GRAND COLLEGE of RITES

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G.C.R. HISTORICAL SUMMARY

(Extracted from Collectanea Vol. 9 Part 2 (1970), pp. 97–115)

SUMMARY OF MATTERS CONCERNING THE FORMATION OF THE GRAND COLLEGE OF RITES OF THE U.S.A.

In 1931, J. Raymond Shute II, of Monroe, North Carolina, obtained information from Harold V. B. Voorhis, of Red Bank, New Jersey, that the Right Reverend Henry V. A. Parsell of New York, New York, was a surviving member of the defunct Egyptian Rite of Memphis in the United States

Following some correspondence between Brothers Shute and Parsell, and talks with a few other interested brethren, it was decided and agreed to revive this Rite and thus gain control of it, together with its rituals and archives. The purpose of such action was to give a body to be subsequently formed—a Grand College Rites—some material to publish, namely rituals. The idea of forming of a Grand Body to print rituals of dormant Masonic bodies having been already planned by Brother Shute and a few brethren interested in such a project.

The minutes and details of this procedure follow:

PROCEEDINGS HELD IN THE MATTER OF THE ORGANIZATION OF THE SOVEREIGN SANCTUARY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ITS DEPENDENCIES AND TERRITORIES OF THE EGYPTIAN MASONIC RITE OF MEMPHIS.

Brother Hemy V. A. Parsell of New York, N.Y., holding of 95th Degree, dated April 24, 1906, signed by Harvey Goodale, 96°, M.I. Sov. Grand Master General, John S. Phillips, 95°, Grand Chancellor General and Edgar F. Stewart, 95°, Grand Secretary General, acting as GRAND HIEROPHANT, 96° of the Sovereign Sanctuary for the United States of America, etc., conferred the 45° on J. Raymond Shute, II, of Monroe, North Carolina, Feb. 10, 1931.

On October 2, 1931, the said Henry V. A. Parsell elevated Bro. George Winslow Plummer of New York, N.Y. to 95°.

On October 3, 1931, the said Henry V. A. Parsell issued a Dispensation to Bro. J. Raymond Shute; II, to invest Brothers W. C. Crowd, Monroe, N.C.; Michael Saliba, Wilson, N.C.; Kennon W. Parham, Raleigh, N.C.; and J. Edward Allen, Warrenton, N.C., and such others as eligible, with the 18° and 45°. The four Brethren named in the Dispensation were so invested in the City of Durham, N.C., on October 9, 1931, the said J. Raymond Shute, II, acting as Most Wise of the Chapter, 18° and Commander of the Senate, 45°, Valley of New York, Orient of New York, Sanctuary of America, etc.

A meeting was held at Washington, D.C. on October 22, 1931, being called to order at 11 o’clock A.M. for the purpose of reviving the Sovereign Sanctuary of the Egyptian Masonic Rite of Memphis. Brother H. V. A. Parsell, having called said meeting, acted as Chairman.

Brother Parsell exhibited his letters patent, and duly and solemnly conferred the 90° of the E. M. R. of M. on Brother J. Raymond Shute; 11, and 5. Edward Alien. Brothers Shute and Allen then exhibited proxies from Brothers M. Saliba, K. W. Parham and W. C. Crowell, all of the 45°.

Brother Parsell thereupon invested each of the above named brethren with the rank arid dignity of the 95° of the E. M. R. of M., and the members present then proceeded to organize a Sovereign Sanctuary, as an act of reviving the same.

Brother Henry V. A. Parsell was thereupon duly and unanimously elected Grand Hierophant. Brother J. Edward Allen was duly elected Sublime Scribe. Brother 5. Raymond Shute, II, was duly elected Grand Chancellor.

It was resolved that the remaining officers be appointed by the Grand Hierophant and installed later by him.

Brother K. W. Parham was appointed Committee on Finance; Brother J. Raymond Shute was appointed Committee on Foreign Affairs; Brother George W. Plummer was appointed Committee on Ritual and Brother J. Edward Allen was appointed Committee on General Purposes. The Sovereign Sanctuary then adopted temporary by-laws to control its activities until permanent by-laws and activities were defined. It was resolved that the members present shall at the next meeting draft a constitution and by-laws for this Sovereign Sanctuary.

The Sovereign Sanctuary was then duly closed.

