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2013 Recorder’s Corner

December 2013

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, etc.!! It’s that time of year again, and we start the Christmas season at Maskat with our Foster Children Christmas Party on Monday, December 2.  It is always gratifying to host this party for these deserving youngsters.  As most of you know, being a Foster Child means there is something wrong in your life, and the courts have awarded custody of you to a foster family.  I am no stranger to the concept; we have had a Foster Child in our house for six years. Kendyl went through her teen years in our home and was an honor student in high school.  She is now a freshman student at Texas A&M, along with our youngest Grandson, Travis, and about a zillion other kids.  She was a Foster Kid for about four years before we got her and had lived with several families trying to find a forever home.  Kendyl is not your run-of-the mill Foster Child [none of them are!]; but, just like your own kids, life can be tough sometimes on anyone. All of that to say, life has not always been easy for these children; and, for some, the taste of Christmas we share with them is as good as it gets. So come on out and help. It’s good for your heart!

We have Divan elections at Stated Meeting on Tuesday, December 10th, so come to the meeting and throw the bums out!  I do know that Noble Calvin Carlton is running for Oriental Guide because he announced his intentions at the November Stated Meeting. In other business, we will have to vote to suspend nine Nobles from the Shrine for Non Payment of Dues [NPD].  This is tough to do, especially since we are very close to having a membership gain because we have initiated several new members this year. We have until December 30 to save these men from suspension. I can’t publicize the list, but I can give it to you if you ask for it. Give me a call if you want to try to help.

On December 12th, we have our Maskat Family Christmas Party for Noble and Ladies. This is always a festive occasion, with Christmas entertainment by the Rider High School Orchestra to put you in a Christmas frame of mind.  Rider High School Orchestra has played for this event for about twenty years and has always does a great job.  Come on out; you will be glad you did!

We hosted a new event in November which I am anxious to mention.  We had our first annual Fall Gala, and I think we will keep doing it!  Everyone who attended thought it was a great idea.  With a live auction and a silent auction, a rib dinner, and a dance for twenty bucks admission, you couldn’t go wrong. Sponsors graciously donated merchandise for the auctions; bidders were generous; Terry Martin’s Ribs were great; and we had a good band. What’s not to like?  I have heard nothing but praise for this event which was the brainchild of Potentate Mark Reed. If you missed it, you will have another chance to attend next year from all indications.

Thank you for being a Shriner and a Mason,
John Tunnell, PP Recorder    

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November 2013

We had a family version of the Dead Cow Cooking Barbecue Cookoff this past weekend, and everyone who came said we should do something similar on at least a yearly basis. Every Shriner who wanted to entered one cooking event or another. Some of them won, some didn’t, and everyone had a great time. This event was sponsored by Maskat, and first and second places received prize money.  Maybe enough to cover the cost of their entry fee! Probably not, but you can’t put a price on fun.  We had hamburgers and hot dogs on Friday Night, and a great band who played at least some of your favorite music.  We almost had a disaster on Saturday when Roy Cheney’s cooker caught on fire, and Wichita East Fire Department had to be called. It was well contained by the time they arrived by Nobles James Morris and Joe Viavatenne.  When we have an event of any sort, we need to remember to call and tell them, just in case! It could have been bad, and Roy has to fix his cooker, but everybody escaped unscathed.

We still have the Maskat Garage Sale the 26th of the month before we retire the October calendar.  The Shotgun Unit is sponsoring a clay shoot that day also at the North Texas Field and Stream. So bring your stuff to the garage sale; and if you like to shoot clays, sign up with any shotgun unit member to get details.

We have our Fall Ceremonial on November 2nd here at Maskat, starting at four in the afternoon.  After we bring in the New Members, we will have a meal and adult beverages in the Oasis.  If you know a Mason who needs to be a Shriner, or anyone else who is interested in the Shriners, this is a good time to bring them out.  Also, that morning at 11:00am, the Veteran’s Day Parade will be held in downtown Wichita Falls.  We have several units who always participate in this activity

The next Saturday, on the ninth of November, we will have our first Annual Fall Gala here at Maskat. This will be a community affair, and our goal for this year is to get participation from businesses and professionals to attend and participate.  There will be a live and silent auction, and a rib dinner by P.P. Terry Martin and crew.  Check out the information for this event throughout this publication.

