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2013 Potentate’s Messages

December 2013

Nobles All,

Hard to believe December is already upon us.  We had a busy November, and I’m sure December won’t let us down as the holidays are always bustling.  I must first mention the Fall Ceremonial held November 2nd.  I realize that we interfered with the deer hunters somewhat, but getting the event away from Hallowen weekend as requested was a good thing too.  We had 8 Nobles at the event and 2 were initiated that day.  I can’t recall having that type of turnout since I joined in 2005.  Our Directors Staff and Ceremonial Divan also did an outstanding job.  They put together an almost flawless ceremony that was enjoyed by an audience of around 35 friends and family.

We had a great Garage sale, and I want to thank Edgar Shockley and Patsy Bird, who organized the event, and all the Nile Ladies that worked hard the day of the event.  We raised around $2,400 for the event, so a big thanks goes out to all that helped by donating as well.

Next was our First Annual Fall Gala.  I was certainly pleased with our first attempt, and I think most of the Divan feels the same.  A big thanks to Terry Martin for organizing the cooking of the ribs and the main dinner.  Terry had lots of great help with Eric Skipper, James Morris, Bruce Urban, and Greg Stockton.  There were others that helped as well but these guys truly pulled the wagon.  As for the auction, the bulk of that was handled by Roma Martin with Charles Dean and Jeff Gainer assisting; these folks made almost $8,000 on the auction alone.  Great Job!  Of course what would an event like this be without first rate decorations and Bree Gainer and Jana Urban were the creative minds behind a beautiful set up for the event.  They had wonderful help setting the decorations as well, and thanks goes to those ladies as well.  As with most Maskat events, it took many folks to make it work; but there’s always a few stars that shine.  I hope I didn’t leave anyone out that deserved recognition.

It’s been such a busy year, yet it seems like we just got started.  It will be a busy December with all the parties and family functions so it doesn’t slow down much.  We’ll probably already have had the Foster Kids Christmas by the time you get this; it’s always such a rewarding event.  Don’t forget our annual Maskat Christmas Party on December 12th.  Of course there’s several Unit parties scattered throughout the month.

Lastly, I’d like to thank one more person–my Lady Dee Ann.  She came up with the idea of raising funds for the temple in the painless manner of asking everyone to save change in the bottles we’ve provided for everyone.  It doesn’t seem like much, but I’m proud to announce that through mid-November those change bottles have made over $1,100.  That’s more than we’ve made in some events that we’ve all worked pretty hard on.

Thanks for your Support
Mark Reed, Potentate, 2013

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November 2013

Nobles and Ladies:

Winter is almost upon us and it’s time for the holiday season to begin.  In true Shriner spirit, “Let the Parties Begin.”  We all know that Shriners are known for our ability to have a good time, but we also know we do so with our Children and Hospitals in mind.  I know each of us go into this holiday season with a more festive spirit.  As for myself, that spirit translates to more of a giving feeling.  I guess that’s why I always watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” every year.  It feels good to give back, especially when most of us have been blessed with a life and a great fraternal brotherhood.  Thank God that we have our great nation and our friendship to sustain us.

We still have much to do; and, of course, that won’t stop; it will just transfer down to the upcoming Divan.  The calendar shows the upcoming events, most of which are annual events for Maskat, for the months of November and December.  Dee Ann and I will end our planned events with the Gala planned for November 9th, butr I know you’re well informed of that by now.

My main goal for this year was to pull the Divan together on planning so we could come up with events that all could support and carry forward into the future,  hopefully, making the transition much less of a change from year to year. We already have severl successful events in place but we need a “big event” that will really suppoert the temple.  The Gala is our attempt to do something different.  Supported by the following Divan, we hope this to be our answer to our major fundraiser.  It’s something that has the potential to grow so a good first year will tell us if it’s something to go forward with or not.  It may be a strike out or it could be a home run.  We’ll see.

I will end this by simply saying once again what a pleasure it’s been to serve as Potentate this year.  Both Lady Dee Ann and I feel so blessed that we’ve had the support we’ve had and cherish the brotherhood/sisterhood that follows the Shrine and everyone involved.

