Here we are again in March, the month of Fellowship, Brotherhood, Regalia, Drama and great possibilities for all Scottish Rite Masons.
As we begin and continue in this New Year, 2017, with our Spring Reunion, we pause to recall several months of past Stated Meetings, great dinners and programs that bolster and encourage our Scottish Rite experience and brotherhood.
Our Valley has been very busy studying, developing, planning and executing new Valley management policies and procedures. Policies and procedures that will call upon our Venerable Master, Wise Master, Commander of Kadosh and Master of Kadosh to lead, guide and direct their elected and appointed officers in the business of our Valley.
They have joined together with our Chairman in a great way, to establish a team concept and a value system that has and will, result in new lines of business, greater participation and encouraging all Scottish Rite Masons to become more involved in outreach, leadership and support to each Scottish Rite Mason and his family.
Lets look back at several months past where very special events occurred in our Stated Meetings and in the dinner programs:
October 20, 2016 was as always, a great time for personal reflection and an opportunity to participate in, and enjoy our symbolic Feast of Tishri.
Brother Kevin M. Caraway, 32nd KCCH, Venerable Master of the Lodge of Perfection opened the dinner program by welcoming all to the special event. Brother Hal R. Ray, 32nd KCCH, Senior Warden of the Lodge of Perfection introduced our valued guests, Grand Lodge Officers and recognized our Honors Scottish Rite masons.
We once again enjoyed a meal with brothers and friends, talking, reminiscing and meeting new acquaintances. Following Dinner, the auditorium was gaveled to order for the dinner program.
Venerable Master, Kevin M. Caraway introduced our Toastmasters for the Feast of Tishri.
The following toasts were hailed by; Brothers Paul A. Solomon, 32nd KCCH, “To the Government of our Country”, Bradley S. Billings 32nd KCCH, “To the Supreme Council and the Grand Sovereign Inspector General, ILL. Ronald A. Seal 33rd Degree”, James T. Mendenhall 32nd KCCH, “To the Sovereign Grand Inspector General in Texas”, Robert L. Goode Jr., 32nd KCCH, “To the Grand Lodge of Texas”, and Brother Ernest L. Runyon, 32nd KCCH, “To other Grand Bodies in Texas”.
Our Valley Chairman, Ill. Brother Kenneth C. Curry, 33rd introduced Pastor Katie Lewis, First United Methodist Church, our speaker of the evening. Pastor Lewis presented a parallel description of the Feast of Tishri and encouraged us to reflect on the biblical principals and tenants of the bible with emphasis on personal dedication and living a life with high moral turpitude and value.
Brother Jerry C. Neeley, 32nd KCCH offered the Benediction.
November 17, 2016: Our November dinner program always has special meaning and purpose as we salute our Scottish Rite Military Veterans. To many, this recognition is the paramount feeling of pride and patriotism felt by those who have served our great United States of America and had the great honor to Salute the symbol of this great nation, the American Flag. As we remember our Veterans we always pause to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our nation and its causes around the world.
We saluted and we will continue to remember all Veterans. Not only those in our Scottish Rite family, but all those who voluntarily serve our nation on military duty around the world, our reservists and national guard, and those who are in harms way and those who support them. We openly pray for all of our military veterans and their families, as they serve and as their families wait for their loved ones to return home from duty.
The November month of remembrance for our Veterans is truly a special opportunity to reflect and remember the sacrifices that are made daily for our right to live free and our pursuit of the American way of life. May God bless our military Veterans and our great Nation.
The November 2016 dinner meeting was opened by Brother Ernest L. Runyon, 32nd KCCH, Commander of Kadosh and the Invocation was given by Brother Leonard H. Newman, Jr., 32 Degree, Chaplin, Council of Kadosh.
Brother Charles H. Farmer, 32nd KCCH, 2nd Lieutenant, Council of Kadosh introduced our special guests, Grand Lodge Members and Honors Scottish Rite Masons.
A highlight of the November 2016 dinner meeting was the “capping ceremony” for our new Scottish Rite Masons that attended the October and November, Fall Reunion. It is always a good time to see the excitement of the new Scottish Rite Masons as they and their families participate in that special presentation.
Our special speaker was introduced by Brother Michael E. White, 32nd Degree, Chairman, Program Committee. Brother White presented Mr. Fiske Hanley II to our dinner attendees and shared Mr. Hanley’s Military history to “whet” our passion and to listen and enjoy his experiences as a very young B-17 Flight Engineer and Prisoner of War (POW).
Mr. Hanley “sported” his World War II “tunic” (Uniform Jacket) and his “50 mission garrison cap he no doubt wore during his flight experience and incarceration as a POW in Japan.
