Sunday, December 31, 2023

Farewell 2023

Another year has come and gone. 2022 had been a fantastic year and I was looking forward to what 2023 had to bring. The year started with work trips to Iowa and South Dakota (you know...the good times to visit the Midwest). In Iowa, I had a chance to visit with my Masonic Brothers.

February brought Masonic Week and it was a busy one. I received the rank of Past Grand Herald from the outgoing Grand Master. I was also elected as Commander-General of the Masonic Order of the Bath for the USA after we initiated 85 candidates into the order. I also received the Knight Commander of Zerubbabel in the Knight Masons.

In April, the annual sessions of the Grand York Rite of Idaho were held. I was elected and installed as Honorable Grand Commander of the Left Wing for Syringa Order No.121 of the Order of the Sword of Bunker Hill, the Master of Templars for Idaho Chapter of the Sovereign Order of Knights Preceptor, and the Very Eminent Deputy Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Idaho.

After attending the Grand York Rite of Montana at the beginning of June, I spent the rest of the month on the road for work. 

In July, I attended the Rocky Mountain SRICF Conference in Las Vegas. Fratres from Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and New Jersey were present. We conferred the four Grades of the First Order to four candidates from Nevada. I then flew from there straight to another work trip.

I attended the 72nd Triennial Convocation of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International and the 48th Triennial Assembly of the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International in August. It was my final duty as a Deputy General Grand High Priest to attend and turn over my collar and apron to my successor.

At the beginning of September, I attended the 88th Annual Conclave of the Convent General of the Knights of the York Cross of Honor where I watched a good friend installed as the Deputy Grand Master-General. A few weeks later I attended the 156th Annual Communication of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Idaho (first time since 2019). September was busy in general because I also attended two meetings for my Lodge, one meeting of my Commandery, and one meeting for the Masonic Order of Athelstan.

In October, I had more work trips, but then attended the first Joint Southwest-Northwest York Rite Conference in Salt Lake City which also included a meeting for the Northwest Province of the Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon. October ended with me attending the conferral of the Knight Commander of the Court of Honor.

November was a busy month. I went to Massachusetts for work, but was also able to get in a lot of sightseeing. I then attended the annual meeting of the High Council of the SRICF. I spent Thanksgiving in Hawaii with several members of my family.

In December, I attended the meetings of Tri-Valley College of the York Rite Sovereign College, St. Michael Conclave of the Red Cross of Constantine, Redemption Tabernacle of the Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests, and Salish Court of the Masonic Order of Athelstan. I spent Christmas with my family and I couldn't have asked for a better day. 

2024 is going to be a big year for me and I look forward to it all.

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Christmas Observance

Tonight I attended the Christmas Observance for Idaho Commandery No.1, Knights Templar of Idaho, and served as the Prelate. We had a great attendance with several Sir Knights, family, friends, Job's Daughters, and some DeMolay present. The Jobies read passages from the Bible about the Birth of Jesus and we sang some Christmas carols. Afterward, we had refreshments, but I couldn't stay long.

Saturday, December 2, 2023

The College, the Tabernacle, and the Conclave

Well, this weekend was one for the books. Saturday morning, Tri-Valley College No.178 of the York Rite Sovereign College of North America met and we had the Most Eminently Distinguished Governor General in attendance. This is the first time our College has been graced by the Governor General of our order. We also had the Grand Governors of both Idaho and Washington as well as the General Grand Scribe of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International in attendance.

After lunch, Redemption Tabernacle No.XL of the Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests held an Ingathering and initiated a new member. The Governor General also serves as the Most Eminent Grand Preceptor of the Grand College of America for the Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests. We also held elections and I was appointed as the VI Pillar for the Tabernacle.

Following the Tabernacle, St. Michael Conclave of the Red Cross of Constantine met where I presided. We had Knights Companion from three other Conclaves in attendance to include the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Idaho. My successor was elected and installed by the Intendant General of the Division of Idaho. Afterward, we adjourned to a restaurant where great food and fellowship was had by all. I thank to the Knights Companion for electing me and I wish my successor all of the best in his tenure.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! I am thankful for my life and for my family some of whom I am spending the day with in Hawaii. I am thankful for the servicemen and women who keep the peace and country safe. I am thankful for all of my Masonic Brothers dispersed around the world. God bless.

Sunday, November 12, 2023

2023 High Council

Another High Council has come and gone. It was a pleasure to see old friends and make new ones. As is customary, a few of us flew in a day earlier so we could tour a distillery. This year we visited Angel's Envy in downtown Louisville. Thursday evening a group of us had an excellent dinner at the Repeal Oak Fired Steakhouse (one of the best places I've ever eaten at).

