Most Excellent Grand High Priest
|Biography: Robert P. Walker was born in Beaufort, Missouri on October 24, 1927, later moving to Dixon, Missouri, where he graduated from Crocker High School in 1944. He attended the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1948. Grand High Priest Walker later attended Columbia Graduate School of Business and received his Master of Business Administration from New York University in 1957. In addition, he has received a Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree from New York University School of Law in 1962, and to add a touch of Texas to his pursuit of higher learning, he has completed all course work toward a Master of Arts Degree at Sam Houston State University and he has also attended Lamar University.
While a cadet at the Merchant Marine Academy, Grand High Priest Walker met another cadet's date. Following his graduation from the Academy and a year at sea with the Texaco Fleet, he married the late Kathleen Nowicke on August 18, 1949. He has three sons; Robert, Paul and Timothy and is the proud grandparent of six grandchildren.
He is a member of St. John American Lutheran Church where Grand High Priest Walker has served as President of the Church Council. A firm believer that a well-rounded life includes community involvement, he has served in various positions with Boy Scouts of America and has served as councilman and Mayor pro tem for the City of Port Arthur; the Port Arthur Historical Society; the American Red Cross; Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce and the Texas Maritime Society.
The Texaco Marine Department between 1948 and 1966 employed Grand High Priest Walker as Ship's Captain, Fleet Superintendent and Manager of Personnel. From 1966 to 1971 he served as manager, U.S. Fleet, Texaco Marine Department. In addition to being licensed to practice law, he is a licensed Master of Vessels of any gross tonnage for sailing all oceans and seas. It was his employment with Texaco that brought him to Texas in November 1963.
From 1971 to 1982, Grand High Priest Walker worked as a Practicing Attorney and also served as a Municipal Judge. From 1982 through 1998, he served as a Judge of the 279th District Court in Jefferson County, Texas. He is presently Senior Judge of the 279th District Court and serves as visiting judge in the surrounding area.
He completed his degrees of Craft Masonry on May 10, 1954 in Cosmopolitan Lodge No. 872, and later served as Worshipful Master of that Lodge and as President of the Masters, Wardens and Secretaries Association of the 26th Masonic Districts. His leadership and dedication to Freemasonry was recognized by his Lodge that honored him as a recipient of the Golden Trowel Award. He served as District Deputy in 1987 for John E. �Jack� Kelly. Grand High Priest Walker served as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Texas in 1996. He has also served many years on the Masonic Jurisprudence and Purpose and Policy Committees. He has served as a trustee for the Masonic Home and School since 1995.
Robert was exalted a Royal Arch Mason in Port Arthur Chapter 250 on August 29, 1967. He served as High Priest in 1984 and received the Order of High Priesthood in 1985. He served District 4 as their District Deputy Grand High Priest in 1990. He has been an endowed member of his chapter since 1986. Served on and Chairman of the Purpose and Policy Committee from 1994 through 1997 when he was elected Grand Scribe of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter. He was elected as the Grand High Priest of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter in December 2000.
He was greeted a Royal and Select Master in Port Arthur Council 185 on August 31, 1967 and became an endowed member in 1986. He served as Thrice Illustrious Master in 1983 and received the Order of the Silver Trowel in 1983. He served as District Deputy Grand Master for District 4 in 1986. He was appointed Grand Representative of the Grand Council of Connecticut in 1987. He served on the Jurisprudence Committee from 1987 to 1992 and was chairman in 1992. He served on the Finance Committee from 1995 to 1998. He also served as a trustee on the York Rite Trust from 1989 to 1994.
Robert was knighted in Port Arthur Commandery 73 on October 16, 1967 and is an endowed member since 1986. He served as Commander in 1983. He is also an endowed member of Ruthven Commandery 2. He was appointed Grand Representative to the District of Columbia in 1994. Grand High Priest Walker served as Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Texas in 1992 and received the Knight Commander of the Temple in 1994. He has served on the Jurisprudence Committee from 1994 to present.
He received the Scottish Rite Degrees in the Valley of Galveston in 1977 and has served as the presiding officer in all four of the Scottish Rite bodies. He is an endowed member in both the Valley of Galveston and the Valley of Houston. He received his Knight Commander of the Court of Honor in 1985 and was coroneted a Thirty-Third Degree Inspector General Honorary in 1993. He has served as a trustee on the Scottish Rite Hospital for Children from 1995 to present. He is the Vice-President of the Scottish Rite Foundation of Texas. Robert was appointed the Personal Representative of the S.G.I.G. and Chairman of the Executive Committee for the Valley of Galveston in 1994.
He is a Past Potentate of El Mina Shrine Temple and a Past Monarch of Casbin Grotto. He is a Past Governor of the Southeast Texas York Rite College 90 and received the York Rite Purple Cross of Honor in 1987. He served as Sovereign of the San Felipe Conclave of the Red Cross of Constantine and is the Preceptor of the Resurrection Tabernacle XXI, H.R.A.K.T.P. Robert is a member of Texas Priory 23 and Thomas H. Ridout Priory 95 K.Y.C.H. He is a Past Patron of the Order of the Eastern Star and holds the Honorary Legion of Honor from the Order of DeMolay, the Grand Cross of Color from the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, and the Member of Honor from the International Order of Job�s Daughters.