Guys, I was able to break out of prison last Friday; that is to say I was released by my surgeon to drive at least. It has been a long 6 weeks. I want to thank our Divan for filling in the holes and making sure this was a seamless transition. I also want to thank the Nobles and their Ladies for all of the visits, cards, food and phone calls. It proves to Judy that I do have friends! Thanks, again, it really helped.
Now down to business. We had a very nice Ceremonial on Saturday, May 19th. The Ceremonial Officers did a wonderful job. The Fish Fry afterward was great! Both events were poorly attended, which was very disappointing. I really think the issue was timing. May is very busy with graduations, weddings, vacations and the sick bug hit us again. Maybe it just needs to be done in the fall. Live and learn.
Next, our Temple office will be closed Monday, May 28th for Memorial Day. Donna, Cathy and Larry, enjoy the day.
Our first Temple Sporting Clay Shoot will be Saturday, June 2nd at the Northwest Field and Stream Range. Registration is at 8 am, shoot at 9 am. Lunch will be provided after the shoot. Please contact Bruce Urban 940-642-5284 for additional information or call the Maskat office 940-766-4511.
Our TSA All-State meetings and competition starts June 6th and runs through the 9th in Tyler, Texas. Our hotel is the Baymont Inn & Suites. At this point we have 28 Nobles signed up on the travel team. Very good showing, thanks.
Because of TSA, our Unit Council meeting will be Monday June 11th, at 6:30 pm in the Oasis. This will be followed the next day by Oil Bowl events and our Stated Meeting. Volunteers are needed to help feed the players. Call the Temple 766-4511 if you are available. We have a new Oil Bowl event this year, The All-Star Basketball Game, held at the Rider High School Fieldhouse at 6 pm on Friday, June 15. Events will be held all day on Saturday the 16th with the game at 7 pm. Also attending this year is our Patient Ambassador, Alec Cabacungan from Chicago. This will be quite a treat, as many have seen Alec on our Shrine commercials. Please don’t miss these events.
Wrapping up June we will have our Maskat Happy Hour on the 21st. That’s the 3rd Thursday of the month at 4 pm here at the Oasis. Don’t you dare miss it!
One last reminder-Vidalia Onions. We have plenty remaining in stock. If you haven’t grabbed yours, please do so. I’m sure we have a couple of areas we can set up again and push some additional bags. Please call Bill Yates at 940-224-9639. We need to make a strong 3rd quarter push on these.
Thank you for your continued support.
Potentate, Maskat Shrine
*It’s good to be back!
As many of you know I had surgery last week. Although I am doing very well, I will be out of the office for a while. I am so appreciative of all of the thoughts and prayers, visits and calls that I have received. I want to thank everyone, especially the Divan for stepping up to take care of Maskat business while I am out. My ghostwriters are helping me with this message so all bases are covered!
The dinner theatre last week was a huge success. Thank you to the decorating committee and cooking unit for the excellent dinner. “Violet Sharp” was the competition one-act play that Rider High School performed for UIL. The play was terrific and the actors and teacher (director) are to be commended.
We have a lot of upcoming events in May and during the summer. The Maskat Golf tournament, which is a Temple fundraiser, is Friday, April 27. Call the Maskat office or send in your players as soon as possible. We still need volunteers to work at the event, so let Gordy Antill (940-447-1708) know about that as well. The Provost Guard Fun Shoot will be at the Hatton Road location on Saturday, April 28, beginning at 8:00 am. Everyone is invited and if you have questions call Bill Hammack (940-631-5454).
The first event in June is Maskat Sporting Clays on Saturday, June 2, at 9:00 am with registration beginning at 8:00 am. It will be at the Northwest Texas Field and Stream Range. There will be a lunch provided after the shoot. For questions call Bruce Urban (940-642-5284).
TSA is June 6-9 in Tyler, Texas. If you are going to attend please contact the Maskat office. You can still make reservations at the Baymont by calling 903-939-0100. The prices are $119.99 plus tax for a king suite or a double queen room.
It is not too early to make your reservations for the Potentate’s trip to Ruidoso from August 23rd through 26th. Please call the Temple to sign up and make your room reservations by calling MCM Elegante Lodge & Suites at 575-258-5500.
We have signed a contract for the Circus so mark your calendars for Saturday, November 17.
Thanks for being a Shriner
Potentate, Maskat Shrine Temple
Last month it was sleeting when I wrote this message. Now it’s raining and that’s great news.
I want to start off by talking about the Oriental Guide Trip back in late February. Wholey, Moley! That was as great trip. We exceeded the number of people we expected, and fun was had by all that attended. Because of the weather, we were not able to play golf; but, as good Shriners we were able to find another competitive sport to participate in without weather affecting us. Bowling . . . Yes, who would have thought. I have seen videos of Charles Dean’s form! Look’s like a good “Three Stooges” movie. I’m sure this “sport” will continue to grow in Shreveport. Don’t miss it next year.
We also had our 3rd Monthly Shrine Temple Happy Hour. This fell in the middle of Spring Break so we were short some younger parent Shriners, but we made of for it with some newcomers. We will try this again April 19th. That’s the third Thursday of April at 4:00 pm here at our own Shrine Temple. So . . .bring Shriners, your family, and friends if you have any and let’s have a cocktail together.
