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The Sword and Trowel Grand Council of Cryptic Masons of California Most Illustrious Companion Richard W. Williamson, KYGCH 153rd Grand Master Cryptic Masons March 2014

Volume 1 No. 3

Richard Williamson, Illustrious Grand Master ........ 2

Contact Information ............................................. 6

David L. Chesebro, Deputy Grand Master............ 2

Officers: Grand Council Cryptic Masons .............. 7

Brett Mac Donald, Grand Principal Conductor of

Day at the Races .................................................. 8

the Work .............................................................. 3

Grand York Rite Sessions & Information…….…..9

Cryptic Masons Medical Research Foundation..... 4 CMMRF: Donations up, but Down ....................... 4 Illustrious Grand Master Itinerary ....................... 4 Grand York Rite Sessions .................................... 4 Encompasser ....................................................... 5 Order of the Purple Rose ...................................... 5

Richard Williamson, Illustrious Grand Master COMPANIONS:

I want to share with you an introductory paragraph from an article in the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International, The Cryptic Freemason.*

“Upon the honored shoulders of him who has been elected to preside over a Council of Royal & Select Masters as Master, a mantle of responsibility descends. The task of leading & directing many Select Companions is a task well worth the serious consideration of all Illustrious Companions”. To lead & not to command, to instruct & not to create disloyalty, to love & to be loved, is the crowning duty of every Master of a Cryptic Council.”* I feel the weight of this duty on my old shoulders & the joy in my heart. I hope each Illustrious Master shoulders this awesome duty & shares this joy. *The Cryptic Freemason, Vol. 2, Issue 9, pg 4. “Master and Priest” from “The Silver Trowel” by John Raymond Shute, P.G.M. Information Overload Reading through material trying to find inspiration for this Month’s Grand Council’s Sword &Towel I have concluded that I (we?) am not only swamped in printed publications but especially “available on the computer ”material. Visitations of Councils I have visited, either individually or in a reception almost all 36 Councils of the Grand Council of California. I recently missed an invite from Visalia to visit them, but have a make-up planned for March 25 at their regularly stated meeting. Those Councils & Companions who I have not had the pleasure of “greeting”, still have two months & I will make every effort to come to see you. Nothing “fancy” is needed, just your companionship. “Call me”…. Richard Williamson MIGM. 50 Year Pin In February, I had the pleasure of participating & presenting a fifty year pin (my first presentation) to Companion Robert Daniels, IPM of Palo Alto Council #51, in a courtesy ceremony by Gateway Council #13 in Auburn. Because Companion Daniels is now living in Northern California foothills, Council #51 Recorder William E. Ellison, IPM, contacted his Department 1B Grand Officer, Hank Clayton, Grand Captain of the Guard. Present were members of #13, Department 2 Grand Officer Robert Morrison, Page 2 of 10

Grand Officer Hank Clayton & myself & the recorder of #51. The 50-year member’s wife Shirley was there to attach the 50 year pin to his lapel. I must commend Palo Alto recorder, Companion Ellison, for traveling all alone from Palo Alto, to honor his companion. This dedicated recorder, not only gave great effort to set up the 50 year presentation, but then traveled over 200 miles (RT) to be present. Such a Companion!! Results of this ceremony are Companion Daniels will be attending Council meetings & several of his companions in Council will be picking him up to go to Council. A Day at the Races for the Council Saturday March 29 A degree for two candidates at 8 a.m. and then fun, food and fellowship as we watch ponies run and enjoy a wonderful buffet in “the Box” at the Golden Gate Fields. See the flyer at end of the Sword and Trowel. In Conclusion Ok, my Companions, I close my comments. Please read on to the comments from Grand Companion’s David Chesebro & Brett MacDonald. Make note of our 3rd place position in 2013 donations to CMMRF. Do you know about the Order of the Purple Rose? Read on. MIGM RWW

Sincerely and Fraternally, Richard Williamson, KYGCH

David L. Chesebro, Deputy Grand Master What are “you” going to do about it?

