By Right Puissant Companion Chuck McCollum
General Grand Treasurer, Cryptic Masons International
General Grand Treasurer
Cryptic Masons International
My name is Chuck McCollum and I am a running for re-election to the office of General Grand Treasurer.
This past Triennium has seen many improvements in how we manage our funds, report on our efforts, and communicate with our members on our financial status. We have also undergone a review using an Agreed Upon Procedure model for the financials for the 47th Triennium and the first two years of this.
It is my hope that with your support, and your vote, at the Triennial Session in August I can continue to work to move the General Grand Council forward and to accomplish great and wonderful things for Cryptic Masonry around the world.
Charles Andrew McCollum was born on September 3, 1962 in Cheverly, Maryland to Charles J. and Evelyn (Daigle) McCollum. At age three, his family moved to Sabetha, Kansas where they resided until Chuck was ten, when they moved to Newburyport, Massachusetts. Chuck attended Newburyport public schools, graduating from Newburyport High School in 1980 (35 years after his father had graduated from the same high school and 28 years before his youngest son did the same). While in high school, Chuck enlisted in the Army National Guard, taking basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey immediately after graduation. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Salem State College and an ROTC commission as a second lieutenant in the National Guard.
After graduation, he entered active duty in the U.S. Army. He took his basic infantry officer and airborne training at Ft. Benning, Georgia and was assigned to the Berlin Brigade, Germany. While in Berlin, his first son, Sean was born. Chuck and family left Berlin in January 1989, only months before the wall came down. Their next duty station was Ft. Lee, Virginia where Chuck took his advanced officer training and Parachute Rigger training, followed by assignment to the XVIII Airborne Corps at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, where his second son, Kevin, was born. While at Ft. Bragg, Chuck was deployed to Saudi Arabia as part of Operation Desert Storm, and to Florida following Hurricane Andrew.
Following completion of this tour, Chuck left the army in 1993 and took a job as a sales representative for Philip Morris in the Stamford, Connecticut area. He advanced to Unit Manager and was assigned to Harlem, in New York City. He left Philip Morris in 1997 and was employed as the Church Administrator for the First Presbyterian Church of New Canaan, Connecticut until September 2016. He is now the VP of Operations for CoActiv Medical Business Systems. After being introduced by Scott Sherrick in 2007, and following a whirlwind courtship, Chuck married the love of his life, the former Beth Ruskin in June of 2008.
Brother Chuck’s Masonic career began in Massachusetts, where he was raised in March 1984 by his future father-in-law in Warren Lodge of Amesbury, Massachusetts. He was appointed Junior Deacon that year but entered active duty before he could progress through the line. While on active duty, he visited lodges in several jurisdictions, and continued to study ritual work. After leaving the army and settling in Ridgefield, Connecticut he affiliated with Jerusalem Lodge #49, serving as Worshipful Master in 1997 and 1998. He affiliated as a dual member with Union Lodge #40 in 1998, serving as Worshipful Master in 2001. He has also served as Secretary of Jerusalem Lodge #49 and Treasurer of Union Lodge #40. He is a Past President, Past Secretary and Past Treasurer of the 1st Masonic District Blue Lodge Council, as well as Past Treasurer of the Ridgefield Masonic Temple Association. He is also a Past President of the Danbury Craftsman Service Club. In the Grand Lodge, he has served as Associate Grand Marshal of District 1A from 1995-1997 and again in 2003, on the Wooster Day Committee, the Membership and Retention Committee, and as Chairman of the District 1 CHIP Committee. He was appointed a Right Worshipful District Deputy in 2013 and reappointed in 2014 by MW Brother Simon LaPlace. He is the Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. of Austria near Connecticut. Chuck served on the Masonic Charity Foundation Board of Directors from 2007-2011.
In the Royal Arch, Companion Chuck was exalted in Washington Chapter #24 in Norwalk in 1995, and later affiliated with Eureka Chapter #23, where he served as High Priest in 1999, 2000, 2004 and 2008. Chuck affiliated as a dual member with Rittenhouse Chapter #11 in 2005 and serves as the Secretary/Treasurer. Chuck was installed as the Most Excellent Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Connecticut in June of 2005. In addition, he is Grand Representative of the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Ireland near Connecticut. He has served on the numerous Grand Chapter Committees including the Credentials Committee, Awards Committee, Program & Publicity Committee, Ritual Committee, Welfare of Chapters Committee, Annual Convocation & Banquet Committee, Jurisprudence Committee, and Budget & Finance Committee. He received the order of High Priesthood in 2001 and was appointed to the Convocation of Anointed High Priest officer line in 2002, advancing to become Excellent President in 2007. He was elected and installed Grand Treasurer in 2015. He was awarded the General Grand Chapter Medal in Bronze for Distinguished Service and the General Grand Chapter Ritual Jewel in 2015. In 2017 he affiliated with the newly consolidated Housatonic Chapter No. 13 and was elected Secretary/Treasurer.
