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Potentate’s Messages

March 2019

Hello Nobles. I hope this message finds you all doing well.

I would like to report a few things that have already taken place at Maskat Temple, since January. The 3rd Thursday in January was a huge success. We had over 25 people in attendance. I would like to see this tradition of our “Happy Hour” continue. Several had fun playing games such as LRC and S…. your Neighbor. I would like to add cornhole as an option of having fun during our Happy Hour. Kenny is on the lookout for a pool table to add to the fun. This is just a great time of having fun for our nobles and ladies…..and a great time to include those that we would like to make nobles.

We also had a visit from the Nile Supreme Queen. While visiting with her during dinner, I found that she has a very difficult schedule during her year as Supreme Queen. She travels for the majority of the year. Thanks to all that helped with that visit.

Just a few days after the Supreme Queen visit, we decorated for, and participated in, the Harris Hoe-Down. We had over 110 people attend that event. The band was great. And a good time was had by all. I believe a new tradition was started by participating in “The Stroll.”  Some of you old people can really dance. Thanks to all that decorated, participated, and helped clean up.

Moving on in to February….We had our annual Super Bowl Party. Wow! What a turn out we had for that event. This year, we added a Cornhole Tournament for all ages. Thanks to those that organized it, it was a huge success. The 50/50 raised almost $900. Kenny and Bing did a great job getting the door prizes that were given away. A huge thanks to all of you who attended and participated.

Just after the Super Bowl Party, the Divan and Ladies headed out to Tyler, TX to attend Divan Midwinter. It was an excellent time for the new Divan Team to bond and get to know each other a little better. I’m excited about how well this Divan works together. We came away from the Midwinter with two huge things that were stressed by the Imperial sirs. One, like always, is to work hard to build our membership. The other was one that, in my opinion, is the most important, and will build membership. And, that is to HAVE FUN! I fully intend on working hard to make sure that everyone has FUN. The other valuable idea that we came away with, is the fact that beer brewing units are growing exponentially across our State. Anyone interested in getting this started at our temple can contact our Oriental Guide, Greg Talley, for more information.

We had a good Stated Meeting in February, with around 60 nobles in attendance. I feel the positivity and momentum building as we progress through the first quarter of 2019. My goal is to try and keep our Stated meetings at about an hour each month…..unless there is something special going on, that we need to spend a little more time on. The food was great, as usual, thanks to our cooking team. I would ask each of you to try and make our Stated meetings a priority on your calendar. I would love to see 80 plus nobles attending these meetings on a regular basis. By the time you read this article, the OG trip will have already taken place. I’m sure a great time was had by all and that Charles created even more memories for us while showing off his abilities on the golf course and in the bowling alley.

Thank each of you for your support. Let’s continue to Git R Done!

Steve Harris
2019 Potentate
Maskat Shrine Temple


February 2019

This is the first Potentate’s article that I’ll have the privilege to write.  I look forward to keeping you all informed as the 2019 year progresses.

Before I get into current business, I would like to thank Past Potentate Calvin Carlton for continuing the tradition of high quality leadership for our fraternity.  If it was not for leaders such as Calvin and those that came before him, we would not be able to continue to be strong.  I proudly accept the reins of leading our Temple from those that have stood before me and provide broad shoulders, on which I and those who follow, can stand . . . an honor that cannot be expalined.

Sheryl and I intend that 2019 will be a year to remember.  By the time you all have read this message, we will have already had our “Real Country, no Tux Hoedown” (Potentate’s Ball).  This will be followed by our Famous Super Bowl Party on February 3rd . . . a good time will be had by all.  The Divan Midwinter will take place in Tyler after the Super Bowl Party, followed by the OG Trip 2/21 thru 2/24.  The cost will be $75 to join us as our new OG, Greg Talley, walks to Shreveport.  While this trip will be fun and full of activities, let us not forget that the most important part of the trip is the visit to one of our hospitals and the support of the kids that are there . . . not Charles’ ability, or lack of, to bowl.

There will be a few changes in the way we do things this year.  For instance, Sheryl and I are trying to make room in our calendar to host a Cigar, Whiskey, and Pringles can Wine tasting event.  We are in search of electric carts to use for this event.