As I said in October, I am cautiously optimistic that Maskat can have a plus year membership wise.   We are losing some wonderful older members to the Black Camel, but we are recruiting new members each month.  If any of you know a Mason who should be a Shriner, this would be a great time to bring them aboard.  Just get them to come in at the Fall Ceremonial on November 2nd.  Don’t forget, if you know someone who dropped out, remember that if they come back in, they count the same as a new member for membership purposes! So go get them!

Thank you for being a Shriner and a Mason,
John Tunnell, PP Recorder    

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October 2013

Yeah! October is upon us, and the weather is changing with a bit of subtlety.  It still feels like Wichita Falls is under a dome.  Folks all around us are getting some regular rains, but not us.  We got an inch and a quarter in a freaky little unpredicted storm last week, but that’s been it for September.  I hope it comes a gully washer and fills all the lakes up as soon as I turn this in to Billy Bumbarner (Wildcat Editor).  I would change my whole article for that kind of rain.  We need it so very badly.

We have the Circus next Tuesday and Wednesday; it feels strange to tell you I hope you enjoyed the show; but when you get this, it will be history along with our Annual P-2 Chili Cookoff this weekend, the Provost Guard Fall Invitational, and the Golf Outing to Lake Granbury next weekend.  We won’t be attending either of those events.  I have my fifty-year high school reunion at the same time, and I need to attend.  In another fifty years, I probably will not go.  If I manage to hang on that long, everyone else will likely be dead!

The Houston Hospital Board of Governors had their September meeting in Mercedes, Texas, at the Outreach Clinic there.  The Outreach Clinics are conducted a few times each year in various remote places to keep the hospital outpatients from having to travel to Houston so many times.  This one was well attended by many patients from Mexico and deep South Texas.  I understand it was well attended; it always is.  I could not attend because it was the same Tuesday as our Stated Meeting.  I wanted to go, but I felt I needed to attend our meeting in Wichita Falls.  I was assured that it does not conflict with our Stated Meeting very often.

October is a busy month for Maskat, but there seems to be a weekend with no activity scheduled!  How can that be?  The Dead Cow Cook-Off will be replaced by a party at the land on Hatton Road.  P.P. Greg Stockton suggested the party when we got the news that the Cook-Off would not be held because we could not get a sanctioned event without a certified head judge.  Greg, like many of us, believes we don’t utilize the land enough.  So come and have fun!  Several Shriners have committed to cook, and a good time will be had.  Come if you can.  And, don’t forget the Shrine Garage Sale the last Saturday in October (the 26th).

I am cautiously optimistic that Maskat can have a plus year membership wise. We are losing some wonderful older members to the Black Camel, but we are recruiting new members each month.  If any of you know a Mason who should be a Shriner, this would be a great time to bring them aboard.  If you know someone who dropped out, remember that if they come back in, they count the same as a new member in the membership numbers!

Thank you for being a Shriner and a Mason
John Tunnell, PP Recorder

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September 2013

We return to a regular stated meeting schedule in September, and I look forward to seeing some of you again.  Most of you I have seen from time to time.  Of course, being ‘dark’ the months of July and August does not mean we aren’t busy at Maskat.  As you know, your Imperial Reps went to Indianapolis in July and had a TSA party for the workers in August. So there was plenty to do.  The TSA Party was well attended, and if you missed it, thanks for your hard work at TSA!  It takes a team to produce this convention, and we certainly had a good one.  When you see our co-directors, P.P. Ronnie James and P.P. Terry Martin, thank them for their hard work and skillful management.  They were superb. Heck, you all were!  Congratulations!!

I went to Dr. Gerald Stockton’s funeral at the Gerald Stockton Basketball Court along with many Nobles and Masons and a host of his colleagues and admirers recently.  Coach Stockton was the basketball coach at MSU from 1971 until his retirement as Athletic Director and a legendary name synonymous with MSU basketball.  He was elected to the NAIA Coaches Hall of Fame, the greatest honor a small university coach could ever hope to receive.  He was also a Mason and Shriner, father of Past Potentate and Treasurer Greg Stockton.  Coach Stockton was a great man who lived his life adhering to the masonic principles of brotherly love, relief, and truth.  I knew he was a Shriner many years before I became a Mason in 1978. Like many other brothers, he was not active in the fraternity.  But he was a perfect example of a true Mason, always honest and upright in his profession and respected in his community.  He continues to be an inspiration to many people in all walks of life.

