Every two years, the Supreme Council for the Scottish Rite of the United States for the Southern Jurisdiction confers the highest honors on Brethren, the Thirty-Third Degree and the Knight Commander of the Court of Honour (KCCH).
Nebraska Scottish Rite Masons were proud to recognize ten men who were invested with the KCCH on Friday, October 27th, 2017 in a beautiful ceremony hosted by the Valley of Lincoln. James Brown, 33° served as Sovereign Grand Commander, conferring the degree. Afterward, Lincoln hosted a fantastic banquet to recognize the new 32° KCCH honorees and present them with their patents from the House of the Temple.
After presenting Brethren their patents, Charles V. Sederstrom, Jr., 33°, Sovereign Grand Inspector General, and Mike Gray, 33°, Personal Representative for the Valley of Lincoln, called up Jerry Pigsley, 32°, Venerable Master for the Lodge of Perfection and presented him with the SGIG’s 2017 Distinguished Scottish Rite Mason award. Jerry has been instrumental in creating a positive spirit in the Scottish Rite, arranging wonderful events through the year. This past year, the Lincoln Scottish Rite hosted a family picnic, a day at Big Shot’s Shooting Range, WalkRite for RiteCare, and a table lodge, among many other events.
On Saturday, October 28th, six Brethren received the Scottish Rite’s highest honor, the Thirty-Third Degree, conferred at the Omaha Scottish Rite. Ed Nolte, 33° conferred the degree as Sovereign Grand Commander.
The degree was done jointly with South Dakota, who had five candidates in Omaha for the conferral.
Afterward, guests enjoyed a reception and catered banquet with remarks from Charles V. Sederstrom, Jr., 33° and Jeff Larson, 33°, SGIG for South Dakota.
The SGIG also took time to recognize a Brother from each Valley who has made significant contributions to Scottish Rite Masons. In Alliance, Gene Gatti, 33°, General Secretary, recognized John Ferguson, 33°, for his wisdom, advice, degree work, time and expertise, even as he serves as Grand Marshal and travels around Nebraska with the Grand Lodge.
George White, 33°, Personal Representative to the SGIG for the Hastings Valley, recognized Don Rasmussen, 33° for his exceptional service as Almoner, attending all meetings of the Valley, and volunteering his time along with wife Marie.
John Maxell, 33°, General Secretary for the Omaha Valley, recognized Frank Kroupa, 33° for his nearly 50-year service to the Scottish Rite, managing the stage crew, serving as President and providing his leadership on the Cathedral Board, fundraising for the Valley, undertaking electrical work and overseeing numerous projects around the building and his service as Potentate for Tangier Shrine. If ever it was possible to leave Frank speechless, the presentation of the award did that. . . if only momentarily!
Charles Sederstrom recognized the Phillip family from the Alliance Valley for their extraordinary service, presenting them with the Scottish Rite Heritage Award. Three generations of active Scottish Rite Masons have been vested with the 33°, starting with grandfather Robert Phillip, who rarely misses a meeting, travelling from Hermosa, South Dakota to the Alliance Scottish Rite. In fact, he has missed one Reunion since 1946! Son Don Phillip and grandsons Walt, Scott, and Terry, and Walt’s son Geoffrey (32° KCCH) all come in from Colorado to be active during Reunions, as well, with an impressive track record for rarely missing Reunions!
Finally, Charles Sederstrom recognized Curt Edic, 33°, G.C., General Secretary Emeritus for the Omaha Valley. Curt was elected a Grand Cross at the Biennial Session in August, and presented with his cap and pin at the conferral. The SGIG praised Curt’s ability to create consensus among Scottish Rite Masons, his service as Deputy to the Order of DeMolay Supreme Council, overseeing numerous building projects and renovations, while creating a climate of activities and events at the Scottish Rite that keep Brethren engaged in the Valley.
Sixteen truly deserving Brethren received their KCCH or 33° in October. Please congratulate them for their extraordinary service to Scottish Rite Freemasonry.