Best Chapeaus

Discussion in 'The York Rite' started by Companion Joe, Oct 14, 2014.

  1. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    Does anyone have an opinion on what is the best chapeau available, balancing quality and price?

    My chapeau is an antique model I bought off ebay. I will be moving closer to commander next year, so I figured I should break down and buy a nice one. I have had a tendency throughout my life to try to go low dollar and buy some cheap POS only to wind up going back later and spending the money I should have spent in the first place, ultimately costing myself more than if I had just bought nice originally.

    I am trying not to do that this time. Several outlets I have found online have some for $300, but a few of the guys in my Commandery have them, and I don't like the looks. They appear odd with a very flat bottom surface and more or less rounded sides.

    I like the looks of the chapeaus from New London Regalia. It would wind up about $400+. My knee jerk self screams to go low ball, but my sensible side is saying don't quibble over $100 for what I am hoping is a once in a lifetime purchase.

    Does anyone have any opinions on the New London chapeaus or any other places to look? I am by nature a tightwad, so spending that much on something sight unseen that can't be returned just unnerves me!
     
  2. Paul E. Wunsche

    Paul E. Wunsche Registered User

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    K T Universal - Chapeaus - approx. cost $ 235.00 plus S&H Phil Boley is the owner, he is a Past Grand Commander of Kansas and an affiliated Past Grand Commander of Texas. He has a good product at a good cost. I know several Sir Knights who have purchased through him and were very satisfied. Also, if you purchase a silver chapeaus, then when you become Commander send it back to him and for a reasonable price he will upgrade it to gold.
     
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  3. Rifleman1776

    Rifleman1776 Registered User

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    $200.00 to $400.00 for a hat? And we wonder why it is hard to attract new members to any fraternity. :( Before I demited out of York Rite I was once told not to come to a Commandery meeting because I did not have a uniform. If they didn't want me because I did not have so-called proper clothes, I didn't need them. Sorry for the attitude but this was a big dissapointment. I now devote my time to my lodge and Shrine club. They accept me as I am for who I am.
     
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  4. Pscyclepath

    Pscyclepath Premium Member

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    I ran into about the same sort of thing... Got the class A uniform, sword, & belt to get started, but then ran afoul of some of the uniform nazis, so I never did drop the bucks on a chapeau or the other hat. Haven't been back to meeting yet either... My time goes to my blue lodge and the Scottish Rite, with what's left over going to my RA chapter as I can fit it in. This year and the next two I will be going thru the principal offices in lodge, so won't have a whole lot of time to go to my appendant groups other than maybe AASR...
     
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  5. RyanC

    RyanC Registered User

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    First let me say sorry about hijacking the post. I find it crazy that any group would be that crazy about out dated uniforms, this why many don't join a appendant bodies. I thought is was to gain more light, not look like captain crunch.
     
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  6. Paul E. Wunsche

    Paul E. Wunsche Registered User

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    Wow, I am so sorry that you were treated that way. In the Commanderies I belong to we except you as you are and try to help you find what you need for a uniform. The only time that we are sticklers is when it comes time for Grand Commandery or Grand Encampment drill competition. As far as the cost of a new chapeau being high, if you are Worshipful Master a good felt hat cost over $300.00 and a good straw hat cost around $75.00 to a $150.00. For those who dropped out of Commandery please give us another chance, I hope that their mentality has changed for the good of our fraternity.
     
  7. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    I, too, am sorry to hear you were treated that way. Just yesterday, we conferred the Order of the Temple on four new Sir Knights. I told them explicitly that they do not have to have uniforms to attend meetings, and that most Commanderies have loaner items to help get them started.

    I also agree that I am not a fan of the uniforms, but it is what it is. You either want to participate, or you don't. Every man has that choice. I'd love to see us get something more in line with what a Templar uniform might have actually looked like, but I don't see it happening. There is an impasse between those who have bought their stuff over the years and shouldn't be asked to buy something different and those who don't want to purchase the current uniform.

    As for people talking about "outdated" stuff, that's where I have to say I don't agree. The greatest part about all of Freemasonry is that it is a throwback to an earlier time. My current Commandery uniform jacket has the name of a long-dead Sir Knight and the date of manufacture stitched in it is 8/26/61. I benefitted from getting his jacket. Another man has his sword. It's a way to remember those men. I actually have a pretty nice sword with my name and Commandery engraved on it. My hope of hopes is that sometime in the future, someone will be using it and remember me.
     
