Pictured above is the Investiture Cast: from back row center, Ill. Brother Dale Bryan 33°. Third row from left, Brother John Vernon 32° KCCH, Brother Bobbie White 32° KCCH, Brother Robert Couldry 32° KCCH, Brother Charles Baskins 32° KCCH, Brother Edward Stark 32° KCCH. Second row from left, Brother Dennis Vogel 32° KCCH, Brother Doug Wetlaufer 32° KCCH, Brother Kent Fisher 32° KCCH, Brother Larry Chambers 32° KCCH, Brother J R Meese 32° KCCH. Front row from left, Brother Don Dillman 33° (deceased), and Brother Steven Grossman 32° KCCH. Also, present were Brother Pat Squires 32° KCCH, Brother Emmett Bryson 32° KCCH, Ill. Brother Dave Lancey 33°, and Ill. Brother Jack Vernon 33°
The Knights Commander of the Court of Honor (KCCH), not being a Degree within the 33 Degrees of Scottish Rite Freemasonry, rather an investiture of designation or dignity, is bestowed upon deserving Brethren by the Supreme Council, Southern Jurisdiction. A Brother may not request the KCCH honor, if he does so, Southern Jurisdiction rules stipulate automatic refusal. To receive the designation a Brother must have been a 32° Mason for a minimum of 46 months, but typically the period is much longer. The Valley executive committee nominates Brethren for the honor. Being nominated KCCH, a Brother must be deemed to have given exceptional service to the Rite, Freemasonry, or his community, based on principles taught in the Scottish Rite Degrees. The most distinctive apparel of the KCCH Mason is his red cap, “a symbol of the nobility of the soul, which is the parent of all Knightly virtues.” It replaces the black cap earned upon becoming a 32° Mason. He will wear the red cap at all Valley meetings and Scottish Rite functions.
Pictured above are those honored Brethren who received this year’s Investiture. From left back row, Brother Lee Ross 32° KCCH, and Brother Ron Peterson 32° KCCH. Front row from left Brother Keith Smith 32° KCCH, Brother Darryl Price 32° KCCH, Brother Melvin Gordon 32° KCCH from the Valley of Columbia, MO, and Brother John Hammer 32° KCCH.
The Supreme Council, at the insistence of Grand Commander Albert Pike, created the KCCH rank on May 5, 1870. Its purpose was and remains to honor those Brethren who have shown significant achievement, without diluting the 32nd Degree by increasing its number of chosen members. It is in and of itself one of the greatest honors in the Southern Jurisdiction to hear the Sovereign Grand Commander say at the investiture’s culmination, “I Dub and Create Thee, a Knight Commander of the Court of Honor and may our Father in Heaven make thee a good Knight in the service of our fellow men”.
Many ask why ritual is so important in Freemasonry? The answer simply is that the ritual exemplifies in dramatic form, the principals of Masonic philosophy and the ethical norms that are the basis of a well-lived life. The Ritual is a teaching tool. By experiencing the ritual as initiates and afterward re-experiencing the ritual as observers, we begin to internalize the teachings of our fraternity. Many congratulations to all the Brethren who have received the designation of KCCH.