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30 November 2023


Ralph L. Perry








The History of
Saint Cyprian Conclave

Knights of the Red Cross of Constantine


St. Cyprian Conclave was chartered on the 18th  of June, 1920, of the Red Cross of Constantine chartered by the Grand Imperial Council of Knights of the Red Cross of Constantine and Appendant Orders for the United States of America, Empire of the West.

     On the 28th day of October, 1918, Charles C. Homer, then the Grand Master of Masons in Maryland, called together in his office fourteen leading Maryland Masons. He discussed with them the fine things he had heard and seen about a Masonic organization called the Red Cross of Constantine. The group decided to apply for a Conclave in Maryland to be known as Saint Cyprian Conclave of Baltimore. The Imperial Council at its June meeting in Boise, Idaho, granted the request; and, according to their records, issued a Dispensation which was to be returned with a report of all activities before a charter could be issued. We are known as Saint Cyprian No. 41, although no charter has ever been found and it is doubtful if one was ever received. Nevertheless, we continue to operate and to hold our stan­dard high. A total of 109 members have come into Saint Cyprian in our 77 years, an average of 1.4 per year.
     During these years meetings have been held in a variety of places. At first it was required that they be held only once a year (in December for election and installation). Special assemblies could be called, however, by the Sovereign or by any five members in writing. Most of the meetings have been held in Baltimore. But they have also been at Gettysburg, York, Boiling Springs and Pittsburgh, Pa., Alexandria, Va., and in various parts of Maryland - Ferry Hill, Hollywood, Olney, Ocean City, and Braddock Heights. Governor Harry W. Nice, a Saint Cyprian member, invited the Conclave with their ladies, to dinner in the Governor's mansion in Annapolis
(which the minutes note as "most delicious"). One of the most delightful of all sessions was hosted by Grover L.
Michael, Sovereign in 1954, executive of a steel company, who maintained a second home in Pittsburgh. He brought the entire Conclave and their ladies in buses to Pittsburgh, put them up in the finest hotels over a weekend, wined and dined them, and took all on a cruise up the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers in a paddle-wheel steamer. Other out­standing meetings within our state include one in Denton and a weekend in Cumberland. Then there was a unique meeting in a large pavilion at Gambrill State Park near Frederick on September 12, 1970. In addition to our ladies, the widows of deceased Sovereigns were included. Senior
General and Mrs. Elmer R. Bokesch were hosts for dinner. During the program, two members were added to our roster. Another distinguished guest was Knight Companion William E. Yeager, Grand Sovereign of the Grand Imperial Council, who came down from his home in Pennsylvania and addressed us briefly. Copies of the first history of Saint Cyprian by P. S. Ed Saunders were distributed during the meeting and later printed.
     Our Conclave has been honored in having two of its members reach the title of Grand Imperial Sovereign. They are Harry O. Schroeder, K.G.C. (known by all who knew him as "HaS") and Joseph C. Bryan, III, K.G.C., each of whom was well known and respected throughout the realm of Red Cross of Constantine. In the year of Joe Bryan's reign the international convention was held in Baltimore, attended by more than 500 visitors who acclaimed it as one of the best, if not the best, Imperial Session that they had attended.
     So Saint Cyprian is proud of its past and accepts the challenge that has been laid before us to equal, even strive to surpass, the record of our forebears.

by William M. Koenig