The Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, will host the Fifth Southwest Scottish Rite Regional Reunion on May 12–15, 2010, and it will make Scottish Rite history. All 32 of the Scottish Rite Degrees—First through Thirty-second—will be conferred at one reunion for the first time ever.
Since the Scottish Rite’s founding in 1801, the Supreme Councils in North America have conferred only the 4th through the 32nd Degrees. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Degrees—Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason—have been conferred in Blue Lodges with the English-inspired “Preston-Webb” rituals. That is, except for a handful of Lodges, mostly in New Orleans where the first Lodge of Perfection was established in 1764.
Now for the first time ever, a Scottish Rite Reunion will present all 32 Degrees of the Rite. For those who have never experienced the first three Degrees of the Scottish Rite, this will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
How different are these Degrees from those a candidate goes through in the typical American Blue Lodge? Well, let’s just say it’s not for the fainthearted. The preparation room in the Scottish Rite First Degree is styled “The Chamber of Reflection.” It is designed to give the candidate a solemn and somber moment to reflect on his life: where he has been, where he is now, and where he is going. And that’s just the first of many fascinating differences reflecting the French heritage of the Scottish Rite Craft Degrees.
The Spring Reunion in Phoenix will run from 2:00 pm on Wednesday, May 12, through the banquet commencing at 7:00 pm on Saturday, May 15. It will be a non-stop adventure covering all 32 Degrees. A Scottish Rite degree team from Louisiana under the direction of Bro. Mike Poll, 32°, will present the first three degrees over two nights. These degrees will be open to all Master Masons to give them a glimpse into the “College of Freemasonry.” Teams from Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada will confer the other 29 Degrees.
The main venue will be at the Chaparral Suites Resort in Scottsdale, and the Phoenix Scottish Rite Bodies will provide shuttle busses to pick up attendees at the airport, take them to the different events, and return them to the airport for the return flight home. An exciting ladies program is in the works to make this a memorable event for those who so patiently support us in our quest for light. We will celebrate our honored guests from Louisiana with a Cajun dinner on Thursday, winding up the reunion on Saturday with a western barbeque banquet while enjoying entertainment by Native American Dancers. For more information or registration, visit www.srrr.org.
If you are planning to attend any Masonic event in 2010, this should be it. You will experience that which may never come your way again. In the words Bro. Mike Poll “Laissez les bons temps rouler.”
Submitted by Jack Buta, KCCH