From the Personal Representative (October, 2010)

posted May 19, 2015, 5:34 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 20, 2015, 4:14 PM ]

Brethren, Ladies and Friends;

Those of our readers who missed the last Stated Meeting dinner missed a truly memorable event where we honored the Mason of the Year from our constituent lodges.  Some of the members asked me to put my comments of the evening into the Rite Word, as they felt the readers would enjoy the message. 
The purpose of this event was really three-fold. First and foremost . . . the obvious purpose of recognizing those who serve our order with such dedication, second . . . to give example to the other Valleys of California demonstrating the value of such events as these, hoping they will emulate our successes, and apply them to their own valleys, and, third . . . to introduce to the general membership of Freemasonry the beauties of Scottish Rite.
 Scottish Rite, in and of itself, exists only as an adjunct or extension of the Craft Lodges we are all associated with. It does not claim any higher power in Freemasonry than the Blue Lodge, and a man is no more of a Mason when he accepts the mantle of the 32° than he is as a 3° Mason. 
But . . . Look around you. The men you see wearing the cap of a Scottish Rite Mason are, by definition Blue Lodge Masons, and by choice, active members of their home lodges, if within the length of their cable-tow.  This we encourage and expect of all our members. Scottish Rite exists not to supplant, but to support the activities of the craft lodges.
But there is something else about Scottish Rite Freemasonry that I would be remiss to overlook.
Each of us comes into Freemasonry with differing impressions and expectations. Each of us, in his own way, is looking for something unique and distinct from our brothers, regardless of what we knew or had heard about Masonry before we joined.
Some expect to find financial and professional success, but in this they are usually disappointed.  
Some want to belong to a secret society, and here, too they are surprised to find that our secrets are very few and mostly quite mundane in nature. 
Some join out of respect for a friend or relative whom they admire…
Some are looking for social interaction and the opportunity to share with brothers from other lodges their problems, practices, and successes.
Some are attracted to ritual and memory work, or the chance to learn to address groups of people with poise and confidence.
Some are historians and think, as I do, that Masonry provides a theme or thread of continuity to provide a perspective for their historic research.
Some want to be involved in charitable activity and to see the results of their efforts in the lives of their neighbors.
Some may have the idea that Masonry provides them with a better understanding of their relationship with their Maker, and for them, I trust it has done that. 
The “Secret of Success” of Scottish Rite, if there is one, is that it expands upon those positive aspects of the Craft Lodge, and does so in a personal way. It is just a larger than life blue lodge and perhaps an example of what we saw in our local lodges fifty or sixty years ago, with scores of members enjoying our Stated Meeting dinners and charitable activity that is our own building and bailiwick.
This message is not so much an invitation to membership in Scottish Rite as an expression of our admiration of you for the dedication you have shown, and an admonition that whatever you do in Masonry, you do with purpose. Be it York Rite, Shrine, Scottish Rite, or any of the dozens of other bodies we have access to, join it with enthusiasm and the intent to be a participant and not just a spectator.
My thanks to you for your service and for being here with us tonight to celebrate that service you have provided to your lodge and to mankind.

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