Anthony T. (AJ) Johnson
North Central Regional Deputy General Grand Master
The North Central Region of the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons, International is always its busiest from the April to September time frame and this 2018 year has been no different. It started with the Nebraska Grand Council Session in Kearney Nebraska on 6 April and that was followed by the North Dakota session on the next weekend of April 13th. The next Grand Council in the line-up was Minnesota Grand Session on the 23rd of June followed by Iowa’s Grand Council Session on the 11th of August. The Grand Council Session finished in the North Central Region with both South Dakota’s and Wisconsin’s being held on the 23rd of September. I was proud to either accompany or represent the General Grand Council at all but one of the Grand Councils in the region which was Wisconsin’s and they had the privilege of having Most Puissant David Grindle in attendance. I was able to personally represent the General Grand Council in Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota. Then had the distinct pleasure of assisting Right Puissant Bill Synder the General Grand Principle Conductor of the work in Nebraska and Iowa. I have decided to include pictures of the Councils I had from the region, so that our Companions in other jurisdiction could see their faces and hopefully be able to recognize them when they attend their next sessions or potentially when they both attend a Triennial in the future.
During the majority of these visits I was pleased to see the cooperation of the Companions in discussing issues ranging from membership to potential withdrawal from General Grand Council. Thankfully none of our Grand Jurisdictions have withdrawn from General Grand Council in the North Central Region as of this writing, as far as I know, so don’t get panicked when you read this. In membership discussions it was refreshing to hear that the North Central Region overall is still bringing in candidates, but all realize there is always room for improvement when it comes to recruiting candidates. Another topic that seemed to be a frequent topic for conversation was the Grand Councils financial pictures and the need to ensure a future financial foundation to enable Cryptic Masonry to continue in each of their Jurisdictions.
Another point of joy and commendable action in all the Jurisdictions in the North Central Region is their efforts to ensure they recognize their members, youth leaders and others with awards. In all of the Jurisdictions there was recognition for the Cryptic Mason of the Year. In two of three of the of the six Jurisdictions in the North Central Region a most deserving Lady was presented with the Lady of the Council Award. I had the pleasure in Minnesota of presenting the first Ritualist Award presented in the North Central Region and amazingly it was presented for all three degrees. In two of the Jurisdictions I had the pleasure of conferring the Order of the Secret Vault and in four of the Jurisdiction the Youth Leadership Awards were presented. I continue to encourage all the Jurisdictions and more especially the Jurisdictions in the North Central Region to continue to recognize those deserving Companions, Youth Leaders and the others to show our appreciation for what they contribute to our wonderful Fraternity. I would like to further challenge the North Central Region as well as other Jurisdictions to review the Medal of Honor, the Columbian Award and the Mordhurst Medal to see if any in their Jurisdictions may be eligible. Lastly in looking at awards I have also been pleased at the growing number of the Veteran’s Medals that I have seen.
In closing I would like to cordially invite all in the North Central Region to attend the North Central Regional Conference on the 26th and 27th of October 2018 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Most Excellent Companion Rich McBride the Deputy Grand High Priest has done and excellent job of putting things together and special briefings and items as the lead Regional Representative for this year. Please ensure you register as soon as possible. You can get a registration in the North Central Region from any of the Grand Recorders or any of the three Regional Representatives. I would also invite those from out of the North Central Region if you are able to attend. To finish upcoming events, I would invite you all to attend any of the Grand Sessions in the North Central Region. Look for their dates, times and registration forms on each of their respective Grand York Rite Web Sites.