Sincerely
Mark Reed, Potentate 2013

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October 2013

Greetings All,

The fast and furious fall has arrived, and we’ve been plenty busy since the first of September.  October looks to be just as busy, so I don’t think any of us will have time to get bored.  Last week we completed the P2 Chili Cookoff and Chairman Chuck Hawthorne and his Lady Judy did a great job as always.  Chuck was pre-occupied somewhat with some testing he was going through, but I was informed yesterday that all went well and things are going per the doctor’s plan.  Judy has some procedures coming up as well so keep them in your prayers, and we wish them the best.  Thanks again for a successful event.

Last night we just completed our annual Circus.  We don’t have any final numbers yet, but the second night performance has to be one of the best crowds we’ve ever had.  Circus Chairman Mike Knox, and his right hand Ed Hall, are to be commended for all the hard work they did in organizing the event that fed those of us attending and the performers.  Thanks also to Roma Martin and my Lady Dee Ann for all the work they do with the side dishes and desserts and the coloring books.  This whole event takes a temple effort as I know many of you assisted those folks from set up to cooking — Thanks to all.  I do have one request for next year.  Please keep in mind that we have a circus for “TWO” nights not just one! We always have a large turnout of Nobles and Ladies for the first night then struggle to have enough help to sell coloring books the second night.  Some say it’s because we do a big meal the first night and only hamburgers the second, but I know that can’t be the reason with our Nobles!!!

Moving on to our busy October.  We are doing our best to keep the spirit of the Dead Cow and Bean Fixin Extravaganza alive.  Things fell through on a judge for the Provost Guard event so our Divan decided we could make a Temple family event out of it and invite all Nobles and any friends you have to come out and do an open cook on Friday night and Saturday the 11th and 12th.  Hopefully with the printing of this we will have gotten a little more detail out to you all because right now that’s about all I know.  We just want everyone to come out; if you have a cooker bring it and cook ribs, brisket, beans, or whatever and have a little family fun.  This would be a great time to invite potential new Nobles so they can get to meet everyone.

We’ve got double duty going on October 26th.  Chairman Edgar Shockley and his team is going to hold a Garage Sale at the Temple on the 26th, and Co-Chairmen Dickey Dixon and Bob Dean are putting together a Sporting Clay event at the shooting range.  Again, I don’t have all the details but be looking for those probably before this is printed.  I do know we’ve already gotten a lot of large items donated and Edgar will probably need some help in the days leading up to the Garage Sale to get these items moved into the Temple from the trailer and the barn.

Well, I think that gets us up to November which brings to mind that on November 2nd we’ll be holding our Fall Ceremonial to formally initiate our new members for this year.  If you’ve become a Maskat Shriner during this calander year,  please plan to attend.  This is a family and friends event so they can come and see you “fezzed” with the pride of being a Shriner.  As we said in the last issue, we don’t plan on taking the fall off; it’s busy and we have more in store so keep watching for more to cdome.  Thanks again to all for the great support this year

Sincerely,
Mark Reed, Potentate 2013

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September 2013

Greetings All:

Here we go into the home stretch as we start back for the fall.  There’s only a little over 4 months left for 2013 activities, but we plan to make it a busy time.  I hope a great time was had by all that attended the TSA/Oil Bowl thank you party.  While we had a great turnout, I know some of you simply could not attend, and I’m sorry we missed the opportunity to thank you as well.   By the time this is printed, we’ll already be into football season, and we do plan to have Cowboy Football Sundays in the Oasis.  This has really become a fun time for many the past couple of years and we want to keep the tradition going.  Let’s just hope the Cowboys give us reason to watch this year.

Since it is going to be a busy fall, I’m going to get right to the events.  First up is the P2 Chili Cook Off on Saturday the 21st.  Since we’ve made the Oil Bowl a Hospital fundraiser, the Divin decided we would make the P2 event a fraternal fundraiser.  We all know the growing needs we have to keep our temple operating and we’re obviously no good to the hospitals if we don’t have a fraternity.  We also moved this event up a few weeks this year to allow for what we hope is warmer weather for more outdoor activities to go along with the cook off.  O. G. Jeff Gainer is working with Chuck Hawthorne to hopefully expand this event to make it more appealing.  Chuck has done a wonderful job with this for years, so let’s all get out and support the event.

