From the Personal Representative (October, 2008)

posted May 5, 2015, 5:30 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 5, 2015, 5:32 PM ]
The Council of Masters Meeting on Saturday, Sept. 8, while only lightly attended was certainly the center of some lively discussion and produced some positive results.  It was gratifying to see the top officers of all four bodies in attendance, as we had some vital issues on the agenda.
Some of us have felt for many years that our officers’ lines have been too long and that there are certain positions that have existed in name only without identifiable duties.  With the approval of the Orient under which we operate, it was decided that we will effect a reduction of officers in the four bodies to five officers each.  This would include the three principal officers, the Master of Ceremonies, and the Captain of the Guard, who would work with the Tiler for the security of the doors.  In some of the bodies this could be accomplished by a gradual work-down of the numbers, but possibly in others, it could be effective with our next year’s slate of officers.  The so-called Expert positions would be eliminated, as would some of the other positions whose duties are so vague as to be virtually indistinguishable.
The main difference will be that the Prelate position would be moved to the general staff, similar to the Orator and Almoner, and be responsible for the opening and closing prayers at Stated Meetings and other official events.
Another issue that we settled was the matter of regular attendance by the officers.   Somehow, over the years, the perception seems to have developed that when a member accepts a position in the line of officers he isn’t really expected to attend our meetings until such time as he becomes one of the top officers of his particular body.  Our brothers should realize and recognize that when they agree to an appointment to a position in one of the lines that they are accepting a position of leadership. This entails an expectation that they are to attend and participate in not only the stated meetings, but also the reunions and administrative (Council of Masters) meetings.  Excused absences are understandable, and we don’t intend to be inflexible in imposing impossible demands on a brother’s time or his commitment to his family, his work, or his service to God or his country, but we try, through our officers, to operate the Valley in spirit of accord with the membership, and the input of all our officers is vital to our success. 
We understand the sometimes priorities change, and that occasionally unanticipated obligations arise after a brother has accepted an appointment to the officers’ corps.  When this happens, it is OK to just step away and allow one’s successor to fill his position.   To do this is probably better that living with the embarrassment of not being available to attend meetings and perform one’s duties.  As I noted above, the officers’ lines will soon be reduced so that everyone who is an officer will have identifiable duties, and no one will feel like just a cog in the wheel.  The Senior Wardens of the four bodies will be polling their members to see who will be interested in continuing through the chairs, and we may even move certain members in the lower ranges of the lines so that they will be able to fill other vacancies. 
At our next Council of Masters, Saturday, October 4, we should have our next year’s slate tentatively established.  If there is any, ANY interest in helping out with next years work, please get in touch with me or one of the brothers in our Senior Wardens’ positions and express your desires.  I’m sure we can reach an accommodation. 

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

The Rite Word - October 2008, Volume 2, Issue 10