Sessions 2018 Synopsis

Written by Stephen Balke. Posted in News

Ballut Abyad Shrine once again hosted and provided an excellent venue for the various activities associated with the annual sessions:

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:

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.

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)

Masonic Youth

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.