Riding the success of the KSA Gathering hosted in Omaha this past May, the Knights of St. Andrew were invited to the Valley of Topeka, Kansas to put on the 29th Degree and conduct a Knighting ceremony. Our hosts were L.D. Nicolay, 32°, who had been in Omaha for the KSA Gathering in May, and Josephe Stiles, 32° KCCH, General Secretary for the Valley of Topeka.
On September 10th, ten Knights made the 162 mile drive, including Zack Sinsheimer, 32° who came up from Oklahoma City after working a long night shift.
Degree team members included David Meinzer, Jim Flowers, Rupert Lyon, Kyle Beckner, Jim Wolfe, Bill Kimme, Andrew Muska, Zack Sinsheimer, Micah Evans, and Armel MacDonald, who coordinated the degree work and knighting.
After a walk-through and practice, the Knights hosted the 29th degree in the Valley of Topeka’s beautiful theater, with about 25 Scottish Rite Masons in attendance, representing the Valleys of Topeka, Kansas City, Salina, and St. Joseph, Missouri. In addition, Ill. Br. Hugh Gill, 33°, Sovereign Grand Inspector General for Kansas was in attendance from Wichita.
Armel noted that most of the regular Twenty-Ninth Degree team members had other commitments and could not be in Topeka this day, and that the Omaha Knights present were mostly new to this degree. But this was actually a positive situation, as it served to do what the KSA is all about - engage
members, get them active in the Scottish Rite, and foster a sense of community and brotherhood. In the end, this brother-to-brother engagement is what keeps members returning as dues-paying Scottish Rite Masons.
After the degree, Armel knighted 14 new Knights of St. Andrew, explaining the significance of the ceremony and the degree. Armel called on the fathers of several new Knights, asking them to escort their newly Knighted sons back to their seats, adding a special touch to the ceremony.