(Signed) J. Edward Allen, 95°, Sublime Scribe

On November 14, 1931, the said Henry V. A. Parsell, Grand Hierophant, 96° elevated and invested Brother Harold V. B. Voorhis of Red Bank, N.J., with 18°, 45°, 90° and 95°.

On November 2, 1931, the said Henry V. A. Parsell Grand Hierophant, 96°, issued a Dispensation to J. Raymond Shute, 95°, to convoke the Sovereign Sanctuary in the Valley of Charlotte, North Carolina on December 18, 1931, and to invest Brothers Frank M. Pinnix, Luther T. Hartsell, Jr., William B. Hodge and John A. Anderson, all of North Carolina with the 18°, 45° and 90° and to further invest them with the rank and dignity of the Degrees of the Sovereign Sanctuary, 95°, together with such other brothers of the 90° elevated since the last meeting of the Sovereign Sanctuary.

Accordingly, on December 18, 1931, the Sovereign Sanctuary was opened in the City of Charlotte, North Carolina, when the following brethren were invested with the 18°, 45°, 90° and 90°, to wit:

    Frank M. Pinnix, Oxford, N.C.

    Luther T. Hartsell, Jr., Concord, N.C.

    William B. Hodge, Charlotte, N.C.

    John B. Anderson, Raleigh, N.C.

    J. Hugo Tatsch, New York, N.Y.

 

The Sovereign Sanctuary was then duly closed by Rt. Worthy Brother J. Raymond Shute, II, 95°, acting as Grand Hierophant.

On May 12, 1932, the Sovereign Sanctuary of the E.M.R. of M. was opened at 2,400-16th Street, N.W., at Washington, D.C.— 9:25 P.M.

The Grand Hierophant, Henry V. A. Parsell, 96°, presided and the following other members of the Sovereign Sanctuary were present:

It was regularly moved and carried unanimously that the Sovereign Sanctuary surrender the Sovereignty of its three Rites for the purpose of being absorbed by the Grand College of Rites for the United States of America about to be formed.

 

E.M.R. of M. LIST OF FOUNDERS

(According to Seniority of 95°)

1—Henry V. A. Parsell ----- April 24, 1906

2—George Winslow Plummer ----- October 2, 1931

3—J. Raymond Shute, II ----- October 22, 1931

4—J. Edward Allen ----- October 22, 1931

5—Michael Saliba ----- October 22, 1931

6—Kennon W. Parham ----- October 22, 1931

7—Walter C. Crowell ----- October, 221931

8—Harold V. B. Voorhis ----- November 14, 1931

9—J. Hugo Tatsch ----- December 18, 1931

10—Frank M. Pinnix ----- December 18, 1931

11—Luther T. Hartsell, Jr ----- December 18, 1931

12—William B. Hodge ----- December 18, 1931

13—John H. Anderson ----- December 18, 1931

Harold V. B. Voorhis, E.M.R. of M.

Grand Registrar — Grand College of Rites

 

EGYPTIAN MASONIC RITE OF MEMPHIS

SOVEREIGN SANCTUARY FOR THE UNITED STATES VALLEY OF NEW YORK

IN THE NAME OF THE SUBLIME ARCHITECT OF THE UNIVERSE

SALUTATIONS ON ALL POINTS OF THE TRIANGLE

RESPECT TO THE ORDER

STRENGTH!!  STRENGTH!!  STRENGTH!!

 

To All Illustrious and Enlightened Masons Throughout the World:

UNION: PROSPERITY: FRIENDSHIP: FRATERNITY. We, the Most Illustrious GRAND HIEROPHANT, 96°, of the SOVEREIGN SANCTUARY FOR THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, its TERRITORIES & DEPENDENCIES, by virtue of the High Powers with which we are invested, do hereby WARRANT, NOMINATE and EMPOWER our worthy Brother, the RIGHT EMINENT and ILLUSTRIOUS PATRIARCH

JOHN RAYMOND SHUTE, Jr., 95°

Sublime Scribe

to convoke an Emergent Communication of the SOVEREIGN SANCTUARY in the Valley of Charlotte, North Carolina, for the Eighteenth Day of the following month, which is to say, the Egyptian month EPOPHI, and to thereat Initiate the following Candidates, to wit:—Brother Frank M. Pinnix; Brother Luther T. Hartsell, Jr.; Brother William B. Hodge; and Brother John H. Anderson, (all being MASTER MASONS in Good Standing and duly elected to this office), in the Degrees of the Rose Croix Chapter, 18°; the Senate of Hermetic Philosophers, 45°; and the Mystic Temple, 90°, and to further Invest, Instruct and Communicate them in the Degrees to the Third Day of December, A. L. 5931.