Mr. Hanley shared stories of his flying experience and his time as a POW. His remembrance of those times were spectacular and were often “riveting “ as he shared great times and times of terror and fear. Mr. Hanley’s presentation was well received and all stood with loud applause for Mr. Hanley and for his presentation.
Our Chairman, ILL. Kenneth C. Curry, 33rd Degree, took opportunity to acknowledge Mr. Hanley’s service and to reiterate the value of service made by all Veterans and their families as we continue through difficult times abroad and at times at home.
Brother Leonard H. Newman, Jr., 32 Degree, Chaplin, Council of Kadosh voiced the Benediction. Brother Runyon, 32nd KCCH, Commander of Kadosh dismissed the assembly.
January 19, 2017: This evening was a special opportunity to install our Lodge of Perfection, Chapter of Rose Croix, Council of Kadosh and Consistory Officers in our Scottish Rite Valley, our Thistle Officers and our Ladies Auxiliary Officers for 2017.
Brother Kevin M. Caraway, 32nd KCCH, 2016 Venerable Master, Lodge of Perfection opened the dinner meeting with a welcome to all and Brother Robert L. Goode Jr., 32nd KCCH, 2017 Wise Master, Chapter of Rose Croix provided the Invocation for the evening.
We shared a great dinner; the caterer provided a great buffet and all enjoyed visiting and reminiscing while dining.
Mrs. Patsy Gilbert, 2016 Ladies Auxiliary President made introductory remarks preceding the installation of Ladies Auxiliary Officers for 2017.
Mrs. Kathy Tull, 1994 Ladies Auxiliary President officiated during the installation of the 2017 Ladies Auxiliary Officers.
Following the Installation of the 2017 Ladies Auxiliary Officers, Mrs. Barbara Spencer, 2017 Ladies Auxiliary President shared remarks encouraging and looking forward for the new officers and the coming new year.
Our Chairman, Ill. Kenneth C. Curry, presided over the installation of the 2017 Officers of our Knights of Saint Andrews organization and following presented and officiated over the installation of our 2017 Scottish Rite Valley Officers.
Our Chairman then remarked and shared information regarding certain 2017 challenges and introduced some new policy and procedures that will enhance our ability and capabilities in the future. He commented on how the heads of the four bodies will be accepting additional accountability in a de-centralized management structure allowing our Valley leadership greater flexibility is accomplishing our Scottish Rite goals.
February 16, 2017: The highlight of the February 2017 Stated Meeting and dinner was the recognition of our highly exalted 50 Year Scottish Rite Masons.
There were 35 Scottish Rite Masons who were recognized in name during our dinner. There were four (4) of the named present to receive the coveted “Blue Cap” signifying the significance of their individual achievement.
As we all are aware, 50 years of specific involvement in any endeavor is very special and given the legacy and significance of this hallmark achievement, it is “grand”. It is not only “grand” to the recipient but is special and meaningful to each and all Scottish Rite Masons. Congratulations to all 35 recipients and to their wives and families who supported their membership for a half century of special endeavor.
Brother Hal R. Ray Jr., 32nd KCCH, Venerable Master, Lodge of Perfection, opened the February Dinner meeting and Brother David H. Sebastian, 33rd Degree, Chaplin, Lodge of Perfection voiced the Invocation.
Brother Jeffrey C. Billington, 32nd KCCH, led the Pledge of Allegiance and Brother Paul A. Solomon, 32nd KCCH, Prior, Consistory, provided the musical accompaniment for the singing of the National Anthem.
The dinner buffet was again well done by our caterer and all enjoyed the time to fellowship and dine with friends and new acquaintances.
Brother Bradley S. Billings, 32nd KCCH, Junior Warden, Lodge of Perfection introduced our special guests, Grand Lodge members and Honors Scottish Rite Masons.
Our Chairman, Ill. Kenneth C. Curry, 33rd Degree and Fort Worth Valley, General Secretary, ILL. Sonny Tull, 33rd Degree, introduced and officiated during the recognition of our 50 year Scottish Rite Masons.
Following the recognition ceremony, Brother Kenneth C. Curry stated his pleasure in the great milestone of endeavor by all Masons who reach the lofty goal of being a 50 year Scottish Rite Mason. He carefully reminded the dinner attendees of the effort and support given by the families of those recipients.
Brother David H. Sebastian, 33rd Degree, Chaplin, Lodge of Perfection voiced the Benediction and the dinner meeting was dismissed by Brother Hal. R. Ray Jr., Venerable Master, Lodge of Perfection.
In closing this summary of very special events and stated dinner meetings, lets reiterate one more event(s)… Spring Reunion 2017
The Spring Reunion was fantastic!! Twenty-three attained the Rank of Master of the Royal Secret. We welcome these new Scottish Rite Masons.