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  8. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    Rifleman: How much did you pay for that fez? A high end fez will run you close to $300, so what's the difference?
     
  9. Rifleman1776

    Rifleman1776 Registered User

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    Joe, my original fez was included in my initiation fees. Today it would be about $70.00. The one in the picture belonged to a friend who passed. Many families donate clothes, fez, etc. to my Shrine Club. We have dozens of fez and jackets available to those who can use them. However, I have never seen a Shriner turned away from any event for not wearing his fez. Some clubs impose a 'fine' ranging from 25 cents to a dollar for a member forgetting to bring his. Not bad considering the money goes to help support the Shrine Childrens hospitals.
     
  10. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    I attended an Easter service one year in a black suit with my Malta medal. I was unsure of what anyone would say about the lack of a uniform. The Grand Commander tapped my medal and told me not to worry, as I was wearing the only required piece of regalia.
    I'll keep my opinion if the Civil War uniforms to myself in this thread, as I've already posted them in the past.
     
  11. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    That's the same with most Commanderies. My jacket and sword belt both belonged to men who have passed, and they were donated by their families. Most Commanderies have items available. I have never seen a member turned away for not having a uniform. We have many guys who come without a uniform. The only requirement is if you are going to be an officer, then you need a uniform.
     
  12. Rifleman1776

    Rifleman1776 Registered User

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    Joe, I was turned away. Had I been allowed to attend a meeting of the Commandery I belonged to I might have learned this. But, I was denied an opportunity to even commiserate with Brother KT's. That event was a major reason I eventually decided to demit out of York Rite entirely. Yesterday at our local Veteran's Day observance a number of Shriners all sat together. Not planned, just friends. I have not experienced this kind of comaraderie in Arkansas Masonry. It does exist in Missouri Masonry where I now have my lodge membership.
     
  13. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    I think you happened upon an especially bad apple Commandery. Here, you only need the uniform if you're an officer. All Sir Knights are welcome at our meetings.
     
  14. Paul E. Wunsche

    Paul E. Wunsche Registered User

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    I received my first "Brand new chapeau" as a gift when I became a PCG. My first "Brand new uniform" was when I was elected Grand Sentinel. We could not survive without the "used stuff"
     
  15. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    If you were turned away, that must have been an individual Commandery thing. I have never seen or hear tell of anyone around here being turned away.
     
  16. SirKnightMatthew

    SirKnightMatthew Registered User

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    Hello, I am a newly made Templar Knight in Pennsylvania. I was speaking to Sir Phil on November 19th via email when all communications suddenly dropped. I called and left a few messages with no reply. Have you any way of knowing if he is okay? Two other Sir Knights and myself wanted to place orders for a Chapeau with him and are worried something happen to him from lack of communication.
    I don't have any other way of contacting him besides the website but all contacts there harbor no reply when once there was.
     
  17. Willaim Perkins

    Willaim Perkins Registered User

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    Until we can phase it out, go with the cheapest you feel comfortable wearing.
     
  18. Willaim Perkins

    Willaim Perkins Registered User

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    I don't believe a uniform should be required to attend meetings, we don't require it. To hold an office we'd like for you to be in uniform. I want to drastically change the uniform resulting in a considerable savings.
     
  19. SirKnightMatthew

    SirKnightMatthew Registered User

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    Don't you think reducing the uniform will take away from what makes it special? I personally like the uniform and think that it's seriously plain looking already considering how sharp is looked in it's hay day with the frocks and what not. I am in Pennsylvania and we have some of the most boring (if not the most) in the United States. I will admit that getting my uniform has nickle and dime'd me to death but that is only because I was fussy about certain things, things as simple are paying more for a chapeau just to have an arch in it, but that's me. To bad it is not the glory days, I read a lot about how it was and things seem seriously watered down. That makes me sad.
     
  20. Willaim Perkins

    Willaim Perkins Registered User

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    What makes Masonry special are is what it is and those members who dedicate so much to it and its propagation. While I too love our uniform, I believe a less costly uniform is needed, and needed now for the salvation of the Order. In my page here on uniforms I talk about the matter
     

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