A Commandery of Knights Templar is traditionally the final York Rite body that a member joins. While you “Receive the Degrees” of both the Royal Arch and the Royal and Select Master; as a Sir Knight, you are given Orders. Our Santa Fe Knights Templar Commandery No. 1 operates under Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of New Mexico, which in turn operates under The Grand Encampment Knights Templar.
While the other three bodies of the York Rite (including “blue lodge”) require their candidates to believe in a Supreme Being, the Commandery requires that a Sir Knight be ready to defend the Christian faith. During our regular year, we observe both Easter and Christmas, in addition to honoring the Saints John.
These York Rite Commandery Orders include:
- The Illustrious Order of the Red Cross
- The Passing Order of St. Paul, (or Mediterranean Pass)
- The Order of the Knights of Malta (or simply Order of Malta)
- The Order of the Temple
Santa Fe Commandery No. 1 was Under Dispensation (U.D.) as of May 31, 1869; and became a Chartered Commandery under the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar in the United States on September 21, 1871.
On May 4, 1883, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported that Judge T.S. Parvin, Grand Recorder of the Grand Encampment of the United States "arrived in the city from the West at 10 o'clock yesterday morning. He was met at the depot by a committee from Santa Fe Commandery No. 1, composed of Hon. S. B. Axtell, Colonel Max Frost, and David J. Miller, Esq. and conveyed to comortable quarters at the Palace. Many members of the Masonic fraternity of Santa Fe called on him during the afternoon and evening. Judge Parvin had been to San Francisco making arrangements for the Triennial Conclave of the Knights to be held there in August."
August 21, 1901 saw the several initial New Mexico Commanderies form the Grand Commandery of New Mexico. These included:
- Santa Fe Commandery No. 1
- Las Vegas Commandery No. 2
- Pilgrim Commandery No. 3
- McGrorty Commandery No. 4
- Aztec Commandery No. 5
- Rio Hondo Commandery no. 6
This was celebrated by holding the first Conclave of the Grand Commandery on that date. The first Annual Conclave was held later in October of 1901 in Albuquerque. Past Eminent Commander Edward L. Bartlett of Santa Fe represented the Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brother Reuben H. Lloyd, and convened the Grand Conclave. A Constitution, Bylaws, and Rules of the Order were adopted and an election of Grand Commandery Officers was held under it. Sir Knight Bartlett was elected the first Grand Commander of New Mexico.