Next, we have the Circus on September 24th and 25th.  Circus Captain Mike Knox is running it as in years past, and I know he’s got a good plan going for all the extra activitirs that go along with this event.

The Dead Cow Cook Off starts of the month of October on the 11th and 12th.  I don’t have any details of the event just yet, but there’s still plenty of time for the Provost Guard to get all that out to everyone.

To finish out the month of October, we have a Garage Sale planned on October 26th.  Captain Edgar Shockley has done a marvelous job of heading this up in years past and we’re planning for an even bigger event this year.  If you’ve got a fall cleanup around the house or business planned, then please bring anything you no longer need out to the Temple.  We’ll make room for it in the barn or rent another storage container if needed.  Edgar would love to have everything we can get our hands on.

We have a couple of events planned for November and, of course, our usual activities for December that I’ll address in the next issue.  I know the year is not over and don’t plan on letting up; but, you just can’t help but feel it inside as we start planning every Fall to make the transition of running the temple to the next Potentate.  I almost failed to mention that Chief Rabban Dru Landrum has planned his 2014 Calendar Meeting for September 19th.  He’ll be looking for all the units and other organizations information on activities for planning next year.  Thanks again to everyone for a great year, and we’ll look forward to seeing you at the activities.

Sincerely,
Mark Reed, Potentate 2013

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August 2013

Congratulations Nobles and Ladies all!!!

All of Maskat truly deserves a giant pat on the back for the outstanding job done in hosting the 2013 Texas Shrine Association Ceremonial Session.  Many of you heard directly from the Imperial officers attending and Shriners of other Temples about the wonderful time they had here in Wichita Falls.  The praise for a superb convention came so often and from so many directions it was impossible to track.  Imperial Sir Jeffery Sowder of Kansas and his wife stated that “they wanted to take us to other associations and show them how to hold a convention.”  Maskat, you ROCK!!

Some of the Divan attended our Imperial session in Indianapolis, Indiana, from June 30th thru July 4th; again, we received many a thank you and congratulations from counterparts of other temples and from the Imperial Sirs and their ladies for the great convention in Wichita Falls.  Obviously, I could go on and on and I will on a more personal basis.  First, I’d like to thank all of you again for allowing me to lead Maskat this year.  I have been extremely proud to be your Potentate this year and TSA just put an exclamation point on how lucky I am to be Potentate of such a fine group of friends, or better yet “family,” that we have at Maskat.

I certainly don’t want to offend anyone because as I’ve said EVERYONE that participated did a fabulous job, but I would be remiss if I didn’t point out a few that truly stood out.  Of course, none of this would have been pulled off without the great organization put together by Ronnie James with Terry Martin in assistance.  Let’s not forget how much help Colleen and Roma were in the background as well.  Enough praise cannot be given to Billy and Beverly Bumgarner for all the last minute adjustments made and of course for the phenomenal theme they created of “Legendary Shriners.”  My hat’s off to Ken and Debbie Simpson who orchestrated the best hospitality setup ever.  Joe Kirk did his usual tireless job of keeping the competitions in line and running smoothly.  Lastly, we all need to thank our adopted Maskat Shrine Lady Dee Van Winkle.  Many don’t know that Dee was promoted at the convention bureau since our TSA in 2009, and it was no longer her job to be our contact person but she did so because she wanted to see that Maskat got the proper attention from MPEC.  Thank you Dee, Maskat loves you.

Shifting gears, this month’s addition is also to honor the Oil Bowl and all the hard work done in putting it together.  To be frank, along with the help of Maskat’s office staff the Oil Bowl is a three person show.  Gary Hill organizes the game, Joe Kirk takes care of the players needs other than food, and Sherry Blevins handles all the food.  As with the TSA, there are many that work hard behind the scene but without these three people the Oil Bowl would simply not happen.  Be sure and thank these folk when you see them, they truly make all of us at Maskat proud.

Well, if you’ve actually taken the time to read this before you line the cat box, you’re probably tired of my carrying on so I’ll end it with this.  We have a celebration planned for August ____, and we simply want everyone to come, have a good time, and congratulate each other for a job well done.  Thank you again for allowing me to be a part of such a magnificent group.

