Ballut Abyad Shrine once again hosted and provided an excellent venue for the various activities associated with the annual sessions:
- The 121st Annual Convocation of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of New Mexico
- The 69th Annual Assembly of the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of New Mexico
- The 118th Annual Conclave of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of New Mexico
Each day was started at 7:00am with the representative side body. The Grand Body was then opened at 9:00am. Lunches were at noon, and business was finished after. Election of officers was held each day shortly after lunch and Installations were generally around 3:00pm. Thursday, the KYCH initiation meeting happened at 4pm. Friday, Vespers happened at 5:45pm. Evening festivities started with a social hour at 6:00pm Thursday and Friday, and was followed by the Holy Land Pilgrimage Dinner and the Grand York Rite Banquet respectively. The elected and appointed officers for the ensuing year are found at the end of this report.
Great Turnout for the Grand Sessions!
We had a great turnout of both our delegates for the bodies and visiting dignitaries from other jurisdictions! Our voting member counts were as follows:
- Grand Chapter: 10 Dais (4 EHPs) with 3 Proxies, 31 PHPs (11 PGHPs), and 8 Grand Officers
- Grand Council: 7 Dais (4 IMs) with 1 Proxy, 29 PIMs (10 PGMs), and 7 Grand Officers
- Grand Commandery: 8 Dais (3 ECs) with 2 Proxies, 33 PCs (12 PGCs), and 11 Grand Officers
Each of our seven constituent Chapters, six Councils and six Commanderies were represented.
Visiting us were 26 Companions and Sir Knights from other jurisdictions, many with their ladies. Two Grand High Priests, two GHP Representatives, an Ambassador, the Southwest Regional Deputy General Grand High Priest, and Steven Tiner, General Grand King representing James Hodge, the General Grand High Priest for Grand Chapter. Two Cryptic Grand Masters, an Ambassador, and the Southwest Regional Deputy General Grand Master, James Baum, representing David Grindle the General Grand Master for Grand Council. Four Grand Commanders, two GC Representatives, two Department Commanders and Lawrence Tucker, R.E. Grand Recorder representing Duane Vought, Most Eminent Grand Master for Grand Commandery. These dignitaries were from Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Texas, Utah, Wyoming, and even Mexico!
Vespers and Memorial Services
Last year, we lost many of our current and past leadership to their reward.
- May 1, 2017, James Rixon, Grand Commander, Grand King, and Grand Principal Cond. of the Work.
- May 31, 2017, Robert A. Abernathy, Past Grand High Priest, Past Cryptic Grand Master, Past Grand Commander and Past Department Commander; as well as Past Intendent General (Red Cross of Const.).
- July 15, 2017, Thomas E. Speight, Past Cryptic Grand Master.
- February 28, 2018, Raymond D. MacDonald, Grand High Priest, Past Cryptic Grand Master, and Grand Captain General of the Grand Commandery.
Reverend Companions and Sir Knights Gerard Kaye and Arland Blackburn gave the vespers service on Friday in memory of these Companions and Sir Knights, along with the other 15 Companions and Sir Knights we lost throughout New Mexico last year (or in previous years that we have not since acknowledged).
Reports of the Past Grand High Priests/Grand Masters/Grand Commanders
A Grand Master’s Address was not provided, the Grand Commander’s Allocution was submitted on the day of the Grand Commandery Annual Conclave, and the Grand High Priest’s Address was a verbal report covering little of the year as Grand High Priest, most of the year as the Grand Scribe. These reports are due (no later than) 30 days before the grand session for the body. The three committees of past grand heads were somewhat upset and let it be known that submitting these reports on time and with content that reflects both the events and the personal interpretations by the person in office is imperative to the ability for the York Rite to continue to improve by learning from those serving.
Holy Land Pilgrimage Dinner
This year’s Holy Land Pilgrimage fundraising dinner was a HUGE success! The dinner was actually paid for in advance by contributions from both Pilgrim Commandery No. 3 ($400.00) and Baldwyn Commandery No. 12 ($139.00), which covered the generous contribution of Royal Empire Catering – Sean Sullivan and the addition of Leon Alderette as a volunteer – for a wonderful Italian served buffet meal. And, when our most recent sojourning minister fell ill at the last minute, Most Worshipful Grand Master, Companion and Sir Knight Adam Hathaway stepped in and gave an historical presentation about Knights Templar which was VERY well accepted. The total from the meals was $1320.00! Then, our Department Commander and Grand Commander from Arizona encouraged the crowd to donate a little more… $850.00 more! The total: $ 2,170.00 – WOW!
Legislation (Grand Commandery Only – Nothing was submitted for Grand Chapter or Grand Council)
- ARTICLE XVIII Section 1 Procedure to Change Bylaws – Amended and ADOPTED
- Bylaw resolutions may be moved by a member of the Grand Commandery and seconded by just one Constituent Commandery, then must be submitted 60 calendar days in advance of the Annual Conclave, and must garner 2/3 support of members present and voting to pass.
- ARTICLE 1 Section 4 Elective Grand Officers – NOT ADOPTED
- Allow single nominations to constitute a vote by acclimation and record as unanimous ballot.
- ARTICLE X Section 9 Eligibility of the Office of Commander – ADOPTED
- Elective dais officers (instead of ALL elective officers) may not hold offices in multiple Commanderies. Effectively – you may be a Treasurer or Recorder in multiple bodies.
- ARICLE VI Section 1 Standing Committees – NOT ADOPTED
- Make Investments Committee a Standing Committee.
- ARTICLE III Section 28 Jewels Allowed to be Worn – NOT ADOPTED
- Order of jewels worn for Class A uniform and allowance of medals from foreign jurisdictions.
- ARTICLE III Section 2 Coat for Sir Knights – Metal Ribbon Bars – ADOPTED
- Allows for wearing of the Military Service and York Rite Leadership ribbon bars.
- The Grand Commandery also ADOPTED a seal version that exposes the eagles, cactus, snake and motto clearly.
- The Grand Commandery also ADOPTED the printing of a uniform book with measurement references explaining the placement of uniform items.
On Saturday, representatives of the local groups that are part of the International Order of Rainbow for Girls, Jobs Daughters International and DeMolay International were welcomed and asked to give a short introduction to their organizations. The Grand Worthy Advisor Elect of Rainbow, a Past Honored Queen of Jobs Daughters and the State Master Councilor of DeMolay spoke and were then presented with $200.00 each as a contribution and encouragement to continue their work.