March is upon me, and all who have to make an article ready to go in the Wildcat. I am attempting to write this column and thinking about packing up for the O.G. Trip to Shreveport at the end of the current week. I think O.G. Greg Talley will remember to go on this one, since we are taking the trip with his nickname for the year as its title. O.G. Trip. It’s your turn O.G. Greg. Enjoy!
At our Divan Midwinter Conference the second weekend in February, we talked a lot about Membership, which is an ongoing problem; but ,as we did last year, we also talked a lot about shutting or repurposing some of our least productive hospitals to better utilize and protect our Endowment Fund. We are doing a great job saving lives and making them better, but some of our locations are greatly underutilized. We will share information with you as it becomes available, but Houston and Galveston locations are NOT listed as possible closures. Our Texas Hospitals are doing great!
IHOP Pancake Day will be Tuesday March 12 this year. Chairman P.P. Charles Dean spoke about it at the February Meeting. It is the largest one day fund raiser we have for our Hospitals. Nobles have been very good about volunteering to work a two hour shift, which is great! But after you finish your shift, stay and eat. Or eat before, if you would like! Or if you aren’t working the event, eat anyway! The food is great, and the event raises money for our Hospitals. And thank the staff! They graciously donate their time to us and help us make our event successful.
Our Patient of the Month at SHC Houston is ten months old. He came to us as he left another Hospital, for subacute rehab. His initial diagnosis was strep pneumonia with sepsis. He was discharged directly to us because he was too weak to send home. He was born a twin, but his twin died. He has trouble swallowing and consequently much of his food was entering his lungs. He is younger than most of our subacute patients, but without our services, it’s doubtful he could have lived. He will go home in about two weeks if he continues to improve at his current rate. Not our typical patient, but we have helped him immensely. Gives us all another reason to be proud to be a Shriner!
March 1-3 is the Shriner’s Hospital College Classic Baseball Tournament in Houston. It features Texas college baseball teams in the tournament, and we have our Hospital Board Meeting at Minute Maid Park in Houston. This game showcases patients from Houston and Galveston and is played to benefit our Hospitals. Then on March 10-12, I have to go to Atlanta for a Regional Board of Governors Meeting for BOGs from Houston, Galveston, Shreveport and Mexico City. It is considered very important to our Hospital System, and we only have one Board Member who has been excused–he is Chairman of the IHOP Pancake Day!
We will have a York Rite Festival at Faith Lodge on March 15-16. If you have not completed the York Rite, this is your opportunity to do so locally. Many of our York Rite Masons have been working toward a Festival here for quite a while. I hope you will join us! Thank you all for being a Shriner!
Thanks for being a Shriner, Nobles; and Ladies, thanks for supporting our efforts.
For the Children
John Tunnell, P.P. Recorder
Happy Valentine’s Day, among other events we are happy to observe in February if we are married or have kids! February is always short; and if you are a Shriner, pretty busy. Speaking of busy, congratulations to Noble Ed Hall for earning the Golden Fez Award for 2018! Ed works with heart and soul to make Maskat great.
We start February with a Super Bowl Party on Sunday, February 3. This is always a fun party and I’m sure it will be this year as well. Your Divan will be going to Tyler Texas for Divan Midwinter on Thursday through Saturday, February 7-9. The rest of the Divan will come home Saturday, but Jennifer and I will be going down to Houston for the February Houston Hospital Board of Governors Meeting which is on Monday, February 11. Stated Meeting is February 12 at Maskat. Maskat Happy Hour for February is cancelled! That is the Thursday we leave on the O.G. Trip.
The long awaited O.G. Trip to Shreveport Hospital is February 21-24. It is a STAG trip to Margaritaville Hotel and Casino in Bossier City, and the bus ride, snacks and libations cost $75.00. New Nobles first trip is free! Well, you do have to pay for your room and gambling, but it’s still a good deal! It’s always a lot of fun, and we tour the Shriners Hospital in Shreveport on Friday. Our first Hospital was Shreveport, so it holds an historical place among Shrine Hospitals. This trip gives everyone a chance to see what the Shrine supports and makes a Noble very proud to be a Shriner.
Don’t forget IHOP Pancake Day is March 12. Past Potentate Charles Dean is our man who makes it happen locally, but it is a group effort. It is the largest single-day fundraiser we have for the Shrine Hospitals, so it is very important. Don’t forget to sign up to work and join Shriners for pancakes on that special day!
