“To be good and true is the first lesson we are taught in Masonry… the heart and tongue join in promoting each other’s welfare, and rejoicing in each other’s prosperity.”
The York Rite Sovereign College of North America held its 2023 General Assembly from July 27-30 in Providence, Rhode Island. The event was attended by Companion Knights from all 50 United States as well as Canada and the Philippines.
Alabama Masons recognized at this event were the following:
Companion Knight Jason Crowe received the York Rite Sovereign College Service Award
Distinguished Brother Lee Gibson received the Order of the Purple Cross (OPC)
Right Eminently Distinguished Brother Emory “Smokey” J. Ferguson received the Knight Commander of the Order of the Purple Cross (KCPC)
Note: Alabama has other OPC nominees that were unable to attend and receive their recognition this year and I hope to recognize them, along with others, who will receive recognition in 2024.
The York Rite Sovereign College Service Award is given to one College member per state annually if an individual is nominated. The Award recognizes patriotism, service to country, to Lodge, Chapter, Council, and Commandery.
Brother Crowe is a retired Colonel having served in Afghanistan, a instructor for several Master Masons, a volunteer for community service projects, active in Scottish Rite and National Sojourners promoting youth leadership programs, ROTC scholarship presentations, and organized the Huntsville Valley Scottish Rite to be the Titanium Sponsor (top level) for the Alabama A&M 150 Year ROTC Ball.
Brother Gibson was nominated and elected to receive the Order of the Purple Cross for his service to Lodge, Chapter, Council, and Commandery having served as the top officer of each York Rite body, the Secretary for Huntsville York Rite Bodies, Past Governor of Monte Sano York Rite College, Secretary of Monte Sano York Rite College, Sovereign Master of Ten Sephiroth Council AMD, as well as in other Masonic bodies.
Brother Ferguson was selected for the Knight Commander of the Order of the Purple Cross by the recipients of that award (see list below). Brother Ferguson’s accomplishments are too long to list, but to summarize key points, the following is notable:
Brother Ferguson served as Past Master of Helion Lodge, Past High Priest of Eunomia Chapter, Past Commander of Huntsville Commandery, as the Past Grand officer of each Grand York Rite body of Alabama, as General Grand High Priest of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International, as Governor of Monte Sano York Rite College, Deputy Grand Governor of Alabama, Grand Governor of Alabama, became Associate Regent receiving the OPC, then became of 1 of no more than 40 (currently 31) Regents for the York Rite Sovereign College of North America serving as Regent from 1992 to the present (31 years) to receive the KCPC. Brethren, as a true Royal Arch Mason, Smokey is always willing to undertake any portion of the work, even the most humble, and can still be found serving as a treasurer or secretary whenever needed, he has served in support of fundraisers that required long hours with no recognition other than a perhaps a photo in the lodge newsletter, and other tasks that go unrecognized altogether.
Each of these brothers well represented Alabama to the several brethren of North America that attended the event (over 300 Companion Knights and Ladies attended the banquet).
For more information on the York Rite College visit:
York Rite Sovereign College of North America at yrscna.org
York Rite Colleges of Alabama at yrc.alyorkrite.org
Finally, brethren, as our Blessed Redeemer has said, “Let your light so shine among men that they may see your good work and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”