Companion Chuck was greeted in Wooster Council #28 in Danbury in 1996, where he served as the Thrice Illustrious Master from 2001 through 2004, and again in 2009. He received the Order of the Silver Trowel in 2002 and was appointed to the Anointed King officer line in 2009, advancing to serve as Thrice Illustrious Master of Connecticut Council of Anointed Kings in 2014. He affiliated as a dual member with Washington Council #6 in 2005 and currently serves as the Recorder/Treasurer. He received the Knight of Ish Sodi award from MPGM Scott Sherrick in 2006. He was appointed to the Grand Council line in 2007 by MPGM Ray Tomlinson, progressing through the line to become Most Puissant Grand Master in 2013 and again in 2014. He serves as the Grand Representative of the Grand Council of South Carolina near Connecticut. He was elected and installed Grand Treasurer in 2015. In 2017 he affiliated with the newly Consolidated Paugussett Council No. 16 and was elected Recorder/Treasurer. In 2022 he received the Philip J. Jones Medal from MPGM James McNeely.
He was appointed Assistant Regional Deputy General Grand Master for the Northeast Region of the General Grand Council, Cryptic Masons International in 2016. He then served as Regional Deputy General Grand Master for the Northeast for the 2017-2020 Triennial. Companion Chuck was elected General Grand Treasurer at the 2020 Triennial session. He has been greeted a Companion of the Secret Vault and has received the General Grand Council Columbian Award.
Sir Knight Chuck was knighted in Clinton Commandery #3 in Norwalk in 1997, and later affiliated with Crusader Commandery #10 in Danbury, where he served as Eminent Commander from 2001 to 2007. He affiliated as a dual member with Stamford-Clinton Commandery (now Trinity Commandery) #3 in 2005 and is currently the Recorder/Treasurer. He is the Grand Representative of the Grand Commandery of
Missouri near Connecticut as well as Massachusetts/Rhode Island. He served as the Drill Captain of the Grand Commandery Drill Team which competed at the Grand Encampment Triennial at Houston, Texas. He has served on the Grand Commandery Prince Hall Relations Committee, the Off Probation Committee, the Tactics Committee, and the Long-Range Planning Committee. In 2008 SK Chuck was appointed Grand Inspector for the Grand Commandery and in 2009 he was also appointed Grand Warder. He was awarded the Knight Templar Cross of Honor by RESK Jack Stevens at the 2011 Grand Conclave. He also served on the York Rite Coordinating Committee, where he was the Treasurer. In 2017 he affiliated with Hamilton Commandery No. 5 and has served as Eminent Commander since 2021. He was elected and installed as Grand Treasurer in 2022.
After serving on the degree team of Connecticut York Rite College #17 for several years, Companion Knight Chuck was invited to join the College. Companion Knight Chuck served as the coordinator of the Symbolic Lodge Degree Teams from 1998 to 2008 and was the Director of the Ritual Cast for the Order of Knight of York from 1998 through 2004. In 2001 he was awarded the York Rite Sovereign College Service Award for his efforts. During his time on the cast, where he normally filled the Master’s station, he raised in excess of 30 new Master Masons. He was appointed to the officer line of the College in 2004 and progressed to serve as Governor in 2008. He received the Order of the Purple Cross in 2007. In 2010 CK Chuck was appointed Deputy Grand Governor for Connecticut of the York Rite Sovereign College of North America. He was reappointed to this office in 2012. He was appointed and installed as Grand Governor for Connecticut in 2014 and was reappointed in 2016. He currently serves on the Sovereign College Degree Team for the Order of the Purple Cross.
Chuck is also a member of the Scottish Rite in the Valley of Waterbury where he serves in the ritual cast for most of the degrees. He has served as the Thrice Potent Master of Doric Lodge of Perfection, Sovereign Prince of Ionic Council, Princes of Jerusalem and as Most Wise Master of Corinthian Chapter of Rose Croix. He also served as the Chairman of the Valley of Waterbury Executive Committee. He served on the Board of Governors of the Children’s Dyslexia Center in Waterbury from 2013 to 2018, where he was the Treasurer. Chuck was installed as the Treasurer for the Valley of Waterbury in 2008. He received the Illustrious Arthur M. Brown, 33rd Meritorious Service Award at the 2009 Council of Deliberation meeting. He was appointed to the Lafayette Consistory Line in 2012 but withdrew in 2018. He was elected a Trustee for the Consistory in 2013. At the Supreme Council session in 2015 Chuck received and was coroneted as a 33rd Degree Mason.
Chuck is a member of Mohawk Council #28 Knight Masons and was appointed to the officer line in 2007, advancing to become Excellent Chief in 2012. He was invited to join Nathan Hale Council No. 78 Allied Masonic Degrees and Connecticut College SRICF in 2009 and has served in both officer lines, including as Sovereign Master in the AMD in 2014. He was invited to join Connecticut Priory No. 28 Knight of York Cross of Honor in 2011 and joined the officer line in 2012, serving as Prior in 2017. He served as the Personal Representative for District 2 from 2019-22 when he was elected and installed as the Grand Sentinel of Convent General. Chuck was received into Apostles Tabernacle XVIII Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests in 2013 and served as the Preceptor for 2020 and 2021. He became a member of the Royal Order of Scotland in 2018.
Chuck is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He is active in his church, serving as a Sunday School teacher, lay reader, greeter, usher, sound technician, Chair of the Stewardship Committee and Treasurer