Throughout several periods in our great history, many Grand Masters have taken efforts to protect our great ritual. As early as 1876 M:. W:. Silas Sheldon expressed his concern of losing our proficiency because of the large number of Lodges that were being established across the state. His concern was that the fraternity was growing so fast in western Kansas that the craft would default on the ritual in favor of granting the Warrant for the Lodge. As a result, he denied many petitions just to ensure that ritual would stay in the forefront of Masons in Kansas.
We see this concern again in 1948 when M:. W:. Glenn Robison served as Grand Master. His concern was not due to the springing up of new lodges, but rather the massive influx of new Petitions of the Mysteries coming from all our boys who had returned home from the war. The other problem facing Robison was that there were only a handful of aging brothers across the state who were respected enough to be deemed “qualified” to educate new Lecturers. His recourse to that action was to establish the first Ritualistic Committee which was chaired by his Masonic Father, M:. W:. Jack Trice. This Committee gave birth to the system as we understand it today and caused the Grand Lodge Leadership in the 1970’s to establish the Trice Robison Award.
In examining our current state, it is evident that our problems are not in large numbers, rather the rapid reduction of the same and apathy about it. A part our refreshed Strategic Plan is to renew Excellence in the Esoteric Work. This goal, in particular, caused us to examine our current state and look at ways to renew our enthusiasm about our great and sacred ritual. Reviving the Trice Robinson Award seems to be an excellent way to do just that.
The revised version of this award causes a greater team effort and focuses not only on Ritual but Leadership and Education as well. With the final touches being placed on this Award, we intend to launch it at the Leadership Academy on November 2nd. For more information see our Grand Lodge Website, www.kansasmason.org, or look for the flyer soon to come in the mail.
The form is available on the Downloads page of the Members’ Area.
SAVE THE DATE and SAVE $$ by registering for the Third Annual Leadership Academy now! Simply download and print the form below and mail your reservation to Grand Lodge to hold your place for what promises to be the best Academy yet.
The 2013 Leadership Academy will be held on Saturday, November 2 at the Capital Plaza Hotel and will feature keynote speaker Andrew Hammer, PM of Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22 in Alexandria, Virginia. The author of the wildly popular “Observing the Craft,” W:. Bro. Hammer will speak on contemporary America Freemasonry and the challenges and opportunities we face. Combined with our other breakouts, we will also have previews of the new Masonic Education course that will be offered state-wide starting in 2014!
This year, plan on attending the Kansas Masonic Foundation’s charity auction to be held Friday night at the Capital Plaza Hotel, as well. More details on that event will follow.
Rooms may be reserved at the Capitol Plaza Hotel at special Grand Lodge rate of $59 9+tax) which includes one breakfast. Mention “Grand Lodge of Kansas” to receive your special rate when you make your reservation.
On Thursday evening April 18th, Americus Lodge members and Past Masters Gary Jensen and Claude Roswurm were honored for their 50 and 60 years of service, respectively. From the Grand Lodge, R:.W:. Deputy Grand Master Michael Halleran presided over the auspicious event assisted by W:. Alex Rosell, Asst. Grand Tyler and R:.W:. Bob Talbott, Grand Junior Deacon. In attendance were the honorees, family members as well as W:. M:. Wayne Lee and other members of Americus #109.
Unable to attend was Americus Lodge brother and honoree Lee Lowder Jr. who also earned a 60 year honor.
M:. W:. Donald Newman, Jr. revised an earlier order that implemented the requirement for electronic verification of all petitions with a new Edict released in December 2012. The new Edict makes optional the electronic verification for membership transfers between lodges in Kansas and petitions for plural membership in another Kansas lodge. This move transfers the responsibility of “know your petitioner” from the electronic verification back to the signers of the petition and the investigating committee. The intent of the original March 2012 Edict remains the same: To augment the ability of the investigating committee to ascertain the veracity of the petitioner’s characterization of himself. While many lodges train their investigating committees to exercise due diligence in performing their duties, many others, sadly, either do not perform their duty or the nature of our highly mobile society makes it hard to know really know the stranger that desires admission. Transfers and plural members should be a better known petitioner, therefore, the new Edict.
Grand Senior Warden Michael Halleran has been named editor in chief of the Journal of the Masonic Society according to a statement published on the Masonic Society website. Halleran will replace founding editor Christopher Hodapp who is retiring.
