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Northwest Region Conference Recap
Submitted by Wayne Long, Northwest Regional Deputy General Grand Master, Cryptic Masons International

General Grand Council Collar
Cryptic Masons International Collar
Photo Credit; MIC John Bridegroom
 

The Virtual Northwest Conference was held October 16, 2020 in conjunction with General Grand Chapter International.

Hosting for General Grand Council International was Wayne Long in Wyoming and Brad Huffman for General Grand Chapter International in Montana.

General Grand Council started the meeting at 8:00a.m. MDT with technical setup for all. Companions James McNeely, Stephen Balke, and Norman Lane were responsible for a great job of getting everyone who was signed up notified and on line.

8:30a.m. MDT saw a Meet and Greet session where the Northwest participants held a lively conversation among themselves.

9:00a.m. MDT saw the official opening of the Northwest Conference. The opening invocation was given and the Pledge of Allegiance was given to the U.S. Flag.

Introduction of Northwest Dignitaries were as follows:

Alaska - Mike Starkey M.I.G.M. and Ambassador Harry Telling P.M.I.G.M. absent for medical appointment. Alaska is still on a 7 day quarantine with a 72 hour Covid test required when visiting Alaska. Meetings are starting to open up but slowly with the hope of a Grand York Rite Session March 2021.

Colorado - Keith Benbow M.I.G.M. and Ambassador Bruce Lawlor were not present but represented by Grover Sardenson, Grand Recorder.

Idaho - Companion and Ambassador Robert Farrow P.M.I.G.M. stated that restrictions are being relaxed and meetings are starting up.

Montana - Ambassador Robert Cathel P.M.I.G.M. reported that restrictions are also being lifted and meetings will be returning soon with the hopes of a Grand Session to be held in Hamilton, Montana in 2021.

Oregon - Still not meeting hopefully Grand Session in North Bend in April 2021.

Washington - Rabi Peifer M.I.G.M. stated Washington is still under restrictions and hopefully to resume meetings soon and that 25% of the Councils are using Zoom.

Wyoming - M.I.G.M. James Sturdevant was unavailable but was represented by Ambassador Richard Lewis. Wyoming is currently holding Council meetings as long as state guidelines are followed.

A Round Table Discussion was formed on the topic of Zoom Meetings. Below is a guideline of topics covered in the discussion.

  • Why should we have Zoom meetings?
    • Restricted travel from COVID-19
    • State and local restrictions
  • Restricted travel because of age?
    • Affords older companions to stay active
    • Health restrictions
    • Financial limitations
  • Only general computer skills are needed
  • Will Zoom meetings bring in new membership?
    • Younger companions are time limited, why?
    • Job, no vacation, family, financial limitations
  • Will Zoom meetings assist in meeting your State's goals?
    • Leadership training
    • Membership growth
    • Facial recognition

Stephen Balke, gave a Powerpoint presentation on "Utilizing General Grand Council Programs".

Gary Wynne gave a report and video on CMMRF as Dr. Murphy was unavailable, thanks Gary.

Most Puissant General Grand Master of Cryptic Masons International, Monty Glover, was unable to speak because of employment. The Deputy General Grand Master spoke on his behalf and gave all "good words" of wisdom.

Closing Prayer was given by Rabi Peifer to the 50 members in attendance.

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