Submitted by Illustrious Companion Will Highsmith, Cryptic Masons International Technology Committee
North Carolina Grand York Rite Table at Grand Lodge
Photo Credit: Genesis Group Photography
This year, I am serving as Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of North Carolina. I decided it would be a good idea to have some kind of presence at our Grand Lodge meeting which was in September of 2023. We had two purposes in mind: 1) Promote the York Rite to Master Masons who might be interested in joining and 2) Sell several items that we had for fundraising for our charities. We were able to get a table in the vendors area about a month before the event, and then we started the planning process. There are a few things that we did and learned along the way worth sharing.
The first step was to figure out what hours the booth would be open. One hour shifts were setup, and a form from signupgenius.com was used to obtain two volunteers per hour. The form was posted on the Grand Chapter Facebook Page and e-mailed to the Grand Officers and Subordinate Body Secretaries. Unfortunately, we found out at the last minute that the booth needed to be open one day earlier than previously communicated. Another solicitation was sent out and fortunately we had a few Companions step up to help us that day.
As part of the planning process, promotional items, ink pens and wood nickels, were ordered from a company and handed out to Brothers attended Grand Lodge. The pens had the words Grand York Rite of NC and the web site address printed on them. They only allowed us to customize one side of the wooden nickel so one side had the general four York Rite Body logo, and for the other side, I selected the words TUIT since when discussing the York Rite with Master Masons a common answer is they will join one day or when they get around to it.
I also reached out to the General Grand Chapter and General Grand Council for information that we could hand out to potential Companions. I was able to a few different pamphlets from General Grand Chapter and General Grand Council provided an electronic document that I printed. There is also a pamphlet on the Grand Encampment web site. Additionally, I printed a few copies of a timeline of the York Rite Degrees with summaries to hand out to Brothers who were extremely interested and use in discussions. I also made cards that Brethren who wanted to be contacted by a local body could fill out so we could get them in contact with their local York Rite Body. See the resources section below for some of these.
During the event, we interacted with Master Masons that came by the booth. We handed out about 200 wooden nickels and 120 ink pens, and the remaining ones will be given out at our Grand Session in March and to local bodies for promotional use. We collected 48 contact cards from Master Masons who are interested in getting involved or re-involved. It ended up being pretty successful, and we sold many of our items for charity.