Regional Deputy Conference Call - June 8, 2020
Submitted by Stephen Balke, General Grand Recorder, Cryptic Masons International
Cryptic Masons International Collar
Photo Credit; MIC John Bridegroom
On June 8, 2020, a conference call was held with the Regional Deputies. A summary of the call is below.
- Triennial Assembly – September 2020
- Still planned for in person meetings – tours will be dropped. Same room rate. Will be at the Galt House Hotel. Free parking, free shuttle.
- Preparing for alternatives and having a backdrop plan for electronic meetings – but still on.
- Will reservations be moved and new confirmations sent? – David and Committee
- Regional Conferences
- GEKT went completely electronic – NE, SC, MA, NW, NC, SW.
- York Rite Leadership – 101 and 201 should be underway.
- GLNY – No Masonic meeting participation including electronic.
- SC has reserved Zoom conference for dates through GGC.
- NW – SK Ben Williams is supposed to be Host this year – if Council and Chapter then the arrangements for coordination need to be made. 17 October 2020 – staying at hotel. *How many people would plan on attending? – Wayne Long.
- NC – Planned in person – 23-24 October, 2020.
- SW – Planned in person – Zoom confirmed for GEKT, Zoom backdrop plan. *Please get a feel for the Craft and its target – Jim Baum and Jason Varner.
- Current Status from General Grand Council
- Assisting and investigating technology for online meetings and ballots.
- Regional Updates
- Africa – Togo – 3-4 July 2020 – General Assembly is postponed to a later date due to government restrictions. Same in Gabon, but Gabon is scheduled for September. Zoom is possibility for Annual Assembly.
- Asia Pacific – Philippines – relaxing restrictions in Pacific and Asia – travel is still discouraged, medical clearances must be received. Grand Lodge is encouraging electronic communications, but not in person. Government has recently (Taiwan) lifted gathering but not traveling restrictions. Opening with less than 9 Companions, planned Festival for 4th of July. Grand Sessions in Manila on 16-17 October 2020 – still planned in person. Will keep us updated. Japan – High Priest cancelled – resuming sessions in September.
- Central America – Each country is reacting differently. Panama is on full lockdown. Don’t foresee air transportation opening until after August. Grand Lodge is all virtual – many kinds of electronic acceptable, Grand Lodge Annual Communication happening Wednesday 10 June 2020. Venezuela Illustrious Grand Master resigned for personal reasons, Deputy, MIC Domingo Castellanos Herrera, took over. Oswald got a flight to Mexico – finally after over a month of being stuck.
- East Central – Slowly opening back up. Ohio and Michigan are loosening up – in accordance with declarations by the Governors. Hopefully by mid-August will be allowed to have in person sessions. Indiana is 17-18 July – only one person from each Council is invited, no visitors. Michigan is still on 19-22 August. Kentucky is 16-18 September 2020. Steve will try to get ahold of Companions Stamford and Jones.
- Europe – Europe is status quo – relaxing lockdown at this point, no measure on what the results will be. Germany talking with the bank about missing funds – also need the Constitution and petition documentation to move forward. Italy is being negotiated by Gheorghe – investigations and participation ongoing. Other countries are awaiting the process of loosening the restrictions. Will follow up with Greece and Portugal.
- North Central – Iowa Session will be in August at the Scottish Rite, Commandery in July. Minnesota, 26-27 June 2020 (Council 1:00 PM on the 26th). South Dakota, Officers remaining, no Assembly, but a virtual conference is being discussed. North Dakota tried to do electronic working with RIC Dennis Newman, will follow up with MIC David and RIC Leo. Wisconsin is still deciding path forward for Sessions.
- Northeast South – Nothing new. Maryland mid-year cancelled, looking forward to October, will follow up.
- Northeast North – Reported from the Grand Recorders Conference call.
- South America – Will follow up with Kennyo – Steve Balke
- South Central – Officially a virtual meeting for the York Rite Conference. Friday will be Chapter and Council. Schedule is forthcoming. 2021- Coming back to Kansas for the 17-18 September 2021. Will continue state by state. Missouri – WebEx 10:00 AM 13 June 2020. Arkansas Grand Session in question due to Grand Lodge Bylaws.
- Southeast – SE Conference cancelled. No word from Mississippi. All other states have had their Grand Sessions except for North Carolina, Maggie Valley is cancelled. Florida is open to Masonic activities within the confines of the Governor’s stated rules. Ladies activities are cancelled until September.
- Southwest – New Mexico and California 20 June 2020; California 10:00AM PDT, New Mexico 09:00 AM MDT. Arizona is working on virtual, but has cancelled hotel. Nevada is staying in place but having a virtual meeting. Utah is virtual on 1 August 2020 for Grand Assembly.
- GGPCW – Communication is key to the preservation exemplified by Masonry for the last millennium.