It has been agreed with the Masonic authorities in Scotland, that the Degree of Excellent Master, otherwise known as the Passing of the Veils, may be conferred under the jurisdiction of the Grand Council of the Order of Royal and Select Masters.
Although demonstrations are being made under the authority of Supreme Grand Chapter and the Degree is included, by name only, in the Order of Knight Templar Priests and elsewhere, with the exception of Bristol, this is currently the only time that the Degree can be conferred on candidates in England and Wales.
Candidates for the Degree in this Order must have previously received the Order of the Silver Trowel. Recommendations are made directly to the Grand Master of the Order of Royal and Select Masters in very limited numbers on payment of a fee, currently £75.
Those members of the Royal and Select Masters who have previously taken the Excellent Master Degree elsewhere, such as Scotland or Bristol, will be able to “affiliate”. Application by holders of the Silver Trowel should be made to the Grand Council, via the District Grand Master. There is currently a fee of £50 and it will be necessary to produce a copy of the certificate received from the Masonic authority which conferred it.
Those who have the Degree conferred upon them by the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters, as well as those who affiliate, will be presented with a breast jewel. This jewel, which is worn to the left of the Royal and Select Masters jewel and consists of an interlaced five pointed star suspended from a ribbon, striped white, light blue, crimson, purple and white, with a Royal and Select skeletal triangle superimposed and bar at the top with the words “Excellent Master”.
The Degree is being performed within Grafton Council of Anointed Kings at Mark Masons’ Hall. Given the extensive furniture required it will be difficult to practice the Excellent Master Degree elsewhere. Grafton Council was consecrated following the Silver Trowel Degree being brought by our Grand Master from New York State in 2008, with the purpose of admission to that Degree, to which has been added the responsibility of conferring this Degree.