December, 2015


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Lots of good information and historical newsletters.  If you want to add anything contact our Webmaster, Jim Newby.

Palatine Chapter's High Priest, David Truax, extends greetings to all and invites all to our convocations.  Palatine Chapter #206, R.A.M., conferred the Royal Arch Degree on new Companions Don Miller and Arthur Sladek on October 21st.  Ken Stortz did a fine job as High Priest and we invited Richard Carnall to be our Principal Sojourner, which he gladly accepted and also did a fine job.  We are scheduled to confer the Mark Master and Past Master Degrees on two more candidates on November 18, 2015.  We will let you know how that turned out.  I expect we will confer the Most Excellent Master Degree on December 2, 2015, and then the Royal Arch in January.  Will keep you all posted.

Loyal L. Munn's High Priest, Bradley Baker, extends greetings to all Companions, as well.  Loyal L. Munn Chapter #96 Opened in full form last meeting.  With all the Bodies meeting as we do, we do not get the chance to do that very often.  But, that is OK.  We enjoy meeting as we do.  We are making plans to visit some Lodges this year and spread the word of Royal Arch Masonry.  We have to get out there and let our light shine before the Masons who are not educated in our unique gift to our fraternity, and in many cases to the world.  The Royal Arch Masons have a rich history and we should share it.  We will be assisting Palatine Chapter in conferring the Mark Master and Past Master Degrees this month and then the rest of them later.

Our Thrice Illustrious Master, James B. Newby, extends greetings to all Cryptic Masons, and invites you to attend our Assemblies.  Cryptic Council #46, C.M., is chomping at the bit to confer the Council Degrees on our several candidates working through the Chapter.  We thought we would be doing this in October or November, but it looks like it will happen in January.  We had a couple more York Rite Petitions than we expected.  That is OK.  Good problem to have.  This allows us more time to practice and get ready.  We understand that our Nurses Scholarship Calendar Program is once again operating and that we are able to purchase calendars for this worthwhile Endowment Fund, that provides scholarships to nurses.  Don't be shy, talk to Lou Sands and he will fix you up.

James N. Newby, Eminent Commander, extends greetings to all Sir Knights, wheresoever dispersed over the face of the earth, and especially North East Illinois.  Jim is working hard to get everyone up to speed for our Commandery Work that is coming up after the Holidays.  Everyone should be putting their noses to the grindstone.  We expect to be conferring the Commandery Orders beginning in February, and then continuing through the rest of the spring.  The Inspections in the First Division will be happening after the First of the year and this is an excellent opportunity for all of us to see the Work and hone our skills.  Jim Newby is planning Practices on the off Wednesdays coming up real soon.  So, be ready.

On October 24, 2015, several of us from Bethel Commandery #36 attended the Annual Inspection of Crusader Commandery #17 in Rockford, IL.  Present from Bethel Commandery were:  James N. Newby, Robert Prinzing, and Bradley Baker.  It was interesting to see that the Order of the Temple was completely done by 3:35 PM.  I do not recall ever seeing one done that quickly.  They cut no corners.

Bethel Commandery sponsored the October Banquet at the Illinois Knights Templar Home at Paxton, IL, on October 28, 2015.  Four Sir Knights from Bethel went down and served the dinners to the residents of the home.  Present were:  James N. Newby, David Truax, Andrew Michyeta, III, and Bradley Baker.  It was especially nice to be able to visit with Maryann Harris, widow of our deceased Sir Knight Max L. Harris, one of Bethel Commandery's all time finest.  Maryann recently moved to the Paxton Home from eastern Pennsylvania, where she had been staying within her daughter.  Maryann looked real good.

On December 16, 2015, we will have our Christmas Libations.  There will be a dinner and then the traditional Commandery Holiday Readings, Toasts, and Christmas Carol Singing.  We plan on having a guest speaker who will enlighten us on a subject concerning the Holidays.  Should be fun.  Friends and Family welcome.

We are all enjoying the new 10 man Opening for Commandery.  We did it in Templar Uniform (as we all should have been doing forever).  The key to this is that we can open with 10 men (or 9 if necessary).  The Grand Encampment Full Form Opening takes about 16-18 Sir Knights to accomplish.  Most Commanderies do not have that many at their conclaves.  This is a workable way to get back to the basics of our chivalric fraternity.  It is our understanding that this Opening will be used again this year. It is being slightly revised and updated and will be labelled 10-Man Opening 2015.

The Grand Commandery has come out with a new award, called the Cross and Crown Award.  This is available to a Commander who performs certain functions and reaches certain goals during the year.  It is our understanding that this Award will be available in 2015/2016, as well.  This past year our own Gary Berenger won that Award.  The only recipient in the State of Illinois.  Congratulations, Gary!