As a Proud Houston Hospital Representative, I want to thank you for supporting our Hospitals. P.P. Bob Hamblin has rejoined the Houston Board as an Associate. He went to the Board Meeting in Houston last Monday. I could not go because my bride had heart bypass surgery the day after Christmas and is still recuperating. Jennifer bravely told the doctors to do it now, she has a lot of living to do, and needs to get this corrected. She is getting back to normal, but it takes a while.
Thank you, Nobles and Ladies, for supporting our cause. Just a reminder, when you send a check to Shriners Hospital Houston or Shriners Hospital Galveston, please write: for Patient Services. This ensures the money stays at the Texas Hospital of your choice for our kids.
Past Potentate Dr. Steve Dryden has officially completed his tenure as Galveston Hospital Representative. If you are interested in being on the Board of Governors in Galveston, please notify me and I will help you apply!
For The Kids,
John Tunnell, P.P. Recorder
Houston Hospital Board of Governors
FIRST OF ALL, Happy New Year and welcome to 2019! Calvin and Judy Carlton are stepping aside to let Steve and Sheryl Harris take the reins for another great year at Maskat! Don’t forget, we host Texas Shrine Allstate in 2019. We got a lot to do! Steve Harris will be officially installed as Illustrious Potentate of Maskat Temple at our January Stated Meeting on January 8, 2019. That is as early as it is possible for us to have a second Tuesday Stated Meeting. The meeting time will be changed, we will have our regular tiled Stated Meeting at 6:30pm, then bring the Ladies in for the meal, followed by the Installation of Officers and a reception.
We had Officer Elections at Stated Meeting in December, and the slate looks a little different this year. Chief Rabban Steve Harris was elected to replace Illustrious Potentate Calvin Carlton, the outgoing Potentate. Bing Miller became Chief Rabban, Kenny Lemons moved up to Assistant Rabban, Dooby Fox was elected High Priest and Prophet, and Greg Talley [Scruffy] was elected Oriental Guide. P.P. Greg Stockton will become Treasurer after a two year hiatus, and P.P. John Tunnell will still be Recorder, by vote of the Nobility. P.P. Charles Oldham was reelected to another two year term on the Financial Advisory Board, as was Bob Hamblin. P.P. Mark Reed took Greg Stockton’s remaining year and Noble Bill Yates has one more year remaining on his term on the Financial Advisory Board.
On a really somber note, Past Potentate Jeff Gainer lost his wife Bree Saturday. December 8. Her services were held yesterday, December 17, at Owens & Brumley. Bree was the Potentate’s Lady in 2017, and was only 42 years old. It was a moving service for a beautiful lady, taken from us and her family entirely too young.
The Potentate’s Ball, Honoring Potentate Steve Harris and Lady Sheryl, is scheduled for Saturday January 26. Illustrious Sir Steve promises us a “Real Country no Tux Hoedown” for his Potentate’s Ball! Super Bowl, and you know Shriners, any excuse for a party, will be Sunday, February 3, 2019. If that’s not a good excuse for a Party, I don’t know what would qualify! This year, Divan Midwinter will be in Tyler February 7-9. Divan /Units Council will meet on Monday, February 11, and Stated Meeting is February 12th. Don’t forget to sign up for the O.G. Trip which begins Thursday February 28-March 3 in Shreveport, Louisiana. We will tour the Shriners Hospital there Friday, and O.G. Greg Talley will serve everyone on the bus libations and sandwiches all the way to Shreveport and back!
Jennifer and I attended the Christmas Tree Lighting at Shriners Hospital For Children in Houston on Friday, December 1, followed by full Board Meeting Saturday Morning and Christmas Party that night. In addition to our regular patients at the tree lighting ceremony, many former patients and their families were present. Also several Shrine Dignitaries were in attendance. Everyone enjoyed the celebration, especially the Kids when Santa and his elves showed up!
If you see Calvin or Judy Carlton, congratulate them on a great Shrine Year! His last official Party will be New Year’s Eve. We have a great band lined up [Hijackers Hollow Band] and black eye peas at midnight. His last official act is relinquishing the reins to Steve Harris at Stated Meeting on January 8, 2019!
Thanks for being Shriners, Gentlemen, and thank you Ladies for helping us be better men and Shriners!
For the Children
John Tunnell, P.P. Recorder