March, 2016


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Palatine Chapter #206, R.A.M., has participated in bringing several candidates through the Royal Arch Degrees this year.  We expect to start again in late April.  On Wednesday, February 17th, we are having our Official Visit of the District Deputy Grand High Priest.  That should be a fun.  After that the Commandery will be conferring the Red Cross and Malta.  We share the evenings.  This has worked for decades.

Loyal L. Munn Chapter #96, R.A.M., has participated with Palatine Chapter in conferring our Chapter Degrees this year.  It has worked out well.  Loyal L. Munn just received a Petition, so we will be starting the Chapter Degrees again, after the Commandery Inspection is over in mid-April.  The Official Visit of the District Deputy has been deferred to March 2nd by mutual consent of the High Priest and the District Deputy.

Cryptic Council #46, C.M., had scheduled the Cryptic Degrees for January 20, 2016, but the candidates did not show up.  I suspect they were not informed, or if they had been, they had forgotten.  Either way, we had a Commandery Practice so the night was not wasted.  We did confer the Cryptic Degrees on two candidates on February 3, 2016.  Jason Kicinski and Christian Lara.  It was a good evening and the Degrees came off well.  We do have another candidate in waiting, so we should be able to do these again this year.  Looking forward to that.  One of our members is working on the PCW part for the Royal Master Degree.  That will help us in conferring the Work without having to import someone.  We have a couple Companions that do that part, but they also do other parts at the same time.  We need an extra body.

Bethel Commandery #36, K.T., had to defer the Red Cross and Malta Orders until February 17th due to a delay in the Council Degrees.  We have three candidates ready.  Hope they can all make it for the Orders.  We have two more candidates that are in line to receive the preceding Degrees, so when they are ready we will have two more.  The Commandery is holding practices for its Inspection which is coming up on April 16th.  Looking forward to that fine day.

Sir Knights from Bethel Commandery have been visiting other Commanderies for their Inspections and some practices.  Bradley Baker helped at Aurora #22 as Commander for their Inspection on February 6th.  Ralph Palmer, Gary Berenger, Ken Stortz, and Russell Schlosser attended Mizpah #53's Inspection on January 30th.  Bradley Baker visited Freeport Commandery #7 on January 9th and did Senior Warden.  Bradley Baker and Jim Newby visited Crusader Commandery #17 on October 24th.  Helped in the Lines.  Andrew Michyeta visited Sycamore Commandery #15 on December 5th and helped as Junior Warden.  Andrew Michyeta also visited Dixon Commandery #21 on December 19th and helped in the Lines and as Hermit.  Bradley Baker visited St. Bernard #35's Inspection on January 23rd and helped with Senior Warden.  We have lots of Inspections coming up in the 1st Division this Spring.  Many of us are planning to be at many of them.

Bethel Commandery will be hosting its Annual Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner on Wednesday, March 16, 2016, at 5:30 PM.  If you have time, come on out.

First Division Inspections are:

1-23-16    St Bernard #35 and Albertus Magnus #92
1-30-16    Mizpah #53
2-20-16    Evanston #58
2-27-16    Apollo #1
3-12-16    Silangan #93
3-19-16    Austin #84
3-26-16    Joliet #4
4-2-16    Trinity #80
4-9-16      Calvary #25
4-16-16    Bethel #36
4-23-16    St Elmo #64

2-6-16   Aurora #22 (2nd Division)

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 latest Version is dated 11-15-15.

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 #206-1;
Loyal L. Munn Chapter #96-1; Cryptic Council #46-2;
Bethel Commandery #36-6.  Let's get those Petitions

Sickness and Distress:   

1.  Harold McKay recently passed away.  He had fallen down at a Masonic Temple out west a short ways, wound up in the hospital and then an assisted living facility, and then passed away.  He was well into his 90's and was one of the most faithful Templars and Masons I have ever known.  Rest in peace, Harold.


1.  3-2-16  Palatine York Rite.  Dinner at 6:30 PM.  #96 Opens and O.V.  Commandery Practice.
2.  3-16-16  Palatine York Rite.  Corned Beef and Cabbage at 5:30 til 7:30 PM.  #206 Opens.
3.  4-6-16  Palatine York Rite.  Dinner at 6:30 PM.  #46 Opens.  Commandery Practice or OOT.
4.  4-16-16  Bethel Commandery Annual Inspection.
5.  4-20-16  Palatine York Rite.  Dinner at 6:30 PM. #36 Opens.  Possible Chapter Degrees (4 & 5).
6.  4-30-16  Possible York Rite Day at Medinah Temple.  Stay tuned.
7.  5-4-16  Palatine York Rite.  Dinner at 6:30 PM.  #96 Opens.  Annual Convocation of Loyal L. Munn Chapter #96.  Chapter Degree (#6).
8.  5-18-16  Palatine York Rite.  Dinner at 6:30 PM.  #206 Opens.  Annual convocation of Palatine Chapter #206.  Chapter Degree (#7 Royal Arch).
9.  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.  Possible Degree Work, Council or Commandery.
10.  6-15-16  Palatine York Rite.  #36 Opens.  Annual Steak Fry and Installation of Officers.  No Degree Work.


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