Bethel Commandery has come out with another belt
buckle for sale for benefit of the Knights Templar Eye
Foundation, Inc.  This one is a Royal Arch
Chapter buckle, with the triple tau, and with the
infamous words "Holiness to the Lord"
emblazoned thereon.  This buckle has been commissioned
in honor of Brother, Companion,
and Sir Knight David P. Miller, Past Grand High Priest
and member of the Palatine
York Rite.  It will sell for $50, just
as the Knights
Templar buckle did last year.  We also we able to
obtain a few more Knights Templar buckles since we
had more orders than we could fill.  Let me know if
you are interested.

Our loyal Companion and Sir Knight Jim Newby has volunteered to coordinate the degree work going forward.  Thank you, Jim. He will also work with the Officers of the four respective bodies.  I will help him get started with this task by giving him a list of who does what in our Degrees and Orders.  I told him I would do that and have yet to get it done.  The following is what we have printed for some time.  "As a reminder, at our planning meeting on April 4,
2007, we tentatively decided to appoint one member as
a "Degree Czar" for each of the Palatine York Rite
Bodies.  That would be four individuals.  The thought
was that the number two man in each body would fill
that need.  We need to get more people trained in our
Degree Ritual so we have a backup for each part. 
Right now, if certain people are out of town, we are
stuck.  This will also get some of our newer members
actively involved in the affairs of our four York Rite
Bodies.  This will also get the number two man in each
group more prepared for his year as Presiding Officer.
Planning and Preparation.

The York Rite offers many opportunities for us to
serve our fellow man and our communities.  Each of the
Bodies has a charity or several charities that we
support.  Membership in our York Rite Bodies allows us
to fulfill our Obligations and Vows to help those who
are less fortunate.  Let us keep this in our minds as
we go about our daily endeavors.  There is a cloud
surrounding us, that has been built up over the
centuries, that we are a secret organization.  Now is
the time to let those on the outside know who we are. 
We should not keep our lamps under the bushel, but
should let our Light so shine before men, that they
may see our good works, and glorify our Father, which
is in Heaven.

Palatine Chapter currently has about 176 members.  L L Munn has about 56 members.  Cryptic Council about 200 members.  Bethel Commandery now has 206 members.  Of these, 94 are life
members and 13 are 50-year members and are exempt from Dues.

As a reminder, the new Palatine Masonic Temple is all on one floor and at
ground level.  Therefore it is wheelchair accessible.  No ramp or chair lift

Our backlog of work is:  Palatine Chapter #206-2;
Loyal L. Munn Chapter #96-0; Cryptic Council #46-3;
Bethel Commandery #36-5.  Let's get those Petitions

Sickness and Distress:   

1.  Sad to report that a long-time member, Sir Knight Frank Skopec, of Washington State, has passed away on September 21, 2015.  He was a 59 year member of Bethel Commandery #36.

2.  Also sad to report that Peter Reinier passed away on October 21, 2015.  He was a member of Bethel Commandery #36 for many years.


1.  12-2-15  Palatine York Rite.  Dinner at 6:30 PM.  #46 Opens.  Most excellent Master Degree.
2.  12-5-15  Sycamore Commandery #15 Annual Inspection and 150th Anniversary.
3.  12-16-15  Palatine York Rite.  Dinner at 6:30 PM.  #36 Opens.  Christmas Libations.
4.  12-25-15  Merry Christmas!
5.  1-6-16  Palatine York Rite.  Dinner at 6:30 PM.  #96 Opens.  Royal Arch Mason Mason Degree.
6.  1-20-16  Palatine York Rite.  Dinner at 6:30 PM.  #206 Opens Cryptic Mason Degrees.
7.  2-3-16  Palatine York Rite.  Dinner at 6:30 PM.  #46 Opens.  Red Cross and Malta Orders.
8.  2-17-16  Palatine York Rite.  Dinner at 6:30 PM.  #36 Opens.  Commandery Practice or OOT.
9.  3-2-16  Palatine York Rite.  Dinner at 6:30 PM.  #96 Opens.  Commandery Practice or OOT.
10.  3-16-16  Palatine York Rite.  Corned Beef and Cabbage at 5:30 til 7:30 PM.  #206 Opens.
11.  4-6-16  Palatine York Rite.  Dinner at 6:30 PM.  #46 Opens.  Commandery Practice or OOT.
12.  4-16-16  Bethel Commandery Annual Inspection.
13.  4-20-16  Palatine York Rite.  Dinner at 6:30 PM. #36 Opens.
14.  5-4-16  Palatine York Rite.  Dinner at 6:30 PM.  #96 Opens.  Annual Convocation of Loyal L. Munn Chapter #96.
15.  5-18-16  Palatine York Rite.  Dinner at 6:30 PM.  #206 Opens.  Annual convocation of Palatine Chapter #206.
16.  6-1-16  Palatine York Rite.  Dinner at 6:30 PM.  #46 Opens.  Annual Assembly of Cryptic Council #46 and Annual Conclave of Bethel Commandery #36.
17.  6-15-16  Palatine York Rite.  #36 Opens.  Annual Steak Fry and Installation of Officers.

I will enter all the First Division Inspection Dates in the January Issue.  There are no Inspections in the First Division this Fall.


Bradley L. Baker, PHP, TIPM, PC, Correspondent