HISTORY OF THE ORDER IN ESSEX
This history was written by R Wy Bro E G G White after whom a Conclave in the Province is named.
The early years or beginnings of the Order
1887 – a notable year – the year in which Queen Victoria and her loyal subjects in the United Kingdom and the British Empire, indeed, in practically the whole world, celebrated fifty glorious years, the golden jubilee of her reign ...the year in which the new suspension bridge at Hammersmith, London, was opened as the eleventh bridge spanning the River Thames... the year in which Stainer’s "The Crucifixion” had its first public performance at St. Marylebone Parish Church in London... the year in which Marylebone Cricket Club celebrated its centenary at Lord’s... and the year in which the English "Order of the Secret Monitor” was born.
"The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light”...not a strictly accurate quotation but it will suffice, particularly for the men, for it signalled their admission into Freemasonry, the light of Freemasonry, that great light; and that great light shed its broad beam, not alone upon the main highway of the Craft, but to light up myriad byways leading to Mark and Ark Mariner, to Rose Croix, Knights Templar, Royal and Select Masters, Red Cross of Constantine, the Allied Masonic Degrees, and on the Order of the Secret Monitor.
Not every Masonic Degree is founded on Scriptural bases, but the legend of the Order of the Secret Monitor is surely one that is: our Order chose that wonderful story told in the Book of Samuel of the enduring friendship between David and Jonathan... a brief resume can be given here, but the full story is in the V.S.L. for all to read.
The Jews decided to follow the fashion set by their neighbours and to dispense with the Judges who had governed them previously, and take to themselves kings whose military ability had impressed them. They were convinced that their future safety would be greater under a king than a judge. The sword is mightier than the pen was their belief.
Samuel listened to their demands and he selected Saul as the first king. Saul was a stalwart figure, impressive indeed when arrayed for battle. Unhappily, Saul did not live up to expectations: mighty though he was in battle, he lacked the mental qualities so necessary for one who held power. Samuel was convinced that Saul had failed as a leader and that another must be found in his stead. Samuel found in David the son of Jesse the very man he was looking for: courageous, skilled in the use of arms, yet sensitive and artistic; a soldier, poet and musician of exceptional ability. Saul anticipated the course, which events would take unless he acted decisively, and he was determined to establish the permanent supremacy of his family in Israel through Jonathan his son. David and Jonathan were close friends and nothing was permitted to come between them, not even future fame and honours. Jonathan did not claim succession to his father, accepting the decision of the High Priest without resentment. Saul, however, planned David’s death, but his plans failed. David was presented with many opportunities to slay the king, but Saul was the anointed of God and he held his hand. Finally, Jonathan and two of his brothers were slain in battle when the Philistines overran the Israelitish armies, and Saul, seeing all his plans fail, took his own life in despair. David, now, was fully accepted as King, but his immediate reaction was one of deep grief for the death of his friend.
The unselfish devotion of these two friends is the basis of our Secret Monitor ritual and precepts. Friendship for one’s Brother is the paramount basis of our teachings... even as Brotherly Love is the first tenet of the Craft.
History tells us that “The Order of David and Jonathan” was brought to the New World in or about 1658 by Dutch settlers of Jewish descent; but we must go back to the Netherlands for its origins. The northern most part of the Netherlands (Holland) was essentially Protestant in its religious persuasion in the 16th century; but an unfortunate dynastic marriage caused first a strong Austrian and then Spanish influence. Both Austria and Spain were strongholds of Roman Catholicism and consequently abhorrent to the Dutch Lutherans. Inevitably this led to the formation of underground secret societies with the object of freeing the motherland from the fetters of their overlords. Just as David was persecuted by Saul, so were the Dutch Protestants harassed by the Catholics. A revolutionary brotherhood was formed with modes of recognition suited to the hours of darkness as well as in daylight, and signs and symbols were chosen from the David and Jonathan story in the Bible. That was in the late 16th century... and it occurred again a hundred years later when Louis XIV of France invaded the Low Countries again in a Catholic crusade against the Huguenots... the same modes of recognition were employed to cause confusion amongst the invaders. Many Dutch Protestants emigrated to the New World to find a new life with greater liberty than seemed possible in Holland. Any opposition to the way of life of the Dutch settlers immediately drew forth a resurgence of the David and Jonathan cult, which has served the Netherlanders so well in the past.
For the ritual roots of our Order we must look back to a Dutch work of the Order of Jonathan and David and Jesus Christ: an Order having seven degrees:- 1. Squire or Friend of the Order; 2. Knight or Nephew; 3. Commander or Brother; 4. Grand Commander of Jonathan and David; 5. Commander of the Order of Jesus Christ; 6. Grand Knight; 7. Grand Commander. The first three seem to be closely connected to the First Degree of our Order, but the last four were reserved for Freemasons of eminence. From this Dutch Order may have derived the subsequent “Secret Monitor or Trading Degree” in which was incorporated a part of the earlier ritual, but it was so loosely rendered, that it became offensive to any thinking Freemason. Its aim was, as stated in earlier documents “to introduce him (the candidate) to business by sending him custom or to support him in any other manner by which a penny could be thrown in his way”...not very good masonry; there was no ceremony and no witnesses were required when admission took place.
In the mid-19th century, however, there is evidence that a quasi-Masonic degree existed in America closely allied to the O.S.M. First Degree and practised under various titles: i. The Order of Brotherly Love; ii. The Order of Jonathan and David; iii. The Order of the Secret Monitor. An effort was made in 1890 to bring this Order under the umbrella of the Sovereign College of Allied and Masonic and Christian Degrees: the basic requirement was that a candidate must be an Ark Mariner. That Order became well-established in the final two decades of the nineteenth century in America.
It is interesting here to quote part of the lecture used at the induction and the presentation of the working tools of the degree: “Jonathan and David typify the conscience of man. Jonathan is emblematical of God, who advises and warns the human soul; and David of the soul. God and a man’s heart alone know a secret matter... the world without knows nothing of it”. The working tools of this degree were a Hackle and the Bow and Arrows; the candidate was taught: “Let the Hackle ever teach you that no man can escape sorrow, that it is as inevitable as death, that just as surely as it is appointed for us all to die, so surely must a portion of the life of every man be overshadowed by the cloud of grief. However we try to avoid it sorrow will cross the threshold of our home. The world is no lovely palace of pleasure where the inmates live enchanted lives. We need not expect immunity from suffering... we might as well demand immunity from death. Therefore, let sorrow be our teacher, leading us away from sin, schooling us in sympathy, directing us in the paths of heroism, and reminding us that we suffer because we are not, as the beasts that perish, but as children of the Living God. Receive the Bow and Arrows: they are emblematical of man in his uncivilised state, relying on his own resources. Let them ever remind you that man apart from God has no understanding; that from God has come all enlightenment which has led on humanity in the road of progress, that if man would have all things put under his feet he must recognise his dependence upon God, and that man will assume his true position as head of created things when he acknowledges, not by his word only, but also by his will and resultant conduct that he is not only Son of Man but also Son of God.”
How then did the Order of the Secret Monitor develop in England? The earliest history of the Order tells us that it was started by Dr. Issachar Zacharie, and it was he who brought it from America. We learn that he was born in Chatham, Kent of Jewish parents who had become converts to Christianity. According to his accounts, he was born in the year 1827 (but since his golden wedding was celebrated in 1894, he must have married in his teens). The family emigrated to America in his early boyhood. His initiation into Freemasonry in 1848, but there is no sure knowledge where this took place. He obtained medical qualifications, probably through an apprenticeship with another physician. In the American Civil War, he offered his services as a foot specialist, proving a shrewdness and discernment characteristic of his race, for the foot soldier, marching hundreds of miles on rough ground would surely need attention by such a practitioner. He was appointed Chiropodist-General to the United States Army.
Little is known of his Masonic progress, but one source quotes him as being a Past Grand Master of California. It is known, however, that he returned to this country in 1875, settled at 80 Brook Street, London, where he built up a busy and successful practice as an orthopaedic surgeon. In London he became a member of the Bon Accord Mark Lodge and there he met a number of brethren who had become Secret Monitors during their Masonic progress. They were:- Col. Shadwell H. Clerke, Grand Secretary of the Craft (who became a Secret Monitor in Malta in 1845); James Lewis Thomas, PAGDC, Craft (St. Vincent, W.I., 1846); F. A. Philbrick, B.A., Q.C., G.Reg., and Dep. Prov.G.Master, Essex, Craft; W. G. Lemon, B.A., LL.B. (Treas., Univ. of London Lodge); Gen. C. W. Randolph, P.P.G.W.; W. I. Spratling, B.Sc. (Sec., Univ. of London Lodge); the Rev. J. Oxley Oxland, M.A. (Secret Monitor in Jerusalem, 1848); and Charles Fitzgerald Matier (G.Sec., Mark, who received the degree from an American brother passing through London in 1865).
All of them were members of Alfred Meadows Lodge (named after a distinguished surgeon) and, at the invitation of Dr. Zacharie they met at his house on May 5, 1887. Also present were Bros. C. Belton, H. E. Francis, Dr. Lennox Browne (a laryngologist), J. P. Godfrey, M. Ohren and T. Godfrey. It was resolved to form the Alfred Meadows Conclave with Dr. Zacharie as first Supreme Ruler.
The legend of the Order as set up was based upon the scriptural story of the great and enduring friendship between David and Jonathan which led to the secondary part of the Order’s title: “The Brotherhood of David and Jonathan”, and its practice and teachings have ever led to care for one’s brother and lasting friendship.
Progress was rapid... on June 17, 1887, Grand Council was constituted, with Dr. Issachar Zacharie nominated as first Grand Supreme Ruler. The first meeting of Grand Council took place at 80 Brook Street on July 2, 1887 the minutes for which record: –
ORDER OF THE SECRET MONITOR
At a meeting of the Grand Council for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the Colonies and Dependencies of the British Crown, held at 80 Brook Street, London, W. on Saturday, 2nd July 1887, there were present:
Bro. I. Zacharie, M.D.
Bro. Col. Shadwell H. Clerke,33º, G.Sec. Craft.
Bro. J. Lewis Thomas, 18º, PAGDC Craft.
Bro. F. A. Philbrick, B.A., Q.C., G.Reg. Craft, Dep.Prov.G.M. for Essex Craft.
Bro. W. G. Lemon, B.A., LL.B., 30º, Treas. Univ.London Craft Lo.
Bro. Gen. C. W. Randolph,32º, P.P.G.W. Craft.
Bro. W. J. Spratling, B.Sc., 18º, Secy. Univ.London Craft Lo.
All of the above being members of the Alfred Meadows Conclave of the Order.
It was resolved to form a Council to be styled – “The Grand Council of the Order of the Secret Monitor for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the Colonies and Dependencies of the British Crown”. The Council being thus formed, Bro. Zacharie was elected, installed and proclaimed Supreme Ruler of the Grand Council. Thereupon, he proceeded to appoint a number of Grand Councillors including Bro. Shadwell Clerke, G.Sec. of the Craft and Bro. C. F. Matier, G.Sec. of the Mark, as Past Rulers of the Grand Council. As well, he appointed Bro. F.A. Philbrick as Grand Chancellor and Bro. W. J. Spratling as Grand Recorder.
A special meeting of the Grand Council was called for July 11 at 80 Brook Street, at which Bro. Philbrick submitted draft Constitutions, together with all necessary forms, certificates and other documents, all of which were approved.
“The Freemason” a Masonic periodical of the time, reported:-
THE ORDER OF THE SECRET MONITOR
At the recent meeting of the Grand Council of the Order for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the Colonies and Dependencies of the British Crown, the Grand Chancellor brought up a complete set of Constitutions for the Government of the Order, which were unanimously adopted.
In these Constitutions the object of the Order is set forth as follows:
“The special feature of the Order consists in this: Every Conclave shall appoint not more than four Visiting Deacons *, whose duty it shall be to search out and call upon any Brother who may be in danger or distress, or who may have fallen into ill health, or may be in need of fraternal monition, sympathy, consolation, or assistance. This duty shall be recognised in every set of by-laws sanctioned for any conclave, and the S.R. of every conclave at his installation must be duly warned that he will be held responsible to the Grand Council for the proper and effective carrying out of this Constitution. He will also take care to impress the importance of this matter upon those whom he may appoint as his visiting Deacons.”
Article 28 of the 1887 B.C. lays down “Visiting Deacons (not exceeding four)”. The ritual of that year seems to indicate that only two deacons actually took an active part in the induction ceremony. The by-laws of Conclave No.14 provide for a senior and junior V.D. only.