Friday morning I attended some training in the morning and then it was time for the Opening Processional. I got upstairs and placed myself near the door when I was informed that I was to be introduced as the Commander-General of the Bath. I hadn't registered as a dignitary so this caught me by surprise and I thank the Most Worthy Supreme Magus for honoring me. The various Masonic organizations were well represented including the Grand Master of Hawaii and Prince Hall Grand Master of Hawaii. It was also great to see representation from our sister Societies in England, Scotland, and Portugal present at the meeting. At the business session, the members of the High Council approved the chartering of a College in Manitoba and the formation of a new officer called the Director of Studies. That afternoon we had presentations by the Supreme Magus of Scotland, then by a Past Junior Deputy Supreme Magus (and our new Director of Studies), and a Texas Frater. Friday night, I again had the greatest honor of conferring with two good friends the VIII° of the Society upon several worthy Fratres. After some were elevated to the IX°, I spent most of the night in the hospitality suite hosted by Kentucky and Alabama Colleges.

Saturday morning, the Supreme Magus installed new Chief Adepts to include the new one for Idaho. That role is being filled by my best friend and constant traveling companion Jeremy. The rest of the day was filled with more educational presentations on various esoteric and occult topics. They were excellent, to say the least.

After a fun night in the hospitality suite with friends and Fratres, I am now at the airport awaiting my flight home. Including my trip to Massachusetts, I have not been home in 10 days and I am ready to relax for a few days.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Veteran's Day

To all of my Brothers and Sisters of the Armed Forces, past and present, I wish you all a Happy Veteran's Day. God bless all of you and God bless the United States.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

The Cradle of Liberty

This last weekend I had the pleasure of traveling to the Boston area for work. Thursday night I flew in and, after checking in to my hotel, I went into downtown Boston where I took part in the Ghost and Gravestone Tour. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and got into her role.

After finishing work on Friday, I traveled to Lexington to visit the Scottish Rite Northern Masonic Jurisdiction Museum. I then took a tour of Buckman Tavern where the Colonials were staying before fighting the British on April 19, 1775. I walked the Minuteman Trail to Concord before driving up to Salem where I bought a ticket for the Boos and Brews Tour. 

I recovered Saturday night after work and got some needed rest. When I finished with work on Sunday I drove around Harvard, MIT, and Northeastern Universities before I walked around Boston and had dinner at Ye Old Union Oyster House then had a beer at the Bell in Hand Tavern and the Green Dragon Tavern.

On Monday I toured the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts and then walked the Freedom Trail. I started at the State House then went to the Granary Burying Grounds, Kings Chapel and Burying Grounds, Ben Franklin Statue, Old South Meeting House, Old Statehouse, Boston Massacre Site, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere House, Old North Church, Copps Hill Burying Ground, USS Constitution, and Bunker Hill.

Now I'm off to Kentucky for the annual meeting of the High Council of the Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Masonic Week 2024

The preliminary schedule of the 2024 Masonic Week has been released. It will be held from February 8-11, 2024, at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City near the Reagan National Airport.


Thursday, February 8, 2024

8:00 AM - Trinity Chapel No.2, Ye Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon

10:00 AM - Grand Master's Council, Ye Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon

Terry Plemons - Grand Master

John Elkinton - Grand Prior

Jeremy Vaughn - Grand Secretary

12:00 PM - St. Thomas of Acon Festive Board

1:15 PM - Sovereign Order of Knights Preceptor 

D. Allen Surratt - Grand Preceptor

Larry Tucker - Grand Recorder

1:30 PM - Order of Holy Wisdom, Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests

3:00 PM - Potomac Court No.107, Masonic Order of Athelstan

4:30 PM - Provincial Grand Court, Masonic Order of Athelstan

Bryce Hildreth - Provincial Grand Master

David Cashion - Provincial Grand Secretary

7:00 PM - Athelstan Banquet

9:00 PM Masonic Order of the Bath

Barry Newell - Commander-General

Bill Snyder - Keeper of the Bath Records

9:00 PM - Masonic Order of Pilgrim Preceptors

Jonathan Roberts - Grand Master

George Haynes - Regional Governor 

Alan Beidel - Regional Secretary 



Friday, February 9, 2024

7:00 AM - York Rite Sovereign College Breakfast

8:00 AM - Allied Masonic Degrees: Installed Sovereign Master

8:45 AM - Royal Order of the Red Branch of Eri: Knight Commander

9:00 AM - Ladies Breakfast 

9:00 AM - Grand Council of Knights Masons of the United States of America

James Winzenreid - Great Chief

David Cashion - Grand Scribe

12:00 PM - Knights Masons Luncheon

1:00 PM - Grand College of America, Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests

Bill Riggs - Grand Preceptor

Larry Tucker - Grand Registrar

3:00 PM - Grand College of Rites

Russell Bridges - Grand Chancellor

Chris Gamblin - Grand Registrar

4:30 PM Society of Blue Friars

Arturo de Hoyos - Grand Abbot

Mark Tabbert - Deputy Grand Abbot

Richard Fletcher - Secretary-General

5:30 PM - Allied Masonic Degrees: Worshipful Commander Noah 

6:00 PM - Allied Masonic Degrees: Installed Supreme Ruler 

7:00 PM - The Masonic Society Dinner

7:00 PM - CBCS Dinner

9:00 PM - Ye Antiente Order of Corks

Marion Humphreys - Grand Bung of the Americas


Saturday, February 10, 2024

7:00 AM - All Masonic Breakfast

8:00 AM - Royal Order of the Masonic Knights of the Scarlet Cord: First, Second, and Third Grades

9:45 AM - Royal Order of the Masonic Knights of the Scarlet Cord: Fourth Grade

10:30 AM - Philalethes Society

12:00 PM - Philalethes Society Luncheon

1:15 PM - Council of the Nine Muses No. 13, AMD

2:30 PM - Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees

W. Berry Rigdon - Sovereign Grand Master

Seth Anthony - Grand Secretary

2:00 PM - Ladies Tea 

6:00 PM - All Masonic Social Hour 

7:00 PM - All Masonic Banquet 

Sunday, February 11

8:30 AM - Washington Monument Assemblage

9:00 AM - Lodge of Menatzchim, V 

10:30 AM - Lodge of Harodim, VI 

12:30 PM - The Operatives Brunch

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Knight Commander of the Court of Honor

Today I had the pleasure of attending Honors Weekend for the Orient of Idaho of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction of the USA. This morning the 33° was conferred upon those worthy Brothers chosen for that great distinction. This afternoon the investiture of the Knight Commander of the Court of Honor was done in Boise for the entire Orient and among those chosen for this honor were the Junior Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Idaho and my dear friend and constant travel companion, Jeremy.

In the 12 years that I've been a Scottish Rite Mason, I had never attended the Honors Weekend so I learned a few things that I did not know before. The Knight Commander of the Court of Honor, or KCCH, was not a part of the Scottish Rite originally, but was instituted on May 5, 1870, during the governance of Albert Pike when he was the Sovereign Grand Commander. Like any honor should be, the KCCH is by invitation only and a recipient must have been a 32° for 46 months to be eligible for nomination. The nomination must be sent by the Orient's Sovereign Grand Inspector General or Deputy to the Supreme Council where they must cast a unanimous ballot.

It was established not as an additional degree, but as an honor for those 32° Brothers who had served the Scottish Rite well. The KCCH also serves as a pool for those to be selected for the 33° Honorary, but receiving the KCCH is by no means a guarantee that a Brother will receive the 33°.

The jewel of a Knight Commander of the Court of Honour is a 'Cross Patee Fitched' or a passion cross with fitched ends (see picture). The cross rests on a circle of gold laurel leaves. On the cross is a raised gold circular plate, with gold beads around the circumference. The plate is enameled in white. On the white plate is a green trefoil (a shape like a shamrock). Around the trefoil, in letters of gold are "KT:. COMM:. COURT OF HONOUR."

After being knighted by the Sovereign Grand Inspector General of Idaho, the recipients were all given their red cap which is meant to "symbolize that nobility of soul which is the parent of all knightly virtues."

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Joint York Rite Conference

Just got home from the first Joint Southwest-Northwest York Rite Conference. It was held on the weekend traditionally for the NW York Rite Conference, but it was held in Salt Lake City. York Rite Masons from Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, and Hawaii traveled into SLC on Thursday. Some of us attended the meeting of the Northwest Province of the Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon. The Grand Preceptor made some changes to officers and I look forward to working with the new Provincial Grand Secretary.

I enjoyed the Friday session with Chapter and Council where one presentation on membership was given by the Assistant Grand Secretary of California who is also the Deputy Grand Commander of Knights Templar of California. Saturday was all for the Knights Templar and presentations given by the Grand Encampment.