A member of Channel Coast Council No. 114, Allied Masonic Degrees, sent an email to a number of his companions this morning. That is not unusual as Companion Nigel sends his fellow York Rite leaders, & probably others, many interesting & informative articles & writings about our fraternity. However, this email was very different. Instead of discussing some aspect or history of a degree, or the development of the different rituals found across the continents, it was an alarm about the declining state of York Rite Masonry in California & a plea to find a way to address the problem. The same concern was very simply & profoundly presented by the Most Illustrious Grand Master of Cryptic Masons of New Mexico in his very simple & concise message to the 2013 Grand Council sessions in Arizona last August. Most Illustrious Companion Mark Oldknow said in two very short sentences in his address: “York Rite

“Sword and Trowel” a publication of Grand Council Cryptic Masons of California

Masonry is losing members at a very rapid rate. What are you going to do about it?” The operative term in Mark’s address is “you.” The word “you” carries both a singular & plural meaning. I am certain that the “you” that Mark used is plural. I truly believe that he was addressing every single York Rite Mason that was present as well as every York Rite Mason from every jurisdiction that was represented at those Arizona Grand Sessions. Changes must take place to reverse the declining trend in membership must be implemented by the plural “you” that make up the membership of the individual councils. We must understand, as well, that the individual councils cannot do this alone. The “you” that make up the leadership of your Grand Council, & other York Rite bodies, must lead the way for changes to take place. One of the items discussed at the California Grand Council strategic planning retreat in November was membership. At the retreat, your Cryptic Mason leadership set goals to increase the awareness of York Rite Masonry, provide leadership training to the members, & develop stronger localized assistance to the constituent councils to help them create their own membership development programs. Although these changes are in their infancy, the entire progressive line of the Grand Council will be committed to the development of the membership through their long term involvement & that of the Membership Committee of the Grand Council. They are committed to implementing a lasting & effective program for increasing the membership & providing quality programs to maintain the member’s interest in our California York Rite. Developing membership is just one of the issues on the plate for Grand Council leadership in the coming months & years. Other items set for discussion & change are finances, ritual, communication, & promotion of our charity the Cryptic Masons Medical Research Foundation.

Brett MacDonald, Grand Principal Conductor of the Work Beating the bushes The Charter of a Council authorizes our usual business meetings, but it’s most important facet is it allows each Council to confer the degrees & greet new Royal & Select Masters. We are of course handicapped in that we may only invite Royal Arch Masons to join our Councils. Therefore, we have the duty to present information on all three bodies. Currently, Grand Lodge desires that all Lodges offer Masonic education at their meetings. This is our golden opportunity as we can offer to visit Lodges & present our York Rite story. Masons will learn with the Royal Arch degrees we will learn the lost Master’s word. They will hear of the beauty & lessons of our Royal & Select Masters degrees. They will learn our Knights Templar Orders are one of a few Masonic organizations that are Christian in nature. ht_in_the_york_rite.pdf, will give you many ideas to incorporate into your talk. We also must reach many Lodges not just in the Masonic center where your bodies meet. Consult Grand Lodge website to locate all Lodges in your area: cator.htm. Our Grand York Rite website also has a listing of upcoming festival classes at http://www.yorkriteofcalifornia. org/Event_Page.html. Additionally, you can also consult the Encompasser for more history & information on York Rite at sues.html. Hopefully we’ve given you a few tips to increase the membership of your Council. Over the next few months we will be creating some additional tools to make your job easier.

There is much on the agenda for your statewide leadership, & there is much on the agenda for our constituent councils, their leadership & members. You should demand much of your Grand Council leadership as your Grand Council leadership will be demanding much of the plural “you” in the very near future.

Grand Line Plans – Long Term

Improving the York Rite in California will require a team effort at all levels of our organization.

This newsletter addresses the fact that we need to communicate better & more often with the Officers & members of our Councils.

What are “you” going to do about it? Fraternally, David L. Chesebro Page 3 of 10

This past November your Grand line held a long range planning meeting at the Covina Masonic Home. We spent the weekend creating a vision statement, identifying strengths & weaknesses & setting goals.

