Inspection day arrived for Temple Commandery No. 4 on Saturday, February 23, 2013. The morning began with set-up, of course, and the old adage “many hands make for light work,” while true, doesn’t necessarily apply to the actual weight of items when they’re being hauled down from the fourth floor of the Scottish Rite Center in Des Moines. Still, we did have many Sir Knights helping and while the work may not have been light, it was enjoyable.
The inspection of Temple Commandery No. 4 was the first order of the day. Sir Knight Richard "Butch" Zummak, Past Grand Commander, performed the inspection. This was my first inspection and it wasn’t as intimidating as I anticipated. The more experienced guys helped me out with what to do and what to say, but still, I was nervous: I didn’t want to be the guy costing us points. Last May at the annual Conclave I discovered I had lost a button off of my jacket; the sword belt buckle had cut it off. This time, my wife graciously sewed it on with fishing line and all was well!
After the inspection, we went through the opening of a Commandery. I had a very small part, Treasurer, but still struggled with the line. After opening, we had lunch and prepared for the Order of the Temple. The Order of the Temple wasn’t just an inspection of how well we knew the ritual and work, but also an actual Order of the Temple with five candidates. My part was to play the third guard and although this time I had a few more lines than in the opening, I felt that I did better. The Order of the Temple is one of my favorite Masonic degrees/orders; the religious theme and setting has an impact on me each time I see it. Iowa’s Grand Master, Most Worshipful Bryce Hildreth, was with us Saturday and told the class that he found the Order of the Temple to be one of his favorites, and he has certainly seen a lot of different degrees!
After the class and guests departed, props needed to be stored, and humping all of the props up the stairs to the fourth floor can certainly work up quite a thirst for Sir Knights. Needless to say, refreshments were available, and enjoyed.
The day concluded with members of Temple Commandery No. 4 and other Sir Knights forming an Arch of Steel for the Za Ga Zig Shrine’s Potentate at the Potentate’s Ball. Sir Knight Gregory L. Andersen, Right Eminent Grand Commander of Iowa, led sixteen Sir Knights in the impressive ceremony; a few pictures of which are below.
In all, it was a fantastic day for this Sir Knight. Freemasonry offers many opportunities to improve one’s self, and although I’ve only been a part of the York right for just over a year, I’m finding it to be one of the most important parts of my masonic activities. The religious lessons taught by the Order of the Temple are the most powerful expression of Christian belief that I have experienced in Freemasonry. In addition, since York Rite bodies tend to be more localized and smaller, it’s easier to build close friendships. Plus, you get to wear a sword. Now how cool is that!
The pictures below are from the Downtown Des Moines York Rite's Temple Commandery #4 inspection and the Arch of Steel.