Grand Master revises Background Checks Edict

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.

Edict of the Grand Master: December 2012

GSW To Be New Editor of Masonic Society

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.

Grand Senior Deacon 2013-14 Announced

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.”

Parking for Leadership Academy

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.

Mark you Calendars for Town Hall Meetings

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.

Updated Plate Information

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

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.

Pre-Registration Open for Kansas Mason License Plates

With negotiations being finalized with the Kansas Department of Revenue for the Kansas Mason License Plate, many minor details are still being worked out. One critical item is that the Grand Lodge needs to show an interest of at least 500 Masons who would be eligible to purchase these plates. Kansas Masons who would like to purchase a plate after January 1,2013  are asked to notify the Grand Lodge office (785) 234-5518  that they would like a plate. This can be done by emailing or calling the Grand Lodge office and have your name added to the list.

The legislation requires that the Grand Lodge provide a written consent form for the member requesting the plate. This pre-order list will allow the Grand Lodge office to arrange for that letter ahead of time. Kansas Mason License Plates will only cost an additional $25 in addition to the State and County Taxes and Fees. The Funding received by the Grand Lodge will be split between the Grand Lodge Library and Kansas Freemasons Charities Inc.

Leadership Academy Attracts Sponsors

The Grand Lodge is pleased to announce that Kansas Masonic Home will be sponsoring the second annual Grand Lodge Leadership Academy to be held this year on October 6 at the Kansas Statehouse, and that Abdallah Shrine will provide the course material to all attendees.


Partnerships like these will help ensure that Grand Lodge events deliver the most bang for the buck, said Grand Senior Warden Michael Halleran.


“Although sponsorship is nothing new with Masonic events,” Halleran said, “this partnership between the Kansas Masonic Home, Abdallah Shrine and the Grand Lodge will transform an ordinary training seminar into a first-rate conference. And that is a relatively new idea. Before, many of these events were done on a shoestring, sometimes with little preparation, and relying on materials from years’ ago.”


According to Halleran, since 2011, however, things have changed. “I think the Masons who attended last year’s Academy will testify to the fact that it was a huge jump in quality. We had a big name speaker, and the event was very well organized in an impressive venue. It will be even better this year,” he said.


Halleran noted that the entire Grand Lodge line is actively supporting the success of programs like the Leadership Academy – with the elected officers taking on planning roles.


“Now with the Masonic Home coming on board to actively assist the Craft, and with Abdallah Shrine also demonstrating its commitment to make this event a success, we hope to deliver on the promises we – the Grand Lodge – have made to the Craft: to promote quality, quality, quality.”


Robert Roswurm, the Director of Development at the Kansas Masonic Home was equally positive. “This partnership makes sense for Kansas Masonic Home,” he said.


“One of the strategic goals of Kansas Masonic Home is to actively promote a climate of growth, knowledge and effectiveness by becoming a learning and teaching organization. We are actively engaged in cultivating advancement on our campus through numerous partnerships. We believe that joining with the Grand Lodge to enhance the leadership academy will not only encourage the growth and development of Masons across the state of Kansas.”


Michael Tavares, Potentate of Abdallah Shriners was also upbeat about the chance to pitch in and make the event successful.


“When I first joined Masonry, I was told that one of the benefits of joining the Masons was that I would be taught to lead and be provided ample opportunities to lead. Now Grand Lodge is fulfilling their promise to Masons. Last year they launched a highly successful leadership seminar which was well attended. This year, they have put together another great program that will teach organizational leadership skills and touch on personal leadership skills as well. We, as Masons, need to converge on Topeka on the sixth of October to find further light in Masonry!”


The Leadership Academy, formerly known as the Warden’s School, has traditionally been the responsibility of the Deputy Grand Master. According to Rick Reichert, Deputy Grand Master for 2012, the emphasis on quality hasn’t been the only change that’s been made.


“The original Warden’s School scope was too narrow, concentrating on officers who would be using the knowledge gained for one or two years in preparation for their term in the East,” he said. “The Leadership Academy aims to develop confidence of any officer, committee chair, or member at large to take ever- progressive leadership roles in their lodges. Because this forum is oriented toward organizational leadership development, the principles are applicable to the entire Masonic family and you can see their enthusiasm through growing sponsorships.”