It was a pleasure to see old friends and make new ones.

Friday, October 13, 2023

William Wynn Westcott

Born on December 17, 1848, in Leamington, Warwickshire, England, William Wynn Westcott was the only child of Dr. Peter Westcott, but would be raised by his half-uncle (who was also a doctor) after his parents died before William was 10 years old. William was educated and attended University College in London where he earned a Bachelor of Medicine. After his education left London and worked with his half-uncle at his medical practice.

William was involved with his community and served in many capacities and appointments such as Factory Surgeon, Public Vaccinator, Medical Officer of Health, and Quartermaster to a Battalion of Volunteers.

On February 18, 1873, he was married to Elizabeth Burnett. Together they had four children and moved back to London in 1879. From 1879 to 1881, he seemed to have taken a sabbatical where he studied Kabalistic, Hermetic, Alchemical, and Rosicrucian philosophy and teachings.

In 1881, he was appointed Deputy Coroner for Central Middlesex and Central London. In 1894, he was appointed Coroner for Northeast London; he served in this position until 1918. In 1918, he moved to South Africa.

William Wynn Westcott was initiated into Parret and Axe Lodge No. 814 in Crewkerne (England) on October 24, 1871. Little is known about his advancement, but he served as the Lodge's Master in 1877. He was also a member of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076, the premier Lodge of Research in the world, and served as its Worshipful Master in 1893. He would also serve as Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies in Somerset and be awarded the rank of Past Junior Grand Deacon by the United Grand Lodge of England. 

In Capitular Masonry, he was exalted into the Chapter of Brotherly Love No. 329 on April 30, 1873, and served as the First Principal (equivalent to Excellent High Priest in the United States) in 1889. He would go on to be a Past Grand Standard Bearer of the Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England.

Unlike the US, Mark Masonry is a separate body in England. Westcott was advanced to Mark Masonry in William de Irwin Lodge No. 162 and served as its Master in 1887. He would serve as the Provincial Grand Senior Warden of the Mark Province of Somerset.

He is said to have joined the Order of the Temple or Knights Templar, but the dates are not known nor what offices he held, if any. This claim is disputed.

He joined the Ancient & Accepted Rite in 1875 and was promoted to the 30° in 1878.

He was a member of Rose and Lily Conclave No. 10 of the Red Cross of Constantine.

He was a member of the Royal Order of the Red Branch of Eri where he was instrumental in reviving and reorganizing the order, and served as its Grand Master and its senior Knight Grand Cross.

He was admitted to the Swedenborg Rite in 1876 where he served as Worshipful Master of Emanuel Lodge No. 1 and Junior Warden of Hermes Lodge No. 8 in 1886, District Senior Grand Warden and Supreme Grand Senior Deacon in 1877, Worshipful Master of Pythagorean Lodge of Instruction in 1887, and Supreme Grand Junior Warden and Supreme Grand Secretary in 1891.

Westcott joined the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (SRIA) on April 15, 1880, at Metropolitan College. He was admitted to the Grades of the Second Order on December 12, 1881. In 1883 he served as Secretary General of the Society. In 1889, he served as Celebrant of Metropolitan College, and in 1891 he was enthroned as Most Worthy Supreme Magus of the SRIA.

Westcott was targeted by anti-Masons of the age. In 1896, he was listed as the “Chief of English Luciferians” in a French anti-Mason publication called “Mémoires d'une Ex-Palladiste”. This was supposedly written by Ms. Diana Vaughan which of course was a pseudonym used by the hoaxer Leo Taxil.

Westcott was also a member of several non-Masonic esoteric societies like the Hermetic Society and Theosophical Society. The latter organization he advanced to the “inner circle.” But it was with another group that Westcott is highly remembered, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

In 1887 Westcott acquired a ciphered manuscript that proved to be a series of initiatory rituals. In working with his fellow Rosicrucian Frater, Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers worked the rituals into a workable form. He, Mathers, and Dr. William Robert Woodman (the then Supreme Magus of the SRIA) established the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in February 1888.

Being a public official (the Coroner), he was pressured into retiring from his public life as a member of the Golden Dawn and stepped down from his officer roles. There also seems to have been an internal dispute between him and Mathers who accused Westcott of being a forger and liar. Some speculate that it was Mathers who had informed Westcott's superiors of his involvement in the Golden Dawn to force him out of power. Mathers accuses Westcott of fabricating the documents authenticating the origins of the Golden Dawn. 

