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.

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