Our Annual Easter Egg Hunt was March 31st at the Shrine Land. Thanks to all the Nobles and Ladies that worked so hard to make the event a success. There were lots of tables and chairs to set up, the “Hunting Field” to prepare for kids/parents, the food to cook, and the serving line to prepare. This took quite a lot of time and effort. Thanks again to all who helped!
We have a lot of upcoming events. The first is our Shrine Temple Golf Tournament. This is a Temple fundraiser. The date is April 27, and it will be held at River Creek Golf Course. This is a fun tournament, so grab some non-Shriners and bring’em out for a good time and great food. If you have any questions, please call Donna, Cathy, or Conner at the Temple. We are also in the process of selling Hole Sponsorship signs. If you know of anyone interested in sponsoring a hole at the Golf Tournament, have them call the Temple or Gordy Antill @940-447-1708.
The second is our Dinner Theater. For those of you that didn’t make it last year, you really missed a treat. On April 14th, Rider High School Theatre Department will present “Violet Sharp”, based on a true story of the 1932 Lindbergh Kidnapping case. We will start with drinks at 6:00 pm, then dinner at 6:30 pm, and the play at 7:00 pm. This is a open event, so bring some friends or family and share a wonderful evening.
The third event is a “Fun Shoot” at the Land by and for the Provost Guard. The shoot will start at 8:00 am on April 28th. It is open to Shriners, Masons, and their families and friends. If you don’t have a gun and want to shoot, I am told to say “Just come on out!” For more information, call Bill Hammack (631-5454).
Last item. If you haven’t heard, Cathy Stockton will be “trying” to replace Conner McCaslin. Cathy started here with Connor the middle of March. Conner has given “the last part of April” as the date he will be leaving. So . . . for now they are full swing in the “training process.”
Conner, what can we say to a man that has given 10 years of service to Maskat Shrine Temple as the Office Manager. There are not strong enough words to show what you have contributed to this fraternity. Let me say “Thank You” from everyone at Maskat, and we hope to continue to see you at the Blue Lodge and at our Stated Meetings. God Bless . . .
Thanks For Your Continued Support
Potentate, Maskat Shrine Temple
It’s cold and sleet is covering everything as I sit down to write this message, so let’s dive into all this goodness.
I want to thank all the Nobles and Ladies that showed up to decorate and attended the Potentate’s Ball. The Temple decorations looked fantastic and, if I may say so, were very unique. The photo booth was a big hit as was the furniture in the lobby used for photo opportunities. (Thank you Bruce for helping me move half of my living room up there.) The food was excellent, and there was plenty of it. Most of us had heard the band at the Temple before, and they did not disappoint us. They played a little something for everyone. My Counter Part from Moslah Temple (Fort Worth) wanted them for his ball.
The flu bug hit us pretty hard. That night I had several nobles call me and express their sorrow for not being able to attend. Thanks for the heads-up and hope all is well with you and your families.
It was a fun and memorable time. Thanks again!
The next event was our Super Bowl Party. WOW!! What a great time. The food, again, was unbelievable, and there were tons of it. We raffled one flat-screen TV, four rifles, and a bunch of fantastic door prizes. Per our official “head counter” Ed Hall, there was in excess of 160 people in attendance. That’s a really great turnout. I know we passed out one, maybe two, petitions for the Blue Lodges. Thanks again to all that attended and those who helped decorate. –Side note: We all donated a full dolly of food for the Food Bank that day. Great Job!!
This leads us to what’s happening now. Our Oriental Guide Trip will leave February 22 and return February 25. We have 32-35 people going, not full but better than in the past. We have our Hospital Tour scheduled Friday the 23rd at 10:00 am. This is one of my favorite activities of the year. It is simply amazing the work the Hospital and staff can do. It brings home why we do what we do. If you have never made this trip or just haven’t been in a while, please plan to go next year. On the fun side, we will play a little golf, play some cards, and enjoy some hospitality together.
HAPPY HOUR – Thought I forgot hey! We have had two successful Happy Hours at Maskat. Both were the 3rd Thursday of the month. So . . . I want to try this again March 15th; that will also be the 3rd Thursday of the month. Bring your Lady and bring some friends. Open to all. We’ve been having fun
I want to visit about our Advertising Program. We have our wheels under us and are off and rolling. We have secured about 1/3 of our goal for the year but need to hit this hard the next couple of months. Scott McNeely will have a committee meeting after the March stated meeting.
We are very close to signing a Circus Contract for 2018 and 2019. It will be the same format as last year. More later . . .
We are also working on some real surprises for the Oil Bowl. It’s not finished yet but we are trying to get a very popular Patient Ambassador and a very well-known football player to attend. As stated, it’s not a done deal but if we pull this off we will put some more butts in the stands! Again, more later . . .
NOTE TO ALL: Check September schedule changes on Maskat website: www.maskatshrine.com. Select [EVENTS] tab, then select “Calendar of Events” and navigate to the month of September. Call Maskat if you need help with it.