Henry V. A. Parsell

Most Illustrious Grand Hierophant, 96°

 

As will be noted from the above, the surrender of authority by the Sovereign Sanctuary of the Egyptian Masonic Rite of Memphis took place on May 12, 1932 in Washington, D.C., at 2400-16th Street, N.W.—which is the address of The Continental Hotel—at 9:25 P.M. Immediately following a formation meeting of the Grand College of Rites for the United States of America was opened, with six brethren of North Carolina, two from New York and one from New Jersey. Thus nine of thirteen Rite of Memphis members were present—absent three from North Carolina and one from New York. The minutes of this meeting follow:

 

THE GRAND COLLEGE OF RITES

for the

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Minutes of Convocation—May 12, 1932

 

The formation meeting of the Grand College of Rites convened at 2400-16th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. at 9:25 P.M. on the evening of the above date.

Present:     J. Edward Allen — North Carolina

John H. Anderson — North Carolina

Luther T. Hartsell, Jr. — North Carolina

William B. Hodge — North Carolina

Kennon W. Parham — North Carolina

Henry V. A. Parsell — New York

J. Ray Shute, II — North Carolina

J. Hugo Tatsch — New York

Harold V. B. Voorhis — New Jersey

The Sovereign Sanctuary of the Egyptian Masonic Rite of Memphis was opened — Henry V. A. Parsell, 96°, Grand Hierophant It was regularly moved and carried unanimously that the Sovereign Sanctuary surrender the Sovereignty of its three Rites for the purpose of being absorbed by the Grand College of Rites about to be convened.

The Grand College of Rites then convened, whereupon Bro. Henry V. A. Parsell was elected Chairman and Bro. Harold V. B. Voorhis, Secretary of the Convention by unanimous consent.

It was resolved that it was expedient to form the Grand College of Rites, which resolution was adopted unanimously.

The proposed Constitution was then read for adoption by articles and after various changes had been made, it was—

Regularly moved and carried that the Registrar be granted authority to write the preamble to the Constitution.

Regularly moved and carried that the rank of Past Grand Chancellor, be conferred upon Bro. Henry V. A. Parsell in recognition of his services to the establishment of the Grand College.

Regularly moved and carried that the Registrar cast one ballot when there was but one nomination in the election of officers.

Election resulted in the following selections:

Grand Chancellor ----- J. Edward Allen

Grand Vice Chancellor ----- J. Ray Shute, Jr.

Grand Registrar ----- Harold V. B. Voorhis

Grand Prelate ----- Henry V. A. Parsell, P.G.C.

Grand Redactor-General ----- J. Hugo Tatsch

Grand Archivist ----- Luther Hartsell, Jr.

Grand Seneschal ----- William B. Hodge

Grand Mareschal ----- John H. Anderson

The Grand Mareschal made the proclamation and J. Edward Allen, Grand Chancellor took the status of the presiding officer.

It was agreed that the next annual Convocation would be held in Washington, D.C. during the week of February 22, 1933.

The Minutes were approved and the Grand Chancellor closed the Grand College.

Harold V. B. Voorhis, F. G.C.R.

Grand Registrar

 

The next meeting of Grand College, was held in the Hotel Harrington in Washington, D.C. on October 11, 1933, with seven present. During 1932, following the meeting of that year, the Grand Registrar was directed to correspond with twelve prospective Fellows, nine of whom accepted fellowship. They were confirmed at the 1933 meeting. Then twenty-six Fellows were elected, so that at the end of the meeting there were forty-seven members—13 Founders, 9 joining Fellows and 25 elected Fellows—total 47 Fellows. The minutes shows 50 but three of the prospective members declined At the same time four Foreign or Honorary Fellows were elected (1932) A motion was carried that we meet at the time of the meeting of the Grand Council of Allied Masonic Degrees, and we have continued to do just that, to this date (1970). The Constitution was mimeographed in 1934.

By 1934 we had the fellowship limit of 100 filled. From then on as Fellows died or were dropped for non payment of donations, additional Fellows were elected to keep the number at 100 During 1935 the first issue of Collectanea, our official organ, was printed and distributed, at a cost of $48.35, without envelopes and postage. It covered part of the Swenborgian Rite.

