October, 2015


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Palatine Chapter #206, R.A.M., had its first Stated Convocation this past Wednesday, the 16th of September.  We had a dinner, and then conferred the Mark Master and Past Master Degrees on our candidate Don Miller, who is from Palatine Lodge #314.  It was good to get our feet wet again with some Degree Work.  We plugged in a couple guys into new spots for them in the Degrees.  Good to spread the wealth.  We were also honored to have James Tome, R.E. Deputy Grand High Priest in attendance.  After the Degrees, Palatine Chapter Officially received him into the Chapter.  Companion Tome gave a few remarks and said he may come back in October when we confer the Most Excellent Master Degree on our candidate.

Loyal L. Munn Chapter #96, R.A.M., had its first Stated Convocation on September 2, 2015.  We had no Degree Work scheduled for that meeting so we did business.  We were also honored to have Companion James Tome, R.E. Deputy Grand High Priest in attendance for the evening.  We received him into the Chapter.  We had a little practice first since we don't do that sort of stuff very often.  Companion Tome gave us a nice talk on the Royal Arch and what is coming up.  One item is the combined Reception for the three York Rite Grand Officers.  It will be this Sunday, the 20th of September in Normal, IL.  Several of us plan to attend.  We also had a dinner prior to the convocation.  Yours truly used all the peppers from my garden and made stuffed peppers.  It worked out.  It is planned that we will confer the Most Excellent Master Degree on Don Miller at our next Convocation, which is October 7, 2015.  Don is Palatine's candidate, but we always share the nights to get the Work done quicker.  We share the cast for the Slate as well.  L L Munn and Palatine working together.

Cryptic Council #46, C.M., had its first Stated assembly for the year on September 2, 2015.  We had no Degree Work so we did business.  Had a dinner first as detailed in the previous paragraph.  We enjoy our meals.  From the Annual Assembly of the Grand Council we learned that the new Grand Recorder is Mark Welch.  As reported last month the new Grand Master is Larry Raglan and the Deputy Grand Master is Dan Jones, from our neck of the woods.  We also are happy to report that next year the three Grand York Rite Bodies will be meeting on the same weekend.  That will be in Normal, IL, at the same hotel we have been at for a few years, which is the Marriott I believe.  Cryptic Council will be Opening the meeting on October 7, 2015.  It is our turn for that.  After the Opening we will be conferring the Chapter Most Excellent Master Degree.  I expect we will be conferring the Council Degrees later this fall, after our candidate is through with the Chapter work.  Our Thrice Illustrious Master, James B. Newby, is chomping at the bit.  One of our Past Masters, Gary Berenger, is learning the PCW part for the Royal Master Degree.  We are really coming along with our Ritualists.

Bethel Commandery #36, K.T., had its two Stated Conclaves for the month of September.  One was strictly business and the other was used for Chapter Degree Work.  Our Commander, Jim Newby, is working hard on getting ready for our Annual Inspection.  This year we are slated for April of 2016.  That should give us plenty of time.  We have a couple candidates in the mill and it will be nice if we can get a couple more throughout the year.  I talked with our Inspecting Officer for the First Division and our First Division School of Instruction has not been scheduled yet.  We will let everyone know when that happens.  As it returns out, there are no Inspections in the First Division of Illinois at all this fall.  The first one is in January.  That is really odd, but it is what it is.  Hope we do not get a lot of snow this year.

Last year year Bethel Commandery placed First in Illinois in contributions to the Knights Templar Eye Foundation.  We did that the couple years before that, as well.  We should strive to accomplish that this year for the 48th Voluntary Campaign of the Knights Templar Eye Foundation.

As stated last month, Illinois had a 7-man Drill Team that went to the Triennial Conclave and competed.  We placed 8th out of 17 Class D teams.  Four members of Bethel Commandery were on that team.  I believe that Bethel Commandery should form its own Class D team for the next Triennial Conclave, which is in Indianapolis in 2018.  Something to work on.

There are a couple York Rite Days coming up in the next few weeks.  On September 25th, Friday, there will be the Red Cross and Malta Orders at Oak Lawn.  A couple of us from Bethel Commandery are helping with those Orders.  On October 3rd, Saturday, there is a York Rite Day in DeKalb.  The Council, the Chapter 6th and 7th Degrees, and the Commandery Red Cross and Malta Orders will be conferred.  A couple of us from Bethel are also involved in that.  Looking forward to those days coming up.

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.  I have not seen a copy yet, but expect to get one shortly.

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!

Had the pleasure of chatting with Gordon Fleming the other day.  He called me out of the clear blue sky and just told me what was happening in Las Vegas, where he lives.  It was nice to talk with him.  We sure miss him when doing our Chapter Degree Work.  He did the Chaplain's part in all the degrees.

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 #46-1;
Bethel Commandery #36-4.  Let's get those Petitions

Sickness and Distress:   

No new reported.  However, we are informed that Maryann Harris, widow of Max L. Harris, now resides at the Illinois Knights Templar Home at Paxton, IL.  I know she would like cards.  450 Fulton St.  Paxton, IL  60957.

Also, Gary Berenger is recovering from some foot surgery.  He is getting along pretty well, but is not ready for a Marathon, just yet.  Nice to see you out the other night, Gary.


1.  9-25-15  Red Cross and Malta Orders at Oak Lawn.
2.  10-3-15  York Rite Day at DeKalb.
3.  10-7-15  Palatine York Rite.  Dinner at 6:30 PM.  #46 Opens.  Most Excellent Maste Degree.
4.  10-21-15  Palatine York Rite.  Dinner at 6:30 PM.  #206 Opens.  Royal Arch Degree.
5.  11-4-15  Palatine York Rite.  Dinner at 6:30 PM.  #96 Opens.
6.  11-18-15  Palatine York Rite.  Dinner at 6:30 PM.  #36 Opens.
7.  12-2-15  Palatine York Rite.  Dinner at 6:30 PM.  #46 Opens.
8.  12-5-15  Sycamore Commandery #15 Annual Inspection and 150th Anniversary.
9.  12-16-15  Palatine York Rite.  Dinner at 6:30 PM.  #206 Opens.  Christmas Libations.


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