Milwaukee Brewed: A Recap of the 2019 GPUSA Grand Convent & Investiture and
Grand Magistral Council
Maj Chev. Sandor X. Mayuga, Esq., GCTJ; Assistant Grand Editeur

Growing up, I remember Milwaukee as the home of the ’57 World Series Champion Braves (remember Aaron, Mathews, Burdette and Spahn?), the “Beer Capital of the World” (Miller, Schlitz, Pabst and Blatz is not the name of a German law firm) and manufacturing (think Briggs & Stratton, Pfister & Vogel and of course Harley-Davidson). Despite the changes caused by the upheaval in the American economy over the last several decades, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that today Milwaukee has rebounded with a division leading National League baseball team (with the more politically correct name of the “Brewers” unless you belong to a temperance union), numerous boutique micro and craft breweries (in addition to old favorites Pabst and Miller) and a concerted effort to attract “new economy” start-ups in such industries as software development, finance and health care, to supplement the familiar “old economy” businesses that have survived and become stronger. Showcasing Milwaukee and its renaissance for the Grand C&I and the OSMTH Grand Magistral Council was a wonderful introduction to mid-American resiliency and perseverance.

And what a beginning! For those arriving Wednesday, our hosts arranged an immediate immersion in Milwaukee’s German roots with a buffet dinner at Mader’s. Billed as “Milwaukee’s Authentic German Restaurant” we enjoyed hearty cuisine, the Knight’s Bar and Bavarian décor. I never knew pretzel-bread could be so addictive.

On Thursday, while the Ceremonial Team and the Grand EXCOM were hard at work, the rest of us were also “hard at work” enjoying a tour of the Harley-Davidson Museum, lunching at a genuine “beer & brats joint” in downtown and learning how the initiative of its citizens and the support of private capital in the late 90’s, early 2000’s reversed Milwaukee’s decline and made it one of the most dynamic stories of recovery in the Midwest. We ended the tour at one of those “start-up” new businesses that has transformed the city, a microbrewery called Lakefront Brewery that has emerged as a major employer and revenue generator for the city. Of course it was incumbent upon each of us to test and verify the quality and consistency of its products while learning how Lakefront Brewery continues the brewing traditions of Milwaukee. We ended the day with a sunset cruise on the Milwaukee River and along the shoreline of Lake Michigan. We enjoyed cocktails and a sumptuous buffet while renewing and making new friendships, including many of the early arrivals for the OSMTH Grand Magistral Council.

On Friday, the business of the C&I commenced in earnest following the Opening Session with Training and Breakout Sessions in the morning and afternoon. In addition to sessions helping us execute our duties as Priory officers, there were roundtable sessions on the Pilgrimage, Scholarship and Legacy Giving, the Denton Amendment Program (aka Operation Knight Flight) and recruiting. In what has become a veritable fixture of Grand C&I’s, the afternoon session concluded with a spirited Middle East Panel Discussion with moderator Chev. David Fautua, Ph.D, GOTJ and panelists Mother Maria (formerly Sister Martha) and former student, now teacher Jacqueline Khouriya, a Palestinian Christian, Past OSMTH Grand Master BG Patrick Rea and OSMTH Chaplain General Bishop Munib Younan. The panel discussed the role of youth and education in helping to bring peace and stability to the Holy Land.

The Grand Prior’s 900th Anniversary Reception, complete with a saber cake-cutting ceremony, was held in the stunning and iconic Quadracci Pavilion of the Milwaukee Museum of Art designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. A dramatic venue for a dramatic celebration of the 900 years of the Knights Templar.

The Grand Council Meeting commenced on Saturday morning with the introduction of special guests including OSMTH International Grand Commander George MacLean, OSMTH Grand Master David Appleby and Mother Maria of the Bethany Orthodox School for Girls. Extensive reports by numerous Grand Officers followed. Of particular note was the distribution of the inaugural printed version of the SMOTJ Annual Report, an impressive document that will have many beneficial uses, including recruiting, marketing and fundraising. The Annual Report is also available on the SMOTJ website. Click here to view. In addition, substantive changes and clarifying language updates to the Manual of the Order were highlighted during the meeting. When referring to the Manual of the Order for guidance, members should always be sure they are consulting the latest version of the Manual maintained online.

A well-organized Grand Convent & Investiture was held at All Saints Cathedral and was executed without flaw. This was no mean task given the protocol issues and the Order of the Day: the investiture of 11 Postulants; awarding of two GPUSA Awards and one OSMTH Award; the elevation of four GPUSA Knights and one OSMTH Knight to Grand Croix; and the induction of four Knights into the Order of Merit. After the C&I, all attended the Grand Banquet in the Grand Ballroom of the Pfister Hotel. At the end of the evening GPUSA made a special presentation to Mother Maria of several ceremonial checks from various campaigns within GPUSA for the Bethany Orthodox School for Girls.

The Grand C&I concluded Sunday morning with a well-attended Ecumenical Service giving thanks for a successful Grand C&I and praying for peace in the Holy Land.

If you haven’t been to a Grand C&I … whether at all or in some time … you won’t want to miss the 2020 Grand Convent & Investiture hosted by The Priory of St. Matthew in Fort Worth, Texas. Each year there is more help for Priory officers and opportunities to learn about new initiatives. Best of all is friendship and camaraderie from greeting old friends and making new ones. Grand C&I’s just keep getting better.

See you in Fort Worth in 2020!


July 2019
Regular publication of SMOTJ GPUSA

In This Issue

  A Word from the Grand Prior

  Unveiling of the ARTM

  Christ has died...

  Milwaukee Brewed

  Raymond Davis Society, etc.

  Scholarship Students Graduate

  East Meets West

  Lead Generation Process

  Music for Charity

  Priory News

  Priory News (Cont'd)

  GPUSA Calendar

Non Nobis, Domine, Non Nobis, Sed Nomini Tuo Da Gloriam ®

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