Matters continued in a normal way through the 1947 meeting—continuing nicely by filling the fellowship to 100 each year, electing a few Honorary Fellows and publishing Collectanea—through the consistent efforts of Fellow Henry Emmerson of New York, who has, to this date (1970) printed every issue. At meeting Fellow Voorhis resigned and Fellow Stanley W. Wakefield of Hastings-on-the-Hudson, N.Y. became Grand Registrar.

At the 17th meeting (1948) the matter of membership as yell as fellowship was brought before Grand College The result was a change in the Constitution providing for memberships— ‘Not exceeding 100, with all the privileges of Fellows except holding office; and Fellows to be selected from the membership and picked according to seniority.” Two of these provisions were n neglected—we have run way over 100 members and picked Fellows indiscriminately. We started off the year by electing 17 members.

On September 29, 1948 an extraordinary meeting was held in Masonic Hall in New York City, after due notice Ten Fellows were present Due to a flaw in the legality of the assumption of the authority of the Sovereign Sanctuary of the Egyptian Masonic Rite Memphis in 1932, the former Grand Hierophant Henry V. A. Parsell reactivated the Sovereign Sanctuary by investing all present h the 95°. After the reorganization he appointed Harold V. B. Voorhis, Grand Hierophant, which title carried the 97° Grade. It was then moved and carried to surrender the Sovereignty of the Egyptian Masonic Rite of Memphis to the Grand College of Rites the U.S.A., which body accepted the absorption, and the Grand Sanctuary of the Egyptian Masonic Rite was terminated.

In 1954, on resignation of Stanley W. Wakefield, Fellow Archibald R. McNeil of Pine Plains, New York, became our Grand Registrar (which office he held until our 1970 meeting.)

On pages 12 and 13 of the minutes of the meeting held in 1956 we find the following:

 

RITE OF MEMPHIS

M.I. Harold V. B. Voorhis, P.G.C, read a paper containing outline of the filial descent of the Masonic Order of Memphis from 1815 to date, when the Powers and Authority of the two surviving branches of the Rite finally rested in himself. One branch to him through M.I. Henry V. A. Parsell in 1948 and the other through Brother Sherwood V. Westlake in 1954. The former group having already, through legal means at a meeting on September 29, 1948, moved to transfer its Power and Authority to the Grand College of Rites of the United States of America, which was done and accepted by Grand College on February 20, 1949, under the signatures of the Grand Master General, Harold V. B. Voorhis, 96°, and the Regulator General, Ward K. St. Clair, 93°.

The latter body, meeting on September 18, 1954, being the only surviving body of the Rite of Memphis in the world, affirmed Harold V. B. Voorhis, 96°, then Grand Master General of this group, as Grand Hierophant, 97°, and elected. Henry Emmerson the Grand Master General, 96°. On September 17, 1955, at a meeting of this body, it was moved to transfer the Powers and Authority of this final body of the Rite to the Grand College of Rites of the United States of America at their next Assembly, over the signatures of Henry Emmerson, 96°, Grand Master General and M. Wilbur West, 93°, Regulator General.

It was moved and unanimously carried that Grand College accept these Powers and Authority of the Masonic Order of Memphis into its bosom. Thus comes to an end as an entity, the Masonic Order of Memphis, over the signatures of Harold V. B. Voorhis, 97°, the Grand Hierophant of the Order and Henry Emmerson, 96°, his Grand Chancellor.

 

THE ROYAL ORIENTAL ORDER OF SIKHA AND OF THE SAT B’HAI

M.I. Harold V. B. Voorhis, P.G.C. then read the filial descent of The Royal Oriental Order of Sikha and of the Sat B’Hai (Seven Brothers), whose Power and Authority rested in Brother Sherwood V. Westlake and transmitted to Harod V. B. Voorhis on February 4, 1956, for the purpose of transferring these Powers and Authority, in person, to the Grand College of Rites of the United States of America at this meeting, together with rituals, archives, etc. for reproduction in Collectanea.

It was moved and carried, unanimously, that Grand College accept these Powers and Authority of the Royal Oriental Order of Sikha and Sat B’Hai, thus ending this order as an entity by placing these Powers and Authority within its bosom.

Done and ratified under the signatures of Sherwood V. Westlake and Harold V. B. Voorhis and the dates above recorded.

