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Washington State Ceremonials 2016 - 2017
Picture of State Ceremonials Chairman
Wayne C. Hogan, FVSM, PSD
State Ceremonials Director
Phone: (253) 581-5261

First Degree Team Ceremonial Competition
Wayne C. Hogan, PSD, FVSM, FMFD
State Ceremonial Director

Washington has now completed its third and final month of the first level of the First Degree Team Ceremonial Competition. This level is the district level and was conducted in August, September, and October. Remember, that under no circumstances will a 1st Level - District evaluation - be conducted after October 31.

We are now entering into the second level which is conducted in November and December. The Washington State jurisdiction, for the purpose of the first degree team ceremonial competition, is divided into six regions. The regional subdivisions and the district assignments normally will be the same as the annual Regional Meetings conducted in January. The normal assignments are:

a. Eastern region (Spokane), districts are: 5, 8, 18, 20, 28 and 33……………..…...Total districts 6
b. Central region (Yakima), districts are: 6, 7, 10, 17 and 30 ………………………Total districts 5
c. West region Olympia), districts are: 4, 14, 15, 27, 31, 34 and 35 ……………......Total districts 7
d. Southwest region (Vancouver), districts are: 11, 25 and 36……………………...Total districts 3
e. Farwest region (Bremerton), districts are: 2, 3, 12, 22, 24 and 29……………......Total districts 6
f. Northwest region (Everett), districts are: 1, 9, 13, 16, 19, 21, 26, 27, 32 and 37…Total districts 10

All degree teams selected to represent their district will participate in the second level if there are two or more districts in the same region submitted a degree team. For example, in the Eastern region, if district deputies 8, 18 and 28 submitted degree teams, then each will be evaluated and the council team receiving the highest grade will advance to the third level. To schedule the evaluation of these teams, will require the district deputy to provide me the team’s council and district by November 10 of the team representing his district. To secure facilities and provide ample planning for the participating councils require the team participating by November10. Based on that information will assign degree evaluators (judges), announce the date, time and location for the team evaluation.

If there is only one team submitted for the region, that team will not have to compete in the second level but advance to the third level. Refer to the Washington State Directory back cover for the location and date for your district. 'The Best of the Best' First Degree Team Ceremonial Competition travel award will look great hanging in your council's hall. Where it is located next year depends on you!

In 2013-2014, we had six outstanding first degree teams compete in the First Degree Team Ceremonial Competition, Spokane Council 8137, Kennewick Council 8179, Olympia Council 1643, Vancouver Council 4782, Bremerton Council 1379 and Seattle Council 676. At the 2014 State Convention the traveling award which has all the previous first placed teams listed was presented to Bremerton Council 1379, the first place council in the First Degree Team Ceremonial Competition, who will retain the award until the same time next year. The second award was presented to the council for them to retain and cites them as the ‘Best of the Best’ in 2014. The team members and their positions are engraved. Also, each team member was presented with an individual certificate.

The state also recognized the top individual ceremonialists who were selected by their highest scores with individual certificate. All the score sheets are tallied and highest score for each of the team positions were identified. When computing the scores it became obvious that this year’s competition was extremely tight. Four of the position scores were only fractions apart. Then looked at the ratings by the state officers and discovered that the highest grades were shared by the top two ceremonialists. The Grand Knight’s award was shared by Mike Donohue, Seattle Council 676 and Thomas Collier, Bremerton Council 1379. The Deputy Grand Knight’s award was shared by John Devine, Bremerton Council 1379 and Jeff Jewell, Kennewick Council 8179. The Chancellor’s award was shared by Robert Casey, Bremerton Council 1379 and George Nuxell, Kennewick Council 8179. The Financial Secretary’s award was awarded to Ed Hebert, Bremerton Council 1379. Encourage all certified first degree teams to compete this year.

Refer to the First Degree Team Ceremonial Competition handbook, dated 7/1/2014 for additional information. If you have any questions, send me an email at or telephone me at 253-581-55952. Will email all district deputies this article to assist them in their planning.