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AMD & Knight Masons Councils – what they do

The comments appearing below were written by members of each of the Councils, and are possibly only the opinions of one individual. The purpose of this webpage is to share information about how members of AMD and Knight Masons Councils view what their individual Councils are doing, in the hope that sharing this information can lead to all of us who belong to Councils attempting to improve what happens.

AMD Councils & their Meetings

Half Moon Council No. 2
New York
From an email November 2006: From its number you may assume that it is one of the oldest in the USA. Ronald M. Goldwyn is Council’s secretary. We also have one of the few Royal Ark Mariner Lodges moored to our Council and it is Half Moon Lodge No 1, RAM, but in recent years the officers of the Council serve as the officers of the lodge that includes member of other councils in the New York City area. Half Moon Council No. 2 also is the only council in the USA that may induct a Master Mason who is NOT a Royal Arch Mason into our Council, but we have NEVER exercised this right. These two bodies meet four times a year at the call of the Sovereign Master.
Joseph Murrow Council #10
We meet two times a year. We always open in due form and have a business meeting. Once each year we confer the Excellent Master Degree. At the other meeting a paper is presented on some subject of Masonic History or York Rite Masonry. Our meetings are not open to spouses, or non-AMD members
McMillon Council #15
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Meets in Tulsa, OK. We have been having 4 meetings per year and trying to stick to the following format:
1 Dinner meeting for members only with a degree conferred on candidates after dinner.
2 Dinner meeting for members and their ladies with some type of evening out. Last year we went to a local live theater performance. This year we went to an outdoor production of the Broadway play Oklahoma. Next year we plan a dinner cruise on a nearby lake that runs several large paddle boats.
3 Dinner meeting for members only with business meeting, voting etc. followed by a research paper prepared by Master or another member.
18th century style table lodge meeting with festive board. We are trying to invite in an outside Masonic speaker for this meeting.
Finger Lakes Council #40
upstate New York
Meets quarterly. They do no degrees and whatever papers are presented are watered down to five minutes or so. Sometimes they have a “two-minute drill” where they go around the table. I have heard maybe two papers in the several years that I belong. They have a good annual picnic, which is one of the four meetings.
William J. Gronning Council #83
Freehold, New Jersey
Meets four times a year. We meet in a Blue Lodge, using both the lodge room and the kitchen/dining area. Before our meetings, we get together [wives too] for a home-cooked meal and conversation. After an hour or so of that, the members head upstairs to the lodge room for the meeting. There is a due form of opening and closing, but I must say the AMD keeps it simple. After the regular business is addressed, the reading of members’ research papers begins. I wish I could say all 27 members of our Council are regular participants, but we draw about 12 to a meeting.
Once a year, all of the AMD Councils in the state will come together for an ‘ingathering.’ Again, we meet at a lodge and hear research papers and eat, but in greater numbers. Degrees also are worked here.
Inkopah #86
San Diego, California
We meet quarterly. We meet in a Lodge Room and usually have two papers presented, each followed by discussion. We begin at 3:00 PM on a Sunday afternoon, and close about 5:00 PM. We then move to a local restaurant for dinner…frequently joined by our ladies.
Lord Fairfax Council #90
Fairfax, Virginia
Always meets 4 times a year, on 5th Fridays (most, not all) and in December for elections – Research papers always presented, but some are “light research”
Winter Haven Council #115
My AMD Council is the first one to be authorized to set up shop in Florida. It was chartered sometime in the 70’s and remained the sole council in the state until the 90’s. We meet quarterly and always present a paper at our meeting. We first meet for dinner at a local restaurant, where we have our own little room to eat together. Then, we proceed to Lodge and conduct our business meeting. After the meeting, we invite in the ladies and a paper is presented. Our membership number of 27 is usually complete and one must wait for an older member to pass away for an opening to develop. We have a very compatible group and can boast of an attendance rate of 80 to 90% at our meetings.