William Westcott died of Brights Disease (a kidney disease) on July 30, 1925, in Durban, South Africa. He was predeceased by his wife in 1921, both of his sons (1906 and 1907), and both of his daughters (1918 and 1924). While some of his life may be left in controversy, he was clearly a revered and respected Mason in his time and left a legacy with the Golden Dawn as well. While unknown to most Masons in the US, he was a contemporary of men like AE Waite, John Yarker, Theodore Reuss, and Albert Pike.


1. Dr. William Wynn Westcott. (n.d.). Retrieved from The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn: 

2. Gilbert, R. A. (1987, February 19). William Wynn Westcott and the Esoteric School of Masonic Research. Retrieved from ARS QUATUOR CORONATORUM: 

3. Parsell, H. V. (n.d.). Dr. William Wynn Westcott: An Appreciation. Retrieved from Societas Rosicruciana in America: 

4. Westcott, William Wynn. (n.d.). Retrieved from Occult World: 

5. William Wynn Westcott. (2016, August 14). Retrieved from Geni: 

6. William Wynn Westcott and the Esoteric School of Masonic Research: Appendix A. (n.d.). Retrieved from MasterMason:

Saturday, September 30, 2023

A Masonic Month

Well, September is done. For most of the US, September means the resumption of Masonic activity since most go dark for the summer (and hot) months. For me, September started with attending the Convent General of the Knights of the York Cross of Honor. This month had two Blue Lodge meetings, including celebrating the 113th Anniversary of my home Lodge, Oriental Lodge No.60 in Boise, and conferring two Third Degrees where I conferred one of them and gave the Third Degree Lecture to both. I also attended a Commandery of Knights Templar, the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Idaho, and the Masonic Order of Athelstan. 

I have been a member of the Masonic Order of Athelstan since 2015, but due to work and Masonic obligations, I haven't been able to attend a meeting in some time so it was nice to make it. The one I belong to is in Issaquah, WA, so I flew up as it would be over 9 hours of driving. The Court instructed (or initiated) 4 candidates and we voted on more. The installation of officers for the 2023-2024 year happened and I was appointed as the Captain of the Guard.

Now, I'm back home getting ready for a busy last quarter of the year.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Grand Lodge of Idaho

This weekend (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) was the 156th Annual Communication of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Idaho. It was the first time I was able to attend Grand Lodge since 2019 as my duties as Deputy General Grand High Priest required me to travel to the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Wyoming which often meets the same weekend.

Thursday morning, I and three other Sir Knights served as the Flag Bearers for the Opening of the Grand Lodge. Introductions were performed; there were visitors from Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, Arizona, Hawaii, and Paraguay.

We had 12 Resolutions this year that could be combined into 4 groups of resolutions: 1 was adding another certificate of proficiency for those wishing to serve as Masters of Lodges, 7 of them concerned amending and cleaning up our Penal Code, 3 concerned adding a Budget Committee and the procedures it would follow, and the last one wanted to allow lectures to be done through a video presentation. The only ones that were approved by the voting members of the Grand Lodge were those concerning the housekeeping of the Penal Code. All others were soundly defeated.

The first one, in my opinion, further muddied the waters. In Idaho, our Wardens must demonstrate proficiency in opening and closing a Lodge in all three degrees and pass the designated examination on Masonic Law. To serve as a Worshipful Master, a Brother currently needs a Full Worshipful Masters Certificate of Proficiency or an alternate Worshipful Masters Certificate of Proficiency (known as a "Secondary Worshipful Masters Certificate of Proficiency"). To gain full proficiency, one must have done everything in the Warden's Certificate as well as confer all three degrees, deliver the Masters Geometry Lecture in the Second Degree, serve as Master in the Second Section of the Third Degree, conduct a Stated Communication, deliver the First Degree Lecture, the Senior Deacons Lecture (often called "The Staircase Lecture") in the Second Degree, the Third Degree Lecture in open Lodge or before the District Deputy Grand Master of his District. An alternate certificate only requires one of the lectures instead of all of them. Some Lodges are struggling with getting Brothers to meet these standards and instead of mentoring they are trying to lower the bar.

Saturday morning, Masons and guests assembled at the Westgate Masonic Center, the new location for Boise Masonry, and performed a Cornerstone Dedication. I counted 94 people in the room and there were still several without the door that I wasn't able to get a good count on. I wore my Templar uniform and represented Idaho Commandery No.1 (one of the six owner bodies of the Westgate).