The first members of the Grand Council in 1887 were:
Bro. Col Shadwell H. Clerke, 33º, G.S. P.S.Grand Ruler
Bro. C. F. Matier, 32º P.S.Grand Ruler
Bro. Dr. I. Zacharie S.Grand Ruler
Bro. J. Lewis Thomas, 18º, P.A.G.D.C. Dep. G. Ruler
Bro. F. A. Philbrick, B.A., Q.C., G.R., 32º Grand Chancellor
Bro. Gen. J. Studholme Brownrigg, C.B., 33º,P.G.W. Grand Chamberlain
Bro. Gen. C. W. Randolph, 32º, P.P.G.W. Grand Guide
Bro. W. G. Lemon, LL.B., 30º Grand Treasurer
Bro. W. J. Spratling, B.Sc., 18º Grand Recorder
Bro. Magnus Ohren, 32º, P.A.G.D.C. Grand Visitor
Bro. C. Belton,30º, P.P.G.D. Grand Visitor
Bro. Sir R. Harley, K.C.M.G. Grand Standard Bearer
Bro. Edgar Bowyer, 18º, P.G.Std.Br. Grand Bow Bearer
Bro. Lennox Browne, 18º Grand Guarder
Bro. H. D. Sandeman,33º, P.D.G.M., Bengal Grand Councillor
Bro. A. M. Broadley,32º, P.P.G.W. Grand Councillor
Bro. Rowe Grand Sentinel
A model set of by-laws was discussed and finally recommended to be adopted, subject to any (non-fundamental) alterations desired by a conclave. The minutes also state:
"The number of applications for membership of the Order is already very large, and it is confidently believed that as soon as it becomes well-known, a Conclave of the Order will be as necessary an accompaniment of any Craft Lodge as it is at present a Royal Arch Chapter."
1887 - 1910
The first Festival of the Order was held at the Hotel Victoria, Northumberland Avenue, London, S.W. on July 15, 1887. It was also the inauguration meeting of Alfred Meadows Conclave No. 1, which having worked without a warrant until the following November was then issued with its warrant.
At the meeting of No. 1 Conclave, no less than thirty new members were admitted, including Lord Halsbury, P.G.W. Craft, a renowned scholar, Lord Chancellor of England (who, it is recorded, “left the woolsack to attend the meeting”); the Rt.Hon. the Earl of Warwick, Dep.G.M. of the Craft; Sir Francis Burdett, Prov.G.M., Middlesex Craft; Sir Morel' Mackenzie, a distinguished laryngologist; Rear-Admiral R. C. Mayne, C.B., M.P.; Sir J. Monckton, P.G.W. Craft; and many other high-ranking Freemasons.
On the same day (July 15) University of London Conclave No.2 was founded, with His Honour Judge F. A. Philbrick as first S.R.... its warrant was dated September 15, 1887. At the same time an application was made for "True Friendship" Conclave, later numbered 4: No.3 was reserved for "Star in the East”, a Conclave to be formed at Penang in the Malay Peninsula, which was constituted on September 14 with Bro. Felix Gottlieb, District G.M. for Penang, as first S.R. He died on November 13, 1893 and the Conclave’s warrant was cancelled in 1910. This number was subsequently taken over by "Summus Conclave” with a warrant dated September 22, 1919, yet retaining the seniority and privileges of its forerunner. Bro. Charles Edward Keyser was its first S.R. The membership of Summus Conclave is restricted to Grand Officers of the Order, the Craft, Mark, and other Orders, and by invitation only. The Grand Supreme Ruler is its perpetual S.R. and the Conclave elects each year a Deputy S.R. to preside.
In 1887 Horatio Shirley Conclave No.5 was founded with Bro. Horatio Shirley as first S.R.; the warrant was dated September 14, 1887, but it was not consecrated until February 22, 1888 by Bro. Charles Fitzgerald Matier at the Masonic Hall, Red Lion Square, London.
October 29, 1887 marked the adoption of the ritual of the First Degree and, in recognition of their eminent services in producing it, Bros. Col. Shadwell H. Clerke and C. F. Matier were each presented with the jewel of the Order surmounted by a crown. Soon afterwards, Bro. Shadwell Clerke submitted the design for a sea1 with the motto “Semper Fidelis”, and for Grand Officers’ jewels... which were approved by Grand Council.
True Friendship Conclave No.4, with Bro. Frank Richardson as its first S.R., was reported dormant in 1893; but was reconstituted as "Claro True Friendship" Conclave No.4 in Harrogate in 1895 and assumed the seniority of its predecessor.
The first Constitutions of the Order, drafted by Judge Philbrick and adopted at the first meeting of Grand Council in 1887 were as follows:-
Reg.l. The supreme government of the Order of the Secret Monitor in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the Colonies and Dependencies of the British Crown and the ultimate authority over all members within that jurisdiction are vested in the Grand Supreme Ruler of the Order, with the assistance of the other members of the Grand Council in certain cases and to the extent provided for in these Constitutions.
Reg.3 states: The number of members of the Grand Council, other than the Grand Supreme Ruler of the Order and Past Grand Officers, shall not exceed fifteen and shall include the under mentioned Grand Officers whose titles, rank and precedence shall be as follows (here follows a list of eleven Grand Officers, beginning with “Deputy Ruler of the Order” and ending with Grand Guarder.
Reg.4 stipulates that all these Grand Offices shall be appointed by the G.S.R., except for the Grand Treasurer who shall be elected by ballot by the Grand Council.
Reg.5 empowers the G.S.R. to appoint annually, in addition to the Grand Officers, “any number not exceeding four Grand Councillors, who shall rank according to seniority of appointment after the Grand Officers.
After providing for the frequency of its meetings and procedure thereat, the 1887 Constitutions defined the powers of Grand Council as:-
(a) Superintendence of Conclaves and their members.
(b) Initiation and prosecution of all such matters as may be expedient for the welfare and extension of the Order.
(c) Counselling and advising the G.S.R. of the Order on all matters he may submit for their advice.
(d) Assisting him as Head of the Order in all matters in which he may require their aid.
(e) Hearing and determining all appeals from brethren and Conclaves generally.
(f) Supervising and regulating the affairs and interests of the Order.
The original Constitutions of the Order made no provision for a Grand Conclave; the first such meeting being held in June 1888 (but was not mentioned until publication of the 1889 edition, which indicated:-
The Grand Conclave of the Order shall consist of:
(a) All members of the Grand Council, Present and Past.
(b) All Grand Stewards, Present and Past.
(c) The Supreme Ruler, Counsellor, Guide, Treasurer and Secretary of every private Conclave, together with such Past Supreme Rulers as are subscribing members of a Conclave.
It shall meet in London annually on the third Wednesday in June and at such other times and places as the Grand Council may determine. All Princes of the Order shall be entitled to attend its meetings and to vote therein. It shall be within the power of the G.S.R. to invite the presence of such other members of the Order as he may determine but such brethren cannot speak or vote on any matter under discussion. Grand Conclave shall be entitled to discuss and vote upon any matter brought before it after due notice and may make recommendations to Grand Council on any matter connected with the Order.
Thus came into being the bicameral system, though Grand Conclave appeared to be more a general assembly of members than a body with executive powers.
As far back as July 20, 1887 considerable development of the Order was envisaged when Grand Council resolved “that the Supreme Ruler of the Order be empowered to appoint brethren of eminence and distinction to Past or Honorary Rank in the Grand Council, to grant and issue warrants for new Conclaves and to appoint Provincial and District Rulers.“ It was further resolved that the regular Convocations of Grand Council be held twice a year in the months of June and December, and that the S.R. of the Order be empowered to call a special convocation at any time when such a proceeding may to him appear desirable. Another resolution was “that the fee of honour to be paid by every brother on his appointment to an office in Grand Council, to membership of Grand Council or to a past rank therein, shall be one guinea”.
Insofar as the design of jewels for Grand Officers and members of Grand Council is concerned, it was decreed that “the jewel is to be attached to a ribbon – red shot with gold one inch broad and is to be worn round the neck”. Subsequently, it was reported that sixteen jewels of the Order had been obtained for the Grand Officers of the year, but it has been found impossible to obtain “red ribbon shot with gold” and collars of yellow ribbon with crimson border are now being made in substitution.
On October 29, 1887 it was reported that an account in the name of the Order of the Secret Monitor had been opened at the South Eastern Branch of the London and South Western Bank with a balance of £3. Os. 6d.
By the end of 1887 five Conclaves had been warranted and the Grand Supreme Ruler had approved the appointment of Grand Stewards.
It is recorded that the first meeting of the Board of Grand Stewards took place at the Freemasons Tavern (now Connaught Rooms) when it was resolved that:
“Grand Stewards shall be responsible for admission of brethren attending Grand Council and Grand Conclave; arrangements for seating at table; musical arrangements (for which the sum of 6gns. was available); and arrangement of the menu and wines.” To celebrate the setting up of the Board of Grand Stewards, they obtained and presented for use of Grand Council and Grand Conclave a banner at a cost of £18.
During this period, the rituals of the Second and Third Degrees were approved, the latter being conferred upon members of Grand Council.
The year 1888 marked the warranting of seven new Conclaves: Anglo-American No.6, Earl of Euston No.7, Cleve Fast No.8, Zacharie No.9 (of which the first S.R. was Bro. Belgrave Ninnis, M.D., R.N. Inspector-General of the Fleet), Royal Sussex No.10, George Andrews No.11 and Queen’s Westminster No.12 (founded for the benefit of brethren of that Volunteer Regiment).
On October 17, 1888, Bro. Col. George Lambert, V.D., F.S.A. presented Consecrating Vessels to Grand Council; sashes were authorised to be worn by Grand Officers, and the Executive Committee of Grand Council was appointed of which two members were nominated by the G.S.R. and three elected by Grand Council. Official robes were authorised for the use of the G.S.R., 6.Chancellor, and G.Chamberlain, also the robe of a S.R. within the Order, the latter to be worn by the Deputy Ruler of the Order when fulfilling his functions at Grand Conclave. White surplices were authorised for Grand Visitors when the Grand Council or Grand Conclave was opened in due form.
Benevolence came to the fore when Grand Council authorised grant of the sum of Ten Pounds to the widow of a brother of Anglo-American Conclave No.6 to “set her up in business”. Two members of Horatio Shirley Conclave No.5 petitioned Grand Council to be admitted to the Second and Third Degrees by dispensation... it was refused.
It is recorded that on October 30, 1888 a massive silver Epergne (164 ozs.) representing Charity and Benevolence was presented to Bro. W. J. Spratling, B.Sc., Past Prov. Grand Treas. of Middlesex Craft, Grand Recorder of the Order.
In 1889, the first District G.S.R. was appointed in March... Bro. Felix Gottlieb as Dist.G.S.R. for Eastern Archipelago; in the same month, Kingston Conclave No.13 in Jamaica, taken there by Bro. William Andrews, its first S.R., and Damon and Pythias Conclave No.15 in Madras.
Rules and Constitutions for Provinces and Districts were approved and issued at the 3rd Grand Festival, as were votes of thanks on vellum to Bro. Col. G. Lambert for his gift of consecrating vessels and to Mrs. Zacharie and her daughters for their skill and ability in preparing the robes of the Grand Officers then worn for the first time.
The revised second edition of the Constitutions and Regulations of the Order, proposed by the Earl of Halsbury, was approved and issued.
Jewels of a special design were presented by the G.S.R. to Bros. Shadwell Clerke, C. F. Matier, J. L. Thomas, Lord Brooke, the Earl of Halsbury, W. G. Lemon, Judge Philbrick and W. J. Spratling.
During the year three more Conclaves were warranted: Prudent Brethren No.15, Natal; Empress of India No.16... It is recorded that H.H. the Maharajah of Cooch Behar joined this Conclave (and from a non-Masonic source that the game now known as “snooker” was invented by the same Maharajah under the name of “smash” since it was largely played by young subalterns in the mess); and Adullam No. 17, Singapore.
At the Winter Convocation, a committee was formed to seek accommodation in the new Mark Masons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, to which Grand Mark Lodge had recently moved from Red Lion Square. Early the following year, the Executive Committee made an offer of £60 per annum for use of a room as an office... the offer was declined.
The 3º ritual was considered and finally adopted; it was agreed that any Grand Officer or member of Grand Council should have authority to act as a Commissioning Officer extending the authority of a S.R. of a Conclave to that of a S.R. within the Order; also, that a S.R. not duly commissioned cannot take the chair of any Conclave other than that in which he was installed. Admission to the 2º was made mandatory to commissioning as a S.R. within the Order or appointment to a seat in Grand Council. Permission to incorporate in its title the words “Primus in India” was granted to conclave No.3.
The year 1890 saw two new Conclaves warranted: Southern Cross No.18 in East Griqueland, and Natalia No.19 in Pietermaritzburg. At the 4th Grand Festival, Bro. B. Ninnis, M.D., R.N. presented a sword for use by the Grand Guarder. Grand Council declined to sanction by-laws for any Conclave providing for a subscription lower than ten shillings per annum. (This was rescinded in 1907). Meetings for instruction were removed from the premises of Bro. George Kenning and Grand Council authorised the “Supreme Conclave of Instruction” to meet at Mark Masons’ Hall every Friday at 7 p.m.... and Conclaves to be asked to insert on summonses notice of time and place.
The year 1891 heralded changes: Alfred Meadows Conclave No.1 changed its name to Premier Conclave No.1; the District Grand Conclave of Eastern Archipelago was constituted with R.W.Bro. Felix H. Gottlieb as first District G.S.R., the Penrose Dunbar Conclave No.20 was consecrated, and Grand Council approved the design of the 3º certificate. At the 5th Grand Festival, music composed by Bro. W. Stephens of Perth, Western Australia, was performed upon the organ and adopted for use in Conclaves. Regulations for Provincial and District Grand Conclaves were revised... R.W. Bro. Gottlieb had indicated his wish to form his own District Grand Council and had so arranged in his District by-laws. This was not permitted as “there should be only one Grand Council”. He was advised to name it “District Executive Committee” as authorised by the Constitutions.
An application to form a District where only one Conclave existed was refused by Grand Council.