In the announcement, the president of the Masonic Society, John R. “Bo” Cline, PGM (Alaska 2009), said that Hodapp “has been dealing with some rather significant health issues over the past few years. Despite this fact, he has endeavored to publish what many consider the best journal in Freemasonry today. Recently, Chris informed us that he is unable to continue as Editor-in-Chief, however he will remain involved with the Journal to the extent his health will allow.” Cline also noted that Bro. John Bridegroom, an Illinois graphic designer, has been brought on as layout editor.
Reached for comment, Halleran said “it’s pretty evident that no one man can replace Chris, which is why John Bridegroom and myself have been tapped for the job. I’m very excited about the opportunity, although I am acutely aware that I have big shoes to fill.”
An inter-jurisdictional research lodge, the Masonic Society publishes an academic-style journal every quarter. Membership in the Masonic Society is restricted to regular Freemasons.
Assistant Grand Tyler B. Cole Presley will be appointed Grand Senior Deacon for 2013 -14. Deputy Grand Master Rick Reichert announced the appointment at the November 16 meeting of Justice Lodge in Hays.
Citing Presley’s experience and hard work as current Area Deputy Grand Master of Area 10, past District Deputy, and Past Master of Millbrook Lodge No. 281, Hill City.
Reichert described his selection process and expressed confidence is choosing the right man for the job.
“I have had the great fortune of knowing many brothers qualified and worthy so I feel that the selection that I have made is the absolute best man for the time. My selection has served in all the elected positions in his lodge except Treasurer. He has been a successful Worshipful Master of his lodge. He has served faithfully as both District and Area Deputy Grand Master. He has contributed as a leader and facilitator in both standing and special Grand Lodge committees and has contributed his time and talent at many Grand Lodge venues including Annual Communication break-out sessions and the Leadership Academy. His is also a charter member of the first 21st century Affinity Lodge in Kansas. Considering he was only initiated in July of 2001, these are outstanding and marked accomplishments for someone who has been a Mason just over 11 years.“
Among his many Masonic responsibilities, Presley is a member of the Millbrook Chapter No. 108, OES, Isis Shrine, and is currently Senior Warden of Justice Lodge No. 457.
The Grand Senior Deacon is traditionally elected Grand Master of Kansas. If elected by the Craft, Presley will be Grand Master in 2017-18.
Presley said he was “deeply humbled” by the appointment and that“I am a firm believer that the Grand Lodge of Kansas is the greatest Fraternal Organization out there. I am humbled to have been appointed and excited to do great work for Kansas Masonry.”
Limited parking for the Grand Lodge Leadership Academy is available in the Grand Lodge lot. Street parking is also available on all four sides of the Capitol complex. Street parking is free on weekends. Parking in other lots (other than GL lot) may get you towed!
The Grand Lodge building will open at 8.00 a.m. with coffee and pastries.
The Capitol building opens at 9.00 a.m. The entrance to the Capitol building is on the East side. The program starts promptly at 9.15 a.m.
Grand Lodge wants to hear from you! There are two Town Hall meetings planned in the near future and all are invited to attend to listen to what is planned, ask questions and provide input. Information will range from integrating your lodge into the Grand Lodge strategic plan, current programs and resources, the rapidly changing demography of Masonry in Kansas and the potential need to adjust districts again, and much more. Secretaries that have questions about the new database or the upcoming annual report are especially encouraged to attend, and there will be a separate breakout for them. The next planned meetings are Saturday, October 13 in Emporia, and Saturday, October 20 in Scott City. Mark the dates now, and contact the Grand Lodge office for more details.
The Grand Lodge office has received a variety of questions about motorcycle tags. While the statute that allowed for our tags does not include authority for motorcycle plates, IF there is enough expressed interest, we will return to the Legislature this winter and ask for expanded authority; so, if you would be interested in plates for a cycle, let that be known to the Grand Lodge office, also through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those who currently have handicap plates, and who want a Masonic plate, will have to return to a rear-view mirror card handicap permit, there is no provision for a combined Masonic-handicap plate.
Due to the explosion of special-interest plates, and the needs of law enforcement to quickly identify vehicles, there will not be a sequential numbers of plates, each will be numbered with a combination of several numbers and letters, and no reservation of any one possible.