Well, it's been a busy few days. Saturday I flew into Minneapolis to attend the 68th Triennial Conclave of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the USA.
Sunday started with Divine Services led by the Grand Prelate and the afternoon was occupied with initiating of 14 new Knights by Trinity Chapel No.2 of the Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon. That night was the Grand Master's Reception after which many of us went to the Hospitality Suite hosted by Jack Harper and the Grand Commandery of Texas.
Monday morning was the public session of the Grand Encampment which included a large number of introductions. We had the presiding officer or their representative for the Social Order of the Beauceant, DeMolay International, Red Cross of Constantine, George Washington National Masonic Memorial, Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon, Knight Masons, Royal Order of Scotland, Holy Royal Arch Knights Templar Priests, Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite (both Southern Jurisdiction and the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction), General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International, General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International, Grand Encampment of Knights Templar - Prince Hall Affiliation, Grand Lodge of Minnesota, and Grand Lodge of North Dakota as well as the Grand Commanderies that form this body.
The Grand Master announced and the Sir Knights approved to make Sir Knight W. Bruce Pruitt, Past Grand Commander of California, an Honorary Past Grand Master of the Grand Encampment to which the Sir Knight enthusiastically approved. Sir Knight Pruitt was also elevated to Grand Cross Templar (GCT).
The afternoon session started with the Grand Master's allocation. After its approval, we moved into the Resolutions (and there were 28 of them). Here is a brief synopsis of them:
Resolution 2021-01: Amends Section 18 (Educational Foundation of the Grand Encampment) to allow for more people to be eligible for the scholarship - PASSED
Resolution 2021-02: Amends Section 18 1/2 (KTEF) which made sure that the Trustees are members of GEKT - PASSED
Resolution 2021-03: Amends Section 104 1/2 (Membership of KTEF Committee) and follows on to 2021-02 - PASSED
Resolution 2021-04: Amends Section 52(d) (electronic proceedings) which allows Grand Commanderies to submit proceedings in digital format rather than printed to GEKT - PASSED
Resolution 2021-05: Repeals Sections 214 and 215 (public appearance in uniform) - PASSED
Resolution 2021-06: Amends Section 36 to add a subsection about virtual grand conclaves - PASSED
Resolution 2021-07: Amends Section 65 to add a subsection about virtual conclaves - PASSED
Resolution 2021-08: Amends Section 259 allowing for Grand Commanders to set the dates for the wearing of the summer uniform - PASSED as AMENDED which struck out the final sentence of the resolution
Resolution 2021-09: Amends Section 66 (Short Form Opening) clarifying the use of the short form opening with a quorum of less than 9 knights - PASSED
Resolution 2021-10: Amends Section 235 (Retention of Rank) clarifying the retention of rank as long as the Sir Knight maintains membership in a Commandery under the Grand Encampment - PASSED
Resolution 2021-11: Amends Section 237 to add subsection about Retention of Honors (a follow-on to 2021-10) - PASSED
Resolution 2021-12: Amends Section 2(a) (Grand Commander's Status) to allow Grand Commanders to retain honors if they move to a different jurisdiction (a follow-on to 2021-10 and 2021-11) - PASSED
Resolution 2021-13: Amends Section 125 (Demise of Grand Commandery) clarifies what happens to remaining constituent Commanderies when a Grand Commander if they fall under minimum number of Commanderies - PASSED
Resolution 2021-14: Amends Section 190(a) (Officers in Multiple Commanderies) to allow a Sir Knight to be an elected officer in more than one Commandery but not Commander of multiple Commanderies - PASSED
Resolution 2021-15: Amends Section 204 (Trial of Offenses Post Adjudication by a Predicate Body) to clarify the language about a Commandery's right to being changes against a Sir Knight regardless of actions of predicate bodies (Lodge, Chapter, etc.) - PASSED
Monday night, the dais officers and wives of the Grand Commandery of Idaho and our Jr. Past Grand Commander went to the Lyon's Pub in Minneapolis to have a "Family Dinner". The food and fellowship was excellent.
Tuesday morning's session started with the Committee on Charters and Dispensation. Sadly, the charter of the Grand Commandery of Croatia has been suspended for failing to file annual returns with the Grand Encampment. However, there is good news, we chartered Commanderies in Venezuela, Peru, Paraguay, Honduras, Lebanon, Ecuador, and Costa Rica.
