- WHO - Succceeded Most Illustrious Grand Master
- WHEN - Completion of Term
- WHY - Service Recognition
- AUTHORIZATION - General Grand Recorder
The path to the office of Grand Master of a Grand Council denotes many years of active participation and service to Cryptic Masonry. As a Past Grand Master of Royal and Select Masters or of Cryptic Masons, our Companion has become an elder for the Craft and has shown his service and dedication. In 1978 at the 32nd Triennial Assembly, it was decided that this continued service would be acknowledged by a subtle lapel pin and a permanent membership card to the General Grand Council. As years passed, a certificate was added to the awarding ceremony as a further acknowledgement of such dedication.
Such an apparently small conveyance denoting such investment and care for the Craft is the juxtaposition that is learned by many who travel the path of leadership.
A Past Cryptic Grand Master is one who has been elected, installed, served his term of office, and was then succeeded. In some jurisdictions, we have had individuals serve multiple terms, in such cases, he is his own successor, and thereby eligible for the award upon completion of his first term. As the Deputy Grand Master and Grand Principal Conductor of the Work are also elected, and part of their charge is to assume duties, the General Grand Master may award this to those who ascend due to death, illness or incapacity.