I want to congratulate Bro. H. Sherman Burger III, now Junior Past Grand Master of Idaho, for his year in the East and governing this Grand Lodge. I want to thank him for appointing me as Chairman of the Committee on Masonic Research and Education. I wish the best for the new Grand Master, Bro. Gary A.S. LaBruyere, and his officers. I've known Gary for some time and have served with him in several capacities in the Grand York Rite of Idaho where he has served as Grand High Priest of Royal Arch Masons of Idaho, Grand Master of Cryptic Masons of Idaho, and Grand Commander of Knights Templar of Idaho. I also wish the best of luck to the newly elected and installed Grand Secretary. Our last Grand Secretary decided to retire after 15 years of service and a Past Grand Master stepped into that position.

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Sovereign Great Priory

In “The Hierarchy of the Knights Templars”, I compared the officers of the American Templary to that of the medieval progenitors. I have recently started researching the officer line of the British Templars. Like other British Masonic organizations, they have a governing body broken up into provinces and down to the constituent or local bodies.

In American Templary, the constituent or local body is known as a Commandery, then a State (or countries for those outside of the US) it is a Grand Commandery that may fall under a Department, and then all authority is vested in the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar USA. American Templary comprises the three Orders of Red Cross, Malta, and Temple. In the British system, the basic organizational unit is the Preceptory which falls under a Provincial Priory and the governing authority is known as the Great Priory of the United Religious, Military, and Masonic Orders of the Temple and of St. John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta of England and Wales and its Provinces Overseas. Also, In the British system, the Order of Malta comes after the Templar order and is conferred in a Priory, not the Preceptory

A Preceptory of Knights Templar is presided over by an Eminent Preceptor and the following officers:


First Constable 

Second Constable




Deputy Marshal


First Herald

Second Herald

Standard Bearer (Beauceant)

Standard Bearer (Vexillum Belli or Banner of War)

Banner Bearer

Captain of the Guards



An Eminent Preceptor only needs to appoint a Chaplain, First Constable, Second Constable, Treasurer, Registrar, Marshal, Captain of Guards, and Guard. There could be a Pro Preceptor appointed if a Prince of the blood royal is elected and accepts being Preceptor. 

Most Preceptories fall under a Provincial Priory which is presided over by a Right Eminent Provincial Prior and the following officers:

Very Eminent Provincial Sub-Prior 

Eminent Provincial Prelate 

Eminent Provincial Chancellor 

Eminent Provincial First Constable 

Eminent Provincial Second Constable 

Eminent Provincial Treasurer 

Eminent Provincial Registrar 

Eminent Provincial Vice-Chancellor 

Eminent Provincial Marshal 

Eminent Provincial Deputy Marshal 

Eminent Provincial Almoner 

Eminent Provincial Herald 

Eminent Provincial Standard Bearer (Beauceant) 

Eminent Provincial Standard Bearer (Vexillum Belli) 

Eminent Provincial Banner Bearer 

Eminent Provincial Sword Bearer 

Eminent Provincial Aide-de-Camp 

Eminent Provincial Warden of Regalia 

Eminent Provincial Chamberlain 

Eminent Provincial Captain of the Guard 

Eminent Provincial Organist 

Eminent Provincial Guard

Every Provincial Priory shall be composed of the Provincial Prior, past and present officers, Preceptors, Past Preceptors, Constables of every Preceptory in the Province, and any Installed Preceptors who are members of a Preceptory within the Province. 

Some Preceptories do not fall under a Province and are referred to as Unattached Preceptories similar to our Subordinate Commanderies. These Unattached Preceptories report directly to the Great Priory, but they may also be grouped and overseen by a Group Inspector. 

Provinces, Groups, and Unattached Preceptories fall under the Great Priory, the supreme Templar authority headquartered in England. The Great Priory is presided over by the Most Eminent and Supreme Grand Master and the following officers:

Most Eminent and Supreme Pro-Grand Master

Very High and Right Eminent Great Seneschal

Very Eminent Great Prelate

Very Eminent Great Chancellor  

Very Eminent First Great Constable  

Very Eminent Second Great Constable  

Very Eminent Great Treasurer  

Very Eminent Great Registrar  

Very Eminent President Grand Masters Council

Very Eminent Group Inspector

Very Eminent Great Vice-Chancellor

Very Eminent Great Marshal

Eminent Deputy Great Vice-Chancellor  

Eminent Deputy Great Marshal  

Eminent Great Almoner  

Eminent Great Herald  

Eminent Great Standard Bearer (Beauceant)

