143 Scottish Rite Masons in Nebraska have received the Scottish Rite's highest honor, the 33° Inspector General Honorary. In an effort to thank and recognize these men for all they have done for the Scottish Rite, Nebraska hosted the first banquet to recognize them.
The dinner was held at the prestigious Nebraska Club in Lincoln, on the 20th floor of the US Bank building overlooking downtown Lincoln. 74 Scottish Rite Masons and their ladies attended the first banquet, enjoying cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and a catered dinner of filet mignon. Members attended from all four Valleys, representing western, central, and eastern Nebraska.
Mike Gray, 33°, Personal Representative for the Valley of Lincoln served as emcee during the evening, recognizing 11 Past Grand Masters in attendance. The speaker was Charles V. Sederstrom, Jr., 33°, Sovereign Grand Inspector General for Nebraska. He spoke about the significance of the 33° white hat and what it means to be a 33° Scottish Rite Mason. It is, he said, worn with pride because "someone felt we were entitled to wear the hat and be honored in the community." It is given to a small number of Scottish Rite Masons - less than 6% of all Nebraska Scottish Rite Masons - for the work they have done in their community, state, family, Freemasonry, and the Scottish Rite which is significant and is well-regarded in the communities. Chuck also spoke about the success of Nebraska's RiteCare programs, due in part to more than $20 million donated over the last 40 years toward services.
Mike Gray spoke about the Orient of Nebraska's plan to recognize and thank Nebraska 33° with a banquet every other year, between Biennial Sessions of the Supreme Council. "We tell honor men that their KCCH or 33° is 'not for what you've done, but for what you will do.' This banquet is recognition of those things they have done and continue to do," Mike said.