A couple of decades back, Ol’ Leroy McKrank decided to join the York Rite. Now this was the only other body of Masonry that Ol’ Leroy had ever joined, mainly because he refused to fork over the cash required to join any additional bodies. But at the time, each York Rite body’s dues were only five bucks a piece, so Ol’ Leroy thought it was a pretty good deal. Fifteen smackers for three organizations? Who could pass that up?
Leroy sat through all nine degrees, held over the course of a few months, with an expression of awe on his face. The Brethren of the York Rite took his expression to mean that he was thoroughly impressed with the degrees. However, Ol’ Leroy was actually in a state of shock. Everywhere he looked he saw extravagant sets for the degrees, various aprons with different designs upon them, and the most dumbfounding thing that Leroy noticed was the impressive uniforms of the Knights Templar. Shiny swords? Custom made chapeaus? This was surely the most wasteful display that he had ever seen in Freemasonry. Besides, Ol’ Leroy figured that you didn’t need three bodies to tell the whole story of the York Rite.
So after Ol’ Leroy McKrank had received the Order of the Temple, he went home and started to do some thinking. He was determined to create a less wasteful order for those that were interested in the York Rite, but he would also need a chance to implement it. He got the chance when the York Rite came to the Blue Lodge a few years later in dire straights. They needed help with the rent and Ol’ Leroy jumped at the opportunity.
“Well I’ll tell ya what your problem is,” Leroy told the High Priest of the Royal Arch Chapter, “too much gol’ dang waste! I got a plan that will save you all kinds of money and you won’t have to ask the lodge for nothin’!”
That is when Ol’ Leroy told them about the Council of the Knights of the Royal Arch. It was a single degree that enveloped all the teachings of the York Rite. It was like a book made into a movie. Sure, you get the general story line, but where is the content? Ol’ Leroy McKrank explained the degree in detail to the members.
“You see, you get your candidate to start off over here and then he goes and gets his work inspected and then can’t get paid, so he talks to the boss man and gets paid and to apologize for his not gettin’ paid the boss man makes him the Master of the Lodge. Then its time to dedicate the temple and then we tear it down and throw the candidate into the rubble to find some stuff and he does find some purdy important things.” Leroy proceeded to fly around the lodge room, giving a demonstration of the floor work for the degree. It looked as though he was running sprints from the west to the east and back to the west again. “Then we remind him of his last conversation with good ol’ Hiram who shows him where he’ll leave some important tools and when he goes to find what Hiram was tellin’ him about…well…the guards stop him and just about put him to death. But luckily, some other fella’ was nappin’ on the job so we’ll kill him instead and take it easy on the candidate this time.” Leroy cackled about his little joke before continuing. “So then he has to go to Persia and talk to that fella’ Darius and ask to build the temple. He gets into an argument about whether a beer, a purdy lady, or some ol’ duffer is more powerful and says that truth is better than all of them. Then he goes to Malta for some reason to become a Knight and then he winds up here and we read him the book of Matthew and take a few shots. You don’t need no swords or nothin’, just a couple of aprons and a couple of guys that can tell a story.”
Ol’ Leroy had a smile of pure satisfaction with his creation on his face. The members of the York Rite stood with their mouths open in disbelief. It is unknown whether they were so confused and awestruck by what they had heard or whether they were in such a destitute situation that they had no other options, but they accepted Ol’ Leroy’s proposal.
Leroy slapped his knee and cackled, “Now this is a Masonic degree!”
To this day, Ol’ Leroy McKrank’s York Rite body operates the only Council of the Knights of the Royal Arch.
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