Eminent Great Standard Bearer (Vexillum Belli)

Eminent Grand Masters Banner Bearer  

Eminent Great Sword Bearer

Eminent Deputy Great Registrar

Eminent Deputy Great Almoner  

Eminent Assistant Great Vice-Chancellor

Eminent Deputy Great Sword Bearer

Eminent Assistant Great Chancellor

Eminent Great Aide-de-Camp

Eminent Great Warden of Regalia

Eminent Great Chamberlain

Eminent Great Captain of Guards

Eminent Great Organist

Eminent Deputy Great Organist

Eminent Great Guard

For the purposes of rank, the Provincial Prior ranks after the Great Seneschal. 

The Great Priory is composed of the Preceptors and Constables of its constituent Preceptories, and all Great Officers must be Installed Preceptors. 

As I mentioned earlier, the Order of Malta is separate and comes last in English Templary, but is still tied in with the hierarchy. Every Templar Preceptory is also a Priory of Malta. In most cases, the officers are the same although it depends on the nature of the Preceptory and Priory (sometimes the Eminent Preceptor is not the Prior). For a Preceptor to be also be a Prior, he must be a member first which requires you to have been elected to membership in a Priory of Malta. It is interesting to see how much closer an American Priory of Malta and a British Priory of Malta are in terms of their officer titles versus that seen in Templary. 

A Priory is presided over by an Eminent Prior and the following officers:

Captain General

Lieutenant General

First Lieutenant

Second Lieutenant



Deputy Mareschal 








Captain of the Outposts


Just like the Knights Templar, a Provincial Priory is presided over by a Rt. Em. Prov. Prior. A Provincial Prior may appoint a Provincial Sub-Prior and officers corresponding to the Great Priory.

The Order of Malta is governed by the Great Priory and is presided over by the Most Eminent and Supreme Grand Master and the following officers:

Very Eminent Great Prior of Malta 

Very Eminent Great Captain General 

Very Eminent Great Lieutenant General 

Very Eminent Great First Lieutenant 

Eminent Great Second Lieutenant 

Eminent Great Sub-Prior of Malta 

Very Eminent Great Prelate 

Eminent Great Mareschal 

Eminent Great Hospitaller 

Eminent Great Admiral 

Eminent Great Conservator 

Eminent Great Baillie 

Eminent Great Turcopolier 

Eminent Great Chancellor 

Eminent Great Treasurer 

Eminent Deputy Great Mareschals 

Eminent Great Banner Bearer 

Eminent Great Sword Bearer 

Eminent Great Captain of Outposts 

Eminent Great Organist 

Eminent Deputy Great Organist 

Eminent Great Guard

The Great Seneschal, Great Chancellor, President of the Grand Masters Council, Great Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Great Registrar, and Assistant Great Chancellor have no ceremonial duties but rank as Grand officers of Malta. 

There are also two awards given to those who have earned them: the Knight Grand Cross of the United Orders (KGC) and the Knights Commander of the United Orders (KCC).

Also see: The Rite of Baldwyn


Knights of Malta. (n.d.). Retrieved from Mark Masons' Hall, London: 

Statutes. (2022). Retrieved from Great Priory of the United Religious, Military and Masonic Orders of the Temple of St. John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta of England and Wales and its Provinces Overseas:

Saturday, September 2, 2023

2023 Convent General

This Labor Day Weekend I had the pleasure of attending the 88th Annual Conclave of the Convent General of the Knights of the York Cross of Honor. I took a red-eye flight and arrived in the late morning, so I missed the tours to the Guthrie Scottish Rite Temple and the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. I grabbed lunch with a good friend from Alabama.

After dinner on Friday, we took a tour of the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial. It's a moving memorial and the Grand Master General was very knowledgeable on the subject. The rest of the night was spent hanging out with Knights from all over North America.

Saturday morning, the Annual Conclave was opened by Oklahoma Priory No.9 before the gavel was given to the Grand Master General. Normal business was taken care of, but one notable item of business is that four amendments were brought to the floor. These resolutions would update our Constitution and Bylaws, but will be carried over to next year. The four concern several updates including increasing the fees that the Convent General charges Priories.

The annual meeting of the York Cross of Honor Medical Research Foundation was held and included an update on the cancer research being done at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.