Grand Council directed that a letter of congratulation be sent to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales on the occasion of the marriage of his eldest son, H.R.H. the Duke of Clarence. Tragic circumstances, however necessitated the sending of a letter of condolence, and, on January 15, 1892, a reply from H.R.H. the Prince of Wales was received acknowledging the letter of condolence sent upon the occasion of the death of H.R.H. the Duke of Clarence and Avondale.
Finally, at the end of the year, the Grand Recorder reported that issued during the year had been –
1 Warrant... for Conclave No.20;
75 1º certificates (the last bearing the number 504); 56 2º certificates;
7 3º certificates.
The death of M.W.Bro. Col. Shadwell H. Clerke, P.G.S.R. was reported, with a note of condolence to his widow.
At the 6th Grand Festival (held in Mark Masons’ Hall) in 1893 the rank of P.G.S.R. was conferred upon Bro. Edward Letchworth, the new Grand Secretary of the Craft. Grand Council noted the deaths of Sir Francis Burdett and Sir Robert Harley, K.C.M.G., C.B.
The first visit of Dr. Carmichael, Grand Master of the Allied Degrees of Virginia, U.S.A. took place on December 12, and, at his request, he was given copies of the rituals of the three degrees of the Order. A note in the minutes of Grand Council indicated approval of a payment of K12. 10s. in part purchase of the property of a brother whose goods had been seized for rent by his landlord.
Grand Visitors were added as ex officio members of the Executive Committee. It was reported that two Conclaves were in arrears with their dues, namely No.13 (3 years) and No.18 (2 years), and they were ordered to make their returns or return their warrants.
The year 1893 was uneventful... Chudderghat Conclave No.21 of Hyderabad was consecrated by Bro. W. T. Newitt of Conclave No.14, Madras. The death of Bro. Felix Gottlieb, Dist.G.S.R., Eastern Archipelago was noted. Bro. C. F. Matier reported that True Friendship Conclave No.4, of which he was secretary, was dormant.
A letter was ordered to be sent to M.W.Bro. Dr. Zacharie sympathising with him on his illness which was increasingly serious.
It was reported that no dues had been received from Conclaves Nos. 4, 6, 17 and 20... Anglo-American was ordered to pay its dues or return its warrant.
1894 opened well for the Order with Sentinel Conclave No.22, Transvaal warranted on January 14, and Cama Conclave No.23, Bombay... consecrated by Bro. D. P. Cama (of Conclave No.5) while on a visit to his brother, Kursetjee K. Cama, whom he inducted into the Order, installed and commissioned as S.R. of the new Conclave... all on the same day.
In March a letter was received from Virginia announcing that Bro. Dr. Carmichael, Grand Master of the Allied Degrees, would pay a further visit and enclosing a copy of the newly-published ritual of that body.
Permission was granted to Premier Conclave No.1 to restrict its membership to Grand Officers and to take as a sub-name “Grand Officers Conclave”. (It was rescinded in 1947, when Surhmus Conclave was granted this privilege).
On September 11 a presentation was made to M.W.Bro. Dr. Zacharie and Mrs. Zacharie on the occasion of their golden wedding.
In December the District Grand Conclave of South Africa, with Bro. R. I. Finnemore as Dist.G.S.R., was constituted. In the same month Bro. C. F. Matier notified Grand Council that Conclave No.4 had “ceased to exist”. Grand Conclave ordered a patent to be issued to Bro. Thomas Cook of Natal upon his appointment by the District G.S.R. as his Deputy Ruler of the District.
A letter was read from M.W.Bro. Dr. Zacharie, G.S.R., stating that his health was so much impaired that he could no longer continue in office as Grand Supreme Ruler. Thereupon, a committee was appointed to approach the Rt.Hon. the Earl of Warwick, Deputy Ruler of the Order, to ask him to accept office as Grand Supreme Ruler at the next Grand Festival.
1895 was a notable year for the Order. At its commencement, an application was received from some fifty brethren in Rocklands, Maine, U.S.A. seeking permission to set up a Conclave to confer the 2º and 3º degrees of the Order. A warrant was granted, safeguarding the interests of the Richmond, Virginia brethren and restricting them from changing their allegiance at any time without the consent of Grand Council. As a result, Pioneer Conclave No.24, Rocklands was formed by these brethren, the warrant being dated March 28, 1895. In this country, the next new Conclave warranted was Cockcroft No.25 consecrated near Todmorden by Judge Philbrick; and Champion No.26 at Manchester.
A homily given by Judge Philbrick at the consecration of Champion Conclave No.26 on April 15 1895 concerning the Nature and Principles of the Order cannot be bettered:
"...a Society framed upon the principles of self-sacrifice, of mutual trust, watchful brotherly care, of compulsory warning in time of danger, official solace in time of sorrow and skilful and effective though unostentatious advice in every circumstance in life, is a Society that meets a great and crying need in human affairs, and is calculated to benefit those who act up to its tenets. Such a Society is that of the Secret Monitor. If a Brother be in sorrow the Conclave will afford him sympathy; if in danger his Brethren will give him assistance; if in distress the Visiting Deacons will bring him consolation; if in poverty he will find aid. Moreover, at every turn of life, at every crisis of fate, he may look and he will not look in vain, to the experienced among his Brethren who have pledged themselves to give him caution, to prompt him to good actions, to warn him of doubtful ones, and generally to watch over him, support him and cherish him so long as he may need their care and prove himself worthy of the confidence reposed in him. Such, my Brethren, are the principles of our Order. Tried they have been in times of peril, and true they have been found in times of difficulty...”
On May 13 a letter was received from Bro. C. F. Matier stating that “the body he represents” had received a letter from Virginian brethren protesting against Grand Council’s action in permitting the foundation of a Conclave in the U.S.A. The Grand Council asked for a copy of the letter but without effect. The resignation from the Order of the Earl of Euston and Bro. C. F. Matier was received a few days later, followed by surrender of the warrant of Earl of Euston Conclave No.7.
The Earl of Warwick was installed as Grand Supreme Ruler and Judge Philbrick appointed Deputy Ruler of the Order at the 9th Grand Festival in the presence of the Earl of Halsbury. A brother produced a transcript of a document issued by the Earl of Euston claiming the headship of the Order. On December 6, a letter was received from Bro. C. F. Matier, Grand Secretary, Mark Masons’ Hall, cancelling the agreement of October 25, 1895 to permit letting of the Grand Hall at Mark Masons’ Hall to the Order for its Grand Festivals. It was arranged for Bro. Spratling and Bro. Philbrick to prepare a “case” for submission to arbitration by Lord Lathom, Pro. Grand Master of the Craft, in order to bring to an end the unpleasant friction with the authorities of the Mark Degree. The “case” as drawn up was placed in the hands of Lord Lathom on March 25, 1896.
A month later Moulmein Conclave No.28, Burma was consecrated. At the 10th Grand Festival... held at the Freemasons Tavern, a list of Conclaves was issued showing:-
2. University of London
3. Felix Gottlieb
4. True Friendship
5. Horatio Shirley
6. Anglo-American London
7. Earl of Eusfon
8. Cleve Fast
10. Royal Sussex
11. George Andrews
12. Queen’s Westminster
14. Damon and Pythias
15. Prudent Brethren
16. Empress of India
17. AdulJam Singapore
18. Southern Cross
20. Penrose Dunbar
By the end of the year 4 more Conclaves were added:
27. Southern Cross Geelong, Victoria
29. Earl of Warwick
30. Transvaal Warrant returned
(? warrant returned)
U.S.A. – cancelled
In honour of the jubilee of Queen Victoria, brevet past ranks were conferred upon a number of worthy Past S.Rulers and others, Sir Thomas Wright was elected Grand Treasurer, and the office of Grand Director of Ceremonies was introduced... all in the year 1897. A letter from Bro. W. J. Newitt of Madras stated: “if the brethren in India have to choose between the Order of the Secret Monitor and the “Allied Degrees”, their minds have long been made up.”
On November 11, 1897, a special meeting of the Executive Committee was held to consider a proposal from the Earl of Euston that the 2º and 3º of the Order should be abandoned and that the brethren should range themselves under him in the Allied Degrees... the offer was refused on the ground that the Allied Degrees had nothing to offer the members of the Order and they preferred their own present Rulers. The Rocklands brethren having failed to return their warrant for endorsement according to the wishes of Grand Council, the Grand Recorder was instructed to send a copy of the “case” to Conclave No.24 and to the Richmond brethren with a covering letter in each case.
Consequent upon the loss of facilities at Mark Masons’ Hall, it had become necessary to find new accommodation for the Supreme Conclave of Instruction: this was found by using the Board Room at the premises of Bro. Japheth Tickle, C.C., P.G. Treas., to whom a vote of thanks was accorded at the Grand Festival in 1897. Transvaal Conclave No.30 (for Scottish Mas¿ was warranted at Johannesburg at the end of the year.
On May 9, 1989 an application for a conclave at Albany, New York was declined “until present difficulties in America are settled”. At the 12th Grand Festival in that year, Grand Council favoured the formation of a Benevolent Fund of the Order and authorised a draft scheme to be drawn up. The Earl of Warwick, G.S.R. announced his determination to “take the sense” of Mark Grand Lodge upon the attitude of certain of its officials towards this Order. Later, on October 7, it was reported that the G.S.R. had placed his submission for arbitration in the hands of the Grand Registrar of the Craft and, having intimated that he was willing to do almost anything rather than perpetuate the present strained relations between the Order and the Mark Degree, he reported that he and the Earl of Euston had signed an award by Bro. John Strachan, Q.C., whereby this Order granted recognition to the new “Degree” of Secret Monitor as instituted by the Council of the Allied Degrees in England. Two months later, a cordial vote of thanks was passed to Bro. John Strachan, Q.C., Grand Registrar of the Craft, for the time and trouble he had taken in settling the Award: similar votes were passed to the G.S.R. and the Deputy Ruler of the Order (Bra. Philbrick). Grand Council referred the proposal to set up a Benevolent Fund to the Executive Committee, whose report received the approval of Grand Council at the 13th Grand Festival (held at the Hotel Cecil, Strand, London) in June 1899. The proceedings of the meeting were reported in “The Daily Telegraph”. Later in the year, in November, the 4th edition of the Constitutions was issued, revision of the 1º ritual ordered, and it was reported that correspondence had passed between the Grand Scribe E of Royal Arch Masonry in Scotland and the O.S.M. authorities in England concerning the creation of a District of the Order in that Constitution.
The Masonic virtue of Brotherly Love being always the predominant desire of the brethren, a fund was raised to assist Freemasons and their dependants injured as a result of the South African War; money raised was transmitted to Bro. Thomas Cook, District G.S.R., South Africa, to be distributed by him at his discretion to alleviate the suffering of members of the Order and their families... it was reported that five Conclaves in South Africa were affected. A further donation of K20 was made to The Daily Telegraph Shilling Fund raised for victims of the South African War.
The O.S.M. Benevolent Fund opened with promises of donations amounting to 17gns. Bro. C. I. Nelson was first President and Treasurer and Grand Council agreed that this officer should be an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee.
The turn of the century, the year 1900, was notable... the Earl of Warwick, G.S.R., accepted the Presidency of the Benevolent Fund, with Bro. Charles Edward Keyser as Vice-President. At the 14th Grand Festival Bro. C. L. Nelson was elected Grand Treasurer of the Order.
The death of Dr. Ipchar Zacharie, first Grand Supreme Ruler of the Order, was notified on September 16. The Executive Committee drew up a resolution of sympathy and condolence to be sent to the bereaved members of Dr. Zacharie’s family and, at his funeral two days later at Highgate Cemetery, London (Grave No.33925 in Square 147), the Order’s ritual for a “Conclave of Sorrow” was used for the first time; and obituary notice with portrait was published in “The Freemason”, and on October 22 in the Masonic Temple at Hotel Cecil, the “Ritual of Sorrow” was performed in the presence of many Freemasons and the members of the Zacharie family: an account appeared in the “Freemasons’ Chronicle”. Early in 1901, it is recorded, a scheme was proposed to set up a memorial on Dr. Zacharie’s grave, and, later in the year, a committee was appointed to carry out the work: donations reached £5. 8s. 6d., and the memorial duly erected by Bro. Ruthven Finlayson, to whom a vote of thanks was accorded by Grand Council.
Grand Council compounded a life subscription of 1.2 for any Conclave at Oxford or Cambridge Universities. At this time, Ceres Conclave No.31 was consecrated in Rangoon, and the District of Burma, with R.W.Bro. James Copley Moore, M.A. as Dist.G.S.R. was set up. Bro. J. L. Thomas was appointed Immediate Past G.S.R. in place of the late M.W.Bro. Dr. Zacharie. The final organisation of the Benevolent Fund, with specimens of badges proposed, was adopted; and the Grand Treasurer reported a balance in the bank and in hand of £136. 6s. 2d. of which 1.43. 3s Od belonged to the Benevolent Fund. Grand Council ordered the revision of Ritual No.2
At the 16th Grand Festival it was reported that H.H. Maharajah of Cooch Behar had accepted appointment of District G.S.R. for India; that enquiries had been received from the Grand Lodge of the Argentine Republic; and Cjhnd Council resolved that no Conclave can omit or alter the day of its meeting except in accordance with the practice of the Craft.
In January 1903, a revision of the rules for management of District Grand Conclaves was ordered. Later, at the 17th Grand Festival, a rule modifying the charge for dispensations “if not applied for in time” to be one or two guineas; it was resolved that, in view of the distances between Conclaves in India and from home, “Grand Guides in charge” would be appointed. Conclaves were asked to make the office of Secretary as permanent as they can thus saving much trouble to the Grand Recorder, and Supreme Rulers were warned that no brother may hold two offices in the same Conclave at the same time.
