The History of
St. Andrew's in America Co. #1a
On May 12th, 1931 the Degree of Excellent Master was conferred within the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of North Carolina, by dispensation from the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland, by four Past High Priests from Monroe, NC and three from Raleigh, NC. The Monroe companions interested those from Raleigh, and others from Charlotte, in securing Scottish Warrants for three lodges of Royal Ark Mariners and Councils of the Red Cross Knights, which in turn formed Grand Council. The Lodge and Council St. Andrew's in America, No. 1 (Scottish Constitution) received the same name and number when Grand Council was formed, and has in every way acted in the capacity as a mothering Council ever since its inception. With the resolution and merger of the three remnant bodies of the defunct Sovereign College of Christian and Allied Masonic Degrees, the Council took the number of 1a, the former Sovereign College bodies receiving the numbers of 1, 2, and 3 as well as being designated as "Time Immemorial." St. Andrew's in America Council, No 1a holds seniority in the Grand Council chartering of Councils, though behind the two remaining "Time Immemorial" Councils, following the dissolution of Josiah Drummond Council, No. 1 in 1998. The Council also has moored to it the senior Royal Ark Mariner Lodge in the United States, St. Andrew's in America Lodge, No. 1a (Scottish Constitution). The "Time Immemorial" Councils have Ark Mariner Lodges moored to them, a Degree with several significant variations from the Scottish ritual, and practiced no where else.
The local membership in the group was originally limited to twelve, with each member acting as host to the entire membership once each year, practically all meetings being held in the homes of the members, where a beautiful set of miniature furniture complete in every particular and the gift of David Cohn, was set up on the banquet table and all business transacted as in a temple. Emergent meetings and degree work were originally held at the Hotel Monroe, later moving to the local Masonic lodge. The additional seats in the Council were set aside for honorary memberships, which at the time counted toward the membership limits of the Council. At these meetings original papers were read and discussed. The meetings begin with a series of toasts that are given immediately after opening by the Sovereign Master, the senior Past Sovereign Master, Senior Warden, and Secretary; and after all business is transacted, end with the "Tylerís Toast," given by the Junior Deacon before closing.* The original set of miniature furniture is still in the possession of the Council to this present day, together with a miniature banner bearing the name of the Council.
The council has from the beginning been very charitable and has helped other councils in many ways; its gifts to and cooperation with Grand Council has been a source of pride to the brethren. It was this Council that originally designed and struck the emblem now used by the Allied Masonic Degrees in the United States. It has continued in these efforts to the present, and its membership has included an unusually large number of Grand Officers in other Masonic bodies, as well as several Sovereign Grand Masters of the Grand Council and Knights Grand Cross of the Allied Masonic Degrees.
The council took the name of St. Andrew to commemorate its ties to the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland, where Andrew is revered as the national patron saint; and also the fact that Andrew is known or referred to as "the First Called" or "Protokletos," in reference to his Apostlic ministry, and this council being the first chartered in the Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees. The Council traditionally has a special commemoration on November 30, the feast day of St. Andrew.
* The Tylerís Toast Ė "Hereís to him who guards our entrance doorway; may he withhold all whose conduct does not merit admittance and may he throw wide the portals to those who by their virtue, skill and inflexible conduct and by their love for the Royal Art are found worthy of membership in the Allied Masonic Degrees."