Page 1

Sword & Trowel

February 2017

Volume 4 No. 09

Page 1


Table of Contents Vision Statement ..... Action for Change ..... Gibberish ..... Cryptic Masons Medical Research Foundation ..... Scholarships ..... Contact Information ..... Illustrious Grand Master Cryptic Masons .. Grand Recorder ......................................... Website ......... ........................................... Grand Council of Cryptic Masons Officers ..... Pictures ..... Humor ..... CMMRF News Bulletin ..... Sessions Time .....

2 3 4 5 5 6 6 6 6 7 8 21 22 23

Vision Statement

Sword & Trowel

February 2017

Volume 4 No. 09

Page 2


Action for Change Companions, Sometimes in the course of a leader’s term of office, he has to write an article he does not like to write or want to write. This article, in my opinion needs to be written. This article might be hard to read and you might disagree with the content. But please read and I hope it will create thought and action to change. I have written and given speeches on our Ritual. We need to stop just saying the words, no matter how well; we need to also teach the meaning behind the words. When I came into Masonry, only 34 years ago, ritual was held in higher esteem then today. That dreaded Blue Book, with the snap, was not legal. Mouth to ear was still in effect. There was no short form to advance to the next degrees. No reading from the Monitor was allowed and prayers were also memorized. Our candidate coaches taught the history and meaning of Masonry and answered any questions we had. When I entered the York Rite 18 years later I had a basic knowledge to take with me. In the York Rite I had mentors like John Copper, Ed Fentum, and a host of old timers who helped me connect Blue Lodge and York Rite. Sadly, today we have Blue Books legal, short form proficiency, reading charges and prayers from the monitor and coaches who teach memorizing words without meaning. When we go to recruit new members and tell them we have the rest of the story, we get curious looks. When these new candidates and members enter they find the same situation in the York Rite. Little to no memorization, reading from books, no history or meaning of our ritual and the same old let’s read the minutes, pay the bills and get out as quickly as possible. This is the hardest article I have ever written but I feel that it is past time to write. We are closing Chapters, Councils and Commanderies by consolidation, lack of interest and low membership. Our membership is slowly dwindling. Our craft and its teachings are needed more now than ever. Look around and you can see our society and look at what our craft teaches and you will realize what we have to offer. This does not mean that we can’t still have fun events; it means we have to reevaluate our overall purpose. I will be an active Mason until I die. If there is only one lodge left I will be there. Join me and together we can turn our future around. Hope to see ya’ll soon. God Bless, William E. Price KYGCH Most Illustrious Grand Master

Sword & Trowel

February 2017

Volume 4 No. 09

Page 3


Gibberish What is a solid York Rite Body? Attending Grand York Rite Sessions, speeches were many and to be honest, some were boring but over time some speeches stood out from all the others: 

“If any Chapter cannot open without a book that Chapter should be closed”.

“Again, I need to applaud and encourage conferring at least the first three Capitular degrees in Individual Chapters. I continue to believe this is the way our degrees ought to be conferred and the closer we can come to making this the usual way of doing things, the better we can make the Royal Arch Experience.”

“Our ritual requirement remains: if a dais officer cannot open and close from memory he will not be installed. If we don’t have Chapter officers who can demonstrate enough commitment to be able to open and close from memory I don’t think we need that Chapter.”

Declining membership and participation.

Commanderies holding only four or six meetings per year, with no additional practice time.

Too many Sir Knights hold multiple roles in Masonic organizations, especially across York Rite Bodies.

Many members of the Ritual Staff also hold multiple positions – many are on ritual staff for two or three of the York Rite Bodies, some are Grand Lodge Inspectors as well, and have not found the time to devote to teaching our ritual and tactics.

Many existing members are apathetic regarding the need for tactics and memory work to be done well, and about showing up for stated conclaves – even when they are officers in their Commandery.

Even worse, and quite disheartening, is that in several cases it seems as if officers cannot even be bothered to learn their work, but find it perfectly acceptable to try and do tactics with a ritual book in hand, and read the parts.

Within the Councils themselves, although we are seeing less and less open rituals being used to open and close our Councils, too many Council officers still refuse to give up the crutch of an open ritual book, and we must finally break this habit.

We do not stand for sloppy work in our Blue Lodges; our Councils deserve nothing less. Our Inspectors must stay vigilant and not certify officers for Installation if they are not prepared. And our Council leadership must have the pride to want to perform our ritual if we are to give the best impression to our member

