March 2020

March.  When we actually get there in a couple weeks, is something we should all be welcoming. Not much freezing weather planned, according to the Farmer’s Almanac. Just wind and rain.  I am attempting to write this column and thinking about packing up for the O.G. Trip to Shreveport starting next Thursday.  I think O.G. Bill Hammack will remember to go on this one, since we are taking the trip with his nickname for the year on his apron, O.G. Trip. It’s your turn Bill! Have fun walking to Shreveport and back! Enjoy this, you can sleep later!

At our Divan Midwinter Conference the second weekend in February, we talked a lot about Membership, which is an ongoing problem. And, as we discussed last year, we are now implementing some of the Hospital transformation. Houston Board President David Henderson met with the Divans briefly to try to shed some light on Galveston’s and Houston’s merger. Boards are meeting together about half the time, trying to start the merger of the two into the building in Galveston.  Our two Texas Hospitals are doing great, and the merger is going to take about a year and a load of planning.  Now one more thing about Midwinter in Dallas! O.G. Bill Hammack introduced the Divan, and was commended by Judge David Hamm for getting all the names and titles in proper order. But he introduced me as Treasurer and Greg as Treasurer too. We only have one Treasurer. That’s Greg. I’m the Recorder. They didn’t even catch that, and still fined him a hundred dollars for “setting the bar too high.” O.G.s are not supposed to win! But the fines collected go to the Hospitals!

IHOP Pancake Day will be Tuesday, February 25, this year. Chairman P.P. Charles Dean spoke about it at the February Meeting. It is the largest one day fundraiser 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. Also, please tip generously. Young people love the free pancakes, but are not known for leaving tips.

February 28 -March 1 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.   It is fun and rewarding, and you may want to put it on your Bucket List!

We have some Blue Lodge, Scottish Rite and York Rite activities coming up. Go to Blue lodge when you can. Don’t forget your roots! The first two Fridays in March we have some events at Maskat you should try to attend. On the 6th is a Dueling Pianos presentation at Maskat. On the 13th we have a Dinner Theatre by the Rider High Drama Department.  Each event is $20.00 per ticket.  And well worth the money! Thank you all for being Shriners!

Thanks for being a Shriner!  Nobles and Ladies, thanks for supporting our efforts.

For the Children,
John Tunnell, P.P. Recorder

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February 2020

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.

We start February with a Super Bowl Party on Sunday, February 2. This is always a fun party and I’m sure it will be this year as well. Your Divan will be going to Dallas for Divan Midwinter on Thursday through Saturday, February 6-8. The Divan will come home Saturday from Big D, except the ones who will stay for the Potentate’s Ball in Dallas that night. Stated Meeting is February 12 at Maskat, and Maskat Happy Hour for February is cancelled!  That is the Thursday the men leave on the O.G. Trip.

The long awaited O.G. Trip to Shreveport Hospital is February 20-23.  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, which is the highlight of the trip! 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 every Noble very proud to be a Shriner.

Don’t forget IHOP Pancake Day is Tuesday, February 25.   Past Potentate Charles Dean is our man who makes it happen locally, but it is a group effort and 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.  I don’t know if you have paid any attention to the Shriner’s Hospitals ads on television, but if you have, they have successfully brought many dollars to our Hospitals!  You need to know that due to good money management, we have been able to keep a little over 95 cents of every dollar raised and devote it to Patient Care. So we are getting a great return on our investments and advertising!

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.

Just a bit about the merger. We are now meeting with the Galveston Board about half the time. I can’t tell you what I don’t know, but I can tell you we are serious about getting it done. Houston and Galveston patients may not be under the same roof for a while, but we will get there!

For The Kids, Thanks for being a Shriner, gentlemen!

John Tunnell, P.P. Recorder
Houston Hospital Board of Governors

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January 2020

FIRST OF ALL, Happy New Year and welcome to 2020!  As Steve and Sheryl Harris prepare to relinquish the reins and leave the top slot open for Bing and Jody Miller for another great year at Maskat, we have a lot to do!   Bing Miller will be officially installed as Illustrious Potentate of Maskat Temple at our January Stated Meeting on January 14, 2019. That is as late a date as 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 6:30 pm, 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 Bing Miller was elected to replace Illustrious Potentate Steve Harris, the outgoing Potentate.  Kenny Lemons became Chief Rabban, Dooby Fox moved up to Assistant Rabban, Greg Talley was elected High Priest and Prophet, and Bill Hammack was elected Oriental Guide.  P.P. Greg Stockton was reelected Treasurer, and P.P. John Tunnell will still be Recorder, by vote of the Nobility. P.P. Calvin Carlton was elected to a two year term on the Financial Advisory Board, as was Noble Eddie Fenoglio. The year 2020 is the remaining year of P.P. Bob Hamblin’s term and Noble Bill Yates also has one more year remaining on his term on the Financial Advisory Board.

On a really somber note, Past Potentate Charles Oldham and Noble Dave Corbett passed away in December.  We certainly don’t need any more Nobles to pass from us this year! I pray none of us do.  Changing the direction of this a little, we have seven Nobles whom we voted to suspend on December 31, 2019. That is the last day of this year. These gentlemen can be retained if they pay the dues to make themselves current.  I hope they will do so.  Call me or the Office if you want to give any of them a call.

The Potentate’s Ball, Honoring Potentate Bing Miller and Lady Jody, is scheduled for Saturday January 25.  Illustrious Sir Bing promises us a “Great Casino Night” for his Potentate’s Ball!  The Super Bowl, and you know Shriners will use any excuse for a party, will be Sunday, February 2, 2020. If that’s not a good excuse for a Party, I don’t know what would qualify!  This year, Divan Midwinter will be in Dallas, February 6-8.  Divan /Units Council will meet on Monday, February 10, and Stated Meeting is February 11th.  Don’t forget to sign up for the O.G. Trip which begins Thursday February 20-23 in Shreveport, Louisiana.  We will tour the Shriners Hospital there Friday, and O.G. Bill Hammack will serve everyone on the bus libations and sandwiches all the way to Shreveport and back! I can hardly wait!

Jennifer and I attended the Christmas Tree Lighting at Shriners Hospital For Children in Houston on Friday, November 30, 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 attended. Also several Shrine Dignitaries were in attendance.  Everyone enjoyed the celebration, especially the Kids when Santa and his elves showed up!

If you see Steve or Sheryl Harris, congratulate them on a great Shrine Year! They turn the whole thing over to Bing and Jody Miller on Stated Meeting/ Installation on January 14, and ride off into the sunset!

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