Princess Anne Council #129
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Meets four times a year. Most of the meetings are preceded by a pot luck dinner. Then a paper is given, we have had two degrees exemplified.
Red River Council #193
Fargo, North Dakota
Meets once per month. We take one of the Tuesday nights – the night York Rite meets. We alternate between doing AMD degree work and open dinner and paper presentation meetings at which our families, prospects, etc., are welcome. I know the AMD Council in Bismarck, ND is similar, alternating between Degree meetings and open paper luncheons. The AMDs is this area have several times discussed a simple sharing of research papers, in light of the minimal space Grand AMD has for publication.
In Minnesota an AMD meeting is held in conjunction with their annual Chapter/Council meetings (in addition to all of their regular meetings).
The AMD in Fargo is doing quite well. We are usually at capacity with a few prospects. We are considering starting up a parallel council to meet with us and allow for expansion. Part of our problem is that the current Emeritus system doesn’t allow for taking care of our ‘deadwood’ of nonattending past sovereigns and out-of-towners. Aggravating that problem is our secretary having some difficulty communicating with grand to get his questions answered. If we could, a lot of us would transfer to Grand Master Council to make room for new members.
Alex M. Conner Council #201
Newport News, Virginia
We meet on the fifth Friday of the month which equates to approximately once a quarter. We and our ladies meet in one of our local lodges, have a covered dish dinner hosted by the Sovereign Master and his lady. We then open the Council and perform what business we need to. After the Council is closed, the ladies and other visitors are invited in and the paper for the quarter is read by the author. Like all things Masonic, the major problem is attendance.
Loch Lomond Council #235
Johnson County, Kansas
part of Kansas City
Meets four times per year. Generally, we talk about one of our  thirteen degrees, hear a paper, or talk about an interesting place that  someone has been. One of our members is the Grand Representative to the  Grand Mark Master Lodge of France and told us about going to their Grand Session.
Kit Carson #237
San Diego, California
We meet quarterly. We meet in a Lodge Room and usually have two papers presented, each followed by discussion. We begin at 3:00 PM on a Sunday afternoon, and close about 5:00 PM. We then move to a local restaurant for dinner…frequently joined by our ladies.
Charlie Stroebel Council #247
Rochester, Minnesota
Meets in the spring and fall, with the fall meeting being the annual meeting in Rochester, MN. The spring meeting may vary in location. Meetings feature reading through a degree and presentation of at least one paper which may be original or presented with the permission of the author. It is followed by lunch, attended by members of Charlie Stroebel AMD Council 247 and Knight Masons. Charlie Stroebel Council 247 is one of five AMD councils in Minnesota.
St. Bernard de Clairvaux #256
Indianapolis, Indiana
Meets 3 times per year:
Dinner meeting with investiture and installation, black tie.
2 meetings with discussion topics, presentations, or degree exemplification.
Olin S. McDaniel Council #259
My AMD Council in Missouri meets quarterly in the evenings. Because of the area we cover, we meet in the Cape Girardeau area every other quarter and in the Farmington (St. Louis) area every other quarter. Our wives are invited and we begin with dinner. Afterwards a paper or talk is presented either by a member or a guest speaker. If the paper or talk is appropriate for all, the wives remain and if not, they dismiss themselves. Afterward the wives are dismissed for a few minutes while a short business meeting is conducted.
 Great Lakes Council #273
Constituted in 1991, we meet 3 times a year generally in the Milwaukee or Madison areas at a restaurant with a private room. There is a meal followed by a program. Ladies are invited.
National Capital Area Council #296
Washington D.C.
Meets when called by the Sovereign Master, sometimes only once a year, sometimes more – usually only conducts business such as membership and bylaws, but on occasion members have read a degree
Britannia Council #303
Los Altos, California