Skyrack Conclave No.32, with the Past Prov.G.M.M. as S.R., was consecrated at Leeds by Bro. Japheth Tickle, C.C., P.G.S.R., Assistant D.R.O. Ruler on July 27, 1903. Four months later, a new venue for the Supreme Conclave of Instruction was found at Hotel Cecil.
In January 1904, a handsome Japanese clock was presented to Lady Marjorie Greville, daughter of the G.S.R., to mark her forthcoming marriage to Viscount Hemsley.
In May 1904, Victoria Conclave No.33 was consecrated in Burma; R.W.Bro. Thomas Cook, Dist.G.S.R., South Africa was re-appointed for a further term of five years; and the 5th edition of the Constitutions, including the Constitutions of the Benevolent Fund, was issued. The Benevolent Fund was divided into three divisions or wings each with its distinguishing badge and each under a General, a Treasurer and a Scribe, who were elected annually. Each Division was to be financially autonomous: the Right Wing (white badge) was to expend its funds in furthering the education of children of Secret Monitors or in collecting votes for the Masonic schools... these votes to be used in favour of candidates whose fathers were Secret Monitors. The Left Wing (red badge) devoted its funds to the assistance of Secret Monitors or their families in sickness or convalescence. The Centre Wing (blue badge) was to spend its money on the care of aged Secret Monitors and in collecting votes for the Masonic charities for aged Freemasons. In 1905 Grand Council resolved that fees for dispensations should be credited to the Benevolent Fund. Each Wing had grades or ranks according to the amount donated by an individual brother: the more he donated, the higher in rank he progressed (in the Benevolent Fund). In January 1905, an arrangement was sanctioned whereby a Conclave secretary could be advanced a step in rank upon the books of the Benevolent Fund up to a certain point for each year of service as such.
Everything has its origin: the printed report forms now issued to Grand Visitors, were introduced in May 1905. Also in 1905 the Order was further extended by the consecration of Ladysmith Conclave No.34 in Natal, and the Claro True Friendship Conclave, the new No.4, was consecrated at Harrogate by the Grand Supreme Ruler.
The first Benevolent Fund Festival was held at Hotel Cecil in December, when a sum of f275. 17s. was announced... and a report of this appeared in “The Freemason” four days later.
The following year, 1906, Grand Council expressed willingness to pay travel expenses for Grand Officers while on duty for the Order. At the 20th Grand Festival, again at the Hotel Cecil, Bro. C. E. Keyser was appointed Immediate Past G.S.R. in place of the late Bro. J. L. Thomas. Odersfelt Conclave No.35 was consecrated at Huddersfield by Bro. Philbrick, who travelled from Bournemouth for the occasion. The ceremony was reported in “The Freemason”.
The Order and Mark Masonry
Attah Gibor Leolam Adonai: Thou art strong in the eternal God.
The 21st Grand Festival, held at Hotel Cecil, marked the “coming-of-age” of the Order and, to mark the occasion, a handsome “Coming-of-Age” jewel was presented to the G.S.R. and a replica ordered to be worn by all members at that time. A booklet recording the various memorable events was prepared and issued at the price of one shilling....
The 22nd and 23rd Grand Festivals were held at the Hotel Cecil and, at the latter, it was reported that Lord Methuen had accepted appointment as Dist.G.S.R. for South Africa. Celebration of the 24th Grand Festival was marred by the death of King Edward VII and Grand Conclave was invited to give expression to its feelings. It was reported that Charles Little Conclave No.36 had been consecrated in Burma.
In January 1911 the Executive Committee reported the death of Bro. F. A. Philbrick on Christmas Day 1910 in his 75th year: “To refer to our late esteemed Deputy Ruler is to think of him as ‘A grand old English gentleman’, in whose genial company, everyone who enjoyed that privilege, took pleasure and delight, and whose name will ever remain in the loving memory of all who knew him”, and its further report to Grand Council in May: “The Order has to deplore the death of one of its most eminent Founders, the late Bro. Judge F. A. Philbrick. His hand, joined with that of Bro. Shadwell Clerke, did much in shaping the destinies of the Order, and placing it upon the sound foundation it now occupies. His genial presence and sage advice have been much missed in the counsels of your Committee.” Two more Conclaves were reported as having been consecrated: Bellary No.37 in India and Cinque Ports No.38, Hastings; but a petition from Lagos had been withdrawn.
In 1912 the Executive Committee reported that a small remuneration (£50 per annum) had been awarded to Bro. Spratling, Grand Recorder. Lord Methuen, Dist.G.S.R., South Africa, returned to this country, but a “Prayer” from the brethren of his District that he be permitted to continue as their nominal head was to be considered by the Executive Committee. Consecration of Regent Conclave No.39 in Barnsley, and Waheed Conclave No.40 in Hyderabad to work in Urdu, that being the lingua franca of the Indian Peninsula. The following year Gemini Conclave No.41, which would meet every alternate month on the 4th Thursday at the Rand Club, Johannesburg (Thursday has now been changed to Friday) was consecrated. In 1913 the United Grand Lodge of England afforded the Order unofficial help in a case of benevolence to which the Grand Lodge rules did not apply, but which our Board of Benevolence undertook.
A copy of the portrait in oils of the late Bro. F. A. Philbrick, P.G.W., P.G. Reg., 33º, offered by the Province of Essex, was accepted.
When the 28th Grand Festival of the Order took place at Hotel Cecil on June 17, 1914 few, if any, could have foreseen the storm that was soon to break out and affect the lives of everyone present. The Executive Committee reported progress by all Conclaves, although Victoria No.33 in Rangoon was “in abeyance”. War was declared on August 4 and it was found inexpedient to hold the usual Benevolent Fund Festival in November due to the absence of the chairman, Lord Methuen, who had been appointed Governor of Malta.
In 1915 Grand Council resolved: “For the purpose of relieving difficulties occasioned by the present and lamentable and terrible war, in which so many members of the Order are taking part...” followed by a resolution arranging for the substitution of a S.R.-elect absent on military duty, by a P.S.R., but preserving the former’s rank and office.
In 1917 the Executive Committee reported a year of steady, if not rapid, progress, although many members were engaged on military service... it continued “the knowledge that many younger members would be unable to attend has caused the older and more experienced members to increase their zeal in order that meetings of Conclaves should not lack spirit and support”. The Winter Convocation of Grand Council placed on record the deep sympathy of the Order with the Earl of Warwick, G.S.R., his eldest daughter and the rest of his family, by the death of his son-in-law, the Earl of Faversham, in the country’s cause.
The 31st Grand Festival was held at 10 Duke Street, and the Executive Committee reported “the activity which marked last year has been well maintained and the Order is still gaining ground both at home and abroad, although no new Conclaves have applied for registration”; and the following year “the work of the Order has gone on quietly and successfully during the year”. The Roll of Conclaves ended with Maymyo No.43, Upper Burma.
The report of the Executive Committee at the 33rd Grand Festival in 1919 began: “The first duty of your Executive Committee is to offer its congratulations to the Order upon the arrival of peace conditions, which it is hoped will not only relieve the anxiety of many members and their families, with regard to their personal safety but will bring the victorious soldiers of the British Empire back to their Masonic and other duties, ready to resume them, and, we trust, without too great a change arising from the war.”
The year 1920 saw further additions to the Roll of Conclaves: Verney Clayton No.45 in Manchester, Khambatta No.46 in Poona, and Harte No.47, West Hartlepool. Aotearoa Conclave No.44, the warrant for which was signed on April 9, 1920, the first Conclave of the Order for the Dominion of New Zealand, was consecrated in London on January 1, and heralded an auspicious 1921. The inception of the Order in New Zealand was due mainly to the efforts of Col. George Barclay, serving with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, who was inducted and admitted in Zacharie Conclave No.9. An ardent and enthusiastic worker for the Order, he eventually became Dist.G.S.R. (1930-1943). It is on record that so enthusiastic a Freemason was he that he belonged to all the Masonic Orders and held Grand Rank in each.
Two more Conclaves were consecrated in 1921: Bishop Blaize No.48 (the Martyr, St. Blasius, Bishop of Sebaste in Cappadocia, was tortured to death in 316. Among the instruments used in his martyrdom was a woolcomb... hence he became the woolcombers patron saint. In early medical writings his aid was invoked to remove foreign bodies from the throat because, among his miracles, was saving the only son of a widow who was being choked by a fishbone) and Supera Moras No.49 of Bolton. At the 36th Grand Festival in 1922, the Executive Committee reported that several new Conclaves were in contemplation, particularly in New Zealand, due to the activities of Bro. George Barclay who asked by cable for permission to hold Emergency Conclaves in several towns in New Zealand. The necessary power to issue such dispensations as might be necessary was granted.
Earlier in the year, the death of the Earl of Halsbury who, since 1877 had held high office in the Order, had helped to guide it through troublous times and been a tower of strength in all its proceedings, passed to his rest... a resolution of sympathy was passed with every sign of sorrow for his death.
At the end of the year Fidelity No.50, Stockport and Amity No.51 were warranted; but it was not until 1924 that the rush of applications for Conclaves in New Zealand came. After Waltair Conclave No.52 had been consecrated in India, came Otakous No.53 in Dunedin, Otakara No.54, Christchurch, and, soon afterwards, Arawa No.55, Auckland.
On January 17, 1924 occurred the death of the Grand Supreme Ruler, Francis Richard Charles Guy Greville, the fifth Earl of Warwick. He had been in office for exactly 29 years and had seen the Order grow in stature, strength and authority.
At the Order’s 38th Grand Festival, M.W.Bro. Charles Edward Keyser, M.A., J.P. who had been Deputy Ruler of the Order for many years, was installed as the third Grand Supreme Ruler, a great Mason whose beneficence was well-known in the Craft and other areas of Masonic interest. From the outset he was faced with many far-reaching decisions, up to this time, Bro. Spratling had carried out the day-to-day business of the Order at his private business premises in Holborn Viaduct, and added to his honorarium of CO paid when funds permitted, he received royalties on the sale of rituals. His emolument of £50 was later increased to £100 and later still to £120... this arrangement continued until Bro. Spratfield told the Executive Committee that, in addition to his own duties, which were arduous enough and which were done at the expense and sometimes to the detriment of his private business, he also carried out the duties of Grand Treasurer, none of those who had occupied this office had ever observed the terms of his appointment. Stating that he had reached the limit of his endurance, he had now to consider his own health and strength. He mentioned that he also performed the duties of Warden of Regalia, although a Brother was appointed annually to that office; “meanwhile”, he said, “the Order is suffering from the sheer inability of the Grand Recorder to cope with its present demands.” As a result of this protest the office of Assistant Grand Recorder was created, the first Brother appointed thereto receiving an annual honorarium of five guineas. The Executive Committee also took up the question of acquiring separate headquarters for the Order. In due course and after prolonged negotiation, a property known as Brownlow House, 26 Betterton Street off Drury Lane was purchased for £2,000; funds for the purpose were raised by means of individual donations and loans and a bank overdraft... guaranteed personally by the G.S.R. and the Presidents of the Executive Committee and the Board of Benevolence. Apparently the transaction did not meet with the approval of all members of the Order: the neighbourhood was unsavoury and the house dilapidated, while two rooms were occupied by a person whom it was difficult to evict. Two years after its acquisition “Brownlow House” was sold (at no loss to the Trustees) and a 14-year lease taken of rooms in the upper part of premises at 19/21 Great Queen Street (leased from Spencer & Co.) at an annual rent of 1.180 exclusive of rates.
The Grand Recorder moved into the new premises in April 1927, having relinquished his premises. By this time the financial position of the Order, which has been steadily deteriorating since the outbreak of World War I, had become alarming. There followed a searching enquiry into Spratling’s methods ...relations between the Grand Recorder and the Executive Committee became strained, culminating in November 1928 in his retirement after 40 years in that office. He died in 1929.
Before a new Grand Recorder was appointed, the next two months were spent in auditing the accounts (there was a multiplicity of bank accounts) and taking over books, documents and keys. The audit showed a debit balance of £330 but of this amount approximately f200 was due to Bro. Spratling for out-of-pocket expenses, etc.
Finally, it was announced that Bro. Spratling’s successor would be Bro. R. F. B. Cross, a chartered accountant, who, before he was appointed officially had, at the request of the G.S.R., upon him conferred the Third Degree and commissioned a S.R. within the Order at the installation meeting of Earl of Warwick Conclave No.29 (Bro. Canon C. H. Maiden was installed into the Chair of that Conclave). This was one of only a few recorded instances when such a ceremony was carried out.
The death of M.W.Bro. C. E. Keyser, G.S.R. took place on March 23, 1929 and was a great loss to the Order: when he undertook the rulership the Order was in a parlous state, the finances low... indeed so low they were almost non-existent, and, notwithstanding the excellent start the Order had made from its inception in 1887, the interest of the brethren was waning, some Conclaves were fading, and little progress was evident. His munificence and beneficence were almost illimitable.
The fourth Grand Supreme Ruler was Bro. Charles Warren Napier-Clavering (Grand Master of the Allied Masonic Degrees)... he was elected and installed at the Grand Hotel, Harrogate R.W.Bro. R. Verney Clayton was appointed Dep.G.S.R.