As some of you already know, over the Summer I was elected to represent Maskat Temple on the Houston Shrine Hospital Board of Governors.   This is quite an honor, and I pledge to you to do the best job I can do.  Not only is it an honor, but it is also a volunteer job unique to this great fraternity.  The Board of Governors meets once a month, but makes decisions affecting virtually all of the hospital’s operations. I do not officially begin as your representative until the first of the year, but I am attending the meetings each month, which should enable me to assume an active role in the governance of the hospital more quickly.  I will probably not write a separate article for the Wildcat on a monthly basis, but I will try to keep you informed in my column.  Of course, if I need more space to cover Houston Hospital news, I will address that in a separate column from time to time.

Finally, a short word about membership.  Membership Chairman Calvin Carlton is working hard to try to keep the membership growing, and that includes keeping people in the fraternity who are falling behind in their dues.  As we do each December, we will have to vote to suspend some worthy Nobles because they have fallen behind.  The current number is only a handful, but we need to try to retain everyone.  We seem to be able to bring enough new nobles in to replace the men who died, but overcoming suspensions is very difficult.  Nobles, make membership your priority. We need you, and we need the Nobles we lose each year to suspensions.  If you know one of these men, urge him to call the office and talk to Donna.  With your help, we can turn this thing around!

Thank you for being a Shriner and a Mason,
John Tunnell, PP, Recorder

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August 2013

Your Imperial Representative [four of us] recently returned from the Annual Convention of Shriners International, held this year in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was a good convention, and it is always good to see friends whom you see but once a year.  I am an Emeritus Representative, and Mark Reed and Dru Landrum are your elected Imperial Representatives. P.P. Terry Huff is a Representative for the Colorado Corporation, which means he can cast ballots on Hospital legislation only.  This year, Terry completed his requisite number of years and will return next year as an Emeritus Representative to the Colorado Corporation.  Congratulations, Terry!  Our wives accompanied us.

Indianapolis is a beautiful city, with a lively downtown area.  The convention center is right in the middle of the area, surrounded by great eateries [I gained seven pounds].  The Marriott Hotel is directly across the street from the convention center, and nearly everything worth doing is only a couple of blocks walking distance.

Once again, the highlight was the public relations presentation on Wednesday afternoon, where we met the newest patient ambassadors.  These children make you proud to be a part of this great fraternity.  Traditionally, the two Patient Ambassadors are chosen from our Shriners Hospitals for Children and introduced to the Representatives at the annual convention.  It is always a heart rending, emotional experience to see these kids in person and hear the stories of how they became Shriner Kids and how they have overcome their obstacles to lead fulfilling lives with the help of Shriners like you and me.  I picked up a couple of DVDs of their personal stories to share with the Nobility.

I am not going to go through the legislation– there were thirty one items on the agenda, most of which will not affect us at Maskat at all.  Something worthy of discussion, however, was the situation in the state of Arkansas we were forced to deal with.  The Grand Master of Arkansas has ordered all Freemasons to either demit from the Shrine or “self-expel” from Masonry.  He took this action last year, after expelling the Potentate of Sahara Temple without due process.  Imperial Potentate Al Madsen met with him several times, attempting to resolve the problem, but did not succeed in his efforts.  We as Imperial Reps were forced to act to save the Shriners in Arkansas from losing their Shrine Centers.  As a result of this legislation, Shriners in Arkansas remain Shriners even if they have been expelled from Masonry.  I think it is sad for both of these great fraternities that a compromise could not be reached with the Grand Master of Arkansas.  With a Masonic tradition in my family dating back to my great-great-great grandfather, if I was forced to make a choice between Masonry and Shrine, I could not do it!  I pray for all the Arkansas Shrine Masons in that dilemma. I think we made the best decision possible, but it makes me sick.  Truly the most difficult ballot I have ever cast.

