Central America Regional Recorder’s Meeting – February 25, 2021
Submitted by Stephen Balke, General Grand Recorder, Cryptic Masons International
Cryptic Masons International Collar
Photo Credit; MIC John Bridegroom
On February 25, a conference call was held with the Central America Regional Recorders. A summary of the call is below.
- No restrictions (PCR testing required)
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador –
- Grand Lodge is open for activities.
- Grand Sessions –
- In person planned for September.
- Degree work is postponed.
- Having a hard time with pandemic – resurgences, etc. Restricted.
- Vaccines 20K doses are all that arrived.
- All in-person postponed.
- People are not practicing social distancing.
- To enter the country PCR testing is required. Will also require follow-ups.
- Grand Lodge – Equinoxion Grand Lodge – investigated opening up
- Large and medium temples allow 40 member maximum attendance.
- November – started attending – some Lodges with Brethren who are susceptible to COVID are staying home.
- Two week hiatus.
- Installed all of the 43 Lodges in the Jurisdiction.
- York Rite has been meeting on Wednesdays in person. Having virtual meetings continue into the future – useful for business and inclusion of those unable or unwilling to attend in person.
- No issues with contagiousness of virus in York Rite.
- Planning to have an Assembly between October and December.
- No restrictions on travel except to get tested, getting better right now. Statistics are improving – coming month expecting better.
- In process of getting vaccinations.
- Grand Lodge
- Most meetings are virtual
- Degree work is done in the temple.
- Grand Lodge temple.
- Limited to 25 people present on the property.
- York Rite meeting using Virtual meetings
- Changing meetings from Panama Shrine to Grand Lodge temple.
- No date so far for in-person, but planning on happening soon.
- May start doing degree work with the change in venue to Grand Lodge temple.
- Grand Sessions
- Meeting in January – will hold again in 2022.
- Paraguay has restrictions
- 50 people limit for meetings permission granted.
- York Rite
- Own facilities where York Rite meets
- When could not meet, met virtually.
- Grand Sessions
- March 6, 2021
- Chapter and Council
- Stringent fiscal system where taxes and reporting are due.
- Degree work – working and have several future Brothers to receive degree work.
- Pandemic is closing down – also bought some Chinese vaccines – political backlash from mishandling of the actual vaccines received.
- 6PM – 4AM curfew.
- To enter the country – same regulations as Ecuador and Central America.
- All meetings of the Grand Lodge are virtual – no meetings in person.
- Lima – Meetings on third Mondays – virtually, all other councils are working as well.
- Lima provides a subject for discussions – all Councils should be present and working – they all show up and discuss the subject.
- Degree work is not being done – 27 new Companions took the oath and promised to take the full degrees when the restrictions are lifted.
- Grand Assembly
- Arequipa, Peru
- October – last week – already being planned using virtual meetings..
- Grand Chapter and Grand Council
- Internal restrictions for travel.
- Confused situation – government is not forthcoming
- Need Security Ministry pass to travel anywhere.
- Very complicated to connect via internet.
- Maintenance is not being done.
- Masonry is affected severely by the circumstances.
- Grand Lodge / Supreme Council
- Does not permit in person meetings. (Last Year)
- Special meetings will be able to take place at the Grand Lodge temple.
- York Rite
- Doing work in the Chapters as there are not Council rooms.
- Special meetings will be held this year as available.
- Maintaining administrative communication between the Grand Council and Councils.
- Grand Sessions – Likely be virtual due to circumstances and restrictions.
General Grand Council
- International issues have been taking time.
- We are working on starting meetings with all regions and catching up on “office work”.
- Our priorities right now in Latin America:
- Monthly Meetings
- Subordinate Annual Returns and per capita. (because of the Feb. 28 deadline)
- Subordinate Councils – First Virtual then Paper (by Post)
- Grand Councils
- Virtual ASAP – March
- Actual Charters require a ceremony, so operate on the electronic version until we can travel to Constitute the Grand Council.
- Reviewed Website
- Awards section
- Introduced the Fireside Chat
- Introduced YouTube Channel.