2019 Southwest Regional Conference Recap
By Companion Jim Baum
Southwest Regional Depty General Grand Master
Southwest Regional Deputy General Grand Master
Dateline Las Vegas, Nevada, November 1st and 2nd, 2019, Southwest York Rite Conference. It started with the General Grand Chapter giving their updates in the morning. Lunch followed then the General Grand Council’s Right Puissant GG Recorder Stephen Balke presented an overview of the new tools and communication channels available from General Grand Council.
Most Illustrious Companion Dion Newhouse presented the premise that as a Grand Head of a York Rite Body you have spent a lot of time and effort to make York Rite better. The culmination of your time in office is "your" Grand Sessions. Topics covered were suggestions on how to make your Grand Session a success that you, your members, and visiting guests can be proud of, instead of a circus act that leads to failure to accomplish your work and goals.
Illustrious Companion Steve Goad put new light on the true origins of the Cryptic degrees, Scottish Rite, York Rite, France, Scotland, South Carolina, etc! Why have they persisted all these years since first being performed? Why is it important that they be preserved for future generations? In his presentation, he pointed out the true order of the degrees. Something we should all know and relate to our new members.
Then it came down to a discussion with the Right Puissant Deputy Grand Master Monty Glover. It was a frank discussion on the need for General Grand Council in the Grand Councils of the Southwest.
The high light was a presentation by Doctor Michael Murphy. Dr. Michael Murphy is one of the international leaders in the use of adult (non-embryonic) stem cells to treat vascular disease. His work at Indiana University would not be possible without the Cryptic Masons Medical Research Foundation. From stopping the need for leg amputation to preventing heart failure in cancer survivors, Dr. Murphy’s research covers a huge range of conditions. Hear him give an update on the CMMRF and his groundbreaking work at this year’s Southwest York Rite Conference.
At the banquet, two First responder medals were presented in the category of Law enfrocement. Illustrious Companions David Kussman and Lawrence “Gunny” Rodriguez. Didi Newhouse was the first winner of a ladies purse.
(Note: it was stressed this year that the Ladies need to be attended to. This was the start of having available to the Ladies events to make their stay more enjoyable. Next year promises to be even more catered to their enjoyment.)
Saturday was Grand encampment day stressing membership.
The York Rite Leadership Program is becoming a major part of the Regional. Young men and old are attending. Women have started to take advantage of the program. It appears in the future this may be the main focus of the Southwest Regional, a program that develops leadership skills.