Sincerely,

Mark Reed,
Potentate, Maskat 2013

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June 2013

Nobles and Ladies,

With the printing of this message TSA 2013 will be upon us.  Much hard work has gone into the organizing of this event and many of you have and will put in some long hours to make certain all our brothers and sisters feel welcome in Wichita Falls.  We want everyone especially our own family of Nobles and Ladies to have a great time.  Maskat has a special talent for having fun while getting the job done.  Let’s get out and show Wichita Falls the pride we have in being Shriners and helping Kids.

There’s been allot of work done on the temple lately in preparation.  We held a cleanup day a few Saturday’s back, several folks worked 5 to 6 hours going through each area of the temple including unit rooms to make sure we were in top shape for TSA and the Oil Bowl.  I want to give a special thanks to those in attendance.  They are as follows, Greg and Cathy Stockton, Dru and Debbie Landrum, Charles and Deanna Dean, Bruce and Jana Urban, Jeff and Bree Gainer, Bob and Janet Blackmore, Billy and Regina Neimeyer and grandkids, Joe Kirk, Rusty Parks, Larry Brumbelow, Conner McCaslin, Calvin Carlton, Tyler and Callie Renick, Afton Reed and Dan Chaddick.  I sincerely apologize if I missed anyone, because the difference these folks made was tremendous.

Next up will be the Oil Bowl the following week.  Chairman Gary Hill has again been tweeking the events of that week as we continue to learn what’s successful and what’s not.  At last meeting chairman Hill says we look to be on track to make even more money this year than last and that speaks great for our hospitals.  There should be an agenda of events for that week out soon.

Lastly, we will be dark during the months of July and August.  Some of us will be attending the Imperial session in Indianapolis, IN. the first week of July, and the Potentates Trip is the last week of July.  Not being one to rest on my laurels, we’ve got an active fall planned with the Circus, P2 Chili Cookoff, Dead Cow Cookoff, Garage Sale, Sporting Clay Shoot, and a new event we’ll call a Gala for now.  Stay tuned for more as we develop that event.  Maskat needs funds like all organizations so we’re looking for new things we can do in the years to come.  It’s pretty hard to help those kids if we have to close our doors due to lack of funds.  So with that said, keep those change bottles coming.

Have a great Summer and see you at TSA and the Oil Bowl

Yours in faith,
Mark Reed, Potentate 2013

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MAY 2013

Dear Nobles and Ladies:

It’s been another great month and we’ve had so much fun getting to represent Maskat.  We finished last month with a very successful Easter Egg hunt.  It was down to the last minute as to whether or not the weather would let us pull it off but all went well and a big thanks to the clowns and other nobles and ladies that helped cook, serve and hide eggs for the kids.  Easter weekend we had the privilege of attending the Provost Guard Mid-Winter competition in Abilene.  Our shooters did outstanding in all flights as has become the norm and we had a great time dining and dancing in the evenings with all the folks there.

We will have completed our Hospital Golf tournament by the time you read this.  We are trying a new format this year and only after will we know what changes were right and which ones didn’t quite work.  Either way, Chairman Bob Blackmore has worked his tail off to make this a success and I would be remiss not to recognize the contribution of his lady Janet who’s also been instrumental in making it a success.  As with any new venture, I’m sure we’ll learn ways to make it bigger and better in years to come.  Up and coming is the Nacona Masonic Golf Tournament on May 11th and the Wild Fez Scavenger Hunt on May 18th.

For the most part our entire focus from the time you read this will be on TSA and the Oil Bowl.  Two back to back weeks that will test us all but both events I know will be done to great success which has come to be expected from Maskat.  It is really a good feeling to have been approached so often by others from around the state speaking of how much they look forward to coming to Wichita Falls and the type of events we put on.  I hope all of you realize just how much Maskat is looked up to in our association, and us the smallest Temple.

In closing I should mention the last TSA Meeting we will have on May 21st at 6:00 PM.  This will be a meeting for “ALL” Nobles and Ladies to attend.  Food will be provided and we will sign up everyone for various duties for the event.  We will also pass out our new shirts for TSA at this meeting.

SO EVERYONE MARK YOU CALENDAR FOR MAY 21ST, come out and enjoy the food and fellowship and get your shirts.

