Chicago Council Princes of Jerusalem

2022-2023 Annual Report

Illustrious Active, Illustrious Deputy Representative, Thrice Potent Master, Most Wise Master, Commander-in-Chief, Past Sovereign Princes, Officers of Chicago Council Princes of Jerusalem, and Princes all,

The following constitutes my report for the Scottish Rite fraternal year 2022-2023.

Harvest-time of September brought us a special degree night and joining opportunity on a Thursday. The 4th degree video was shown to the select candidates who joined that night. Dinner was provided to all members attending, with both the 6th degree and the 15th degree being presented in full form afterward. The Council was represented admirably by its own Alan Betker, KCCH, as degree director for the 15th. Thank you to all the members that made the performance a success, and also to Thrice Potent Master Owens for being willing to participate in this special event with us.

An opportunity to travel to the Supreme Council Headquarters in Lexington arose in October. The Valley of Chicago was a recipient of the 2021-2022 Valley of Excellence Award. This was our second consecutive win. Most Wise Master Kristeffor Caldwell and I were pleased to represent the VOC, along with our Illustrious Active Anthony R. Cracco, 33°, and accept the award on your behalf. While in the area, we were able to tour the NMJ Museum, Library, Archives, and the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. It was fantastic! I highly recommend visiting those locations if Providence ever provides you with the possibility.

November’s Fall Reunion allowed us to show appreciation to Ill. William E. Tienken, 33°, Past Sovereign Prince 2009-2010, for all his service to the Valley by designating him as the Class Honoree. The Wild West theme was enjoyed by the membership in both the well-attended Friday night kickoff party and in some of the select degrees presented on Saturday. The enthusiastic participation was memorable.

Keeping the enthusiasm going in November, we were pleased to welcome back the second annual Scottish Rite Valley of Chicago Double Eagle Con. On the third Saturday, we enjoyed five scholars speaking on a variety of Scottish Rite-themed topics. Thank you to Ill. Charbel T. Fahed, 33°, Mark Dreisonstok, 32°, KCCH, Andy Albright, 32°, KCCH, Robert W. Marshall, 32°, and Scott S. Dueball, 32°. You gentlemen shared much light with us and I appreciate your willingness to participate in this endeavor. A very special thank you again goes out to Brother Robert Johnson. It is not an understatement to say that the educational program owed its success in large part to Robert’s tireless efforts. Thank you.

Yule-time celebrations saw the four Presiding Officers color coordinate their Santa hats to their respective line color (blue, green, red & black), and wear them with their agreed-upon bearded interpretations of Jolly O’ St. Nick for the annual Member Holiday Party. What a fun time! Then in February, we had a special Degree Road Trip to the Valley of Indianapolis. This overnight bus trip provided members attending the chance to witness VOI’s 20th degree and VOC’s own 22nd degree. We also had an amazing tour of the Valley of Indianapolis Cathedral. Thank you to Indianapolis’ Brother Carson C. Smith for his fantastic tour. He is certainly a wealth of knowledge and I felt privileged to have been there. Thank you also to Brother Michael Kuniej for again attending to all the little details that made the trip a success.

Our Spring Reunion had the theme of Masonic Treasures. The Library and Museum Committee again created many excellent educational storyboards that explored the reunion theme. We are much obliged for their research time and efforts. That being said, an actual fine living example of the theme was our Class Reunion Honoree, Ill. Russell L Schlosser, 33°, Past Commander-inChief 2008-2009. We appreciate him for not only all his service to the Valley but also for his extensive service to Masonry across the various bodies. He is a true Masonic Treasure.

Ultimately, I want to extend a heartfelt “Thank You” to all the Brothers who have been willing to share their time, insight, and wisdom with me. Joy is the word that comes to mind when I reflect upon all the wonderful memories I have been blessed with on my Scottish Rite journey. Thank you to everyone that has been a part of that. Some may recognize their reference, while others may not. Nonetheless, please know that I am grateful. You have each made an impact on my life. It has been my great honor and a true delight to serve our Scottish Rite Valley of Chicago.

And finally, thank you to my fellow Presiding Officers; Reuben Owens, Kristeffor Caldwell, and Brandon Zears. It was a pleasure to have the privilege of working closely with each of you, both separately and as a team. It was refreshing to experience just how much can be accomplished when Brothers are able to work together with mutual respect and civility toward a common goal.

Please accept my deepest gratitude.

Fraternally submitted,

David A. Truax
Sovereign Prince