Regional Deputy Conference Call - September 27, 2021
Submitted by Stephen Balke, General Grand Recorder, Cryptic Masons International

General Grand Council Collar
Cryptic Masons International Collar
Photo Credit; MIC John Bridegroom
 

On September 27, 2021, a conference call was held with the Regional Deputies. A summary of the call is below.

Africa

  • TOGO: I organized the General Assembly of the Grand Cryptic Councils of TOGO on July 29, 2021. I took part in this Assembly or new officers are elected for the mandate 2021 to 2023. I will send you the date of their installation after the government gives us the authorization to meet again because of the evolution of covid-19 in TOGO.  The council activities are going well.

  • GABON: Their activities are going well. The General Assembly of their Cryptic Grand Councils will take place at the end of October where they will do the elections for the new Grand Officers to be installed. If I am going well, I will be in Gabon to attend this Assembly.

  • MADAGASCAR:  I haven't heard from them since the last ZOOM meeting. I will continue the process to speak with them and give you an update.

Asia/Pacific

  • PI
    • Circular - Areas where you are open - 
      • physical meetings will be required by limited to 30% of venue capacity.
        • Provide proof of vaccination
        • Submit an antigen test.
      • No Degree Work.
      • Other areas - virtual meetings only.
    • October 15-16, 2021 - York Rite Virtual Reunion
    • Earthquake - minimal damage.
  • ROC
    • Rise in infections in May
    • Government and people responded well - may be reducing restrictions.
    • Have not been able to reach Paul Gao
  • JAP
    • Planned to review restrictions next month.

Brazil

  • COVID - 
    • Amount of deaths reducing
    • Moving in a good direction
    • Vaccinations: ++ 1 MM/day - majority of adults have both, teenagers being vaccinated.
    • ICUs <20%
  • Grand Lodges
    • Authorized return to regular meetings and installations.
    • Worshipful Masters are encouraging Brethren to reunite.
    • Protocols are still in place - some people are still awaiting the 3rd dose.
  • High Degrees
    • Already working
    • Letter from GEKT, beginning of September.
    • Follow up from Department Commander
  • Cryptic Masonry
    • Letter of support to Grand Master of Sao Paulo from GGM well received.
    • Grand Council - 
      • Final process of registering.
        • 85% of taxes paid.
      • Getting back to work.
    • Rituals
      • Rituals being printed based upon updates from GGL - 27th Edition.
  • Portugal ties - discuss with RDGGM Europe and MIGM Portugal how to disambiguate.
    • GGM is working with the Portugal Grand Council to get a letter of clarification from MIGM.
  • RDGGM - Putting together a list of Grand Jurisdictions and Regularity - confederation(s) membership(s) - traditions practiced and recognized - and geographical boundaries.

Canada

  •  No report

East Central

  •  No report

Europe

  • Quiet
    • Travel restrictions - each country is different with different requirements.
  • Germany
    • Working and holding meetings - new candidates.
  • Greece
    • Election meeting - virtual.
      • New Officers - RDGGM will forward a list of the electees/appointees.
    • No festivals
    • ~March 2022 - Installation of officers/Grand Assembly
  • Italy
    • November 27, 2021
  • Portugal
    • ~March 2022

Latin America

  • COVID
    • Slowly opening up - 
  • Constituting Grand Councils
    • GGM and RDGGM are working together to get one trip for the Constituting, Election, and Installation of approved Grand Councils.
  • Mexico
    • Constituting - Estados Unidos (York Grand Council)
    • Opening up, state level working.
    • Grand Lodge - temples - restrictions in place for personal health.
    • Vaccinations are prevalent, PCR tests are required if not to use temples.
  • Central America
    • Constituting - Grand Council of Central America
    • Plans for Grand Charters and being Installed as Grand Council - Elections.
      • Guatemala situation being efforted by MIGM and MPGGM.
    • Vaccinations are prevalent, PCR tests are required if not to use temples.
  • Panama
    • 62% Vaccinated - allowing for opening for work and meetings.
    • Degree work active in Lodge - business meetings are on Zoom.
    • Saturday, October 2, 2021 - Cryptic Class for 2021
  • Columbia
    • Looking to open Cryptic Council in Columbia
      • Cartegena (moving to form)
      • Bogota (this year - 2022)
  • Ecuador
    • Constituting Subordinate Council - Quito No. 1
    • All are doing well, meeting
    • Guayaquil - communicating with the Grand Lodge of Ecuador.
  • Venezuela
    • Constituting Grand Council of Venezuela
    • Working with Grand Council UD - working and doing degrees
    • Promoting York Rite - working to implement Grand Commandery
  • Paraguay
    • Not much communication. They are currently working.
    • Very little vaccination.
    • Travel is being used by the affluent to go to Panama/USA for vaccinations.