Thanks for your continued support.
Maskat Temple Potentate
Well, here we go—my very first Potentate’s Message.
First, I would like to thank the nobility for the confidence and support they have shown to me in the last few weeks. Many active Nobles, and several that have not been quite as active, have reached out and offered help. This has really moved my excitement level to a new high! I am committing myself to working very hard and to keeping our lines of communication open and flowing. I pledge to be honest, open, and approachable to each and every Noble. I urge you to contact me by cell phone or email if I can answer any questions or be of service. We must keep the membership involved to succeed.
I will do my best to support our mission of helping the Shriners Hospitals provide world-class treatment to the children. To do this, we must make sure that our Shrine Temple is solvent and stable and our nobility are kept informed of all aspects of our activities, while, at the same time, we offer special events that are fun and interesting.
With this said, there are several upcoming events I hope will be a lot of fun. By the time you read this, we will know!
- Our first Maskat Happy Hour was January 18th at 4:00 pm in the Oasis.
- January 20th the viewing of the Shrine East-West All Star Football Game at 2:00 pm also in the Oasis.
- January 25th and 26th (Thursday and Friday) decorating for the Potentate’s Ball at 6:00 pm.
- January 27th—Potentate’s Ball, 6:00 pm cocktails; 7:00 pm Dinner; 7:45-8:15 Introductions; 8:30 pm band starts. Hope we all have fun!!!
- February 4th—Super Bowl Party, doors open at 2:00 pm—boards, prizes, and gun raffles. Only twenty raffle tickets for each of the Shriners and Freemasons Henry Rifles will be sold. At present, three rifles will be included in the raffle. Good food and good fun was enjoyed by all.
- February 22nd-25th is the Annual Oriental Guide (OG) Trip to Shreveport. This will be “wheels up” at 5:00 pm at the Temple on Thursday the 22nd. Bus ride is $75 and eats and drinks are included during the ride.
The Divan will be traveling to Corpus Christi February 8-10 to attend Divan Mid-Winter. The February Units Council meeting will be moved to Monday, February 12th at 6:30 pm because of the absence of the Divan.
NOTE TO ALL: Our second Maskat Happy Hour will be February 15th (third Thursday) at 4:00 pm in the Oasis. Hope to see you there.
Well, that’s about it. Hope I haven’t missed anything of importance. Nobles, please be diligent in keeping your Ladies informed as Lady Judy and I do need their help and participation as well.
Thanks and –
Looking Toward a Great Year!
Well here goes—my very last Potentate’s Message in the Wildcat. No “Dates to Remember,” just a lot of THANKS and introspection.
I want to express my humble appreciation to each and every Noble and Lady who has supported Maskat during the last five years that I have been part of Maskat’s Divan. It is not now, nor has it ever been, about supporting just me personally. Even if we do not agree with a particular Potentate, we should always support and do what is best for Maskat. Thus said, I still want to say, “Thanks also for supporting me!”
There are a few Noble that I want to especially thank for heading our major events: Shawn Blacklock for the Shriners IHOP National Pancake Day; Gordy Antill for the Maskat Golf Tournament; Yoshi Fukasawa for the Oil Bowl; Bruce Urban for the Sporting Clay Shoot; and Scott McNeely for the Dead Cow Cookoff. All these events required a huge amount of time and effort from the one in charge and everyone else that participated in making them happen. Lots of man hours. All of you are the heart of Maskat! Really dedicated Shriners (including the Ladies).
I also want to thank Greg Stockton and all the Cooking Unit for preparing all the meals this year. Not only do they provide the stated meeting meal, but they have also cooked for several Maskat events. Needless to say, the food is always delicious.
Looking back over 2017, there were so many things that I wanted to do that I was unable to accomplish. One of the projects that I will be working into the future is a historical preservation project to preserve our documents and photos that are deteriorating to the point that before long they will be lost forever. To date, we have acquired (some donated) and repurposed some of our assets to help digitally preserve as much of Maskat’s history as we possibly can. We still need some equipment. Because of budget constraints, I feel that Maskat should not purchase all this equipment; therefore, I am appealing to you to help gather funds to purchase whatever equipment we still need. If you can, donate a few dollars (or more if you can). If you know someone who might contribute, contact them and do your best! We will put the money in a designated fund for the “Preservation Project.” Any moneys raised can be turned in to Maskat Office with that identification—PRESERVATION PROJECT. Once we have the money, we will purchase the needed equipment. Maskat and I will very much appreciate your financial help. If you want to work with me on this project, just call me. Your help will be welcomed.
This year, I really wanted to focus more on MEMBERSHIP than I was able to. (Note: As of January 1, 2018, our membership will be about 389. With all the ups and downs from creations of new members and the losses from demits, drops, suspensions, and deaths, this is the first time our membership has dropped below 400.) Although membership was of great importance, the survival of Maskat was of prime importance. My goal was to create a cultural change at Maskat whereby membership growth becomes our most important goal so that we can continue to be the World’s Greatest Fraternity and Philanthropy.
It Has Been a GREAT Year!!!
Jeff Gainer, Potentate