At the 44th Grand Festival, held for the first time at Connaught Rooms, London on July 3, 1930 the Executive Committee reported a successful reorganisation of the Order to which the response of the Brethren had been most enthusiastic and encouraging. During the year 170 new members had been inducted, the rituals had been revised, simplified and improved in coherency; the Constitutions had been reviewed and amended, and the accounts had been independently audited. It was reported that full District status had been granted to the Conclaves in Australia and New Zealand.
Upon the appointment of Bro. R. F. B. Cross as Grand Recorder, he was granted the use of offices at the Order’s new premises for his private business, but, though he held the office for 29 years, he received no salary. Spratling was awarded a pension of £130 a year (debitable to the Fund of Benevolence) and it was resolved that upon his death his sister, Miss K. E. Spratling, should receive £20 a year for life (she lived to be 91).
The tenure of office of M.W.Bro. Napier-Clavering was lamentably short, but it was due to him, and in his time, that our Order attained full maturity... agreement with the Allied Masonic Degrees after a period of 31 years:-
ARTICLES OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN
THE GRAND COUNCIL OF THE ORDER OF THE SECRET MONITOR IN THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND, AND THE DOMINIONS, COLONIES AND DEPENDENCIES OF THE BRITISH CROWN
THE GRAND COUNCIL OF THE ALLIED MASONIC DEGREES IN ENGLAND, WALES THE DOMINIONS AND DEPENDENCIES OF THE BRITISH CROWN
As from the date hereof the Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees will recognise the Grand Council of the Order of the Secret Monitor as the sole and supreme authority over the Degree of Secret Monitor in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the Dominions, Colonies and Dependencies of the British Crown.
Councils warranted by the Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees shall not at any time hereafter practice or confer the Degree of Secret Monitor.
As from the date hereof the Grand Council of the Order of the Secret Monitor will recognise, and upon application, register free of charge as Secret Monitors of the First Degree all Brethren who hold the certificate of that Degree issued by the Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees.
The Grand Council of the Order of the Secret Monitor will grant facilities for the formation of regular Conclaves by Secret Monitor members of existing Councils warranted by the Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees; such Conclaves shall be entitled to no special precedence on the roll of the Order but shall receive a Warrant of Constitution without fee.
A Brother recognised as regular by virtue of Article III on becoming a member of a regular Conclave in the Order of the Secret Monitor shall take an obligation of allegiance to the Grand Council of that Order.
Brethren granted a Warrant by virtue of Article IV shall prior to the constitution of the Conclave thus Warranted be required to take the obligation before mentioned.
GIVEN UNDER SEALS OF THE GRAND COUNCILS this FIRST day of JULY 1931.
The Grand Council of the Order of the Secret Monitor
C. W. Napier-Clavering Supreme Grand Ruler
R. Verney Clayton
Miles J. Stepylton
Deputy Supreme Grand Ruler R. F. B. Cross
The Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees
C. W. Napier-Clavering Grand Master
C. H. Perram
Deputy Grand Master T. G. L. Lumley-Smith Grand Secretary.
During the rulership of M.W.Aro. Napier-Clavering, the custom was introduced of convening Summer Vocations of Grand Conclave alternately in London and in the Provinces. In 1931, Grand Conclave met at Manchester. Hitherto, it had been the custom for Grand Council and Grand Conclave to meet twice yearly: however, after 1929, Winter Convocations were dropped.
After the death of M.W.Bro. Napier-Clavering in 1931, the Earl of Harewood, Prov. Grand Master for West Yorkshire, agreed to accept office as Grand Supreme Ruler... as he was not then a member of the Order he was inducted, admitted, installed and commissioned in Claro True Friendship Conclave No.4 at Harrogate on December 12, 1931, and in the following February was installed as Grand Supreme Ruler at Mark Masons’ Hall, London... the first meeting of the Order to be held at Mark Masons’ Hall since 1895.
The Order had now warranted Conclaves: Stewart No.62, London; Hallsworth No.63, Bombay; Concord No.64, Liverpool; Morning Star No.65; Stafford No.66, Stafford; Liverpool No.67, Prescot, Lanes; and a petition received for a warrant from the Metropolitan Council of the A.M.D. to be called Metropolitan Conclave... it was warranted with the No.68, London.
The Earl of Harewood ruled until 1936, when he was appointed Pro Grand Master in the Craft and his increasing commitments made it impossible for him to continue as G.S.R. However, during his tenure of office, Rose and Lily Conclave No.69, London; Sohrab Bharoocha No.70, Bombay; Earl of Harewood No.71, Accrington; and Alma Mater No.72 which the G.S.R. himself consecrated at Cambridge... at which he underlined not only how our Order put into practice the true principles of Freemasonry, but enabled Christians and Brethren of other faiths to meet on a fraternal footing and engage in fruitful Masonic activities.
The Earl of Courtown, Prov. Grand Master for Berkshire, S.G.W. in the Craft and G.S.W. in the Mark Degree, was elected to be the 6th Grand Supreme Ruler of the Order. In March 1936, he was inducted, admitted, installed and commissioned in Summus Conclave No.3.
The Earl of Courtown held the office of G.S.R. for 21 years during which the number of Conclaves rose from 75 to 145, including the consecration of Century Conclave No.100 at Cheltenham... the first S.R. was R.W.Bro. Sir Archibald Campbell, KCIE, CSI, CBE, VD, past District G.S.R., South India... and the consecration of Supreme Rulers Conclave No.123 with R.W.Bro. Sir George Boag, KCIE, CSI, MA, Dep.G.S.R. as first S.R. During his years as G.S.R., the five senior Conclaves of the Order celebrated their Diamond Jubilee and four of them, located in London, (Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 5) marked the event with a joint meeting at Abercorn Rooms in the presence of the M.W.G.S.R. The Grand Recorder R.W.Bro. R. F. B. Cross occupied the chair.
During the Earl of Courtown’s rulership, occurred the outbreak of World War II... it led to a difficult time not only for our Order but for Freemasonry in general. Blackout restrictions, travelling difficulties, the absence of members in the forces or on war work, catering troubles due to rationing and requisitioning of Masonic premises all tended to make meetings difficult and attendance's uncertain. Alma Mater Conclave No.74 carried on its meetings in private residences when the Masonic Hall at Cambridge was requisitioned. Several Masonic premises were destroyed or damaged in air raids. Among the Conclaves which suffered in this way, losing regalia and furniture, were Premier No.1 and University of London No.2. The offices of the Order in Great Queen Street also suffered damage, though the Grand Recorder managed to carry on despite restricted accommodation and staff depleted by the exigencies of war. In December 1942, it was decided to suspend meetings of the Executive Committee except for matters of urgency. With the cessation of hostilities in 1945, strenuous efforts were made to resume normal working. Records were brought up to date, dues collected and administration generally restored to normal. At the 55th Grand Festival on April 30, 1946, accounts for five years were presented and adopted... these showed a much improved financial position.
In the following year (1947) the Earl of Harewood, Past G.S.R., died... although his commitments as Pro Grand Master in the Craft had necessitated his resignation from the office of G.S.R., he had continued to take a keen interest in our Order and had attended meetings whenever possible. The M.W.G.S.R. told Grand Council that he had written a letter of condolence to H.R.H. the Princess Royal, who had replied... her letter was handed to the Grand Recorder for placing in the Order’s archives.
Post-war inflation necessitated a further increase in fees and dues, which came into effect on January 1, 1956... though increases were loyally accepted by brethren in this country, the measure aroused protest from Conclaves in Australia whose members demanded special treatment. A temporary compromise gave these Conclaves the option of remitting in sterling or Australian currency as their consciences dictated. Lord Courtown died in tragic circumstances in 1957, and his Deputy, Sir George Townsend Boag, KCIE, CSI, MA, Past District Grand Master in the Craft and Mark in Madras and Past District G.S.R. of Southern India, was elected as his successor, and installed at the Grand Festival in the same year; he appointed R.W.Bro. John R. Rylands, M.Sc., J.P. as his Deputy.
Various amendments to the Constitutions were introduced during the next few years: the summer and winter Convocations of Grand Council were reduced to one only, stipulation that the Grand Festival be held in June was deleted so that the G.S.R. could order it to be held when most suitable and convenient (generally this was in September); other amendments were of an organisational nature. By now the Order’s financial state was greatly enhanced and stable... contributions had been made to each of the three Craft Institutions and the Royal Masonic Hospital; and part of the balance had been usefully invested. In so healthy a state was the Order in 1963 that it was reported 180 Conclaves had been warranted, some which had been dormant had been resuscitated, and a bright future was envisaged. It was reported that a rewrite of the History of the Order had been undertaken by W.Bro. Col. R. J. L. Wilkinson, OBE, Librarian and Curator of the Museum at Mark Masons’ Hall which would be published soon thereafter (it was published the following year and became a standard work).
“The Supreme Conclave of Instruction” had now changed its name to that which still obtains, “Premier Conclave of Improvement”, and officers of Conclaves in and around London were recommended, on convenient occasions, to attend its meetings, under the Preceptorship of V.W.Bro. F. J. Crow, PAGDC; and brethren in the Manchester district were advised of its own Conclave of Instruction held at the Masonic Temple, Manchester under the Preceptorship of R.W. Bra. C.T. Caffrey, PGG.
R.W.Bro. R. F. B. Cross, P.G.C., Grand Recorder for 30 years, died later in the year, as a result of which a thorough review of the Order’s affairs was undertaken, tenancy of the Great Queen Street offices was terminated and the Order was accommodated at Mark Masons’ Hall. The Mark Grand Secretary, Lt.Col. J. W. Chitty, MBE, undertook supervision of the Order’s administration, and was appointed Grand Recorder.
The year 1959 was a notable one for the Order: Conclaves in the District Grand Conclave of New South Wales successfully petitioned for their own Constitution and were duly launched as the first of our daughter-Sovereign Grand Conclaves on June 20, with M.W.Bro. S.E.A. Holland as G.S.R., R.W.Bro. J. A. H. Terrill, PGG as Dep.G.S.R., and R.W.Bro. K.G. Grimble, PGV., Grand Recorder. Twelve Conclaves, namely Sydney No.92, Canberra No.93, St. George No.113, Newcastle No.120, Illawarra No.131, Lachlan Valley No.132, Parramatta No.133, Strathfield No.141, Trundle No.147, Leichhardt No.152, Courtown No.153 and Balgowlah No.154, were transferred to the new Constitution.
Soon after the death of the Earl of Courtown a memorial fund was set up which enabled the Order in 1959 to send a donation of £1500 each to the R.M.I.G. and the Royal Masonic Hospital.
In the same year, the Order’s Board of Benevolence, which had operated as a separate entity, was abolished and its powers vested in the Executive Committee.
Further amendments to the Constitutions and Regulations of the Order were made in 1960, which referred to the abolition of the Board of Benevolence and transfer of its powers to the Executive Committee; provisions for salutations to Provincial and District G.S.Rs and Grand Chancellors, deletion of the office of Grand Chamberlain, the appointment of a second Deputy District Grand Supreme Ruler in certain cases, and the anomalous position of Grand Steward clarified... the brother recommended must be either S.R. or P.S.R. and, on appointment, becomes a full member of Grand Conclave. The Grand Recorder to be appointed by the Grand Supeme Ruler and hold office during the pleasure of Grand Conclave. Provision was made for Prov/Dist.G.S.Rs to make appointments to past ranks in their Provinces and Districts according to the number of Conclaves; all petitioners for a new Conclave to be Princes of the Order unless a dispensation was granted by the G.S.R.; the office of Orator in the 2º abolished. A portrait in oils of Sir George Boag, in his regalia of Grand Supreme Ruler, by Arthur Fuller, presented to Grand Council to hang in Mark Masons’ Hall was presented by R.W.Bro. A. A. Murphy, G.D.C. The last Conclave on the list of warranted Conclaves was Devon No.165.
At the 74th annual convocation of Grand Conclave at Cheltenham, the death of R.W.Bro. William Appleyard, FRCS, Dep.G.S.R. was reported and, in his stead, the M.W.G.S.R. appointed R.W.Bro. John R. Rylands, M.Sc., J.P. Amendment of Rule 64 of the Constitutions provided for payment to the funds of Grand Conclave for every subscribing member:-
Conclaves in the U.K.............. 6s. per annum
Conclaves overseas ............. 4s. per annum
Conclaves overseas shall pay to the funds of District Grand Conclave for every subscribing member such annual sum (not exceeding 2s 6d) as the District Grand Conclave may decide.
Formation of the District Grand Conclave of New Zealand Central was announced. At the 75th annual meeting of the following year and to mark the occasion, donations of one hundred guineas each were made to the three Craft Institutions and the Samaritan Fund of the Royal Masonic Hospital. Seven new Conclaves were warranted during the year; and, in 1963, at the 76th annual meeting at Scarborough, it was reported eight new Conclaves had been warranted, the last was Weymouth Conclave No.180 in Dorset. The Benevolent Fund of the Order was registered as a Charity on the Central Register of Charities. The following year Rule 72(f) of the Constitutions was altered to provide that the Executive Committee should meet four times instead of six times a year. After his re-appointment of R.W.Bro. John Rylands as Dep.G.S.R., the M.W.G.S.R. announced that, in view of the steady growth of the Order in this country, he would appoint a second Deputy G.S.R. and he now appointed to this high office R.W.Bro. the Rev. Canon G.T. Waldegrave, MBE, M.A., P.G.Chancellor. The inauguration of the new District of Otago and Southland was performed by the Grand Supreme Ruler who installed R.W.Bro. R. N. Cleland as District G.S.R.
