One of the three lanes of the updated Vision 2020 plan set forth at the 157th Annual Communication is excellence is esoteric work. In the 2012-2013 Grand Lodge year, only 13 proficiency cards were issued for the entire State of Kansas. The Area 5 Proficiency Contest was begun to promote interest in obtaining proficiency cards in the Area 5 Lodges, and to add a bit of friendly competition between Lodges in the process. The prize is a six foot tall championship trophy to commemorate the winning Lodge’s achievement.
The scoring system is as follows:
“B” Proficiency Card 100 Points
“A” Proficiency Card 200 Points
“Master’s” Proficiency Card 300 Points
“Unlimited” Proficiency Card 500 Points
Proficiencies earned from the close of the 157th Annual Communication on March 16, 2013 to the opening of the 158th Annual Communication on March 21st, 2014 are eligible. Entry forms are due to the Area Deputy Grand Master by the opening gavel of the 158th Annual Communication, either by electronic means or in person. Copies of all proficiency cards earned should accompany entry forms.
The total point score for the Lodge shall be the sum of the point values for all proficiency cards earned by Brothers who are on your official roster as a member of your Lodge. Brothers who hold membership in more than one Lodge, or Plural membership, may only have contest points in one Lodge. A Lodge’s total score will be divided by the number of members of that Lodge, as published in the Advanced Report of the 158th Annual Communication (this is to give large and small Lodges a more equal opportunity to participate). The Lodge with the highest quotient will be deemed the winner. In the event of a tie, the winner will be decided by a coin toss.
The Championship Trophy will be awarded at the 158th Annual Communication.
For the last two years the Grand Lodge, with no small effort from Assistant Grand Secretary Joesphe Stiles, has endeavored to have an official Kansas Mason License Plate created by the State of Kansas. The Kansas Legislature passed the bill that allows for the plate and kicks off a fundraising endeavor.
In the works for a while, almost 350 Kansas Masons have committed to purchasing a plate, the Kansas Department of Revenue requires a commitment of the purchase of at least 500 plates before they will begin printing. Grand Senior Warden Daren Kellerman has stated, “This program can provide a large number of moving billboards for Kansas Masonry. We just need enough Brother Masons to sign up.” Once 500 Masons have committed to the program, printing can begin and the plates should be available shortly.
Unlike most vanity or other Affiliate Plates, the Kansas Mason Plates are not expensive. Each plate has an initial onetime fee of $45.50 to the State of Kansas and a $25 annual fee to the Grand Lodge of Kansas in addition to your local taxes and fees. This money, as directed by statute, will be split between the Grand Lodge Library and Kansas Freemasons Charities Inc. “Many of us will spend $200 on a nice Masonic wrist watch or ring. Why not spend $25 and help out our great charity and library?” stated Stiles.
If you want to purchase a plate or plates, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Provide your name, member number, Home Lodge Name and the number of plates you are willing to purchase.
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.
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.”