The great news is that an effort is now being made to found a new Major Degree Team in South Carolina. Past State President Neil Diamond has already assembled a core group to explore all facets of this huge undertaking. On behalf of all the existing Major Degree Teams, I pledge our support and wish them success.
The following are some thoughts and considerations with reference to the conferral of the AOH Major Degree.
- For every Major Degree every effort should be made to maximize the number of candidates taking the degree. This only makes sense in terms of cost effectiveness, as well as the time required in planning and organizing for a Major Degree. In most cases a proactive and organized approach should be taken to contact those members who have not yet taken the Major Degree. This effort should start with the Financial Secretary whose records will indicate those who have already taken the degree. The next step is the crucial step. CONTACT. The painless approach is to simply place a notice in a newsletter. This normally does not result in a large number of candidates. So what works? Individual letters, emails, phone calls (or any combination thereof!!) from a team of volunteers who begin this effort a month in advance of the scheduled degree.
- The Chairmen of our Major Degree Teams are agreed that we are also anxious to encourage as many observers as possible to attend the conferral of the Major Degree. This is desirable not only to show support for the candidates, but also as a means of reinforcing the valuable lessons of our Order, even among those who observe. Therefore, observers should only be charged a fee if they plan to partake of post-degree refreshments.
- So once someone has joined the AOH, what really is the purpose or value of the Major Degree? The Major Degree of the Ancient Order of Hibernians is an important component of who and what we are as an organization. The degree ceremony itself must be seen and experienced as a journey towards greater and deeper awareness. It is an opportunity for each of us to reflect on and absorb the very purpose of being a Hibernian. As such, it is, indeed, a significant opportunity for all in attendance (candidates, Degreed observers, and even Major Degree Team members) to focus on why we call each other Brother. And it should directly challenge each of us to pause and re-commit ourselves to the AOH’s ideal that our Hibernian Brothers stand at our side and on our side, truly caring for and about us.
- With all of the above in mind, I am providing below the details for upcoming Major Degrees.
DATE DEGREE TEAM DEGREE LOCATION CONTACT PHONE EMAIL 03-28-10 Isle of Erin Swedesburg, PA Pete Hand 610-277-0676 firstname.lastname@example.org 04-10-10 CuCulainn Forked River, NJ Jack King 718-948-2555 04-11-10 Tara Court Hicksville, NY Jack Ryan 516-795-3813 email@example.com 04-17-10 Sons of Milesius Ohio State Board Bill Leddy 614-444-4459 firstname.lastname@example.org 04-24-10 Brian Boru Richmond, VA Dan Caffrey 804-741-6587 email@example.com 05-15-10 Sons of Milesius Columbus Tara Hall John Coy 614-306-7944 firstname.lastname@example.org 07-09-10 Sons of Milesius Cincinnati Nat’l John O'Connor 614-253-0470 email@example.com