From the Personal Representative (March, 2010)

posted May 19, 2015, 1:02 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 19, 2015, 1:02 PM ]
This month will mark a milestone in our Scottish Rite journey as we are able to present the Knight Commander Court of Honor award in the Valley of San Jose. The authorization came to us in a somewhat unexpected manner: one of our own honorees being unavailable to attend the conferral last November, we asked to perform the ceremony ourselves so that we did not lose the service of that member in his elected and honored position. We were subsequently contacted by three other valleys in California and asked to include some brothers from their membership in our conferral, the result being that we will be conferring the award on a total of five or six members from as far south as Bakersfield and as far north as Sacramento.
The ceremony, unlike most Masonic “degrees”, is open to the public, and we encourage you to extend to your friends and family, and especially Masons who are not members of Scottish Rite, an invitation and encouragement to witness this most impressive event.
The ceremony begins by offering a brief history and rationale for the award of KCCH. In my discussions with Scottish Rite Masons of other jurisdictions, I find that the Southern Jurisdiction is rather unique in its conferral of this particular honor, and this ritual explains the reason for that.  It continues by explaining a little of the government and philosophy of the rite, and then, like most Masonic degrees stresses our moral lessons, and obligates the participants to reflect upon, embrace, and follow those teachings. It emphasizes particularly the expectation that the candidates will be obedient to the principles of the Scottish Rite, loyal to its leadership, and supportive of their efforts to extend the philosophy of Freemasonry to all mankind.
As a final part of the ritual, the candidate is escorted to several stations within the lodge and presented with various emblematic symbols of the order of Knight Commander as each symbol is explained as to its meaning and how it fits into the overall scheme of things.
Like many of the various degrees of Masonry, this conferral has a strong moral message, but it is also a message that is called to mind and repeated many times in our lives, both as Masons and citizens. Having received this award twenty five years ago, I am continually reminded of its impact on my life then, and its relevance to everything I do.
My appeal here is intended to call to our reader’s attention the rare opportunity witness a conferral that comes as close to a degree as any non-Mason will ever see. Should you invite your friends, I’m sure they will find it fascinating, not only for its uniqueness in being conferred in an open forum, but also for the message itself.
Please come . . .  and bring a friend.

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

The Rite Word - March 2010, Volume 4, Issue 3