Nothing of unusual circumstance came up until in the meeting in 1959 The minutes (pages 9-13) record a short history of the Rite of “Ancient, Free and Accepted Architects” by Harold V. B. Voorhis. Brother George B. Clark, Grand Master Architect of the Rite was presented and offered to turn the Rite over to the Grand College. On motion it was accepted, and Brother Clark was voted a Life Fellow. Those interested in the history of this kite, evolved by Henry Pelham Holmes Bromwell in 1859 and organized by him in Chicago, Illinois, 1862, might find this history of comment:

 

ANCIENT, FREE AND ACCEPTED ARCHITECTS

The Rite of “Ancient, Free and Accepted Architects” is based on a geometrical system evolved in 1859 by Henry Pelham Holmes Bromwell (August 26, 1823—January 9, 1903), who became Grand Master of Masons in Illinois in 1866 A Grand Lodge of the Order was organized in Charleston, Illinois on March 1, 1862, known as King David's Grand Lodge, F. & A. A., it taking its name from its only subordinate Lodge at the same place—King David’s Lodge. No. 1. In 1879, Bromwell moved to Denver, Colorado, where the Grand Lodge was moved, the first meeting in Denver being on June 9, 1879. The last meeting was held (in Denver) on March 6, 1883.

Although individuals had received the Select Architect and Most Excellent Architect Degrees at the hand of Bromwell previously, King David’s Lodge, No. 1 was not formed until the day the Grand Lodge was formed and issued it a charter. During the twenty-one years the Grand Lodge operated, the following are the only Lodges mentioned in the minutes:

Mar. 1, 1862 — King David’s No. 1 — Charleston, Ill.

Aug. 26, 1868 — King Solomon’s, No. 2 — Washington, D.C.

Mar. 2, 1870 — King Hiram’s, No. 3 — Springfield, Ill.

Feb. 1, 1871 (*) — Hillsboro, No. 4 — Hillsboro, Ill.

Apr. 7, 1874 (**) — Pentalpha No. 5 — Denver, Col.

Mar. 16, 1878 — Triangle U.D. — Los Angeles, Cal.

(*) The minutes show that on this date “Pentalpha Lodge” in Hillsboro, Illinois, was formed but all subsequent references to this Lodge are to “Hillsboro Lodge, No. 4.”

(**) The minutes of March 2, 1875, in a report to the Grand Lodge, show that this Lodge, when under Dispensation, met first on November 29, 1873 as “King Meichizedick’s Lodge, U. D.,” and that the charter for “Pentalpha Lodge, No. 5” was the name given to it by the Grand Lodge. The report says the charter was dated April 10, 1874, but the meeting at which it was granted was on April 7th.

There were twenty-two “Annual Meetings” and nine “Special Meetings” of the Grand Lodge. Twenty Annuals and two Specials were held in Charleston, Illinois and the remaining two Annuals and seven Specials were held in Denver, Colorado. The few who attended the Grand Lodge were those of the local Lodges. The average attendance in Charleston was 7.5 and in Denver 7.2 members.

The Grand Master Architects were:

1—H. P. H Bromwell ----- 1862

2—S. Sevinson ----- 1871

3—W. W. Fisher ----- 1872

4—W. E. Genther ----- 1874

5—S. B. Walker ----- 1877

6—H. P. H Bromwell ----- 1879

7—E. H. Collins ----- 1800

8—Wm. B. Byers ----- 1882

9—Frank Church ----- 1883

10—George B. Clark (*) ----- 1958

(*) December 29, 1958—see below for details.

 

The meetings of the Grand Lodge were as follows:

No.                  Present            Date                            Grand Master Architect

1.                     3                      Mar. 1, 1862                H.P.H. Bromwell

2.                     4                      Mar. 18, 1862

3.                     -                       Aug. 8, 1865

4                      8                      Mar. 6, 1866

5.                     6                      Aug. 28, 1868

6.                     11                    Mar. 2, 1869

7.                     8                      Mar. 2, 1870

8.                     9                      Mar. 7, 1871                S. Sevinson

9.                     6                      Mar. 5, 1872                W. W. Fisher

S                      8                      Apr. 9, 1872

10.                   8                      Mar. 20, 1873

11.                   8                      Jan. 6, 1874                 W. E. Genther