After a Memorial Service, the following officers were installed for the ensuing year:

Grand Master-General: Gary Miller

Deputy Grand Master-General: Jim McGee

Grand Warder of the Temple: Leland Burlison

Grand Treasurer-General: Reese Harrison

Grand Registrar-General: D. Allen Surratt

Grand Seneschal: Bart Henderson

Grand Marshal: Charles A. McCollum

Grand Sentinel: Chris Larsen

After some dinner with friends, now it's time to pack for my trip home in the morning. I hope everyone has a good Labor Day Weekend.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

2023 Triennial

The last few days have been one for the books and closes a chapter in my life. Saturday I traveled to Branson, MO, for the 72nd Triennial Convocation of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International and the 48th Triennial Assembly of the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International. Due to the weather, my flights were delayed and so I didn't arrive at the hotel until 1am, but luckily I was able to get some sleep and relax most of Sunday morning.

With Sunday afternoon came the Public Opening of both organizations where I was honored to serve as a flag bearer of the Federal Republic of Germany and the State of Arizona. After the Public Opening, the General Grand Chaplains led us in a Memorial Service for those Companions who have departed during this Triennium. After dinner, several of us went through the degree of the Cigar & Whiskey which is a fundraising effort of the Grand Council of Michigan for the Cryptic Masons Medical Research Foundation. As we went through that, Mother Nature gave us a great lightning show.

Monday morning, the Most Illustrious Grand Master of Missouri opened a Grand Council of Cryptic Masons and then had the officers of the General Grand Council have been escorted in and introduced. The Most Puissant General Grand Master then closed the Grand Council of Missouri and opened the 48th Triennial Assembly of the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International.

After the obligatory Masonic introductions of distinguished guests, the General Grand Master gave his allocation. Among the items needing action was the approval to grant a charter to the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters the Federated States of Brazil. Sadly, the dispensations for Germany and Paraguay were revoked.

The following Companions were elected to serve as officers for the General Grand Council:

William Snyder, General Grand Master-elect

Tom Taylor, Deputy General Grand Master

Keith Powell, General Grand Principal Conductor of the Work

Charles McCollum, General Grand Treasurer

Mark Irwin, General Grand Recorder

After the lunch, the Cryptic Masons Medical Research Foundation (CMMRF) Board meeting was held where there was a great presentation given. The General Grand Council officers for the 49th Triennium were then installed. Congratulations to Bill and I wish you the best of luck.

Monday night, there was an Aloha Banquet in honor of the outgoing General Grand Master who is a Past Illustrious Grand Master of Hawaii.

This morning the 72nd Triennial Convocation of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International was convened. After the allocation of the General Grand High Priest, there was a discussion on committee reports, but then we moved to elections and the following officers were selected:

Teko Foley, General Grand High Priest

Chad Burks, General Grand King

Reed Fanning, General Grand Scribe

Joe Kerr, General Grand Treasurer

Dick Browning, General Grand Secretary

Clyde Schoolfield, General Grand Trustee (9 Year Term)

John Logan, General Grand Trustee (3 Year Term)

The General Grand High Priest then named the recipients of the Distinguished Service Medal in Silver and in Gold for the Triennium. I am pleased to say that Most Excellent Companion Ron Birely of Colorado received the Silver Medal for the Northwest. I want to express my sincerest thanks to Steven Tiner for appointing me as Deputy General Grand High Priest for the 72nd Triennial and I wish Teko Foley and his officers the best in the next triennium. 

Now, I need to get some sleep before my flight home tomorrow.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Rocky Mountain SRICF Conference

Last weekend I attended the 2023 Rocky Mountain SRICF Conference in Las Vegas, NV. Normally, the SRICF College of that State would host the conference, but there is no College currently in Nevada so a few of us came together to plan and coordinate putting on this conference.

Friday night, a few of us had dinner and talked until the restaurant had to kick us out so the custodial staff could clean the place. Saturday afternoon, once the Rocky Mountain Masonic Conference was concluded, the SRICF Conference started with a practicum performed by Frater Jaime Lamb from Arizona College. After him, Frater Piers Vaughan, Junior Deputy Supreme Magus of the SRICF, gave a presentation on the Kabballah. The Fraters and some guests went and had dinner.

Sunday morning, Frater Piers opened Supreme Magus College and we conferred all four Grades of the First Order upon several worthy candidates from Nevada. We've laid the foundation for establishing Rosicrucianism permanently in Nevada and getting an SRICF College chartered. Now, I’ve flown across half the country and onto another work trip.

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Happy Independence Day

Happy Independence Day to all of my fellow Americans!

God bless our Founding Fathers!

God bless these United States!