degree is highly coveted by members and is strictly controlled by Grand Council, who allow just two recommendations per year from each District. Under normal circumstances Grafton Council would also confer the Silver Trowel degree to qualified Companions in a separate ceremony. On this occasion however, in order to catch up with the backlog, there were three separate ceremonies to confer just the Excellent Master degree – nearly seventy candidates in total.

A regular business meeting of Grafton Council (where membership is by invitation only) followed the Excellent Master ceremonies. A new Thrice Illustrious Master was elected and our new District Grand Master R.Ill.Comp. Peter Wellings was proposed for membership of the Council.

The Grand Master, M.Ill.Comp. Kessick Jones (pictured centre) acted as Chaplain for the ceremonies, giving a splendid explanation of the degree and its background, with R.Ill.Comps Vincent Driver (Dist.G.M. London), Martin Wilson (Dist.G.M. East Midlands) and Colin Hellyer (P.Dist.G.M. Hertfordshire) taking the leading roles. The Warwickshire recipients were Ill.Comps. Peter Stokes (second left), Chris Denley (far right) and Mike Grillage (next right), who were cheered on by our Dist.G.M. Peter Wellings and Dep.Dist.G.M. Paul Harrison (far left).

The ceremonies were followed by a sumptuous five course meal at Mark Masons Hall.