by Monty Glover, Deputy General Grand Master
Hauʻoli Makahiki Hou (Happy New Year) Companions!
Welcome to a New Year with new beginnings. It’s an exciting time with exciting challenges ahead of us all in Cryptic Masonry.
I would like to share what I have been up to since the Triennial session.
The week following the Triennial I attended the Northeastern Regional Conference in Albany New York. I had the honor to represent the General Grand Master, who was under the weather, for the conference and could not attend the actual meeting. I’m here to speak plainly and openly about the challenges and opportunities facing us not only in the Northeastern region but in all of Cryptic Masonry. We had a frank and open dialog about what was going on in the Region. One of the many positive high points was the exciting new educational program being rolled out by the Grand Council of New York. It’s my hope that we will be able to get Most Illustrious Banks to write an article of this newsletter that describes their program.
The week following, I attended the South Central Regional in St. Louis. Again, I was met with warm fraternal welcomes by all the companions. I listened to what was happening in the region beside General Grand PCW, Bill Snyder. One of the great surprises from the regional was the viewing of two outstanding videos produced by Companion Robert Davis which exemplified the introduction material of the two Cryptic Degrees. These are intended to be used for education purposes while also being authorized in your Jurisdiction as a possible replacement from the degree prologs. It’s my belief that these video prologs will promote interest on the part of the candidates as well as inspire those exemplifying the degrees to perform at their best. These videos, as well as videos for the Chapter Degrees and the Commandery Orders, are available from Companion Davis. I have seen and purchased all of them and I must say they are well worth the investment.
In October I had the honor and pleasure of attending the Grand Sessions of the Philippines Grand Bodies in Manila. The Session was well attended and the companions treated me with great respect. I was touched to be presented with two tailor made Barong Tagalog (a type of formal shirt) specially designed for the Cryptic Masons. I also had the honor to be the installing officer for the Officers of the Grand Council. I know it will be a great year for these dedicated Companions.
I closed out October attending the North Central Regional Conference. Again, the frank and open discussions continued with much discussion about new education programs being rolled out in the various Jurisdictions. Something I heard, from one companion that really made me feel good, was that the Council session was the most beneficial of the three at the Regional. This is something I never expected to hear but did give me the feeling we were on the right track.
I wrapped up the regional conferences with the South Central Region. It was a pleasure to see old friends and make new ones among the outstanding companions of the Southwestern Conference. As the Grand Master took the lead at this conference I’ll leave him to share the insights from that conference. This was, however, the first opportunity that the Three Sr. Officers and the chair of our Technology committee, Stephen Balke, were all together since the Triennial. We spent long hours there outside of the regional meetings discussing the ongoing plans for the General Grand Council and how to bring them to fruition. Not a second was wasted.
As you know one of the main focuses of the General Grand Council this Triennial is to improve communication both from the General Grand and also up from the constituent Grand Councils and the Councils reporting directly to the General Grand Council. Communication is key to the success, not only for the success of this Triennial, but for all succeeding Triennials. The elected officers of your General Grand Council have been working very well together as a team. We discussed openly and frankly regarding where we can improve as well as how we can best meet the needs of those who have entrusted us with this great responsibility. All of us are taking it very seriously and the teamwork I have experienced is heartening. The introduction of the new website along with the weekly newsletter are perfect examples of the fruits of not only the labors of the leadership of the General Grand but also the team of companions dedicated to making Cryptic Masonry something we can all be very proud to be a part of.
As with all new beginnings there will be stumbling points, reexaminations, processes and priorities. I have full confidence that Most Puissant Grindle and his corps of officers will approach them with decorum and zeal.
I am humbled and proud that you have placed your confidence in me personally. I will do all in my power to serve you with honor and integrity. I will always be honest and direct in what I think and welcome all to challenge me in those thoughts while working with me to come to solutions for the challenges we all face. I wish you all the happiest of New Years and may all your new beginnings be full of light.
A Hui Ho, until we meet again,
Deputy General Grand Master