Stephen A. Balke
General Grand Recorder
Grand High Priest, New Mexico
Two Nations, four US States (at least four States of México), and over 40 Companions, Brothers, and Sisters came together this last weekend to celebrate Cryptic Masonry in Particular and Masonry in general. The Grand Master of York Grand Lodge of México F&AM, Most Worshipful Brother Joaquin Vega Antúnez, the Grand Master of Gran Logia “Cosmos” del Estado de Chihuahua, Most Worshipful Brother Marcos Delgado Rios, the Grand Master of the Grand Council of Estados Unidos de México, Most Illustrious Companion Eduardo Velasco Briseño, the Grand Master of the Grand Council of Cryptic Masons of Wyoming, Most Illustrious Companion Wayne Long, all with their delegations of dignitaries met with the General Grand Master, Most Puissant Companion David A. Grindle along with representatives of several Constituent Councils of the General Grand Council from México. This meeting was hosted and facilitated in Las Cruces, New Mexico by Most Illustrious Companion Christopher A. Larsen II, Grand Master of Royal and Select Masters of New Mexico and Right Worshipful Brother Victor Perez, District Deputy Grand Master representing Most Worshipful Brother Ralph A. Easley, Grand Master of Masons of New Mexico.
What more can you ask for than a weekend of Masonic work – the degrees of Royal Master and Select Master, good food – a Table Council, a luncheon and a grill out, and fraternity – at two Lodges and the Hospitality room! We welcomed Companions from all over Mexico – thank you for taking the time, effort, and investment to attend Wilhelm Naeser, Christian Martinez, Teodoro Delint, Ruben Hernandez Alvarez, Ricardo Preciado Ploneda, Mario Adalberto Tejida Palma, Gabriel Carmona Montes, Fernando Mondragon Briseno, Luis Manuel Gasca Sanchez, Hector Manuel Aleman Ambriz, Bogar Fernando Duran, Jose Antonio Gomez, Alejandro Ordonez, Abner Silva, Luis Monarrez, Oriel Quirino, Erick Escuvero, Pedro Arambular, Alejandro Garcia, and Mario Tejida! Illustrious Companion Alfredo Gonzales and Companion Nasreddin Morcos of El Paso, Texas, were also able to come and join the festivities.
Representatives of several Constituent Councils in México performed the degrees of Royal Master and Select Master in Spanish on eight Companions of the Royal Arch representing a class from all over México. Thank you to the York Rite bodies of El Paso for lending support with costumes and paraphernalia! These degrees were experienced by the candidates, but also provided a new experience for several United States Companions and their Companions from México.
The sisters and brothers of Las Cruces Chapter No. 20 of the Order of the Eastern Star provided wonderful meals for the Table Council on Friday night and the luncheon on Saturday – THANK YOU! If you have never had Green Chile Chicken Alfredo Lasagna, you should try it, it will surprise you. For our lunch, beef brisket how you like – sandwich, au jus, or just with some good coleslaw. Thank you, Sister Tenna-Kay Bradshaw for making this happen and always being there for us in Las Cruces!
Worshipful Master David Mullins of Jornada Lodge No. 70, also President of the New Mexico Chapter of Widows Sons, opened his home to our guests and his Lodge to our afternoon of grilling and the Grand York Rite of New Mexico Introduction to and Celebration of the York Rite of Freemasonry.
Grand Captain General of New Mexico
Illustrious and Excellent Companion and Sir Knight Adam Hathaway, PGM NM, Grand Captain General, representing Sir Knight D.W. Winchester, Grand Commander, gave an excellent introduction and question and answer session on the York Rite bodies that was open to all Masons and guests. This was a well-received presentation on the relationship between the Symbolic, Capitular, Cryptic and Chivalric Degrees and Orders, and how not only the Masonic traditions, but also their Charities work together and provide several and pertinent benefits to society.
Our grill-out on Saturday added relaxation, burgers, hotdogs, and wings to provide the “icing on the cake” for the weekend! Thank you to Brother Dan Parrott, Companion Jim Bungard, and several members of Joranda Lodge, Dona Ana Daylight Lodge, and the Widows Sons.
Some special notes of thanks to:
- Aztec Lodge No. 3 and Jornada Lodge No. 70 for providing the space to have such an event!
- The Companions and Sir Knights of Mesilla Valley Chapter, Organ Council and Las Cruces Commandery (the Las Cruces York Rite Bodies).
- Illustrious Companion D. James Davis, Secretary/Recorder, and his Lady Edith – Working with Worshipful Master David Mullins and preparing Jornada Lodge.
- Illustrious Companion Wayne Walker, High Priest and Acting Illustrious Master, and his Lady Kathy – Working with Las Cruces Chapter Order of the Eastern Star, El Paso York Rite, and Aztec Lodge.
- Companion and Sir Knight Clayton Kuehn, Eminent Commander – Organization and cooking for our Saturday grill! (And some of the best summer-sausage you’ve ever had!)
- Companion Jesus Antonio Cano Nicholas – Orchestrated registrations and transportation for many of our Mexico Brothers and Companions.
- Illustrious Companion Marco Rosales for coming up with the idea and coordinating the degree teams for the Royal Master and Select Master degrees.
- Companion Harry Jenkins of Albuquerque, who planned and executed (in his usual dedicated manner) an outstanding hospitality room.
If this weren’t enough of a weekend, David Grindle, General Grand Master, led a round table discussion which you can look forward to reading about soon…
Thanks to ALL, and we hope to see you all again in the near future!
David Grindle leads a group discussion
Opening the Council
Companions of Cosmos
Gathering with Widow's Son
Jose Antonio Gomez and Stephen A. Balke
Tony and Adam