Meets once a quarter, mostly in the manner of a British Lodge. We are usually attired in dinner suits (tuxes) and conduct the business part of the meeting within (!) a Lodge of St. Lawrence the Martyr. We have done the Royal Ark Mariner degree, the St. Lawrence the Martyr degree, and others that I am too new to have participated in. We also have Oxford style debates, and learned papers, presented by Companions or outsiders (after being called down). Afterwards, we adjourn to the refectory to enjoy casual conversation over sherry and cheeses, followed by a festive board at a local restaurant, complete with all of the traditional toasts.
I participated in a debate on “Resolved: Masonry is, and ought to be, a religion” which really got things stirred up!
We’ve had Brother Dorothy Howard, a member of Womens’ Masonry from Great Britain, give us a talk on how the Order originated, how one joins, and their growth.
I’ve heard papers given on Neo-Platonism, a conjecture on the derivation of the substitute for the Lost Master’s Word, and the following papers contained on our web-site:
Charity Through Interpersonal Relationships – “This paper will attempt to expand and interpret my thoughts on this subject. My approach is to examine from our ritual some of the references to personal charity and relate it to my years of experiences and the profound influence these words have on me. I assert that one reason for our decline in membership can be traced to uncharitable remarks from one brother to another brother. These remarks turn off many who were ready to contribute. This research is based on my Masonic relationships which began in 1946 and spread to two jurisdictions. I have received many inputs from brothers who have come from other Lodges, so I hope that no one takes these comments personally.”
The History & Ritual of “The Toast” – “In the ritual of modern dining however, one could almost say there is a legitimate third element when we discover that the “accompanying” drink is almost always considered and kept very separate, existing in most cases in a world and culture all its own and totally outside the meal itself.”
North Atlanta Council #313
Meets locally twice as year and also at a statewide meeting normally held in July. At our regular meetings, we confer the Royal Ark Mariner degree on any new members and usually have a normal business meeting. At the annual statewide meeting, our Council confers the Royal Ark Mariner degree and the Red Branch of Erie. The Sovereign Master may call meetings for practice or any other purpose. We had a special meeting in April just for the purpose of fellowship. We invited the members and their families for a free dinner and entertainment. It turned out to be a great event which we will probably do annually.
Solomon #364
Northern Neck, Virginia
We meet on the 5th Tuesday in Tappahannock for dinner, a short business meeting, and usually one or two papers. We have a 5th meeting during Dec for the sole purpose of elections. We have less than our full compliment of 27 but we still should average about a paper and a half per meeting in order for everyone to meet our requirement of a paper every three years. If our pace of papers doesn’t pick up, we’re going to lose a few for lack of contributions….
Perfect Ashlar Council
northern Virginia
Always meets 4 times a year – Research papers always presented, but many are “light research”
Clarence O’Neil Council
north eastern Ohio
Meets quarterly. Meetings are always on a Sunday afternoon. Ladies attend the gatherings with their husbands. While the men are in meeting the ladies, go shopping, gossip or whatever. The council meets at 3:00pm, Opens, enough business to read the minutes, petitions if necessary, pay any bills. Research papers on any Masonic subject are presented by the members, One paper is required every 5 years as minimum for membership. Meetings end around 4:30pm. The men and ladies join together at a local restaurant for dinner together. I should have mention we visit various Masonic Temples each time.
Kansas Most meet 3 to 4 times a year. What they do varies with each one (I belong to 3 and there are 6 now in Kansas) degree work in different forms; one reads a degree and every one talks about how to do it & what they think it means, another tries to put on at least one different  degree each meeting, one looks into the history of any craft degree, etc
Melrose St. John
Rosemead, California
Meets quarterly on Sunday afternoon. Lunch with the ladies first, then meeting. We have degrees occasionally, but will always have a research paper presented.
Michigan 4 AMD Councils in Michigan – Thistle & Rose, Crusader, Ionic, Marcellus — We all follow a fairly equal format. Dinner with the ladies (every meeting for Crusader & Ionic – special occasions for T&R and Marcellus). Followed by a paper presentations (sometimes a special program in place of a paper) and a quick business meeting without the Ladies. They meet quarterly.

