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