Jacksonville Spring Festival

Companions and Sir Knights,

I would like to thank you all for another great festival.  It seemed as if our participation was down, but as I looked around the lodge room during the degrees and orders, attendance looked roughly as it always does.  I was concerned that we were too unprepared, too  disorganized, and yet we pulled it off rather well.  The candidates’ statements at the end of the festival made it pretty clear that they were impressed with the dedication and devotion demonstrated by our York Rites.

There is occasional talk about the individual Chapters, Councils, and Commanderies conferring the degrees and orders themselves, and not involving the neighboring appendant organizations as we do now.  The reality is that none of have the manpower to pull it off without the help of our northeast brethren.  Truth be known, I like getting to catch up with members in the different groups – something afforded me because of the way we do our festivals.

The festival certainly takes us away from our families and homes.  It is most appreciated the time you all have given to this event.  As one of the new guys and being the commander of the very last degree, I was especially humbled that so many Sir Knights stayed to the end for the knighting of our newest Templar Knights.

It was a pleasure to work with you all and, again, thank you.


Mark Balester

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