From the Personal Representative (May, 2008)

posted May 2, 2015, 5:12 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 2, 2015, 5:13 PM ]
Change is constant and inevitable, and we should all learn to adjust to it, but here we are, only a couple of months after installation of officers, facing a change in our officer line-up. Gene Keister 33° has stepped down from his job as Almoner after about ten years at that job, and we are going to miss his dedicated and diligent service to the Valley of San Jose.  Gene was raised in Fraternity (now Willow Glen Fraternity) Lodge #399 in 1968, and as soon as he could, petitioned for membership in Scottish Rite.  He has worked hard in both orders ever since.  He was Master of #399 in 1974 and served both as Secretary and Treasurer several times since then.  He went through the chairs in Lodge of Perfection, and was elected to serve as Venerable Master in 1997, after which he stepped into the office of Almoner where he has served faithfully ever since.  Gene is a model of dependability and if he ever finds himself in a situation where he will not be able to attend Scottish Rite, he takes it upon himself to find a replacement.
If there is any consolation to our losing Gene, it is in the fact that another brother has willingly stepped up to the position and, judging from my past association with his work, will perform with distinction.  I have known Herb Dallas 32° KCCH since the early 1960’s when we worked together in the Sheriff’s Department.  Herb is another icon of diligence and compassion, and has frequently performed as a stand-in for Eldred LeHeup 32° KCCH as Sunshine Chairman.  Herb was raised, also in Willow Glen Fraternity #399, in 1990, and has been active in that lodge on a regular basis, as well as serving Scottish Rite continuously since his initiation in 1991.  In addition to his being Commander of Kadosh in 1997, he has been active in the degrees and a Director for the Foundation.  I was hesitant to approach Herb for the position of Almoner, since he is slated for the office of Venerable Master in 2011, but he didn’t hesitate taking on the job of Almoner.  This, my friends, is commitment.
Speaking of commitment, and I have delivered this message before, but it is a subject that needs constant attention and application.  It is the matter of our continued obligation to involve ourselves in the attendance at our Craft Lodges activities.  A couple of weeks ago, my lodge in Gilroy presented a last minute Third Degree, and by reason of illness and other obstacles, some of our regular officers were unable to participate.  As a result of the efforts and dedication of several members of our neighboring lodges, we not only had ample attendance to put on the degree, but we also had a number of sideliners.  I can’t begin to tell you how rewarding it was to have been able to work with not just a full slate of players, but players who were prepared to perform and handle their respective parts without a hitch.
One of the sideliners was a man who is in the process of becoming a professional sideliner, and that is Dorrie Taylor, of Friendship #210.  As many of you know, Dorrie has taken it upon himself to form up a team he terms “The Travelling Sideliners” and he tells me their membership is somewhere over one hundred at this time. This is the kind of effort that really makes a difference in our world, and deserves our enthusiastic support.  For this particular degree, Dorrie was the only one that could make it (Mondays are totally booked for most Masons), but it goes without saying that his efforts were very much appreciated.
These are just a few “profiles in dedication” to the work of our order. When you attend Lodge or Scottish Rite next week or next month, look around you.  There are dozens of similar stories of support and concern for the craft.

Bob Winter - Personal representative of the Deputy of the Supreme Council in California

The Rite Word - May 2008, Volume 2, Issue 5