12.                   7                      Apr. 7, 1874

13.                   8                      Jan. 20, 1875

14.                   8                      Feb. 23, 1875

15.                   8                      Mar. 2, 1875

S                      6                      June 25, 1875              S. B. Walker

16.                   8                      July 22, 1875

17.                   7                      Mar. 6, 1877

18                    5                      Apr. 10, 1877

19                    8                      Mar. 16, 1878

20                    9                      Mar. 4, 1879                H.P.H. Bromwell

S                      6                      June 9, 1879

S                      10                    July 7, 1879

S                      9                      May 12, 1880

S                      9                      May 19, 1880              E.H. Collins

S                      -                       June 7, 1880

S                      6                      July 5, 1880

21                    12                    Mar. 7, 1882

8                      10                    July 29, 1882               Wm. N. Byers

22                    10                    Mar. 6, 1883                Frank Church

 

Note: It is obvious from the above that the headings are without meaning as for instance, in one year four Annuals were held. Also the Grand Master Architect and other officers were sometimes elected as Specials.

The Grand Lodge had FIFTEEN officers, all prefixed by Grand, as follows: Master Architect; Senior Architect; Junior Architect; Master Overseer; Senior Overseer; Junior Overseer; Master Deacon; Senior Deacon; Junior Deacon; Secretary, Treasurer; Marshal; Master of Ceremonies; Orator and Tyler.

The name of the Rite was taken after the only two degrees existing in 18 but, although a third degree was added on May 26, 1875, (Royal Architect), and a new constitution was adopted June 25, 1875, the name was not changed, although there was discussion abut it. This is a similar situation which exists in most of the Grand Councils of Royal and Select Masters. The name was based on the two degrees conferred in the early years, but when the Super-Excellent Master Degree was added the name originally adopted was retained.

Actually the “Rite” was Bromwell surrounded by a few brethren interested in his geometrical system. Following his death on January 9, 1903, a ponderous volume called “Restorations of Masonic Geometry and Symbolry” was published—in 1904—by the Grand Lodge of Colorado, of which Brother Frank Church, the then last elected Grand Master Architect, was a Past Grand Master.

As the years passed, Brother Church obligated several into the Rite, including Raphael M. Hosea, Henry F. Evans, George B. Clark, William W. Cooper (Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Colorado) and Charles L. Young, all of Colorado. Also Clarence Brain of Oklahoma and a few others. Several attempts to revive the Grand Lodge resulted in failure. Upon the death of Brother Frank Church, the records and archives came into the custody of Brother Henry Falls Evans and upon his passing on September 7, 1945, they came into possession by order of Brother Evans, of Brother George B. Clark of Denver. The latter deposited them with Brother Harry W. Bundy, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge at Colorado, who has been obligated into the Rite with power and authority to obligate capable Masons into the Order and, with them, to revive the Rite by an election of officers.

On December 29, 1958, Brother Bundy called together Brothers Ward K. St. Clair, Harold V. B. Voorhis and Wendell K. Walker in Masonic Temple, 71 West 23rd Street, New York, N.Y., and obligated them into the Order. With the authority in vested in him, Brother Bundy opened the Grand Lodge (holding Brother Clark’s proxy—thus making a constitutional quorum) when Brother George B. Clark was unanimously elected Grand Master Architect and Harry W. Bundy the Grand Secretary.

It was agreed that the other officers would be elected at a meeting to be held in February, 1959, in Washington, D.C. Nine additional brethren were suggested for membership but it was agreed that the Grand Lodge be not larger than fifteen members—that is, enough to fill all of the offices—and no more.

It was moved and carried that Brother Bundy confer with Brother Clark concerning the brethren to be invited and be present in Washington to be obligated. Also, if it would be his idea that at the meeting of the Grand College of Rites of the U.S.A., that we then officially turn over the Rite to that body to retain its custody.

 

MINUTES OF THE ORDER OF ARCHITECTS

Washington, D.C. Washington Hotel February 20, 1959.

The brethren interested in reorganizing the Order of Architects met at 10:15 P.M. in room 625 of the Hotel Washington with the following present:

Carl Greisen; Henry Emmerson; Dr. William L Cummings; Harold V. B. Voorhis; Wendell Walker; Ward St. Clair; George B. Clark; R. Baker Harris was not able to be present owing to a previous engagement which made him leave the hotel before the meeting was called, he was recorded, however, as present and interested; Harry W. Bundy; Everett Houser; Archie McNeil; and Dr. Francis J. Scully.