Mid-Atlantic

  • October 22, 2021 - Mid Atlantic Regional Conference
    • Hosted by Maryland Grand Sessions - October 22-23, 2021
  • Virginia
    • Grand Chapter Annual Convocation - November 19-20, 2021
  • New Jersey
  • Delaware
    • Meeting regularly with social distancing and sanitization practices.
  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
    • Grand Sessions October 22-23, 2021

North Central

  • COVID - Meeting
  • Iowa - 
    • Meeting and some degree work.
  • Minnesota
    • One day in February - Council degrees.
    • Grand Officers meeting on Zoom monthly
  • Nebraska
    • Councils meeting - working on scheduling degree work.
  • North Dakota
    • Meetings are sparse, but occurring.
    • Good Grand Session - Tom Taylor in attendance.
  • South Dakota
    • Grand Session recently.
    • Practicing social distancing and mask utilization.
  • Wisconsin
    • No communication.
  • Regional Conference
    • October 23, 2021 - Registrations are being solicited.

Northeast

  • Northeast Conference was SUCCESSFUL!
    • Attendance was better than expected (+- 120)
    • Education/Leadership - Lower for initial course.
    • Good Program - Piers Vaughn, Mohammed Yatim, Chad Burks, GGC
    • Consolidated - Joint effort with all three (Regional/Regional/Department)
  • New York 
    • Grand Sessions - August 20-21
    • Getting back together - back to “normal” visiting, banquets, etc.
    • Submitted article and pictures to Decryption.
  • Tri-State Festival
    • October 9, 2021 - Saugerties, NY
    • Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York
  • Massachusetts
    • October 22-23, 2021
  • Generally
    • Meeting and planning or doing degree work in all states.
    • Grand Lodges are doing their meetings.

Northwest

  • Colorado
    • September 9,2021 - 
      • Virtual Zoom Grand Session - 
      • Well attended
    • September 11, 2021 
      • Hybrid Session
      • Awards, Council Business
      • James Crenner, Most Illustrious Grand Master
      • Tom Taylor in attendance.
  • Wyoming
    • September 16-18, 2021 - Grand Session
      • David Grindle in attendance.
      • FRR - Jamie Wingard - Lady Highway Patrol
      • OSV - James Rader
    • $790 for CMMRF from Grand Sessions.
  • Northwest Conference
    • Boise ID
    • October 15-16, 2021
    • GGC - 
  • Washington
    • Wenatchee - Festival for Council - October 29, 2021
  • Alaska
    • Commandery is open - no communication on Chapter or Council.

South Central

  • Successful South Central Conference!
    • Overland Park Kansas
    • Well attended - and finished fiscally responsibly.
    • Change - Hopeful in future that there isn't a choice in Chapter vs Council - wanted to attend BOTH! - so everyone can hear both.
    • Shreveport, LA 2022 - new format.
    • Raised over $3000 for CMMRF
  • Grand Council of Kansas - 
    • Thursday May 5, 2022 - Topeka, KS - Banquet - May 6, 2022
  • Closing out the year.
  • Louisiana
    • Grand Council Assembly - Last week of February.

Southeast

  • North Carolina - No report
  • South Carolina - 
    • Grand Lodge getting back on track.
  • Tennessee
    • Open and having meetings.
  • Mississippi - Prayers for hurricanes.
    • New guidelines for COVID - still meeting
    • Degree work in November
    • Local meetings by Leadership decision.
  • Florida
    • Meeting in person.
    • MIGM - District Zoom meetings.
    • State Festivals starting in October.
  • Georgia
    • Open for business.
  • Alabama
    • Meeting
    • Chair Degrees October 9, 2021 - Birmingham, AL Council meeting in the morning.

Southwest

  •  No report

General Grand Council

  • Clerk
    • Nice Shirt - Promoting the Aloha Shirt.
  • AGGR
    • Great to be here.
  • GGR
    • Ambassador program changes overview. Putting them to work with the MWGMs of their jurisdictions and promoting the “to and through” programs with local bodies of the Masonic Family.
    • Programs Overview video - YouTube and Decryption this week.
  • GGPCW
    • October - Reagent Month - Dr. Murphy - IU has apparatus, needs 75K per year for reagents to process stem cells.
      • 75K - 150 validations.
      • Stem cells from body - validated.
    • Annual - $500K
      • $250K Current