Thanks for being a Shriner and a Mason,
John Tunnell, PP Recorder

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June 2013

The next two weeks at Maskat will be the busiest fortnight of the year, if things run true to form!  We host TSA for the first time since 2009 [we are four years older] on June 6-8, and the next week is Oil Bowl week.  That about covers the subject.  Led ably by cochairmen Ronnie James and Terry Martin and this year’s Potentate Mark Reed tirelessly working the details, the TSA committee is just about ready for show time!  With our final worker’s meeting this Tuesday May 21st in the Maskat Ballroom, we should be ready to roll.

Oil Bowl Chairman Gary Hill is doing the same exercise with his committee as we make ready for the Oil Bowl Classic the next Saturday on June 15th.  He has been tasked with pulling the Oil Bowl together with a completely new format.  This year, it will feature East Texas Versus West Texas All Stars in an historic game at Memorial Stadium.  As of our last committee meeting, he has things pointing to a great Shriner’s Hospitals for Children Fundraiser.  Come out and support this event!  We need your help.

Yesterday,[ I am composing this on Sunday afternoon], I went to the Wild Fez Scavenger Hunt on the Red River below the Waurika Bridge.  Shriners and their families, in all manner of four wheel drive vehicles, ran up and down the riverbed feverishly accomplishing their next great task.  I am sure even if the team I was on finished dead last, we had just as much fun as everyone on the winning team, and that is what it’s all about!  Kudos to the Wild fez Unit, our newest unit, invented right here at Maskat, for hosting a blue ribbon fun event for Shriners and their families.  If you missed it this year, you missed a great time.  We all had a wonderful time.

Not a lot of extra activity at Maskat this month. Everyone is pushing to make this the greatest Texas Shrine Association Convention ever. This is only our third opportunity to host this event, and we appreciate the chance to do it.  It was actually Ben Hur’s year [Austin’s Shriners] to host the festivities, but they were scheduled out of the allotted timeframe by community events which prohibited them from providing hotel space and meeting facilities.  They asked us to host the event for them, and we accepted the task.

And don’t forget the Oil Bowl the very next Saturday! It’s an established SHC Fundraiser now, and we can’t really afford to relax until it is over!  Thanks for being a Shriner and making a difference for the Children we serve!

For The Children,
John Tunnell, PP Recorder

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May 2013

This year is moving right along.  April hasn’t brought as much rain as we were wanting, but everything isn’t dead either.  I am writing this before Maskat’s Hospital Benefit Golf Tournament.  We are anticipating great golf weather for Friday, and everything is in place for a good tornout of golfers, our most important factor for a good tournament.  It takes a lot of time and effort to stage this event, and Chairman Bob Blackmore has been working diligently to ensure success.  Now if Mother Nature will coperate!

We do not have the usual busy calendar for May.  Besides Units Council on May 8th, Stated Meeting on the 14th, and the TSA Signup Party on the 21st, we don’t have much in the way of activities.  But it is the calm before the storm that characterizes the first two weeks of June.  We are feverishly preparing to host Texas Shrine Association Allstate June 5-8.  Then the Oil Bowl Football Game is the very next Saturday, June 15th.  We need a great crowd of Nobles and Ladies for both events, but the Oil Bowl Game is another Hospital Fundraiser.  Buy your tickets and attend.  Wear your FEZ!

The Oil Bowl Game will be different this year, with two Texas Teams as opponents instead of the usual Texas Oklahoma format.  Chairman Gary Hill, in addition to rehab for his hip replacement surgery, is tasked with making this a great Oil Bowl.  This is a notable and historic community event, and we as Nobles and Ladies are important to its continued success.  Come and help if you can, but please attend and support in any case.  We need you!

Thanks for being a Shriner!
John Tunnell, PP Recorder

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April 2013

Happy April everyone!! We finally made it to Spring.  Not that I can complain about March to far.  But it’s only March 20th!  There is still plenty of time to have some windy March weather.  If it comes, let’s hop there is a bunch of rain with it, and no snow or frozen stuff.

Lots of Shrine stuff going on.  The OG (Jeff Gainer) walked all the way to Shreveport and back serving drinks and snacks to everyone (some say he rested a bit).  On Friday of the OG Trip we had an opportunity to tour the Shreveport Shriners Hospital fror Children.  This is the first hospital in our history, conceived at the Imperial Shrine Convention in 1920 and opening in 1922.  At the time, they mainly treated polio patients, but there was an overwhelming need; children were falling victim to that dred disease at an alarming rate, and continued until the Salk Vaccine came out in  1956.  Some of you can’t even remember that crippler, but people my age and older all had friends and family members stricken with it.  Now it’s unheard of in the USA.  Like antibiotics, that vaccination was a major medical miracle.  Up until the mid fifties, we saw more polio sufferers than any other patients at all our orthopedic hospitals.  Most of these stayed for weeks and months; now we do a lot of day surgeries and onoe or two night stays.

