REPORT OF WILLIAM GENE “BILL” SNYDER
GENERAL GRAND PRINCIPAL CONDUCTOR OF THE WORK 2017-2020
General Grand Principal Conductor of the Work
Several of you in attendance at this Virtual General Grand Assembly were in attendance at my first public remarks as a candidate for this office in 2017. It was in Des Moines, Iowa, in August, 2017, and I stated that there had to be changes made at the General Grand Council. Quote: “You cannot be a great International organization until you have become a great National organization.”
At Portland, you gave me the honor of being a part of the problem and hopefully you will agree that changes have been made and that the General Grand Council has returned to the role for which it was established: The protection and preservation of the Cryptic Rite and the strengthening of the Grand Councils in the United States and elsewhere.
In becoming the General Grand Council that our ancestors envisioned, we made changes in the way that the General Grand Council operates. The General Grand Master recognized and adopted many suggestions offered by the Deputy General Grand Master and myself as well as incorporating ideas from our General Grand Treasurer and General Grand Recorder.
My primary assignment was to make it clear to any Grand Council that I visited or communicated with that the Degrees and Philosophy of the Cryptic Rite are of equal importance to any of the York Rite Degrees and Orders. Thus, I sought to promote and conduct the “Work” as being important and worthy of respect in our Masonic Halls. The General Grand Board of Trustees made this a new tradition for the office of the General Grand Principal Conductor of the Work. Perhaps this should be made a goal of your Grand Council’s Grand Principal Conductor of the Work.
I have found situations where the Cryptic Rite is belittled by our fellow Companions or Brothers. I have found that there are some who want to “change” the way Freemasonry operates so that their favorite body is in the driver’s seat. For those who belittle or diminish the Cryptic Rite, I simply note that you are ignorant. Ignorant of our recorded history, of our unrecorded history and legends and have no understanding of the true ancientness of the eternal lessons of our Degrees. I doubt that you have ever actually tried to understand the meaning and implications of the lessons of our Degrees.
Oh, I bet someone reading this is now feeling uncomfortable. Let me be clear, during the past three years, I have acted to protect, preserve and promote the Cryptic Rite. IN doing so, I have asked all of you to stop being comfortable or complacent. Be Cryptic! While I am a Scottish Rite 33rd Degree, a Templar Knight, a beholder of the Holy Royal Arch, and a past Grand Lodge officer, I endeavor to give equal importance to those Orders and Degrees and their ruling institutions. But none of you have the right to treat the Cryptic Rite as nothing, Masonic fluff, or just something you do between Royal Arch and obtaining Knighthood.
I enjoyed meeting and enjoying Cryptic fellowship with so many of you and look forward to working with my successor in office to carry on the new tradition.