Another goal we set was to double membership over the next ten years. This is not a goal the Grand Officers can attain without the support & help of the membership. We can however develop “Sword and Trowel” a publication of Grand Council Cryptic Masons of California

programs to assist you with increasing your Council member-ship. One program which has been available over the past several years is the Carlos Gonzales Method. It is really simple & has served well in making Carlos’ Council, Omega No.11 the largest in the state. At its core are the simple tasks of asking Masons to join & having a petition ready. One of the things that are necessary is for your Grand Council to prepare an up to date brochure about Cryptic Masonry & get that information into each member’s hand. Another step we will take is to develop a Lodge Ambassadors program to visit local Councils & explain York Rite to the members. One of the positives we discussed was the fact that our Councils are a closely knit group of Masons who support & encourage each other. I attended the Installation of Omega Council this month & the newly installed Illustrious Master noted that their Council was a “cozy group” even though its membership exceeds 500. This support & encouragement is one of the positive selling points you can use to promote Cryptic Masonry to the Masons you meet. Fraternal Regards, Brett Mac Donald

informs us that California’s donations placed us third in the nation. Florida was number 1 with $28,438.06, followed by Indiana, as number 2 with $24,773.58, and followed not so closely was California with $20,218.00. I know we can do much better, let’s work together to make this happen. MIGM Dick Williamson says: “We were Number 1 for years. What has happened? I gave my monetary gifts from the Councils and so did Judy. I see very few Councils’ have donated. Those who did send in contributions have been most generous. Remember, we do not make a mandatory contribution like so many of our other Masonic groups for their charity. I hope each Council puts this in their budget and makes a special effort to raise funds for this exciting and important charity. “ Sincerely & Fraternally Fredrick J. “Tiny” Potter, MIPGM

Illustrious Grand Master Itinerary 

March 02: Masonic Service Bureau Breakfast Los Angeles March 15: Grand York Rite Officer’s Conference March 30: Grand Rainbow Assembly, Fresno April 10th, 11th, & 12th, Grand York Rite of Oregon April 17th, 18th, & 19th, Grand York Rite of Idaho

Cryptic Masons Medical Research Foundation

  

CMMRF links for your personal research for information concerning Cryptic Masons Medical Research Foundation (Saving Lives & Advancing Medicine). Please review them, at your leisure, & see for yourself the advances caused by your generous donations.

 MRF_02_11_03.pdf

Grand York Rite Sessions

 nnial_CMMRF_Report.pdf  rf_handout_10_2010.pdf  _California_CMMRF_Talking_Points.pdf  _CMMRF_Presentation_Southwest_Region_Distrib ution.pdf 

CMMRF: Donations up, but Down California Grand Council’s CMMRF program Chairman, MIPGM Fredrick J. “Tiny” Potter, Page 4 of 10

For the latest schedule details: r.html

Companions who are serving as Illustrious Master heard in their installation that “It is his (IM’s) privilege and duty, together with the Deputy Master and the Principal Conductor of the Work, to attend the meetings of the Grand Council, either in person or by proxy; and the well-being of the Council requires that this duty should on no occasion be omitted.” Registration form on page 8 with information on page 9. (Attributed to the Workman) Your Executive Committee for the 2014 Grand York Rite Sessions is diligently at work on the plans for the Grand York Rite Sessions. Although the Sessions are not until May 17th through May 21st, 2014; planning occurs year round. The schedule & the registration form are now available on the website.

