YES, OUR 10th ANNIVERSARY. It is hard to believe that we are celebrating our 10th year on the Internet. In May of 1997, I wrote an article for this Knight Templar Magazine asking our readers: "Are YOU ready to "SURF THE NET"????. Are you "ON-LINE"???". I am reminded of a famous line from a movie I really enjoyed: "If you build it, they will come".
Brethren "YOU HAVE COME"!!! The estimate is that over five (5) million people have visited our York Rite Sites. The web sites for Grand Encampment (www.knightstemplar.org)
and www.yorkrite.com , now www.yorkrite.org ,together have had over one (1) million visitors. In 1997 there were 22 Masonic Grand Lodges and only 38 York Rite Bodies on-line. At that time when I visited State Annual Meetings to promote the Internet, about 50% of those present acknowledged having a computer and being on line. Recently in Alabama it was just about 100%. Today Every Grand Lodge and Grand York Rite Body has a web site. Today, mastermason.com shows 550 York Rite Bodies with web sites. A review of these sites show an increasing number of officers for each group, some 100%, have email addresses. "Theyorkritelist", a list server for ALL York Rite Grand Secretaries and Recorders, plus National Officers, currently had 267 members who get all important National York Rite News.
In my view this represents the "FIRST PHASE" of our WORK, getting everyone "on-line". The next phase is to make sites more "functional". Currently, for the most part we are an organization of paperwork and printed forms. My concept is that we need to develop forms that can be filled out on line, then "click" on SEND" and the information goes to the "person who needs the information or report". Right now some forms are being placed on-line which need to be printed and them mailed. Some Bodies have developed the type of on-line forms I suggest. We need to expand and work together on this phase.
In the area of publicizing National Events we have come a long way in 10 years. The National Event Calendar now begins to be compiled when each State completes it's Annual Meeting and defines next years meeting, the information is posted. Then as the time of the meeting approaches, additional information on hotel, meals and program is added. In as much as ALL of these meetings seem to be getting improved attendance, perhaps the publicity on the Internet has helped? This is another area where "Internet Forms" would help.
In conclusion, I would like to thank ALL the Brethren around the world who have supported the "York Rite of Freemasonry" on the Internet. We have had a "great start", but OUR WORK continues.
Sir Knight Dan Pushee is the Grand Encampment Webmaster and is a member and Past Commander of Jerusalem Commandery No. 19, Fitchburg, Massachusetts. He recently received his KCT from Grand Encampment in DC. His E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published 080514 Updated: August 5, 2014 Top