Knight Mason Councils & their Meetings

New Jersey Council #10
New Jersey
Meets quarterly, but at a well known banquet hall instead of a lodge. We’ll meet in the dining area [wives too] for dinner, and then withdraw to a room equipped with a dais and other furniture that allow us to simulate a lodge room. It works well enough. I’m brand new to this organization, but from what I can tell ours is a little more ambitious than other Councils, as we confer degrees during our meetings.
In fact, at our next meeting [on Halloween] we will confer one of the three KM degrees and will host the Most Excellent Great Chief of Knight Masons, USA.
Indiana Council #15
Indianapolis, Indiana
2 Meetings per year:
1 “Donnybrook”; dinnerinitiation, afterglow party
1 Meeting; election of officers and installation
Mohawk Council #No 28
East Hartford, Connecticut
From an email November 2006: Ronald M. Goldwyn is Excellent Chief of Mohawk Council No 28 of the KM of the USA. My council meets but three times a year, once in October which is our Annual meeting, a summer social at a restaurant usually in August, and a spring meeting in April. Since this is the only Knight Mason council in the state of Connecticut, we have our members traveling from all corners of the state. Presently we have met in the York Rite building in East Hartford CT which is in the North central part of the state.
Emerald Isle Council #30
Virginia Beach. Virginia
Meets twice a year with Hampton Road York Rite College #95. One meeting is the annual, and the other we do degree work.
Mystic Brotherhood Council #35
Our council was set up in Fort Myers, the second council to be chartered in Florida. In the early years, we met quarterly (always on the 5th Saturday of the month where possible, so as to afford attendance by as many as possible) with a dinner at a local restaurant preceding the meeting. Then we would proceed to lodge and conduct a business meeting. Many times, we would have candidates and if we did, we would hold the meeting and confer all the degrees in full form in the afternoon and THEN proceed to a local restaurant for a dinner. Since we serviced the southwest coast of Florida, we would vary our meeting locations – one time meeting in Fort Myers, then meeting in Sarasota, for example. I have not been to a meeting in quite some time, so I do not know if they have stuck to these traditions we tried to set up.
Brian Boru #38
southern California
There are two Councils in Southern California. We meet twice a year. At one meeting each year (the first) the degrees are conferred and at the second the business of the order is conducted and the officers elected and installed. Each meeting is followed by a dinner…sometimes in the Lodge Hall in which we meet and sometimes we adjourn to a local restaurant.
Killarney #56
southern California
There are two Councils in Southern California. We meet twice a year. At one meeting each year (the first) the degrees are conferred and at the second the business of the order is conducted and the officers elected and installed. Each meeting is followed by a dinner…sometimes in the Lodge Hall in which we meet and sometimes we adjourn to a local restaurant.
Tipperary Council #62
I was only recently initiated into Knight Masons, but the same basic format seems to be the norm. We meet quarterly on a Saturday afternoon and wives are invited for the luncheon. While business and/or conferral of the three degrees is being conducted, there’s a program for the wives.
Carl F. Lester Council #65
We meet twice a year, once midyear to confer the degrees and once at the Annual Communication for elections and installation. We usually invite the ladies to attend the midyear meeting, have lunch together and furnish entertainment for the ladies while we confer the degrees. At the Annual meeting we have a banquet, elections and then invite nonmembers in for the installation.
Drogheda Council #68
Johnson County, Kansas
part of Kansas City
Founded four years ago. We generally just do business and put on degrees. We meet four times per year.
Universal Council #70
Washington D.C.
Meets when called by the Excellent Chief, usually twice a year – usually has a speaker on a Masonic subject, such as history of Knight Masons, plus business such as new members
Minnesota Council #79
Meets in the spring and fall, with the fall meeting being the annual meeting in Rochester, MN. The spring meeting may vary in location. The meeting of Minnesota Council No. 79, Knight Masons is in the early afternoon. It features degree work for the new candidates, and discussion of whatever business that may come before it.
Meets twice per year. Once in conjunction with United Craftsman Council of Engineers. I think the other is in conjunction with AMD.
Oklahoma Our Knight Mason Council has been meeting 2-3 times per year and doing only blue lodge style meetings with members only. These meetings take place on days when we have all of the smaller bodies meet on the same day one after another. For example the other AMD in the State (Father Murrow #10) meets at 9am, the MSRCIF meets at 10, Philalethes holds an open lunch meeting at a local restaurant at noon with a paper presented, at 1pm the York Rite College meets, followed by the Knight Masons.
This makes a nice compact day similar to what goes on in DC for the February meeting. It helps attendance at all of the bodies since it is a long trip for many of us, this gets them all out of the way at once.
Fowler Council
Cleveland, Ohio
Meets quarterly. This is only our 2nd full year. So far all we have done is read petitions and confer orders, we are still growing.
Kansas Meets 3 times a year in the 2 Councils I belong to. They usually do the 4 degrees if candidates are present, short business & election once a year. Instillation may be open or closed simple or VERY formal
Michigan Our KM Council (Trinity) – only meets twice a year. Men only. Dinner. Meeting. Degree work.
Wisconsin The Knight Masons came to Wisconsin in November 1991, when the national president (Great Chief) Howard Caldwell conferred the degrees “at sight” on 39 candidates a the Blackhawk Country Club in Madison. At first, the Wisconsin Council was to be known by the name Killey-Re, but the charter was issued to the Crown ‘n Cork Council, with Robert Read as the first Excellent Chief. (Forward Freemasonry Vol. 2, page 270)


Outside the U.S.

Australia From an email Nov. 12, 2006:There are now (Nov 2006) two Knight Masons Councils in Australia and one in New Zealand, each under the Grand Council in Dublin Ireland.  Each of the Australian Councils meets twice each year, one in Launceston, Tasmania and the other in Melbourne in the State of Victoria.

I am a member (currently JW) of Isaac Council No. 113, in the District Grand Council of South Australia, of the “Order of Allied Masonic Degrees of England and Wales and Territories Overseas”. We meet four times a year. A Lodge of St Lawrence opens and closes each meeting. We also work one of the other Degrees at each meeting, so that a candidate takes 4 meetings to receive all five degrees (St Lawrence, Knight of Constantinople, Red Cross of Babylon, Grand High Priest, and Grand Tilers of Solomon). This is not an invitational Order in this part of the world, and as a rule we work the various rituals of the different degrees. There is no presentation of lectures or research papers in my experience. But then those things may be done at a Research Lodge, at meetings of  Rosicrucian Study Circle, and occasionally at Mark, RA Chapter, KT and AAR (Rose Croix – 18°) meetings.

Knight Masons do not exist in Australia. The closest may be found in Hong

The original enquiry was for information about how meetings are conducted
in USA, but I thought others might be interested to hear how we do it in


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