By Companion David A. Grindle
Most Puissant General Grand Master

David A. Grindle
Companion David A. Grindle
Most Puissant General Grand Master

It has been a busy three months, the General Grand Council has been traveling to represent the Cryptic Rite in various venues.

One important meeting was a summit held in Las Cruces, New Mexico, with Companions representing various Councils, Grand Councils, and Grand Lodges from México.  It was well attended.  As the General Grand Recorder has reported, we were given an opportunity to observe their degree conferrals and give them suggestions to improve their outstanding work.

Another opportunity was the round table discussion that occurred on the second day.  Everyone sat in a circle and presented their challenges to working together in México.  Some suggestions were made to convert these challenges into opportunities to improve relationships and communications among the Companions.  A Committee was formed to work out the problems to organizing a Grand Council of México.  Because of the size of the country and the difficulties in travel, it was pointed out that if a Grand Lodge area had three or more chartered Councils, they could form a Grand Council.  This idea was well received.

As a consequence of this meeting, the General Grand Council has been invited to the attend the meeting of the Confederation of Méxican Grand Lodges in November at Cuernavaca, México.

Older News

It was brought to the attention of the Trustees that the General Grand Council was not supporting DeMolay International at all.  The Grand Encampment and the General Grand Chapter were; why weren’t we?  Discussions were started with Companion Christian D. Moore, Executive Director of DeMolay International, as to how the General Grand Council could get involved, and we arrived at a solution.

Centennial Past Illustrious Knight Commander Meritorious Service Award
Centennial Past Illustrious Knight Commander Meritorious Service Award
Centennial Past Master Squire Meritorious Service Award
Centennial Past Master Squire Meritorious Service Award
Past Illustrious Knight Commander Meritorious Service Award
Past Illustrious Knight Commander Meritorious Service Award
Past Master Squire Meritorious Service Award
Past Master Squire Meritorious Service Award

In June, the General Grand Council was represented for the first time in many years at the DeMolay International Centennial Conclave.  I attended the York Rite Leaders Banquet which is sponsored by the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States.  I also was present when the Centennial Past Illustrious Knight Commander and Master Squire Meritorious Service Awards were presented.  The General Grand Council Trustees voted to support these one-time Centennial Awards.  The General Grand Council will continue supporting the Annual Awards for DeMolay International.

Demolay Fountain Brick
General Grand Council Demolay Fountain Brick

DeMolay International had a Centennial Project to install a fountain and memorial to Dad Land at the Henry E. “Hank” Stickney – Service & Leadership Center in Kansas City, Missouri.  The General Grand Council purchased a 10 x 10 square brick to be placed in the area around the fountain.  As you can see from the picture, there are no descriptive words with the brick.  I was assured that there will be another brick with “General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons, International – 2019” placed beside it.  This was a manufacturer mistake; so the General Grand Council will have two bricks for the price of one.

During August, both Jurisdictions of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite held the Biennial Communications, and the General Grand Council was represented at both meetings.  The Southern Jurisdiction Biennial was held in Washington, DC, and the session included the transfer of leadership from Brother Ronald Seale to Brother James Cole as Sovereign Grand Commander.  This was followed by the Northern Jurisdiction Biennial in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  These were very informative sessions and the General Grand Council was acknowledged at both.

Two other appendant York Rite Bodies met in August and October.  The York Rite Sovereign College of North America met in Salt Lake City, Utah, the first weekend in August, and the Convent General of the Knights of the York Cross of Honour met in Nashua, New Hampshire, the first weekend in October.  The General Grand Council was represented at both.  At the Convent General, our own Most Illustrious Companion Gary G. Wyne, Executive Secretary of the Cryptic Masons Medical Research Foundation, was installed Grand Master General.  In 2020, York Rite Sovereign College will be held in Kansas City, Missouri, and Convent General will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Both of these sessions will be in August: one the first weekend and the other the last weekend.

Final thoughts

I have heard many times about how we aren’t teaching Masonry anymore to our new Brothers and Companions, and that we should get back to some of the basics of Freemasonry in our Lodges, Chapters, Councils, and Commanderies.  Several organizations have started programs to emphasize these basics.

I think the basics are in the three tenets that we are taught in the First Degree:  Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth.  These tenets all involve relationships.  So how do we go about creating these relationships that seem to be lacking in Freemasonry today.  We need to have outside activities that don’t involve meetings as well as social type activities associated with the meetings.  Outside activities include barbecues, pumpkin carving, game nights, go to breakfast, have a coffee gathering, anything that can be arranged to involve the Masons and their families.  It is important to get to know the Mason’s family and have them involved in activities.

One activity that has begun to be included in meetings and degrees is the Festive Board.  This is an old English Tradition that involves food, spirits, toasts, and a good time.  Again, it is a method to become familiar with your Brothers, Companions, and Sir Knights.

Finally, these relationships can emphasize our individual strengths and weaknesses.  A good representation of our strengths is our hand.  The five fingers are our strengths.  When you spread your fingers apart, our hand exposes our weaknesses in the space between our fingers.  When another Mason joins hands interlacing fingers, his strengths fill in our weaknesses thus making us much stronger.  This a good example of how we are much stronger working together than if we attempt to move through life and Masonry alone.

I would like for us to remember all of those serving in the different military units worldwide as the United States approaches Veteran’s Day on November 11.  This is the date I remember as a child and young adult as Armistice Day, the day that World War I officially ended.  Thank a Veteran for his Service and Welcome any Vietnam Veterans Home.

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