Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Appointed as Grand Representative

File:Hans Holbein the Younger - The Ambassadors - Google Art Project.jpg

I am excited to announce that I have been appointed as the Representative to the Grand Lodge of Quebec.

Many brothers seem unaware of the concept of Grand Representative. According to Section G1.09 of the Minnesota Masonic Code, a Grand Representative is "authorized to extend the fellowship and good will of the Grand Lodge and to protect the interests of the Craft of this Jurisdiction, as occasion may require." Essentially, a Grand Representative serves as an ambassador for the foreign Grand Lodge to the Grand Representative's Grand Lodge. I'm still learning the position but I'm pretty excited to extend a Brotherly hand to brothers in another jurisdiction.

If you are in the Masonic Light program under the Grand Lodge of Minnesota, one of the competencies is to serve as a Grand Representative and exchange correspondence annually.

Are you a Grand Representative? What has been your experience? How has it enhanced your Masonic life? Leave a comment below.


Tom Accuosti said...

Woot! Will you get a dog sled ride up there to visit?

Barry said...


Millennial Freemason said...

Every Minnesotan has a dog sled.

TemplarSeth said...

Grand Reps are an interesting Masonic tradition. The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania does not appoint Reps, but I am a Grand Rep for the Grand Commandery of PA to Romania. Fun stuff!

Michael B. Dodge said...

Hi Nick! Are you the Grand Representative OF Quebec to/near Minnesota or the Grand Representative TO Quebec?

If it is the former, then your job is to represent Quebec IN Minnesota, so your comment that "a Grand Representative serves as an ambassador for the Grand Lodge to a foreign Grand Lodge" isn't correct.

It would be that you serve as an ambassador from a foreign Grand Lodge (Quebec) to the Grand Lodge of Quebec.

I am the Grand Representative OF Massachusetts TO Connecticut, meaning I have been appointed by the GL of Massachusetts (on the recommendation of the Grand Master of Connecticut) to be Massachusetts' emissary to Connecticut and to represent Massachusetts in Connecticut. I have a commission from the GL of Massachusetts which acts as my warrant.

In some areas, it is the opposite. My daughter was a Grand Representative in Rainbow, and she was the Grand Representative TO the other jurisdiction. We would travel and visit the Grand Assembly sessions in those jurisdictions where she would represent The Grand Assembly of Massachusetts (she is a Massachusetts Rainbow Girl, not a Connecticut Rainbow Girl).

I am a Grand Representative in the York Rite bodies, and in each instance I am the representative OF the foreign jurisdiction TO Connecticut.

As a Grand Representative OF a foreign jurisdiction, it is my job to field questions about how that foreign jurisdiction operates, provide contact info to Connecticut brothers seeking to meet brothers from that jurisdiction, and whatever else is required (such as presenting veteran medals on behalf of that jurisdiction).

Then again, Tom Accousti thinks I live in Massachusetts, anyway (which I do not. I live about 4 miles south of the state line).

Millennial Freemason said...

Funny @Michael. And after I read your comment I get it. You and Tom shoudl sit down and read "How the States Got Their Shape." Than you too can find out why Connecticut and Massachusetts look like that. (And so you can point and yell, "See! I am in CT." :D

David Bowman said...

In recent years, the terms "from" and "to" have crept into the language used to describe Grand Representatives, and that has caused enormous confusion.

The correct terminology would be to say that you are "The Grand Representative OF the Grand Lodge of Quebec NEAR Minnesota (or wherever you live and hold your Masonic membership).

To be clear, a Mason that lives in, say, Minnesota, will never be the Grand Representative OF Minnesota near a foreign jurisdiction. It would make no sense. If you live in Minnesota, how could you represent the GL of Minnesota to some foreign jurisdiction halfway around the world? You'd have to get on a plane and fly to that foreign grand lodge every year in order to represent your mother grand lodge. Very few Masons would or could do that.

So, instead, the system is set up so that the Grand Master of your mother grand lodge will recommend you as the Grand Representative of some foreign grand lodge (let's say Quebec), and then the Grand Master of Quebec will appoint you as the Grand Representative OF the Grand Lodge of Quebec NEAR Minnesota. Once that is done, it should be relatively easy for you to represent the Grand Lodge of Quebec in Minnesota for the simple reason that you LIVE in Minnesota. said...

