Who is High 12 International?
by Midnight Freemason Contributor
WB Gregory J. Knott
WB Todd Creason and myself recently led the formation of a High 12 club - Illini High 12 Club No. 768 based in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. But as we were going through the start-up process, many of our brethren asked, who are High 12?
"High Twelve International’s founder, former minister, E. C. "Wallie" Wolcott, who was the YMCA’s General Secretary at the time and eight of his business associates who were also Master Masons, met in Sioux City, IA, for fellowship and camaraderie and chartered the first High Twelve International club. It was Founders #1, chartered May 17, 1921."
"High Twelve is an organization of Master Masons who support Masonic causes with special emphasis on youth support and patriotic events. There are approximately 9,000 members in over 250 clubs nationwide and in foreign countries."
Brother Creason and I had been working on a Masonic lunch club for sometime and during a visit to the 2011 annual communication of the Grand Lodge of Illinois met Roger Carson, who was the Illinois High 12 Association President at the time.
Brother Carson helped us work through the chartering process and in June 2012 we officially became Illini High 12 No. 768. Brother Creason is the charter President and I am the charter Secretary. The club has been growing nicely and has over 40 members at the present time.
We have focused on 2 main goals for the club, emphasizing a relaxed informal meeting style and having guest speakers where our members have an opportunity to learn what is happening in our community. Our speakers have included a college president, county officials, and civic leaders.
Our club also has worked with the University of Illinois ROTC program to send care packages to troops overseas.
An additional benefit we have found is that our meetings are a great way to introduce prospective members to Masonry. Our meetings are open to anyone and several of our members have brought guests that have then petitioned the Blue Lodge.
I am very impressed with High Twelve and would recommend that brethren that want another avenue for fellowship consider joining a club. If there isn't a club in your area, start one, it's a relatively easy process and the rewards are large.
WB Gregory J. Knott is the Past Master of St. Joseph Lodge No. 970 in St. Joseph (IL) and a plural member of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), and Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL). He's a member of both the Scottish Rite, and the York Rite, and is the Charter Secretary of the Illini High Twelve Club in Champaign-Urbana. He's also a member of the Ansar Shrine (IL) and the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees. Greg is very involved in Boy Scouts--an Eagle Scout himself, he serves the Grand Lodge of Illinois A. F. & A. M. as their representative to the National Association of Masonic Scouters.