There are still plenty of children with crippling orthopedic conditions and burns to keep our doctors busy and Shriners busy raising money to combat their problems.  The business has changed dramatically with recent medical advances, and we treat more kids than ever.  Speaking of that, on April 26th you have a chance to help to help the Hospitals by playing in our annual Shrine Hospital Fundraiser Golf Tournament.  Our new Hospital Golf Tournament Chairman is Noble Bob Blackmore.  He has been hard at work procuring hole sponsors and teams to play in the tournament, and he is encouraging Nobles and Ladies who do not play golf to help  out the day of the match.  It is one of the two events we sponsor to raise money for our hospitals; every nickel of the net proceeds goes to that worthy cause.  So gather up a team and go play.  Or sign up to help.  We need you in some capacity!  There are some great prizes provided by our sponsors; and, if you play golf, you couldn’t do it for a better reason!

We are off to a good start on Membership this year with four candidates in February and two in March.  We have already had a couple of affiliations to help our numbers also.  We are presently ahead of the Grim Reaper, and Membership Chairman Calvin Carlton just introduced a new incentive program at the March Stated Meeting.  There has never been a better time to beome a Shriner!  If you know someone who would enjoy our Fraternity, make it your priority to explain the process to him!

As always, thank you for being a Shriner and making a difference to the children we serve!

John Tunnell, P.P. Recorder

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March 2013

Your entire Divan, plus Junior Past Potentate Poney Thompson, went to South Padre the first weekend of February for TSA Divan Midwinter.  We also had P.Ps. Terry Martin and Ronnie James, who went as Co Director Generals to talk about TSA 2013, which you know is being held here this June.  Nobles Ed Hall and Junior Urioste went as bartenders, which is an important job at TSA Midwinter. The grand plan was each Temple bring a couple of bartenders and split the costs of hosting the Hospitality. Our guys did a wonderful job, but I have to add here that Maskat was overrepresented in the bartender department.

It was a great meeting.  We had several Imperial Dignitaries on hand, including Imperial Potentate Al Madsen, Imperial Sirs Jerry Gant of Houston, Jim Smith of Austin, and Past Imperial Sir Doug Maxwell, Chairman of the Board of Shriners Hospitals for Children.  We also had a couple of Candidates for Outer Guard, Joe Savaglio and Kenny Craven.  We had a lot to talk about, but nothing more urgent and pressing as Membership.  Everyone agrees, with the total membership dropping below 300,000 in Shriners International, we need new members.

We were urged to tackle this problem, striving to bring more men on board in all thirteen Texas Temples. Maskat has lost a few members in most years since 1979, which was the Imperial Shrine’s best year ever. The one area over which we have no control is death. With an aging membership, we lose some members each year, and we mourn their loss and deal with it as a constant.  Recruitment and Retention are the two areas we can strive to improve. We must try to make Shrine Membership meaningful to all the Nobility; and we have to attend Blue Lodge, because Master Masons are our only prospective members. And don’t forget the Ladies!  Most of our Nobility is married, and our wives assist us in all endeavors.  Our Ladies always make a concerted effort to welcome new Member and their Ladies into the Temple. Don’t let a Noble get lost in the shuffle because his Lady does not feel welcomed!

The Nobility will go to Shreveport this weekend for the annual O.G. Trip.  Your new O.G., Jeff Gainer, will walk there and back serving snacks and drinks on the bus.  This is a worthwhile trip, because we tour the first Shriner’s Hospital.  As you probably know, first timers get to ride the bus for FREE, which includes snacks and drinks.  Everyone else pays $50.00! The hospital tour gives them an idea what this philanthropy is all about.  It is also an inspiration to us old guys to see once again what we are doing for these children who really need our help.  Makes you proud to be a Shriner!  The other activities are for fun and fraternity, and there’s nothing wrong with that, either!

