From the Personal Representative (August, 2010)

posted May 19, 2015, 4:30 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 20, 2015, 4:13 PM ]

Brethren, Ladies and Friends;

When I was first appointed the position of Personal Representative in 2007, I did have some working idea of the ramifications of the job, and with the help of Ill. Leo Mark, 33⁰, Ill. Dalton Noland, 33⁰, and a dedicated staff, both paid and volunteer, I worked my way into the chair without too much difficulty.  The ideas I had were simply to work with the members, keep a good set of books and records, support the Clinic, and adhere to the rules of our order.
But there was something else that needed to be done to make the San Jose Scottish Rite an organization the people look up to and admire.  After all, if we can’t maintain the respect of the Masonic community, it would impossible to attract members, new or old, and the Valley would surely die.  I wanted to make San Jose Scottish Rite a vibrant, dynamic organization to which Masons  would want to belong.
I reflected on all this, and one of the first things I did when I was appointed was to implement something taken from the pages of my old Sheriff’s plan book.  I created a “Think Tank” group to meet weekly and look for solutions to some of the problems we were facing.  I thought about the eara of a great Mason, Past Grand Master of Missouri, and President of the United States, Ill. Harry Truman, 33⁰, and took the name of one of his advisory groups, the “Kitchen Kabinet” for the Valley of San Jose.
I looked for members who could attend a weekly meeting, who would take an interest in the work, and who had the willingness to “get involved”.  Many of our dedicated members started attending our Tuesday Morning meetings and did exactly as I had hoped.  We have added and lost some members along the way, but the Kabinet is essentially intact and functioning well.
Some of the ideas we have come up with were rejected before we even got them out of the box; some we have tried and discarded; some are now in practice and working well.  Some are still in stages of infancy with an uncertain future, but the point I’d like to make here is that our group is willing to experiment, work hard, and reach out for even newer ideas, all within the spirit of “friendship and brotherly love that reinforces the meaning of the term.
While the “Kabinet” conversation among the members is not always just Scottish Rite business; and while there is a fair amount of humor and horseplay that accompanies the discussions, we do get things done, owing to the dedication of the members to the ideals of Freemasonry.  Sometimes we throw chairs or kick over tables,  (to the chagrin of our General Secretary) but we still progress.  The special events we enjoy; the innovations in the agenda; some of the ideas in the degrees; and a host of other improvements in the life of the Valley of San Jose are products of the industry and energy of this hard working group.
One other thing I would like to say about the “Kabinet”.  It is not a closed organization attended only by invitation.  Any member who wants to attend, who has the time an interest and is willing to work for the betterment of the Valley is welcome to join us.    Try it!!  You won’t be disappointed.


Bob Winter - Personal representative of the Deputy of the Supreme Council in California
The Rite Word - August 2010, Volume 4, Issue 8