Article by Right Worshipful Brother Dennis Sheridan
The Order of Knights of the York Cross of Honour (KYCH) first met on March 13, 1930 and formed the Convent General of the USA on June 6, 1930 by some diligent brothers from Monroe, North Carolina. The requirements for membership are the strictest of any other Masonic Body. One must have served as the Presiding Officer of the Lodge (Blue), Chapter (Royal Arch Masons), Council (Cryptic), and Commandery (Knights Templar) and then must be invited to join. An invitation is not automatic. Your peers must have faith in you as they ballot on you before you are invited to join.
I was initiated in 1980; Master in 84; District Deputy Grand Lecturer in 1988 and District Deputy Grand Master in 1989-90. I served as a Presiding Officer in the three Scottish Rite Bodies in the 1990s. I became Valley Secretary in 1994 and still am to this day. I was coronated a 33rd Degree Mason in 1995.
At that time, I was just getting very active in York Rite, having served as Excellent High Priest in 1993-94 and as Eminent Commander in 1995-96. I had served all but the Council as they were the farthest from me. My good friend and Brother David Edwin Lewis, now of Colebrook, called me and asked to me to join the Line and informed me it would qualify me for the KYCH. After some discussion, I said yes and was elected as Illustrious Master of Evening Star Council in 2001-02.
This qualified me and I received the invitation to join KYCH following that service. I went through the Line and was elected Prior (Master) in 2009. The day I performed as Prior was the day the Personal Representative of the Grand Master General asked me to replace him in that capacity in another year.
I also presided over three of the York Rite Grand Bodies and was elected as Grand Secretary-Grand Recorder of the three in 2009. I was also invited to belong to the other Appendant York Rite Bodies including the York Rite College. I served as Grand Governor for the College in 2006-2008. It was there I met the current Grand Master General Knight L. Alvin Hill, Sr. and began a lasting friendship.
When I was first installed as Personal Representative, I got my first taste of hosting the group from Convent General that annually attends the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at the end of June. The main organizer for that event was Alvin Hill. He remembered me and asked me to find entertainment for those traveling to Lebanon for the off nights. The history of Convent General’s support of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center shows 40 years of donating to this charity as of 2019. Convent General currently donates $75,000 annually. I was amazed to learn that they were so supportive of a charity right here in New Hampshire. It seemed that no one here was even aware of this!
I served as a Personal Representative for three years. My experience as a Past District Deputy Grand Master helped me immensely in performing the job, as well as holding the elected positions in the York Rite Grand Bodies. I thoroughly enjoyed the job, but thought traveling to Connecticut during the week for their meetings a little beyond the length of my cable-tow. I had to take vacation time to pull that off and I had other plans for that.
In the meantime, Brother Charles J. Kennedy from the Manchester York Rite Bodies passed away and I was asked to take on the job of Intendant General for the Red Cross of Constantine in N.H. This is an extremely highly sought-after position most members only dream of. It is another National Organization and I was the in-state Representative. I thought I would give up the KYCH Representative job to do this. Two days after I announced that I was seeking to retire from that Convent General job, I got a call from Past Grand Master General John R. Stracener, asking me to consider going into the Grand Line. I reiterated my earlier objection about week-day travel and was told as a Line Officer I could do whatever I thought was necessary to get the job done. They made it very hard to turn it down.
After conferring with my wife, I got into the Line in 2014. I still helped at the Cancer Center and started bringing more top personnel from NH there to visit with the Grand Officers at their June visits. I attended the Annual KYCH Conclave in Pennsylvania and got elected to the Line. Since then, the sessions have moved around to where the Presiding Officer wants to hold his session. I went to Florida, Georgia, Texas, Tennessee, and Iowa going through the Line. At the time of this writing, I am looking forward to hosting my Session in Nashua in October. We determined that any profit gained from our session would be donated to the Medical Research Foundation.
One of my first duties was to appoint a Grand Prelate to serve during my administration. Most Worshipful Past Grand Master Paul M. Leary agreed to serve in that position. I am most pleased that he took the position. I also appointed RW Brother Robert Sutherland as the District Representative for this year.