At the 78th annual convocation of Grand Conclave and Grand Council in London, it was reported that 3 new Conclaves had been warranted during the year, one in South Australia and that the G.S.R. would consecrate Roses in Concord (Oswaldtwistle) No.185 and Worcestershire No.186 in the following October and November. Membership of the Order was given as 7,641: at home 2,559, and Overseas 5,082. The list of Grand Officers for the year showed the name of Lt.Col. the Hon. M. G. Edwardes, M.B.E. as Asst.G.Recorder. Lt.Col. J. W. Chitty, MBE, Grand Recorder, told Grand Conclave: “In the last few days I have, on behalf of all the Orders at Mark Masons’ Hall, been able to arrange for a non-resident account to be opened in Calcutta into which rupees which are due to us from various bodies in India can be paid, so that no Conclave or other body will have the excuse that they are unable to remit monies due. They have permission to pay it into that account. To some extent we have been able to make use of it already by financing our visit over there. Whether we shall ever get any money back to this country is a matter of doubt, but at least we shall have a nominal amount over there. A great many rupees were lent to the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons when the deputation went out early this year to start the new Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons for India. The equivalent of the rupees is being refunded by the Mark to this Order in sterling, so that we ought to get in quite a nice sum. We will in fact be able to cash some of our rupees in that way. In future our rupees will accumulate and possibly we shall be able to use them when visits are made.”
The finances as reported to the 79th annual convocation of Grand Conclave at Liverpool showed a remarkable turn of fortune and husbandry... an excess of income over expenditure of 11,243 Os. 11d. as compared with a deficit the previous year of £610 12s. 1d. Donations from the Benevolent Fund had been made of £105 to each of the three Masonic Institutions, to the Royal Masonic Hospital and to the Mark Benevolent Fund. It was¿resolved that similar donations be made forthwith from current funds.
Continued expansion of the Order was reported, nine new Conclaves having been warranted... the last number was for Te Awa No.195 in New Zealand, South Island; and membership 8,255 (2,980 at Home and 5,275 overseas)... a welcome increase of 614 in the year.
The sudden death of R.W.Bro. the Rev. Canon G. T. Waldegrave, M.B.E., M.A., Dep.G.S.R. was reported and tributes paid to his memory. In his place the M.W.G.S.R., who referred to the need of a Dep.G.S.R. in the south, appointed R.W.Bro. Dr. Geoffrey Westgarth-Taylor, who was then admitted, invested, installed and proclaimed. Approval was given to the constitution of the Sovereign Grand Conclave of Southern Australia, for which Bro. George C. Kingscott, formerly Dist. G.S.R. for Southern Australia since 1942, was to be M.W.G.S.R. The new Sovereign Body comprised 15 Conclaves in the States of Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.
ln 1967 three more Conclaves were warranted:
Shield of David, No.196, Swindon;
Golwad No.197, Northern India;
and Wychwood No.198, Cheltenham:
the strength of the Order was given as 7,491 (3,162 at Home and 4,229 Overseas) the decrease from the previous year being due to the formation of the Grand Conclave of Southern Australia. Tribute was paid to the work of the Grand Visitors who, at this time, had to travel considerable distances to visit Conclaves in all parts of the country. At this meeting R.W.Bro. Lt.Col. J. W. Chitty, M.B.E., Grand Recorder, was promoted to Past Grand Counsellor, a reward for his valuable services to the Order. The M.W.G.S.R. said: “I am very glad to have this opportunity of recognising not only my own appreciation of his merit but that of the Order as a whole. Every Brother will agree that he has fully earned this promotion. (applause) We hope he will live long to enjoy this promotion”.
Redesignation of the District of South Africa, Transavaal to South Africa North and the creation of the District of South Africa South, thus ending a very lengthy discussion between two different parts of South Africa for a considerable time. At the same meeting, reference was made to the development of a third Sovereign Constitution in Australia in the immediate future.
At the 81st annual meeting (1968) of Grand Council in London, R.W.Bro. Dr. Geoffrey Westgarth-Taylor, Deputy Grand Supreme Ruler, presided. His announcement that M.W.Bro. Sir George Boag was not seeking re-election as Grand Supreme Ruler after 11 years in that office, caused consternation and speculation. Sir George, it was known, was in failing health; his Deputy, R.W. Bro. John Rylands, a well-loved member of the Order, greatly loved and respected, particularly in the North, was crippled with arthritis and becoming less and less mobile, could not undertake the onerous duty of head of the Order, and R.W.Bro. Dr. Westgarth-Taylor, a young member of the medical profession, could not spare time from his growing practice in the south-west to offer himself as a candidate for election.
Dr. Westgarth-Taylor did, however, consult Sir George Boag and placed the problem before him. There is no doubt that considerable thought was given to the matter... Sir George’s choice was still at the helm in another capacity. However, the Executive Committee were unanimous in their acceptance of Sir George’s nomination of Lt.Col. J. W. Chitty, M.B.E. Though of shy and retiring disposition, Col. Chitty was a man of high intelligence, proven administrative ability, greatly respected, a man who loved this Order and had that inherent gift of friendship parallel to that of David and Jonathan, a man of wisdom, strength and understanding, a man who had endeared himself to the Brethren during ten years as Grand Recorder, a good Freemason, and one who would prove himself a worthy successor of his illustrious predecessors.
The Most Worthy Grand Supreme Ruler Lt. Col. John Walter Chitty, M.B.E. and the years 1968-1987
The year 1968 marked the beginning of a new era for the Order. R.W.Bro. Lt.Col. John Walter Chitty, M.B.E., was unanimously and enthusiastically elected Grand Supreme Ruler, he was obligated, invested and installed as Most Worthy Grand Supreme Ruler by R.W.Bro. Dr. G. Westgarth-Taylor, Deputy G.S.R., in a memorable ceremony at the Cafe Royal in London.
The M.W.G.S.R. appointed as his Deputy Grand Supreme Rulers R.W.Bro. A. A. Murphy, who had been G.D.C. for 11 years, a Brother who had travelled widely in the interests of the Order, and Dr. Geoffrey Westgarth-Taylor.
It was reported that four new Conclaves had been warranted during the year: Nos. 199, 200 and 201 in the District of Western and Northern India and No.202 in South Africa, Northern. No less than 632 new members had joined the Order.
Among his appointments in Grand Conclave, the M.W.G.S.R. included Lt.Col. M. G. Edwardes, M.B.E. as Grand Recorder and Eric Norman Le Fre as Grand Director of Ceremonies.
Grand Conclave gave its approval to a proposition for a Sovereign Grand Conclaves of Northern Australia, which would take under its wing all Conclaves in Northern Australia, Queensland, Papua and New Guinea (Conclaves No. 56, 79, 84, 101, 102, 169, 171, 174 and 192).
The death of M.W.Bro. Sir George Boag, Past G.S.R. a few months previously was announced to Grand Conclave at the 82nd annual meeting in Harrogate... as well was announced the sudden and tragic death in a motoring accident only a month previously of R.W.Bro Dr. Geoffrey Westgarth-Taylor, Dep.G.S.R. Both reports were received with great sorrow.
A new revised edition of the Constitutions and Regulations submitted by the Executive Committee was adopted. The recommendation of the Executive Committee to change the title of the Order from “The Order of the Secret Monitor in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the Dominions, Colonies and Dependencies of the British Crown” being now outdated, to “The Order of the Secret Monitor, or the Brotherhood of David and Jonathan, in the British Isles and in Territories Overseas” was similarly adopted. Other amendments concerned salutes and regalia for Provincial and District Grand Officers.
The general accounts of the Order showed good husbandry... an excess of income over expenditure of 1.2,187 14s. Od. compared with only £402 the previous year, largely due to increased receipts from annual dues and fees-of-honour, and, of course, to a big drop in travelling expenses.
The strength of the Order now was such that the Grand Supreme Ruler delegated certain areas, from which three Provinces were to be constituted and inaugurated: the first was to have been South West Counties, but circumstances made this impracticable and the Province of Lancashire and Cheshire, with R.W.Bro. Arnold Moreton as first Prov.G.S.R., was the first to be set up; next came South West Counties, with the late R.W.Bro. Dr. G. Westgarth-Taylor, Dep.G.S.R. at its head; followed by Yorkshire with R.W.Bro. the Rev. Alex Ibbotson as its leader.
During the year, the Order had extended into the Principality of Wales and the first Conclave, Cymru No.207, to meet at Bridgend was consecrated. It was noted that this was one of eight warranted during the year.
The Year Book for 1969, for the first time included details of the new Provinces: Lancashire and Cheshire... 19 Conclaves; South West Counties ...8 Conclaves; Yorkshire... 6 Conclaves; in addition to those of the District Grand Conclaves.
The 83rd Grand Festival was held at Bournemouth, thus continuing the practice of meeting in London and the Provinces in alternate years. A proposition that f250 from the Benevolent Fund be donated to the Royal Masonic Hospital as a tribute to the excellent manner in which they tended the M.W.G.S.R. and the Dep.G.S.R. when they were patients there... was carried unanimously.
The M.W.G.S.R. announced he had on the previous day installed R.W.Bro. Capt. Oswald Anderson as Prov.G.S.R. for South West Counties "We can now say," he said, “that the policy of forming the Provinces in this country has proved to be the right one. Where you have a local organisation, like a Province, you get more local interest and it helps to spread, more particularly, an appreciation of our Order whose principles are so vital to this terribly modern society which consists of such unruly elements today.”
In 1971, Grand Conclave approved donations to the Royal Masonic Hospital Modernisation and Redevelopment Fund of El,000 from the Order’s Benevolent Fund, f1,500 from the General Fund, and entered into a 7-year covenant of £150 gross to the Royal Masonic Hospital from the General Fund; the approximate total of these donations was 1.3,550. During the year sixteen new Conclaves were consecrated. It was reported that the introduction of Provincial Grand Conclaves had become a proven success: Provincial Grand Visitors keep in closer contact with their Conclaves and leads to the formation of other Conclaves. The M.W.G.S.R. said “Our Order is progressing slowly and satisfactorily. It has enormous scope, because it appeals to quite a number of Craft Masons, who aren’t terribly interested in the normal extension of Craft Masonry which comes more or less automatically in their view. Our Order has that merit of bringing home to the Mason the practical aspects of our Masonic ideas... in other words, the practise of friendship between all our members.”
Amendment of certain regulations (Nos. 52(ii), 64, 70, 71, 77(i), 91, 95, 103 and 114) were approved by Grand Conclave. A new District of New Zealand, Waikato, comprising Conclaves Nos. 80, 126, 143, 148, 172 and 231, was announced as was the warranting of four new Conclaves: No.233 in Fishguard, 234 in Merthyr Tydfil, 235 Western and Northern India and 236 in the Province of Lancashire and Cheshire. Three Conclaves in India (Nos. 40, 107 and 130), having ceased to work, were erased from the roll. The Executive Committee recommended that only the Authorised Version of the Holy Bible be used at any ceremonies of the Order; and clarification of Rules 64 and 71 that, to be eligible for election as S.R. a Prince of the Order must have been invested as Counsellor or Guide at an installation meeting. If for good reason a Prince has been unable to be present at an installation meeting but the Conclave nevertheless think him worthy of becoming their S.R., a dispensation for his election must be obtained from the M.W.G.S.R. The object of this amendment or clarification was to ensure that, save in exceptional circumstances a S.R. on his installation shall have had the experience of serving for a full year in at least one, but of course preferably both, of the offices of Counsellor and Guide. The moral here is, as was pointed out, that if a Brother hopes to attain the Chair of his Conclave, he must be regular in his attendance's.
The Grand Guide reported that in Wales particularly the Order was flourishing and two new Conclaves (Dyfed No.233, Fishguard and Morlais No.234, Merthyr Tydfil) had been consecrated and another at Swansea was in the pipeline. The M.W.G.S.R. conferred the past rank of Grand Chancellor upon R.W.Bro. B. Foskett, M.C., who, at this time, had served as Grand Treasurer for ten years (he continued and extended this service to 12 years)... to my knowledge this was the highlight of Capt. Foskett’s Masonic career.
In his address to Grand Conclave, the M.W.G.S.R. said: “We are doing well in Wales with two new Conclaves. Lancashire and Cheshire are progressing quietly under the auspices of their new Provincial Grand Conclave; they now have 25 Conclaves in the Province. We are beginning to expand in the north; the Midlands expand quietly and before long should be ripe for a Province. I would ask you to impress in your Conclaves that one of the most important aspects of our Order is the work of the Visiting Deacons... you all realise that the idea of really looking after our sick and necessitous brethren springs from what we have always thought in this Order is the duty of our Visiting Deacons... there is no harm, if whilst you are talking or discussing in your Craft Lodges, you mention that important aspect of our teachings.
In the following year Grand Conclave and Grand Council adopted an amendment of Rule 64 of the Constitution and Regulations: “A brother shall not be installed as Supreme Ruler of any Conclave unless he has been duly admitted to the Second Degree, nor, except by dispensation of the Grand Supreme Ruler, unless he either has been previously installed as the Supreme Ruler of a regular Conclave or has been invested as Counsellor or Guide in a regular Conclave at an installation meeting and has, or under Rule 70 is deemed to have, served in that office for a full year.”