Basically, these sentences were unsettling but as I began to visit York Rite bodies, these sentences became a motivational point. Some York Rite Bodies are a pass-through for a Companion to become a Past High Priest, Illustrious Past Master, or Past Commander. Definition of a Pass-through; a companion elected & installed as a Dias Officer without fulfilling requirements of that position. Bullets from Chapter, Council, and Commandery state we cannot open or close without a book. Yet, Companions cry, we are losing members, Companions do not attend Council meetings! Yet, let’s take a look at three years; 1966-17,090 Companions; 2008, 4,195 Companions; and 2013, 3,812 Companions in California; this is not a gradual decline, this is a cliff! We need to come together. We love to say and use it often; we (York Rite) are an extension of the Blue Lodge. We proudly point to our York Rite History and our degrees when we discuss our relationship with our local Blue Lodge. We complete the history of one that is famous among us Masons, one that is known for not forfeiting his integrity. But currently this is history and we proudly stand on our history. Back to the basic question, what is a solid York Rite Body? Answer; using the legs of a three-legged stool; we must have Ritual, Programs, and Activities. If we do not have and utilize all three legs we are dying-period. Those companions in a position of responsibility must understand and do their job to the Sword & Trowel

February 2017

Volume 4 No. 09

Page 4


best of their ability; our Grand Officers, Dias Officers, Inspectors, Assistant Director of Ritual, Companions. Ritual: 

Grand Officers:  Being elected and/or appointed is proof of your commitment,  Visit all Councils within your Department  Work with your Assistant Director of Ritual and Inspector  Work with the Dias Officers  Dias Officers:  Must learn and become qualified in the position for which elected.  Local York Rite Bodies must become outstanding in their convocations, assemblies, & conclaves and become well known for their work in the community.  ADRs’ & Inspectors:  Many ADRs’ & Inspectors have multiple assignments within York Rite, Blue Lodge and other entities.  A fast cross reference of Committee assignments, it is not uncommon for an assignment in Chapter, in Council, in Commandery, in Blue Lodge, and in Scottish Rite. Where is the time for Grand Council?  Our Inspectors, Assistant Directors of Ritual, & Grand Officers must commit to Grand Council the same amount of effort as they do for the Blue Lodge.  Must insure Dias Officers are qualified before being installed  Schedule Department School of Instruction on a quarterly basis. Rules for Inspectors are essentially the same that exists for Inspectors in the Grand Lodge of Masons, California  We must begin, as blue Lodges, do the degrees. If we continue to require our candidates travel to a Festival that is far, far away we will lose them.  Festivals such as the Colorado River Festival are special and should continue. Programs:  Local York Rite Bodies must make an effort to support programs in their community.  Examples are but not limited to supporting Food Banks, assisting the homeless, etc. Activities:  

Activities for Women while Convocations, Assemblies, & Conclaves are in session. Activities before or after your meeting, such as Dinner & accommodate a speaker

Cryptic Masons Medical Research Foundation Our Charity (Cryptic Masons Medical Research Foundation) can really use your support with Dollars. Please send all donations to me, so that I may process the proper receipts and mail all donations to Cryptic Masons Medical Research Foundation in Nashville, Indiana. Please take a few minutes and think about our charity. Fred J. ‘Tiny’ Potter, MIPGM Chairman, Cryptic Masons Medical Research Foundation (California) 345 Otono Court Camarillo, CA 93012-6822

Scholarships Companions, your children, grandchildren, & for some, great-grandchildren may receive financial help for attending school. After opening up Scholarship Center website, have them go to bottom of page & find the Scholarship Manual in (PDF format – 450KB) to download. There they will find instructions for filling out the forms. This is the link which will take you to the public Grand Lodge web page on scholarships. All the information you need should be right there. This is a complete manual that you can download that talk about all of the scholarships available from the California Masonic Foundation as well as the Scottish Rite, York Rite, Eastern Star, High Twelve, DeMolay, Job’s Daughters, & Rainbow for Girls.

Sword & Trowel

February 2017

Volume 4 No. 09

Page 5


Contact Information Illustrious Grand Master Cryptic Masons: Most Illustrious Companion, William E. Price, KYGCH Grand Master Cryptic Masons of California (650) 759-1120 © Grand Recorder: Ken Hope 11428 East Artesia Blvd, Suite 13 Artesia, CA 90701-3872 (562) 924-6500 (W) Website: Grand York Rite of California Note: Hyperlinks or links to other pages or web sites are prevalent throughout the document. Please notice the reference “Sword and Trowel; if you run your mouse over these names you will see “Ctrl + Click to follow link”. These are valid links to York Rite information.

Have you gone to our Grand Council website lately? www.yorkriteofcalifornia.org/ 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.

Sword & Trowel

February 2017

Volume 4 No. 09

Page 6


Grand Council of Cryptic Masons Officers We are here to assist you, please call upon us.

156th

Most Illustrious Companion William E. Price, KYGCH, Grand Master Cryptic Masons & Janet California Council No. 2 C.M.