After charters and dispensations, we returned to the remaining resolutions:
Resolution 2021-16: Amends Section 176 1/2 (Holding Commanderies) to allow the formation of Holding Commanderies in the event of Commandery demise or merger - PASSED as AMENDED to prevent Holding Commanderies from conferring orders.
Resolution 2021-17: Amends Section 3(c)(2) (Special Purpose Commanderies) and Section 176 1/2 to permit formations for special purpose Commandery such as Research Commanderies - PASSED
Resolution 2021-18: Adds a subsection to Section 176 for allowing the formation of Auxillary Units similarly seen with the Shriners - PASSED as AMENDED to allow flexibility for reporting to Grand Commander
Resolution 2021-19: Amends 237(b) subsections a & c to amend qualifications of eligibility for Knight Templar Cross of Honor - PASSED
Resolution 2021-20: Amends Chapter XXII, Section 260 and 261 for allowing aprons to be worn, if desired - PASSED
Resolution 2021-21: Replaces Section 178 for inclusion of an Attestation of Faith was AMENDED which struck the overly dogmatic language and used the words from the Order of Malta ritual that is more inclusive of all Christian denominations (see pic for change) - FAILED
The Grand Encampment then recessed so that the Knights Templar Eye Foundation Corporate meeting could be held where the necessary business was conducted and the Trustees elected, then it was back to the resolutions:
Resolution 2021-22: Adds Section 99(a) for Recognition by Grand Encampment - FAILED for failing to achieve 2/3 vote.
Resolution 2021-23: Rescinds 2012-01 and Duane Decision No. 5 concerning the Chevaliers Bienfaisants de la Cité Sainte - PASSED with over 3/4 votes
Resolution 2021-24: Amends Section 202 (forfeiture of membership or reinstatement for loss of predicated membership in the lodge, chapter, or council) to clarify the language and processes - PASSED
Resolution 2021-25: Amends Section 82 (Exceptions to resident requirements for members of the uniformed services) to make changes and updates to the organizations listed in this section - PASSED as AMENDED with some housekeeping changes.
Resolution 2021-26: Amends Section 201 (Forfeiture of Membership and Reinstatement non-affiliation in Lodge or Chapter or membership in an unrecognized Masonic Templar order) codified removing members from Chevaliers Bienfaisants de la Cité Sainte (CBCS) from the Grand Encampment - FAILED
Resolution 2021-27: Amends Section 114 (Payment of mileage and per diem to officers and committee members) to include trustees - PASSED
Resolution 2021-28: Amends Section 106(e) to make Electronic Communications a standing committee - PASSED
We then held elections for the officers of the 69th Triennium:
Most Eminent Grand Master: Michael Johnson
Right Eminent Deputy Grand Master: David Kussman
Right Eminent Grand Generalissimo: Jeffrey Bolstad
Right Eminent Grand Captain General: Jack Harper
Right Eminent Grand Treasurer: Bobby Simmons
Right Eminent Grand Recorder: Larry Tucker
Congratulations to Jeff Nelson on his term as Most Eminent Grand Master for the 68th Triennium. You did a masteful job guiding the Grand Encampment over the last 3-years and with presiding over this meeting.
For the first time in Grand Encampment history, when the motion was made and approved to make Sir Knight Dickie W. Johnson of Tennessee a Honorary Past Grand Prelate of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the USA. Sir Knight Russell Duckett, Most Eminent Grand Master of the Prince Hall Grand Encampment, was made an Honorary Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the USA.
There being no further business, the Grand Encampment adjourned for the day and the Sir Knights and their ladies met for the Grand Master's Banquet. Afterward many of us met in the Texas Hospitality Suite to celebrate the election and impending installation of Sir Knight Jack Harper as Grand Captain General. Even though I am not a Texan, I am a friend of Jack's and extremely proud of him and all that he does.
With Wednesday morning came the installation of officers. Congratulations to all of the new officers, but particularly to Sir Knight Jeremy Vaughn of Idaho who was installed as the Northwest Department Commander. I am excited to travel throughout the Northwest with my best friend as my Commandery counterpart.
|Sir Knights and Ladies|
|Sir Knights with Most Eminent Grand Master|
|New Membership Certificate available from the Grand Encampment|
Now, I sit at the airport awaiting my flight back home. It's been fun, but it is time to get home. Also, this is also my 700th article on this site!