The report of the Executive Committee showed that 502 brethren had been admitted to the Order in the preceding year; that the Midland Counties Province, with 7 Conclaves, had been constituted; that 7 new Conclaves had been warranted; and that one (No.193) having surrendered its warrant had been removed from the Roll.
The M.W.G.S.R. announced preparations for the formation of a Province in the North East for which R.W.Bro. J. MacMurray would be Prov.G.S.R. He mentioned as well a point put to him by the Executive Committee that in some Conclaves the S.R. uses a baton as part of his regalia. The rules covering the regalia for the Officers and Degrees were obscure... but in the present Regulations and Constitutions there is no doubt as to what is the correct regalia. By implication, the fact that something is not mentioned in the Constitutions and Regulations does not mean that it may be worn. One thing that is definitely not mentioned is a baton for a S.R. of a Conclave. The baton is reserved for the rather elevated kind of rank, as they say, of myself, my Deputy, and of Provincial or District Grand Supreme Rulers and their Deputies, and this item should not be used as part of the regalia by any other member of the Order.”
In proposing the re-election of the M.W.G.S.R. in 1974, R.W.Bro. A. A. Murphy, Dep.G.S.R. said that Col. and Mrs. Chitty had celebrated their Golden Wedding earlier in the year and a private dinner party had taken place at which the M.W.G.S.R. had been congratulated upon this momentous event and upon attaining his 80th birthday. There was one small item concerning the Constitutions and Regulations... the inclusion (Rule 21) of the Dep.G. Registrar as a member of the Executive Committee.
The report of the Executive Committee to Grand Conclave (1974) showed the formation of a new Province for the North East (with five Conclaves) with R.W.Bro. Capt. John MacMurray as Prov.G.S.R., and the appointment of R.W.Bro. W. W. Ballardie as Prov. G.S.R. for Yorkshire (in place of R.W.Bro. the Rev. A. Ibbotson who had resigned). The report included in the list of obituaries a record number of 49 deaths of Grand Officers. A donation of f100 from the Benevolent Fund was made to the Grand Council of the Order of the Secret Monitor of Northern Australia for the Flood Relief Fund.
For the better government of the Order, the M.W.G.S.R. appointed R.W.Bro. Arnold Moreton, Prov.G.S.R., Lancashire and Cheshire, as a second Dep.G.S.R., whereupon Bro. Moreton was obligated, invested and installed. In regard to the Province of Lancashire and Cheshire, the M.W.G.S.R. announced his intention of dividing that Province, in view of its expansion and to create two new Provinces to cover that area. Additionally, with the coming into being of a new Conclave, a new Province of South Wales and Monmouthshire would be constituted. The only part of the country excluding the London periphery which that leaves untouched is what we might call the East Midlands – Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Lincoln. To brethren there I would say let the example of the other Provinces put them on their mettle to see whether they can expand and justify forming a Province of the East Midlands.
Sadly, in 1975, R.W.Bro. Capt. B. Foskett, M.C., P.G.Chanc. felt that on approaching 90 years of age, he could no longer carry on as Grand Treasurer. In his place, the Executive Committee nominated R.W.Bro. John Makower, M.B.E., M.C. who was duly elected.
The Report of the Executive Committee showed that 706 brethren had been admitted to the Order during the preceding year; that the M.W.G.S.R. had appointed R.W.Bro. W. H. Cartwright, J.P. as Prov.G.S.R. for the new Province of West Lancashire, R.W.Bro. F. A. White as Prov.G.S.R. for the new Province of Cheshire and North Wales, R.W.Bro. J. V. West as Prov.G.S.R. for the new Province of East Lancashire, R.W.Bro. O. I. Lloyd-Owen as Prov.G.S.R. for the new Province of South Wales and Monmouthshire, and R.W.Bro. M. Ismail to be Dist.G.S.R. for Eastern India. The new Provinces had: West Lancashire 10 Conclaves, Cheshire and North Wales 4 Conclaves, East Lancashire 14 Conclaves, and South Wales and Monmouthshire 4 Conclaves; and 11 new Conclaves had been warranted. One Conclave, Sind No. 78, Karachi, having ceased to work and returned its warrant was removed from the Roll.
It was announced that Summus Conclave No. 3 and John Walter Chitty Conclave No. 215 had qualified as Keystone Conclaves... on that matter the M.W.G.S.R. said “there has always been a fund and an intention, led by the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons, to find a permanent home and headquarters. Events since the War have made that extremely difficult, but the matter has always been in the minds of those who have to administer the Order and, as matters progress, the prospect of a home may be nearer than we think; it obviously is right that all the Orders that are administered from that headquarters (40 Upper Brook Street, London, W.1.) should do their best in subscribing towards it.
Hitherto, the Keystone Collarettes and Jewels were practically confined to the Mark and Royal Ark Mariner, but I think it has been very wisely decided by the executive committees of the other Orders that they ought to do something about it; in the case of our Order you have seen the start of what I hope will be a flood of contributions coming from our Conclaves to provide further sums, whereby we can have a permanent home in the not too distant future.”
In 1976 it was announced that the M.W.G.S.R. had constituted the new Province of the South Eastern Counties and had appointed R.W.Bro. Eric Le Fre as Prov.G.S.R. and R.W.Bro. H. A. Thorpe as Dist.G.S.R. for New Zealand – Waikato, in the place of R.W.Bro. G. Brierly who had resigned. The Executive Committee had considered representations from the District Grand Supreme Rulers of New Zealand, North, New Zealand, Central and New Zealand, Waikato for the formation of a Sovereign Grand Council and
Conclave in New Zealand, and decided that a ballot should be held of all members of the Order in New Zealand on this matter. The result of the ballot would be considered by the Executive Committee at its meeting in October 1976. The progress in the size of Provinces and Districts is slow but encouraging. One new Conclave was consecrated in West Lancashire, one in the Midland Counties, one in New Zealand, Central and one in Southern India. Two new Conclaves were consecrated in Essex, thus enabling the formation of a new Province. The lead given by the Provincial Grand Supreme Rulers and their Officers had done much to engender progressive enthusiasm for the Order.
At the end of 1975, Lt.Col. the Hon. M. G. Edwardes, P.G.G., G.Rec. retired and in his place V.W.Bro. William Johnston Leake was appointed: he was invested in that rank at the 89th annual meeting of Grand Conclave. The M.W.G.S.R. expected to inaugurate two new Provinces: one to be designated South Midlands and the other comprising the County of Essex. Col. Chitty informed Grand Conclave of the death of R.W.Bro. Bartholomew Foskett, who served the Order as Grand Treasurer from 1962 to 1974... it is to brethren such as him that the Order owes a great debt of gratitude.
Proposing the election of Grand Supreme Ruler at the 90th annual meeting of Grand Council, R.W.Bro. A. A. Murphy, Dep.G.S.R. said: At the date of Col. Chitty’s first election and installation in 1968, the most recent Conclave was numbered 203... the most recent number now is 280: thus 77 Conclaves have been warranted during the period; an increase of approximately 38% over nine years... this is a greater proportionate increase than in any other Order in Masonry. Col. Chitty was elected M.W.G.S.R. for the ensuing year.
The report of the Executive Committee showed that 545 new members had been admitted to the Order during the year, the total subscribing membership at 31st October, 1976 being 8,220. The M.W.G.S.R. had appointed R.W.Bro. S. McEwan to be Dist.G.S.R. for New Zealand, North; R.W.Bro. J. G. Windridge to be Dist.G.S.R., for South Africa, Southern; R.W.Bro. E. G. Gregory White, Prov.G.S.R. for Essex; R.W.Bro. Lt.Col. E. Cole to be Prov.G.S.R. for South Midlands; and R.W.Bro. C. E. Townsend to be Dist.G.S.R. for New Zealand, Central. The two new Provinces comprised five Conclaves each: Essex Nos. 29, 85, 149, 263 and 267; South Midlands Nos. 100, 196, 198, 225 and 240. Since the last meeting of Grand Conclave 8 new Conclaves had been warranted.
On the matter of a Sovereign Grand Conclave in New Zealand the Executive Committee considered that the ballot had not indicated sufficient demand for the establishment of a Sovereign Grand Conclave and Council; the M.W.G.S.R. concurred in this view and no further action was taken. Addressing Grand Conclave, the M.W.G.S.R. quoted the Grand Guide’s (Dr. G. L. C. Colenso-Jones) remarks indicative of the growth of the Order saying: "We are increasing in numbers very rapidly. In fact, more so than most Orders in Freemasony. An approximate increase of 10% in numbers over the past year is something that we can be reasonably proud of; not for our own particular virtues but because the teachings, precepts and practice of this Order of David and Jonathan are much wanted in the country at large and you are all takers of that light in your various spheres of influence... it is the influence of the members that has increased the number of Conclaves: no fewer than 10 Conclaves have been consecrated during the past year.” The M.W.G.S.R. intimated that in the very near future there would be new headquarters which would be shared with Mark and other associated Orders. The M.W.G.S.R. continued: “You have seen enough of our Grand Recorder in the past two years to know that the administration of our Order is in strong and capable hands and he has very loyal and efficient support from his staff at Mark Masons’ Hall.”
At the 91st annual meeting of Grand Council (1978) amendments to Regulations 21 and 22 were proposed; these concerned membership of the Executive Committee (a) that the number of elected members to the Committee representing Conclaves in London be reduced from six to four, (b) that the number of elected members representing Conclaves outside London be increased from six to eight, (c) that the Grand Visitors should cease to be ex officio members of the Executive Committee. The next amendment was to Regulation 52(i): After “Provincial or District Grand Bow Bearer” insert “Assistant Provincial or District Grand Recorder”...this was in response to a request from the District of Southern India and the Executive Committee thought it was a good idea to have the additional Provincial or District Grand Office. Regulation 62(iii) was deleted and replaced by a new regulation: “The Sentinel must be a brother who has been regularly inducted in the First Degree of the Order; he may act as a Sentinel in any Conclave and, by dispensation from the Grand Supreme Ruler, he may be a serving brother”. The Report of the Executive Committee showed that 634 new members had been admitted during the preceding year, and the total subscribing membership at 31st October, 1977 was 8,060. The M.W.G.S.R. had appointed R.W.Bro. H. J. Overton as Dist.G.S.R., New Zealand, South; Capt. O. Anderson, Prov.G.S.R., South West Counties to be Prov.G.S.R. for the new Province of Southern Counties; R.W.Bro. W. J. Gann as Prov.G.S.R. for the new Province of Western Counties; and R.W.Bro. J. F. Shroff as Dist.0.S.R., Western and Northern India. The new Southern Counties Province comprised 7 Conclaves, and Western Counties 5 Conclaves. Since the previous meeting of Grand Conclave 12 new Conclaves had been warranted. It was reported that the M.W.G.S.R. accompanied by the Grand Recorder had visited India earlier in the year when the Grand Supreme Ruler installed the new District G.S.R. on the 50th anniversary of the formation of the District Grand Conclave. As well, he had consecrated I. V. M. Krishna Rav Conclave No. 285 in Madras. The brethren stood in memory of 41 brethren who had died during the year.
During the investiture of Grand Officers in 1978, the M.W.G.S.R. having invested the Grand Recorder, said: “The next appointment is one which is often a matter of confirmation in office of the sitting tenant. This year, however, R.W.Bro. Major G. E. C. McAllen is handing over his wand of office as G.D.C. to a s+cessor. I do want to express to him our thanks for the loyal service which he!as given to the Order during his tenure of that office. I am sure you would like the opportunity of showing your appreciation. (Applause) Appointed as G.D.C. was N.W.Bro. Peter Glyn Williams.
John Walter Chitty Conclave No. 215, which had qualified as a Keystone Conclave in 1985, now qualified as a Double Quota Keystone Conclave and the S.R. was invested with the Collarette and Jewel.
The 92nd annual meeting of Grand Council and Grand Conclave was held in the new Mark Masons’ Hall at 86 St. James’s Street, London.
In its report the Executive Committee submitted an appendix dealing with the proposals affecting new financial arrangements with Grand Mark Lodge. The matter had been carefully considered by the Committee who recommended it for approval and adoption. The M.W.G.S.R. pointed out that the relationship between Grand Mark Lodge and other Orders under the umbrella of Grand Mark Lodge for matters of administration is not a new one. It has been in existence for many years and, from time to time, as things develop, circumstances change and adjustments are necessary in the details of that relationship. That has been brought very much to our notice in the last few months arising from the move from Upper Brook Street to this building, which, as you will appreciate, has incurred quite a lot of adjustment in the general outlines of the organisation and administration of all the Orders. The proposals which are before you set out quite clearly the revised arrangements for the way our finances are organised and administered; they have been very carefully gone into by the Heads and Treasurers of all the Orders concerned and they form a sound basis for our working in the future. One thing I would make quite clear: it applies only to the General Funds of the Order and not to ¿ the Benevolent Fund, which will remain completely under our own control.‘ The report of the Executive Committee was adopted.
The Grand Registrar submitted amendments which the Executive Committee recommended for the Constitutions and Regulations: Reg. 102(i) dealt with the prefixes to be accorded to Grand Officers and applied to brethren appointed to the respective offices on or after 20th September, 1979; brethren appointed to office before that date retained their right to the prefix authorised for their rank under previous Regulations. Regulations 109 and 110 referred to fees-of-honour and Regulation 111A deleted the previous Regulation and substituted a new paragraph: “The amounts specified in Regulations 109, 110 and 111 shall be reviewed annually by the Executive Committee and any amended amounts, if approved by the Grand Supreme Ruler, shall be announced at the next Annual Convocation of Grand Conclave and thereupon become effective from 1st January of the following year.”