DEPUTY GRAND MASTER Lee P. Whelan & Teresa Riverside Council No. 59 Cryptic Masons GRAND TREASURER Robert A. L. Whitfield, MIPGM & Genie Oakland Council No. 12 Cryptic Masons

GRAND PRINCIPAL CONDUCTOR OF THE WORK William S. Dann & Anne Pacific Council No. 37 Cryptic Masons GRAND RECORDER Kenneth G. Hope, HMIPGM & Sonny Shekinah Council No. 35 Cryptic Masons

GRAND DIRECTOR OF RITUAL David L. Chesebro, MIPGM & Sarah San Luis Obispo Council No. 38 Cryptic Masons GRAND CHAPLAIN (North) Morris H. Moriuchi California Council No. 2 Cryptic Masons

GRAND CHAPLAIN (South) Andrew B. Pippin Ventura Council No. 15 Cryptic Masons

GRAND CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD Eduardo Estrada & Natasha Omega Council No. 11 Cryptic Masons

GRAND CONDUCTOR OF THE COUNCIL Robert A. Morrison & Pauline Butte Council No. 50 Cryptic Masons

GRAND STEWARD Peter G. Champion & Jan San Luis Obispo Council No. 38 Cryptic Masons

GRAND SENTINEL Guy M. Chalmers Redwood Empire Council No. 46 Cryptic Masons

GRAND ORATOR Jordan T. Yelinek California Council No. 2 Cryptic Masons GRAND MARSHAL (North) Joseph K. Dongo Sacramento Council No. 1 Cryptic Masons

GRAND MARSHAL (South) Casey M. Latham H. Edward Barr’s Oasis Council No. 64 Cryptic Masons

GRAND SOLOIST K. Mark Harris Oakland Council No. 12 Cryptic Masons

GRAND MUSICIAN Arthur H. Walton San Jose Council No. 20 Cryptic Masons

Grand Bible Bearer Antonio Cimarra, Jr. California Council No. 2 Cryptic Masons

Grand Standard Bearer Michael T. Sherman Helix Council No. 258 Cryptic Masons

Sword & Trowel

February 2017

Volume 4 No. 09

Page 7


Pictures These four pictures I took off of the Internet.

Sword & Trowel

February 2017

Volume 4 No. 09

Page 8


Sword & Trowel

February 2017

Volume 4 No. 09

Page 9


King Solomon Council No. 29

Sword & Trowel

February 2017

Volume 4 No. 09

Page 10


Oakland Council No. 12

Sword & Trowel

February 2017

Volume 4 No. 09

Page 11


Modesto Council No. 61

Sword & Trowel

February 2017

Volume 4 No. 09

Page 12


Santa Cruz Council No. 17

Sword & Trowel

February 2017

Volume 4 No. 09

Page 13


San Jose Council No. 20 Installation

Sword & Trowel

February 2017

Volume 4 No. 09

Page 14


Christmas Observance & look at all the California Snow in the background

Sword & Trowel

February 2017

Volume 4 No. 09

Page 15


Victorville

Sword & Trowel

February 2017

Volume 4 No. 09

Page 16


Victorville

Sword & Trowel

February 2017

Volume 4 No. 09

Page 17


Grand Council Cryptic Masons of California

Sword & Trowel

February 2017

Volume 4 No. 09

Page 18


Golden Gate Masters and Past Masters Installation

Sword & Trowel

February 2017

Volume 4 No. 09

Page 19


Sword & Trowel

February 2017

Volume 4 No. 09

Page 20


Humor Have you ever thought about a little humor before you go out and change the world? Moses, Jesus, and the Old Man was at the Golden Gate Golf course and it was their tee off time. Moses walks up and places his ball on the tee and swings (as you can tell I never played golf) and it was a mighty swing (plagiarism-that was Casey at bat) right down the fairway but flowing a little to the right and lands in a water trap. He proudly treads up to the water trap, fragments the water and hits the little ball with mumps to the green. Now it is Jesus’s turn, Jesus saunters up and places his ball on the tee and swings, and it was a mighty swing right down the fairway but leaning a little to the right and it also lands in the water trap. Jesus proudly walks up to the water trap, walks on the water and hits the little ball with mumps to the green. Now it is the Old Man’s turn at bat, He struts up to the plate, I mean tee, he places the little round thing with mumps on the tee and with a mighty swing hits the ball right down center of the fairway but also flowing to the right. Just before the ball hits the trap a huge fish jumps out of the water and swallows the ball but before the fish can get back in the water and giant eagle swoops down graps the fish and fly’s off, flying over the green. As the Eagle was over the green, a lightning bolt flashes and scares the Eagle into dropping the fish. The fish lands hard on the green and the ball rolls out of his mouth onto the green and drops into the hole for a hole-in-one. Moses looks at Jesus and Jesus hollers; “Dad, if you keep playing like that, we are not bringing you next time”.

Sword & Trowel

February 2017

Volume 4 No. 09

Page 21


CMMRF News Bulletin

Sword & Trowel

February 2017

Volume 4 No. 09

Page 22


Sessions Time

Sword & Trowel

February 2017

Volume 4 No. 09

Page 23


Sword & Trowel

February 2017

Volume 4 No. 09

Page 24


Sword & Trowel

February 2017

Volume 4 No. 09

Page 25


Sword & Trowel

February 2017

Volume 4 No. 09

Page 26


Sword & Trowel

February 2017

Volume 4 No. 09

Page 27

Sword and Trowel - February 2017  

Monthly publication by Grand York Rite Grand Council Cryptic Masons of California