I am currently the Grand Representative OF the Grand Lodge of Oregon NEAR the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Illinois. I spent most of my life in Illinois (where I was initiated, passed, and raised, and where I served as Worshipful Master of Paul Revere Lodge No. 998 (Chicago) and Libertyville No. 492 (Libertyville, IL). I am a Life Member of Libertyville.

I retired to Oregon, where I am currently a Life Member of Tuality Lodge No.6 (Hillsboro, OR).

Thus, I am a Life Member in both jurisdictions, and I attempt to attend the annual communications every year of both jurisdictions. When I attend the Oregon Communication, I do so as the representative of the current Illinois Grand Master, a role that's really in addition to the job description of Grand Rep, but I always enjoy the Masonic fellowship that I experience. Perhaps more "hands on" than many grand reps experience in their offices: the general minimum standard is simply that the rep "establish communication" with the grand lodge in question.

In Illinois, all Grand Representatives essentially serve under the direction of the Grand Chancellor as our duties fall under the category of relations with regular foreign Masonic jurisdictions. To describe the Grand Chancellor as the Grand Lodge's "Secretary of State" is a bit of an exercise in oversimplification, but it is fair to say that, at least in Illinois, he's the "go to guy" when issues of recognition and regularity of any given foreign jurisdiction arise. He also provides a level of communication between the serving Grand Master and the respective Grand Representatives near Illinois. said...

Not sure how it plays out in other jurisdictions, but I speak here of Illinois.

I am the Grand Representative of Oregon Near Illinois. I was nominated by the then Grand Master of Illinois, A.F. & A.M. but my commission/ assignment is through the Grand Lodge of Oregon, or so the certificate reads. The other Illinois grand reps and I serve under the direction of the Illinois Grand Chancellor.

I attend the annual communications of both jurisdictions, pandemic permitting. In Oregon, in a separate capacity, I attend as representative of the current Illinois Grand Master. And of course, I attend Illinois as an appointed Grand Lodge officer as a grand rep.

Let me note that at the time of my nomination and appointment I resided in Illinois. I am a life member (Libertyville Lodge No. 492) as well as Past Master of two lodges in Illinois. I have since retired to Oregon, joined an Oregon lodge as well, and obtained a life membership here in same, Tuality Lodge No.6 of Hillsboro OR. So, I hold life memberships in both Grand Lodges.

Perhaps I overdo things a bit, but I see my role as being able to present all things Oregon Masonic to any Illinois brother who wants to know. Protocol dictates that when you travel and visit a lodge in another jurisdiction, you really are not supposed to just pop in- although I am as guilty as doing so in the past as anyone. The ideal way is to contact your Grand Secretary and have both Grand Lodges aware of the visit and allow the host lodge to know that you are coming.

My role is somewhat outside of, but supportive of, said protocol. For example, if a visiting Illinois brother wants to visit an Oregon lodge, I will make certain that the protocol is adhered to and attempt to attend lodge with him (Being retired helps here!). As Oregonians are hospitable by nature, I do my best to assure that Illinois Masons not only enjoy the wonderful experiences of Oregon itself but have a positive Masonic experience here.

I also try to see that my Illinois Grand Master and his Grand Line officers are informed as to the proceedings of the Oregon Annual Communication. In this day and age, they usually have that information already, either directly through a letter or electronically.

It is also custom in Illinois to present a Unity Coin on behalf of the Grand Master and Grand Lodge to the GMs of other jurisdictions: I do that and make certain that the major elected officers of the Oregon grand line have a copy of our Illinois Freemason magazine and one of our current Grand Master's pins, along with a letter of appreciation for their recent election to office.

Being a Grand Representative can be a wonderful and enriching experience. Like all things Masonic, one gets out of it in proportion to what they put into it. At the very least, a grand rep should have a contact within the jurisdiction he represents and utilize that contact for regular communication. Know WHO and WHAT you represent to the best of your ability benefits everyone.

A lot of brothers, sad to say, treat their grand rep appointment solely as another framed certificate on the wall. ALL Masons who visit lodges in foreign jurisdictions are to act as "ambassadors" for their home Grand Lodge. A good grand rep, within the scope of his office, can act to help make that happen for his brothers.

Oh.. as far as flying off to another jurisdiction annually? Diehard baseball and hockey fans do that for sporting events on a regular basis, don't they? It can be an amazing experience to view the annual communication of another jurisdiction- and your own- on a yearly basis. And it can also be a jumping off point of an extended vacation!