This year’s Leadership Academy is slated for Saturday, October 6 at the Kansas Statehouse and features renowned Masonic author Chris Hodapp as the keynote speaker. The registration form is included below and will appear in the next issue of the Kansas Mason.


2012 Academy Registration Form_2012


Leadership Academy Registration Information

Registration is now open for the Grand Lodge Leadership Academy, slated for October 6 in Topeka. Now in its second year, the day-long seminar will be held at the Kansas Statehouse and will feature nationally known Masonic author Chris Hodapp.


Early-bird registration is open until September 20 and offers substantial savings to attendees with registration for the Mason’s course available for $20 and the ladies’ course at $10. From September 21 – October 1, registration will cost $30 for men and $20 for ladies. The price difference — according to Grand Senior Warden Michael Halleran – is to encourage people to register early.


“We’ve been really fortunate,” he said, “that we’ve been able to attract some major sponsors for this event and we’re planning a first-class conference with a really nice catered lunch among other things. Unlike events we’ve held in the past, we really need to have a head count for the caterer, so we’re hopeful people will register early, as we won’t be able to take registrations after October 1.”


Registrants may print and send in the registration form (below), or register online at in the registration area of the Grand Lodge Online Shop, or via telephone by calling the Grand Lodge office.


2012 Academy Registration Form_2012

Grand Secretary Pfuetze Retires

July 18, 2012. Grand Secretary R:. W:. Robert B. Pfuetze announced his retirement as the Fourteenth Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Kansas after twelve years of service.


Hired as Office Manager of the Grand Lodge of Kansas in 2000, R:. W;. Bro. Pfuetze was appointed as Interim Grand Secretary later that year, when PGM Don Robinett resigned. He successfully stood for election the following year, and has been reelected by the Craft to the post of Grand Secretary since that time.


He Graduated Kansas State University in 1967 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry, and a minor in Secondary Education, and he taught chemistry, physics, general science and photography for eight years at Washington High School, in Washington, Kansas. In 1975 he purchased the Bergman Studio in Concordia, Kansas, and became a full-time professional photographer.


A tech-guru even in the 1980s, Bro. Bob also opened the first computer sales and service business in Concordia in 1985.


Raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason in St. Johns Lodge No. 113 in Concordia, Kansas, in 1981, he served as Worshipful Master of that Lodge in 1985 and again in 1997.


He was also active as a Grand Lodge officer, serving as Grand Junior Deacon in 1990 for M:.W:. Don Robinett, and as District Deputy Grand Master in 1995, and Area Deputy Grand Master in 1996 and 1997. Bro. Bob also chaired the Grand Lodge Technology Committee in 1996-97 and was a key player in the development of a new member database.


“I have very much enjoyed my tenure as Grand Secretary,” he said, “and I want to thank all of the Grand Lodge officers, Grand Masters, Lodge Secretaries, and Brothers, who made my term of office as the Fourteenth Grand Secretary of Kansas interesting, exciting, and occasionally frustrating. It has been great to serve with you, and for you, for more than twelve years.”


In light of Bro. Bob’s retirement, M:. W:. Donald D. Newman Jr., Grand Master has appointed Tracy L. Bloom, PGM and current Grand Lodge Office Manager as Interim Grand Secretary effective today. M:.W:. Bro. Bloom will stand for election at the Annual Communication on March 15, 2013.


According to Bro. Bloom, “Bob Pfuetze isn’t an easy act to follow, and I have some big shoes to fill. It was an honor and a pleasure to work with Bob and although we will miss him as Grand Secretary, I wish him the very best in his retirement.”


R:. W:. Rick Reichert, Deputy Grand Master also commented on the high standards Bro. Bob set for the Grand Lodge of Kansas. “I am sincerely grateful for Brother Bob’s dedication as Grand Secretary and stellar performance as Office Manager. He helped us achieve the highly respected status we have in Kansas and from our neighboring Grand Lodges. I wish him great enjoyment in his many other endeavors both within Masonry and beyond.”


Appointment of Interim Secretary