 Yours in faith,
Mark Reed, Potentate 2013

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April 2013

Nobles and Ladies,

The year is moving right along.  Lot’s has happened and lots to come.  We just completed two great Maskat-sponsored Mid Winters with the Shotgun and Clown units.  Both received many congratulations from their counterparts on the good time had by all.  I apologize for any Mid Winters I missed; I’ve tried to be sure and make all that I  possiblly can.  I do want to thank all of you that have participated and those that helped out to make it all a success.  The Golf Unit and Provost Guard both have Mid Winters the last weekend of March and we wish them the best of luck.

April will slow some, but with tongue in cheek, the pace will start picking as we move towards getting ready to host TSA.  Again, we must thank everyone that responded to the TSA shirt orders.  It will look great for so many of us to be in like shirts for the event.  We have a great theme selected for the event sparked by the guest speaker selected by the TSA President.  The speaker is a John Wayne impersonator, a famous Shriner in his own right.  With that in mind, Beverly Bumgarner came up with the theme of “Legendary Shriners” for TSA.  We plan to make this a fun event for all focused on famous Shriners.  Thanks Beverly for a great idea.

We finish off April with the Annual Hospital Golf Tournament on the 26th.  Bob Blackmore is our new Tournament Chairman and has made some bold changes to the format that we hope will make it the continued success it’s been under Don Wright and Ronnie James.  Thanks Don and Ronnie for your past leadership.  The tournament is going to kick off with a Hospitality meeting and sign up party on the Wednesday before so that handicaps and flighting can be completed before the Friday tournament.  Tournament helpers and participants are welcome.

Lastly, after the golf is done we leave May fairly open so our attention can be focused on making TSA 2013 the best one Maskat has done yet.  We’ll have a TSA meeting May 21st with a meal included for everyone to come out and sign up for job assignments, and your TSA shirts should be ready for pick up by then as well.  Be watching for more to come.  Keep turning in those change bottles.  Thanks for all you do.

Fraternally,
Mark Reed, Potentate

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March 2013

Greeting Nobles and Ladies,

It’s been a busy 1st month for us all; there’s been little time to waste.  To quickly recap since installation, we’ve had our Oil Bowl Coaches introduction luncheon, Potentate’s Ball, Nacona Shrine Party, Divan Mid Winter and IHOP Pancake Day.  My lady and I also attended the Potentate’s Ball at Moslah in Ft. Worth; and ,along with the HP&P Bruce Urban, we attended India Temple’s Ball in Oklahoma City.  There’s no slowing down anytime soon as we’ve already had a busy first part of February, and March is packed.

A brief look at what is coming:  The O.G. trip is February 21-24 and  Shotgun Mid Winter is March 1&2 in Wichita Falls.  The Director’s Staff Mid Winter is also the 1&2 in Dallas.  Clowns’ Mid Winter is March 14-16, also in Wichita Falls.  We will stuff Easter Eggs on the evening of March 20th, and the Easter Egg Hunt will be March 24th starting at 2PM.  The Provost Guard Mid Winter is March 29th and 30th in Abilene.  Lastly, we still have only until March 15th to get everyone signed up for TSA shirts. Again this is a great chance for Maskat to have a unified dress for both unit and temple events for several years.

Our greatest challenge for this year is membership.  We are constantly looking for new ideas to both attract and keep new members.  I am confident under new membership chairman Calvin Carlton that we can turn our loss of membership into a positive gain in 2013 and in the future.  We must all take a responsibility in growing membership, and we will be challenging all the units to grow this year in numbers as well.  We all know the fate of our fraternity depends on growth, so we must all step up to the challenge and follow Calvin’s lead.  Look for a membership update from Calvin in each Wildcat going forward.  We need this to be everyone’s focus!!

I made brief mention at the Potentate’s Ball that it is humbling to be a part of an organization where you consider everyone your friend and then to have those friends ask you to lead the group, as I’ve been chosen to do this year.  It’s all a blur at first, but as I settle into the position, it becomes even more important to me that you all understand I truly consider this an honor.  I don’t know that there’s anything in life that can prepare you for leading a group of folks that have all been successful in their own careers, but I intend to do so with every effort intended to move Maskat forward in all categories.  We’ve already seen success with the All Star Program.  You’ll see in this issue we have 25 members and growing.  Also the coin bottles project has returned over $400 in its first month.  Remember, this is ongoing so pick up a new bottle every time you fill one.

