Thursday, January 29, 2015

An Auspicious Day

Today marks an important day in history. This afternoon the Province of the United States of America was dissolved and the Grand Master's Council in England constituted Ye Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon USA in Reston, VA.

The following officers were installed to lead the newly established Grand Council:

Most Worthy Grand Master: Sir André of Byron
Grand Prior: Sir Reese of Bexar, KH
Protector of Canterbury: Sir Michael of Seasalter, KH
Grand Marshal: Sir Matthew of Philadelphia, KC
Grand Treasurer: Sir Fred of Mount Pleasant
Assistant Grand Treasurer: Sir William of Seattle
Grand Registrar: Sir Joe of Gloucestershire
Grand Secretary: Sir Ernest "Randy" of Lavalette
Grand Historian: Sir John of Groveport
Deputy Grand Marshal: Sir Joseph of Toftingall
Grand Almoner: Sir David of Monroe 
Grand Warden of Regalia: Sir Christopher of Brenham
Grand Sword Bearer: Sir Jackie of Virginia Beach
Deputy Grand Secretary: Sir Jack of Booneville
Grand Banner Bearer: Sir Allen of Randolph
Assistant Grand Marshal: Sir James of Midlothian
Assistant Grand Marshal: Sir Aaron of Muhlenberg
Assistant Grand Marshal: Sir Quentin of Lake Placid
Assistant Grand Secretary: Sir James of Arlington
Grand Herald: Sir Edward of Belle Vernon
Grand Organist: Sir Jerry of Glenside
Grand Doorkeeper: TBA 
Grand Cellarer: Sir Palmer of Barre
Grand Cellarer: Sir Bernard of Houston
Grand Cellarer: Sir Emmett of Lizella
Grand Cellarer: Sir Louis of Edinburgh
Grand Cellarer: Sir Robert of Sparta
Grand Cellarer: Sir Ronald of Ruston
Grand Sentry: Sir Haigh of Belfast
Grand Repreſentative: Sir Leslie of Wealas-ieg, KC
The history of the Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon in the US dates back to October 1999 when a large group of Mason, under the leadership of Reese Harrison, went to England and were initiated. At the 2000 Masonic Week, Pilgrim Chapel No.11 and Trinity Chapel No.12 were constituted, and for 4-years were the only two Chapels in the US. 

In 2004, Tahoma Chapel No.30 was constituted which allowed for the creation of the Province of the United States of America which occurred on September 11th, 2005. Sir André of Byron was installed as the Right Worthy Grand Preceptor and Sir Reese of Bexar was installed as the Provincial Grand Prior. Over the last 10-years, the Province of the United States of America has grown from three to twenty-three Chapels.

By 2014 the Province of the United States of America had grown large enough to separate and create its own Grand Master's Council. The Grand Master, Sir André of Byron, has stated that due to English roots, "we will continue to maintain all of the flavors of our English foundation. We will have the same rules for officeholders and honors as we now have under the English Constitution."

Today started with the meeting of Trinity Chapel No.12 then the Sir Melvyn of Wud Plumpton, Grand Master from England, then established two new Chapels. After a Festive Board, the Grand Master's Council reconvened where he invested Sir André of Byron and Sir Reese of Bexar with Knights Humilitas, the highest honor in the order. Sir André of Byron was then installed as Most Worthy Grand Master of the United States of America and Sir Reese of Bexar was installed as the Most Eminent Grand Prior. It was then Sir André's duty to install some of his officers and then invest Sir Matthew of Philadelphia with the honor of Knight Caritas. The Grand Masters, Grand Priors, and Grand Secretaries of both Grand Councils signed an accord that laid the foundation for the growth and recognition of each other. The Knights present then approved the constitution and ritual of the order.

Consecration of the two Chapels

Consecration of the two Chapels

Consecration of the two Chapels

Investiture of the Knight Humilitas

Investiture of the Knight Humilitas

Investiture of the Knight Humilitas

Knight Humilitas

Sir André taking the oath of office

The Baton and Ring of the Most Worthy Grand Master
Sir Reese taking his oath of office

The signing of the concord

Knight Caritas

Sir André giving his remarks before closing