“Sword and Trowel” a publication of Grand Council Cryptic Masons of California

A word about the Souvenir Program Ad request form. One of the challenges that we faced last year was receiving many of our ads after the deadline. There is a great deal of planning & associated revenue & expense projections involved. Mason volunteers, your Brothers & Companions, do all this work in their spare time. Please try to help them. Installations in December & January are a great time to get your pictures for the program. Without the Ads it would be impossible to fund the sessions so please place your ads & do so early. We are reviewing the successes from past & considering some fresh ideas. Grand Sessions is open to all York Rite Masons & their Ladies, not just presiding officers who obligated their attendance. Please encourage everyone in your Chapter, Council, & Commandery to attend this year. We want this to be most successful year ever. This year we will have two fun degrees. The first is the Order of Zanzibar & it is open to all Masons. It is a light hearted fun degree that raises funds for the Cryptic Medical Research Foundation. The second is for our ladies, we will be conferring the Royal Arch Widow’s degree, this is an opportunity to show the ladies how much we appreciate them & their attendance at our sessions, any proceeds will go to the Royal Arch Research Assistance Fund. And one final thought on booking the hotel rooms on time, through the regular registration process, & at the GYRS rate by identifying yourself as a ‘Grand York Rite Sessions’ attendee, if you speak to the hotel directly, this is much more important than you may realize. We are contractually obligated to meet a certain number of room nights in exchange for thousands of dollars in “concessions” from the hotel. This includes the use of the many rooms, & ballrooms that house our registration, many side meetings, degree conferrals, drill team competitions, hospitality suites, the Grand Recorder’s office, & so much more. You are doing your part in making California’s Grand Sessions the premier program that it is. No other state can boast the quality & depth of program that we put together every year. Booking after the deadline or outside of our block could put us in a situation that, quite frankly, we can’t afford. Looking forward to seeing you there! and on the left of the home page, click ENCOMPASSER. Then click the big green ENCOMPASSER PUBLICATIONS. You now can read present and past issues. Check out the new format available – you can now read the Encompasser online! No need to even print it out. Many thanks to our webmaster, Excellent Companion Richard Thornton, for his efforts in applying this technology to our needs!

Order of the Purple Rose For the Special Lady(ies) in your Council In an obscure corner of The Constitution of the Most Illustrious Grand Council of Cryptic Masons of the State of California lies a jewel of a standing resolution. Standing Rule X (pg. 47) reads: The Grand Council hereby establishes a meritorious service award for ladies to be known as the Purple Rose, the rules granting this award to be as follows. 1. The award shall be in the form of a certificate to be provided by the Grand Council for the cost of printing the form & handling. 2. Each Council may make a maximum of two (2) awards per calendar year. 3. The lady’s eligibility is based on service to the Council for four (4) or more years, determined by the constant giving of her unselfish time & service for the betterment of the Council & its members. 4. The lady selected to receive this award shall have been selected by any member who feels that a lady deserves. The selection of the candidate for the award shall have the approval of the Council presenting the award. The lady’s name(s) selected as candidate(s) for receiving the award shall be forwarded to the Grand Recorder for preparation of the certificate. The Grand Recorder will send the award to the Council Recorder for presentation.

Encompasser Do you Read and Know about the The Encompasser: a quarterly publication of the Grand York Rite of California. It had been available by subscription which covered mailing, but is now available on line on the Grand York Rite of CA website. Go to York Rite of California: Page 5 of 10 “Sword and Trowel” a publication of Grand Council Cryptic Masons of California

Contact Information Illustrious Grand Master Cryptic Masons: Companion Richard W. Williamson, KYGCH Most Illustrious Grand Master Cryptic Masons of California 1555 E. Tabor Avenue, Fairfield CA 94533-2711 707/ 425-2045 Grand Secretary: Ken Hope 11428 E. Artesia Blvd, #13 Artesia, CA 90701-3872 (562) 924-6500 (W) (562) 484-1611(C) Editor: Richard E. Thornton (209) 747-9518 (C) Website:

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“Sword and Trowel” a publication of Grand Council Cryptic Masons of California

Officers: Grand Council Cryptic Masons We, as officers of the Grand Council of Cryptic Masons, are here to assist you, Please call upon us. 153rd MOST ILLUSTRIOUS GRAND MASTER Richard W. Williamson (29) Judy (707) 425-2045 cell (707) 410-6475 1555 East Tabor Ave, Fairfield 94533-2711

GRAND ORATOR Geoffrey P. Holbrook (60) Courtney GRAND MARSHAL (North) Guy M. Chalmers (46) Jeanne GRAND MARSHAL (South) Eduardo Estrada (11) Natasha GRAND SOLOIST K. Mark Harris (12)

DEPUTY GRAND MASTER David L. Chesebro (38) Sarah

GRAND MUSICIAN Mark H. Rose (46)


GRAND BIBLE BEARER John E. Trauner (62) Dana

GRAND TREASURER Frederick J. “Tiny” Potter MIPGM (15) Donna

GRAND STANDARD BEARER Harold D. Leister (17)