As always, our membership is of utmost importance.  Joey is doing a great job of coming up with some great ideas to protect and increase our membership.  Elvin is working hard on getting our name in the public on a regular basis.  He is trying to make the Maskat Shrine a household name.  Our Blue Lodges are doing a great job continuing their Masonic work . . . the path toward creating Masons that will want to become Shriners.  Please support our Blue Lodges.

As your Potentate and TSA President, I would like to thank Past Potentate Bruce Urban (and all of those involved in the planning and organization of this year’s TSA to be held in our wonderful city of Wichita Falls) for their efforts.  They are working very hard in order to continue the tradition of making Wichita Falls one of the favorite places to hold the TSA.

In closing, I would like to thank our entire Nobility for the faith and trust that you have placed in Sheryl and me be your 2019 Potentate and First Lady.  We promise to give our best effort in making 2019 a monumental year for our Temple.  To make this happen, we need ALL of you to participate in as many activities as possible and ALL work together to make it a successful year.  We simply cannot do it without ALL of you.

Thanks you for your support.  And, Let’s . . . Git R Done!!!!!

Steve Harris
2019 Potentate
Maskat Shrine Temple


January 2019

I’ll start this last message as I started the first one:

Well here we go – my last Potentate’s Message.  It’s hard to believe that 5 years have gone by so quickly.  Seems like yesterday that I was Oriental Guide and was absolutely lost in what I was to do.  Time went by and I kept learning; and, as it usually does, it just came together, with a lot of help.

There are lots of people that I need to thank.  First, I want to thank everyone that served in front of me.  I can say each brought something different to the table.  If you keep an open mind something can be learned from each that will help you grow.

Next, my current Divan.  What can I say – when I had my health issues, they all stepped up and this Temple ran seamlessly.  The best thing I did was get out of the way, they had this!  Thanks guys, more importantly, thanks ladies.

Next a big thanks to my aids and their ladies:  Ed and Pam Hall; Gordy and Gloria Antill; and Bob and Winnie Hamblin.  You guys were always one phone call away.  God bless you all!  My major event chairmen – IHOP Pancake Day: Charles Dean and Shawn Blacklock; Maskat Golf Tournament: Gordy Antill;  Oil Bowl:  Yoshi Fukasawa  and the return of the Oil Bowl Basketball Game, wow-what a success!  Sporting Clay Shoot:  Bruce Urban.  We tried the fall one–just couldn’t get past the weather.  Dead Cow Cookioff:  Speaking of weather — thanks to Scott McNeely who plowed through all the issues (including weather) to pull this event off.  Turkey Cook:  Thanks to Kenny Lemons for the leadership on our Turkey Cook.  This just keeps growing.  All of these events required additional manpower, so thanks to all the Nobility for pulling these events together and supporting them financially as well.

Thanks to Greg Stockton and the cast of the cooking unit for the Stated Meeting meals and for cooking at our special events.  We couldn’t have had better meals anywhere.  Hats off to a great job!

One more big thank you goes out to all of the Ladies of the Divan and Nobility. Judy and I could not have even come close without the help of you girls.  Thanks very much and God Bless each of you.

Now, some things I am proud of and some shortfalls.  I am happy about our Maskat Happy Hour.  Sometimes the crowd was small but other times it was very good.  None the less, it is something to build on in the next few years.

Our special events were very well organized.  Some were not as well attended as I expected–fighting weather, scheduling and other special events–but the people attending always had a great time.  I didn’t get the community out here as I had hoped I would. Again, something we all have spoken of and will continue this as a focus next year.

Our advertising committee was a large disappointment to me.  We had success with the people we were able to speak with but were well short of the budget for the year.  We were able to pick up several big rentals that will help.

All in all, I think we did the best we could with the cards dealt to us this year.  Membership was also disappointing, but I think Joey Viavattene has a good plan for 2019.

I want to thank the Nobility for the opportunity to sit as the leader of our most excellent fraternity.  This has been one of the brightest spots in my life, and I have made some lifelong friends.  I will pledge to continue working my best to support our mission of helping the Shriners Hospitals  offer world-class treatment to the children while keeping Maskat Temple solvent and stable.

Thanks, again for the support this year!

I love you all!

Calvin Carlton
2018 Potentate
Maskat Shrine Temple