The Grand Treasurer proposed on behalf of the Executive Committee that the Order should make a contribution towards the cost of the new building, of the sum of £12,500 to the New Premises Fund of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons. The proposition was duly seconded and carried. Before the President of the Executive Committee presented his report, the M.W.G.S.R. drew attention to the deaths of two Prov.G.S.Rs: R.W.Bro. C. W. C. Hinitt, Midland Counties, and R.W.Bro. E. N. Le Fre, South Eastern Counties, both of whom had proved a tower of strength to the Order during the period for which they served. The Brethren stood in silence as a tribute of respect for departed merit.
The report of the Executive Committee indicated that 570 new members had been admitted during the previous year and the total subscribing membership at 31st October, 1978 was 8,030; the M.W.G.S.R. has appointed R.W.Bro. Dr. A. G. Arnold as Prov.G.S.R. for Midland Counties; R.W.Bro. Dr. A. H. Briggs as Prov.G.S.R. for the new Province of East Midlands; R.W.Bro. Maj. D. G. Brink, Dist.G.S.R., South Africa, Northern; the new Province of East Midlands had 6 Conclaves (Nos. 51, 166, 168, 220, 287 and 289.); 5 new Conclaves had been warranted; and 3 Conclaves in Western and Northern India, having ceased to work, were erased from the Roll.
After his investiture of R.W.Bro. A. A. Murphy whom he had re-appointed as Dep.G.S.R., the M.W.G.S.R. announced that R.W.Bro. Arnold Moreton, Dep.G.S.R. had not been in good health for some time past and had expressed a wish not to be re-appointed. The M.W.G.S.R. paid tribute to the great work he had done in the past when he was a fitter man, because he was largely instrumental in helping to establish those Provinces in the North West which were a prelude to our forming Provinces practically throughout the whole of the United Kingdom. "The whole of Lancashire owes him a great debt for his services to Masonry in many Degrees; he has only recently resigned the position of Provincial Grand Master in the Mark; and he has also been very active in the Order of the Temple. It is with regret, therefore, that I have not been able to re-appoint him. I have decided to appoint in his place R.W.Bro. John Moritz Makower, who until a few minutes ago was seated in the chair of Grand Treasurer.”
R.W.Bro. J. M. Makower, M.B.E., M.C. was obligated, invested and installed as Deputy Grand Supreme Ruler by the M.W.G.S.R., and was proclaimed and saluted. W.Bro. D. A. Redston, having been elected as Grand Treasurer, was invested in that office by the M.W.G.S.R. It was announced that Unity Conclave No. 294 in the Province of Western Counties had qualified as a Keystone Conclave and the S.R. was invested with the Collarette and Jewel.
In 1979, for the first time the Constitutions and Regulations were incorporated with the Year Book (14th edition with all approved amendments).
In that year, the M.W.G.S.R. appointed two new Prov.G.S.Rs: R.W.Bro. T. J. Hancock, South Eastern Counties (vice R.W.Bro. E. N. Le Fre, deceased) and R.W.Bro. B. H. Burwood-Taylor, O.B.E., South Midlands (vice R.W.Bro. Lt. Col. Eric Cole, deceased). No less than 16 new Conclaves were warranted, of which 10 were in the U.K. and 6 overseas. R.W.Bro. Arthur Craddock, P.G.V. was promoted to the newly-created appointment of Deputy Grand Recorder. The S.R. of Warlingham Conclave No. 291, which had qualified as a Keystone Conclave, was invested with the Keystone Jewel and Collarette.
Members received with regret the announcement at the 94th annual meeting in September 1981 the resignation as a Trustee of the Order of R.W.Bro. W. R. Hornby Steer, P.G.Coun., a capacity in which he had served since becoming President of the Executive Committee 13 years previously; in his place R.W.Bro. F. J. Crow, Grand Guide, was elected. The report of the Executive Committee showed that during the preceding year 586 new members had been admitted, and that total subscribing membership was 9,170.
It was announced that the M.W.G.S.R. had appointed V.W.Bro. R. H. Thomas to be Dist.G.S.R., New Zealand, Waikato; W.Bro. Maj. J. D. S. Olleson, Prov.G.S.R., Southern Counties and R.W.Bro. S. S. Koder, Dist.G.S.R., Southern India.
In accordance with the agreement between G.L.M.M.M. and Grand Council on financial matters, it was necessary for Grand Council to adjust its financial year to run from 1st September to 31st August.
The deaths of a number of distinguished members of the Order, among whom was R.W.Bro. Arnold Moreton, P.Dep.G.S.R., was reported.
An amendment to Regulation 35 of the Constitutions added a paragraph: "A nominee company of one of the clearing banks may be appointed by the Trustees to act on their behalf for the purchase and sale of the investments of the Order.” This was introduced to expedite the sale, transfer and purchase of stocks and shares of the General Fund; a similar addition to Regulation 38 was in regard to the Benevolent Fund.
The death of R.W.Bro. Arthur A. Murphy, Dep.G.S.R., appointed Deputy Grand Supreme Ruler in 1968 took place earlier in the year. He had travelled widely in the interests of this Order. His first appointment in Grand Council was Asst.G.D.C. in 1952, Dep.G.D.C. 1954 and 1955, G.D.C. 1956 to 1967 when he was promoted still further. His memorial service in London was attended by a large number of brethren.
In place of R.W.Bro. A. A. Murphy, the M.W.G.S.R. appointed R.W.Bro. Col. G. S. H. Dicker as second Dep.G.S.R. in 1982. V.W.Bro. D. A. Redston, G. Treas. was elected a Trustee of the Order in place of the late R.W.Bro. A. A. Murphy.
It was reported that R.W.Bro. W. J. Leake, P.G.Coun., G. Recorder went to New Zealand and constituted the new Sovereign Grand Council of New Zealand in August. In wishing them every prosperity and success, the M.W.G.S.R. thanked them for their support and co-operation in the past. “It is a quite normal form of growth,” he said, “it happened in Australia some few years ago, where we have three daughter Grand Councils, and now it has happened in New Zealand. I think it speaks well for the health of our Order that it should happen.” The new Sovereign Grand Council took away from the Roll of Conclaves of the parent body 38 Conclaves.
During the preceding twelve months 570 new members had been admitted, bringing total subscribing membership to 9,538. The M.W.G.S.R. appointed R.W.Bro. Leslie Hudson as Dist.G.S.R., South Africa, Natal, V.W.Bro. Maurice Bendig, Prov.G.S.R., Yorkshire and W.Bro. Dr. J. E. Glover, Prov.G.S.R., East Lancashire; 5 new Conclaves were warranted; and the redesignation of the Districts of South Africa, Northern to South Africa – Northern and Cape Province, and South Africa, Southern to South Africa – Natal.
In 1983 the M.W.G.S.R. appointed V.W.Bro. T. B. Small as Prov.G.S.R. for North East Province where he succeeded the late R.W.Bro. Capt. J. MacMurray. During the previous year 330 new members had been admitted bringing total membership to 8,980. The reduction in membership was due to those brethren now members of the new Grand Conclave of New Zealand; 3 new Conclaves were warranted during the year, 2 Conclaves were erased from the Roll, the Province of Essex was redesignated “Essex and Suffolk”. The deaths of a number of members was noted, among whom was R.W.Bro. John Rylands, J.P., P.Dep.G.S.R. who had been Deputy Grand Supreme Ruler from 1961 to 1967 and had rendered invaluable service to the Order particularly in the North where he lived.
In 1984 Regulation 106 of the Constitutions was amended to provide that Provincial and District Grand Officers wear the jewel of the Order similar to that of a Grand Officer but bearing the title of the Province or District only suspended from a collarette of Empire Blue ribbon 2 inches wide. (Provincial or District Grand Officers appointed prior to 20th September, 1984 were permitted to wear a collarette of Indian Yellow and Medici Crimson as authorised by the previous Reg. 106(a).)
The M.W.G.S.R. drew attention to a strange situation. He said, “Our proceedings today have consisted of a very short and formal meeting of Grand Council, followed by the fuller meeting of Grand Conclave. If you study our Constitutions, these two meetings are held under two regulations which contradict each other. Regulation 1 says that ultimate authority over the Order is vested in the Grand Council but, when you look at Regulation 14, you see that practically everything Grand Council does is subject to the approval of Grand Conclave. I cannot explain how this occurred, except that the people who originally drafted the regulations must have liked to make things more complicated than they need to be. I suggest that those interested and if they have anything to suggest let the Grand Recorder know, and I am sure the Executive Committee will be happy to go into the pros and cons and possibly simplify the way we carry on this annual meeting."
During the year 401 new members had been admitted, bringing the total subscribing membership to 9,034. The M.W.G.S.R. appointed V.W.Bro. G. H. Stafford, Dep.Prov.G.S.R. to the Prov.G.S.R., Western Counties, and had constituted the new Province of Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire, with 4 Conclaves, and had installed R.W.Bro. the Rev. Ronald Thompson, D.F.C. as Prov.G.S.R. Five new Conclaves warranted during the year included the first in Scotland (Scotia Prima No. 323, Glasgow).
In 1985, the M.W.G.S.R. prior to investing the Grand Recorder announced that, for health reasons, R.W.Bro. Leake considered it necessary to retire in June of the following year. “This will be a very great loss to me and to all of you... we owe him a very great deal for the work he has done over the past ten years. The fact that we are meeting in this building is very largely due to his foresight and for that alone you owe him a great deal. As well as the other things he has done, in the Mark he was instrumental in securing the consent of H.R.H. Prince Michael of Kent to assume the office of Grand Master... and, in order to show my appreciation of the work he has done and of his personal friendship, I am promoting him to the rank of Past Grand Chancellor.
Thereupon, the M.W.G.S.R. invested R.W.Bro. W. J. Leake, Grand Recorder, with the name of P.G.Chancellor.
During the year (1985) the M.W.G.S.R. appointed W.Bro. H. W. Cohen to be Dist.G.S.R., South Africa – Northern and Cape Province, R.W.Bro. Prof. A. M. Cook, Prov.G.S.R., South Wales and Monmouthshire, and R.W.Bro. E. R. Ellam, Prov.G.S.R., Cheshire and North Wales. New Conclaves warranted (4) included Edinburgh Greyfriars; in February R.W.Bro. Col. G. S. H. Dicker, Dep.G.S.R. consecrated Company Path Conclave No. 325 in Georgetown, Guyana.
At the 99th annual meeting of Grand Conclave those present were delighted to see R.W.Bro. W. J. Leake, P.G.Chan. acting as Second Deputy G.S.R. in place of R.W.Bro. Col. G. S. H. Dicker who was absent. R.W.Bro. B. H. Burwood-Taylor, Prov.G.S.R., South Midlands, was appointed a Trustee of the funds of the Order vice R.W.Bro. Dr. G. White-Phillips, deceased.
The M.W.G.S.R. expressed his delight at so well-attended a meeting indicative that members were appreciative of the new time of day when Grand Conclave met: “I hope this is an augury for better things still in the future”, he said. “I do hope we shall continue to see brethren coming here in these numbers; I think it is attributed to the fact that we have changed the time of this meeting from evening to midday and also arranged it so that brethren do not have to spend a night in what is about the most expensive town in the United Kingdom.”
Included in the obituary list were R.W.Bro. Geraint White-Phillips... he was a great help when the M.W.G.S.R. took over as Grand Recorder; also R.W.Bro. Rev. Basil Carver, who was one of our outstanding prelates... he was a very good parson and a very good Mason; thirdly, V.W.Bro. Eric Smith who was the moving spirit behind the expansion of the Order which we have maintained over the border to Scotland.
In this report, the Executive Committee confirmed that the M.W.G.S.R. and the members of the Executive Committee had agreed to recommend to Grand Council and Grand Conclave that the present bicameral system of government of the Order should be discontinued at the Centenary Meeting of Grand Council in 1987 and be replaced by a single body, designated Grand Conclave. A revision of the Constitutions and Regulations requisite to effect this change, was undertaken by the Grand Recorder and would be submitted to Grand Council and Grand Conclave for approval on Thursday, 17th September 1987.
The M.W.G.S.R. decided to divide the Province of South Eastern Counties into two Provinces. R.W.Bro. T. J. Hancock would continue in office as Prov.G.S.R. for the new Province of South Eastern Counties, with 7 Conclaves (Nos. 10, 38, 118, 150, 270, 291 and 299) and he appointed R.W.Bro. S. C. Upton to be Prov.G.S.R. for the new Province of Kent, with 7 Conclaves (Nos. 98, 188, 250, 272, 284, 304 and 316). He also appointed W.Bro. D. G. Williams to be Prov.G.S.R. for South Wales and Monmouthshire vice R.W.Bro. Prof. A. M. Cook, resigned). Since the previous meeting of Grand Conclave, 3 new Conclaves had been warranted, one of which (Claverhouse of Dundee No. 334, Dundee) was in Scotland.
Three more Conclaves have now been added to the Roll: The Good Shepherd No. 335 in Western Counties Province was consecrated on 24th March 1987, and Broadstone No. 336 in East Midlands Province on 13th July 1987 and Craig Isla No. 337 in Scotland on 11th July 1987.