GRAND RECORDER Kenneth G. Hope, HMIPGM (35) Sonny GRAND DIRECTOR OF RITUAL Kenneth G. Nagel (20) Kathy GRAND CHAPLAIN (North) Leland G. Routt (10) Leslie GRAND CHAPLAIN (South) Charles A. Rodey II (15) Margaret GRAND CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD Henry Clayton Jr. (29) Maxine GRAND CONDUCTOR OF THE COUNCIL William E. Price (2) Janet GRAND STEWARD Lee P. Whelan (59) Teresa GRAND SENTINEL William S. Dann (37) Anne Page 7 of 10

Have you gone to our Grand Council website lately? Do you know that there you can find rosters of officers, forms that you need, and a complete copy of the Officers Guide. The Officers guide helps you plan and know what is expected you.

Clothes Line Jackets for our York Rite bodies continues to be available-MP.ENTERPRISES. The price for red & blue is great -- $75.00 plus tax & shipping, for sizes 34 to 49 in short, regular & tall; & $87.00 plus tax & shipping for sizes 50 to 60, also in short, regular, & tall. Purple Jackets are little more expensive at $95.00 for the smaller & $107.00 for the larger. Available are Men’s & ladies’ vests, tuxedos & shirts, pins, patches, flags, & OES T-Shirts. Contact Max Luy at (510) 527-5728, or cell: (510) 502-3224; or email at

“Sword and Trowel” a publication of Grand Council Cryptic Masons of California

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“Sword and Trowel” a publication of Grand Council Cryptic Masons of California

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“Sword and Trowel” a publication of Grand Council Cryptic Masons of California

2014 Grand York Rite Sessions May 17th to May 21st, 2014 – Bakersfield, CA Please send page 1 of this form and payment to: CA-GYRS 6431 Valley Hi Dr. Sacramento, CA 95823-4838 Reservation forms postmarked after 04/18/14 are subject to a 25% late fee – Forms submitted onsite will be charged a $10 onsite processing fee Contact the Bakersfield Doubletree Hotel 3100 Camino Del Rio Ct Bakersfield, 93308 @ (800) 222-TREE(8733) tell the agent that you are in the Grand York Rite Group for your hotel reservation before 04/15/14 Room rate: $93.00 for balcony rooms ($10 more per night if you requested a courtyard/pool facing room) +taxes There is also a link on to make your hotel reservation online Questions, General Chairman : Gregg Hall (408) 656-2459 please contact: Executive Officer: James Baum, (760) 843-9258 Meal/Event reservations: Dave Glass (916) 454-5335 No refunds after May 05th, 2014 unless approved by the Grand York Rite Sessions Executive Committee.

More forms (including the Order of High Priesthood, Thrice Illustrious Master & Past Commanders Association), menus and schedule are available from

A few words about Reservation Only events: Although there is no charge for these events, please enter in a numerical value for the events you want to attend. This provides a headcount for the preparation of the event. Also, if the event is cancelled or changed you can be notified. Saturday shuttle to the Casino: A local casino is providing free shuttle service for our Ladies and others who are not attending the AMD In-Gathering. The times are subject to change based on reservations and you will need to co-ordinate with the shuttle driver for your return time. Sunday Vesper services: Vespers is our gathering to honor our departed Companions and Sir Knights. All are encouraged to attend. The Ladies Masonic Information Sessions are designed as an informal gathering in the Lake Rooms for our Ladies during the Business Meetings. The subjects of the Sessions will be available on the web site. Members of the Royal Arch Research Chapter (and those that want to join) will be gathering on Monday afternoon in the Lake Rooms. Learn about what the York Rite College does at the Meet and Greet on Tuesday afternoon in the Lake Rooms. “Fun Degrees” Order of Zanzibar Degree is for the Companions; enter in a 1 in the field to register as a candidate. You will receive a certificate after receiving the degree. Those that have received the degree and sit on the sidelines, do not need to make the reservation. Royal Arch Widows Degree is for our Ladies enter in a 1 in the field to register as a candidate. You will receive a certificate and a pin after receiving the degree. Those that have received the degree and the Companions who wish to sit on the sidelines, do not need to make the reservation. Page 10 of 10

“Sword and Trowel” a publication of Grand Council Cryptic Masons of California

Sword Trowel March 2014  

Monthly Newsletter by the Grand Council Cryptic Masons of California