The Grand Master, George B. Clark, called the meeting to order and gave a brief history of the Architects Rite and stated that he was in possession of the Ritual records, paraphernalia and charts. He mentioned prominently H. P. H. Bromwell, Raphael M. Hosea, and Henry F. Evans with whom he had been associated and who were members of the original King David Grand Lodge of Architects. Grand Master George B. Cask was initiated by Grand Master Frank Church, the last elected Grand Master of the Architects, in the presence of Harry Evans and Raphael M. Hosea.. Harold V. B. Voorhis read a resume of the history of the Architects, including the minutes of the meeting held December 29, 1958 in the Grand Lodge Library of the Grand Lodge of New York through the courtesy of Brother Wendell Walker, Librarian, at which time it was decided that George B. Clark would be considered Grand Master of the Architects ad vitam. The officers elected and appointed to fill the various stations were determined by lot and are as follows:

George B. Clark ----- Grand Master Architect

Carl Greisen ----- Senior Architect

Harold V. B. Voorhis ----- Junior Architect

Wendell Walker ----- Treasurer

Harry W Bundy ----- Secretary

Henry Emmerson ----- Master Overseer

Ward St. Clair ----- Senior Overseer

Dr. William Cummings ----- Junior Overseer

R. Baker Harris ----- Master Deacon

Archibald R. McNeil ----- Senior Deacon

Dr. Francis J. Scully Junior Deacon

Ray V. Denslow ----- Tiler

The discussion as to this revived Order of Architects and the obligation the future was then made a matter of business and it was unanimously agreed that this ritual and the Order of Architects se1f should be turned over to the Allied Masonic Degrees and placed in the custody of the Grand College of Rites There would be no initiations and the Rite would remain dormant as far as extension of its membership and authority would be concerned

The Grand Master Architect, George B. Clark, called attention to the fact that he had a notebook in shorthand which had been taken down by William W. Cooper from statements made by hank Church, both being members of the Order of the Architects, it was suggested that Roscoe Walcott General Grand Secret of the General Grand Chapter RA.M. might be able to notify the system of shorthand and provide us with a suggestion as to ascertaining what is in these notes. That was left in the charge the Secretary to follow through and find out what could be done. The obligations of the Order of Architects were given as follows:

Harry W. Bundy by George B. Clark in Denver.

Ward St. Clair by Harold V. B. Voorhis and

Wendell Walker by Harry W. Bundy, Dec. 29, 1958.

 

The other members of the Tableau of officers were made Architects at sight, these being Archibald R. McNeill, Dr. Francis J. Scully, Henry Emmerson; Dr. William Cummings, Carl Greisen, R. Baker Harris, Ray V. Denslow and were so declared by the Grand Master George B. Clark.

From then on the business of Grand College proceeded in a normal manner until our 1970 meeting. At this meeting Fellow Harold V. B. Voorhis, Acting Grand Registrar, due to the illness of Fellow Archibald. R. McNeil, who tendered his resignation as Grand Registrar, submitted a plan to abolish the dual system of Fellows and members (see minutes of 1970 meeting). The plan was accepted and changes in the Constitution to reflect the adopted ideas were ordered. The names of the 1128 Fellows and members to date had been listed according to their dates of entrance in Grand College, with new numbers from 183 to date (in so doing several errors of omission and commission were corrected). Another part of the Constitution was changed which had required dropping all who had not paid their donation of the previous year (but never enforced) to read “two years” and to bring the paid up membership to be those who had paid through 1968—which resulted in losing twenty-six Fellows, some delinquent for as many as six years. Thus we have a current fellowship of nearly all paid up Fellows—but few owing for 1969.

There were several Honorary (Foreign) Fellows who may have died—unknown to us. These have been checked and the situation will be found in a listing of all Honorary Fellows (64) including year of election and date of death if deceased (when it could be found).

A complete list of all 1125 Fellows will also be found by year and number. Also several other items of historical interest. The next list of Living Fellows, alphabetically arranged, will appear in the first 16 pages of the following issue, of Collectanea (as usual)—in 1971—Vol. 10, No. 3.

At the 1970 meeting Fellow Herbert A. Fisher of Chesapeake, Virginia, became the Grand Registrar.

H V. B. Voorhis

For Publication Committee

Formatted for digital publication by Aaron M. Shoemaker, KGC