Look forward to seeing you all at the upcoming events;

Fraternally,
Mark Reed, Potentate

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February 2013

Thank You Nobles!!!

I’ve thought long about how to open this first message to you, and this is  the best I could come up with.  It is truly with great humility that my lady and I begin this year in which you placed your faith in us to lead this grand fraternity.  We’ve had many great Potentates and their ladies over the years and I only hope that we can finish this year far from the opposite end of that group.  Thank you again for your faith and trust.  We have a lot of business to attend to this year, so let me get right to it.

By now we’ve completed our first TSA meeting, the Potentates trip informational meeting, the Potentates ball, the infamous Nacona party, Divan Mid-Winter, and the Super Bowl.  Unfortunately, due to the deadlines for this newsletter getting printed and mailed, I won’t be able to comment on exactly what took place at these events.   I’m sure, however if anything embarrassing took place you’ve already heard about it.  You’d think with all that’s happened in January,  it would be time for a break but it’s all just starting.  We have the O.G. trip on February 21-24 and March starts all the Units Mid-Winter Competitions.  Maskat is hosting Mid-Winters for the Shotgun, Clown and Directors Staff Units, all in March unless there are changes that need to be made to the calendar.

Next, a couple of housekeeping  issues.  Those of you that made the January Installation and Ladies Night already have what is to be our first attempt at Maskat fundraising without doing the ever popular “raffles.” Plastic bottles were passed out to everyone for collecting their loose change.  We have roughly 500 Nobles, not counting your ladies.  Iif we get just one filled bottle for each Noble, we would meet or exceed $10,000.  The average bottle holds between $20 and $25.  If you have not done so please get your bottle at the Maskat office.  Family and friends are welcome to participate.  WE’LL BE HAPPY TO GIVE YOU ANOTHER BOTTLE WHEN THAT ONE IS FILLED.    If we can make this a continuing program we could possibly avoid the dreaded “RAFFLES” for years to come.

Lastly, we as a Divan are trying desperately to improve the communications to all the Nobility.  We have added an e-mail distribution list for the ladies so that all e-mails that involve the ladies will reach them and the Noble.  We are still missing many of the ladies e-mail addresses, so if you wish to be on the mailing list please contact the office with your address.  As much as I hate to be negative in my first letter, there is a bigger problem the Divan can’t fix.  In today’s world of technology we can track not only if you received an e-mail but whether you opened it.  To read an e-mail most find this essential.  We sent our last Stated Meeting e-mail notice out on January 3rd.  AS OF JANUARY 10TH ONLY 35% OF OUR NOBLES EVEN OPENED THE E-MAIL.  Makes it pretty clear that the interest level in knowing what is happening at Maskat is extremely low.    We need your help and renewed commitment to keep our fraternity great and make it even better for the future.

If this has been long winded I do apologize.  Our goal is to make a positive impact on Maskat in 2013 and have lots of fun doing it.  Just like our moniker, “Shriners, having fun, helping kids.”    See you soon.

Fraternally,
 Mark Reed, Potentate.

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January 2013

Greetings Nobles and Ladies,

It’s hard to believe it’s time to pass the torch to the next administration. Time really does fly when you are having a good time and this has truly been a great time.

There are so many people that I would like to thank for the honor and privilege of being your Potentate for 2012. A special recognition to all the Past Potentates for setting the bar so high that it kept me on my toes 24 – 7 to live up to such high standards. Also, thanks for the nurturing and support they extended to me.

At the November meeting, we passed out many awards and certificates but we could not come close to recognizing everyone who played a vital role in making Maskat the Temple that it is. Susie and I wish to thank all of the Nobles and their Ladies for supporting us throughout the year. We hope that we  made it a good year for you.  I am sure that Billy Florence and Walter Fleming, M.D., who founded the idea of Shriners back in 1870, had great expectations for the Fraternity. I doubt that they envisioned the magnitude of the impact that being a Shriner means today.

In closing, we wish the best of everything to Potentate-Elect Mark Reed and his Divan. We pledge our support and know that he will do a fantastic job.

 Thanks for the honor and privilege of serving the World’s Greatest Philanthropy

Fraternally,
Poney Thompson, Potentate

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