2023 Triennial Crest

Report of the General Grand Recorder

Report of the General Grand Recorder
Submitted by RPC Stephen Balke, General Grand Recorder

RPC Stephen Balke
General Grand Recorder

To the Most Puissant General Grand Master, Officers, and Membership of the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons, International,

The unfortunate and unforeseeable personal circumstances presented to Right Puissant Companion Bryan Bechler within his first year of service to the General Grand Council afforded me an opportunity to serve with this team as his successor. While I am grateful for the opportunity and trust given me by the Companions, I do wish it had been under different circumstances. For just over two years, I have had the opportunity to continue his work and the transition from Most Puissant Companion David A. Grindle, who served this office well for three Trienniums.

As might be expected during any transition, there have been adjustments and adaptations during these two years, yet, I believe that we have accomplished much and are staged to continue this work into the next Triennium. As many of the projects that affect this office are technology oriented, and, I was also a part of an OUTSTANDING Technology Committee, please see the report of the Committee on Technology for the many items that fall under the committee’s purview. Those items which have been accomplished in this office are:

  1. Continued creation and distribution of the Cryptic Freemason Magazine through the end of the Triennium.
  2. Redesign of many of the forms for submission and templated format of future forms and reports of the General Grand Council to conform to both branding and data capture optimization.
  3. Fulfillment processes implemented to ensure that our Recorders and Grand Recorders are informed, that appropriate Good Standing is verified for any orders, and tracking is documented and available.
  4. Creation and adoption by the Trustees of certificates for our awards and service recognition.
  5. Leveraging video conferencing applications, and in addition to having regular and noted meetings of the officers, we have started meeting with the Grand Recorders and Recorders of Subordinate Councils to keep a regular update of events, activities, and news communicated by and between Jurisdictions in each Region.
  6. Realignment of the Chart of Accounts to the Universal Chart of Accounts (UCOA), which maps directly to the IRS Form 990 Tax Return.
  7. Transfer of database from Access to open source and web enabled underway.
  8. Successful move of the office of the General Grand Recorder to New Mexico.
  9. Development of information and presentation materials and templates to be used by our Regional Deputy General Grand Masters, General Grand Officers and our constituent members to inform our Companions of the programs and services available.

While many of these items would be considered a “work in progress”, we are making a great deal of headway in accomplishing the goals of customer service, effective communication, and inclusive reporting. As our team has grown to include many Companions with varied talents, the work is becoming more clearly defined and distributed. It has been a productive and pleasant experience working with the Trustees, Grand Recorders, Regional Deputies, Committees and many Companions worldwide to bring the Craft to its present condition; which is staged for continued growth and prosperity through cooperative, communicative and transparent work for the Craft.

On a personal note, I would like to thank both of our General Grand Clerks for this Triennium. Lady Karen Grindle has dedicated many years to setting and maintaining a high standard of response – ability for the office of the General Grand Recorder. Lady Michele Balke has taken up the challenge and is not only accompanying me on this journey, but also continuing to set and implement standards and procedures for excellent customer service, communication and transparency.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve and I hope to continue to work with such an outstanding team.

Fraternally submitted,

Stephen A. Balke
General Grand Recorder