We have most of the Nobility Midwinter Meets in March or the first two weeks in April, and they are scattered throughout Texas.  Good luck, Nobles and Ladies, and represent us well, as always!  Invite your Unit counterparts to Wichita Falls for TSA 2013!

There are many other noteworthy activities in our near future.  The Potentate’s Trip to the Dominican Republic is the last week of July, and TSA Allstate is the first weekend in June right here in Wichita Falls!  The Oil Bowl follows the next weekend.  Lots of good stuff to do, we hope to see you at some or all of these events!

Thanks for being a Shriner, and thereby making a difference in the lives of the children we serve!

John Tunnell, P.P. Recorder 

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February 2013

We installed officers in this month, and we are ready for another year at Maskat.  It starts with a real bang and doesn’t let up for a while.  Our Potentate Mark Reed has his sign up party for his Potentate’s Trip to Punta Cana, Dominical Republic, last night, and we have the Potentate’s Ball on January 19.  On the 26 of the month, the Montague County Shrine Club is hosting a feed and dance at their “saloon” in downtown Nocona.  This is a fun event they have sponsored for five years now.  Of course, when you read this, it will be too late to go.  But it has become an annual event, so you can wait until next year.

February finds us going to Texas Shrine Association’s Divan Midwinter on South Padre Island the very first weekend.  This is important for us because we host TSA June 5 – 8, and we need to get the word out that we are ready to show Shriners and their Ladies from all over Texas a good time.  On Saturday afternoon, we will be flying back North to Wichita Falls for the Super Bowl Party at Maskat on Sunday, February 3.  Stated Meeting will be on the 12 of February.

Changing the subject a little, I don’t have to tell you new members are the lifeblood of this organization.  We had a net loss of fifteen Nobles over the course of 2012.  We were hoping for a gain in membership, but we had too many visits from the Black Camel.  We initiated quite a few Shriners last year, and we retained most of our living members and even had some demitted members rejoin our ranks, but not enough to overcome our losses to death.  We need new members, Nobles! If you know a Master Mason who would make a good Shriner, invite him to join.  He will thank you for it!

We have the annual “O. G. Trip” on February 21 through 25 in Shreveport.  This is a STAG trip for New Nobles and as an added highlight, O. G. Jeff Gainer gets to serve drinks and food on the bus all the way there and back!  That means if you do your part, Jeff gets to walk to Shreveport and back!If you have never been on this outing, you should try to go.  We visit the Shriners Hospital there as a group, so bring your Fez.  The rest is just for fun, but the hospital tour makes the trip worth the money.  If you are a New Noble, the price is $25.00 for the bus ride and food and drink.  Everyone else pays $50.00.  The rooms at Diamond Jack’s are very reasonable, expecially if you have a roommate.  If interested, call Conner in Maskat Office for details!

 As always, Thanks for being a Shriner!  The kids need you and we do too!

In The Faith
John Tunnell, PP Recorder

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January 2013

Happy New Year!!  By the time you get this, you will have broken at least one resolution, if you even bothered to make one!  I always make them, but most fall by the wayside. I want to be light and breezy, as befits Christmas, but this Sandy Hook massacre has me down.  Being an advocate of the Second Amendment my entire life, and knowing full well what they can do for personal security and protection when necessary, I believe they are necessary.  But in the hands of mentally unstable people, firearms are worse than awful.  If we can’t do a better job incarcerating potentially dangerous mentally ill people, whatever the cost, some weapons should be outlawed just to limit death and dismemberment.

As some of you know, I have been on the receiving end of a couple of rounds, but that was in Vietnam and part of the risk we faced in combat.  We had our innocence shattered in our first firefight, and we were eighteen to twenty something years old–not five or six, like the majority of those children.  If War offends our sensibilities, Sandy Hook breaks our collective heart.  In my opinion, we as a nation have to face this menace and attempt to make the changes necessary to keep our kids safer.  There.  I’m off the soapbox.

We had Officer Elections at December Stated Meeting, and Noble Jeff Gainer was elected Oriental Guide for 2013.  Potentate Poney Thompson will become a Past Potentate on January 8th when Jeff is installed as O.G.!  Our thanks to Poney Thompson for completing five years of hard work on our behalf!   There were no other surprises.  Mark Reed was elevated to Potentate, Dru Landrum became Chief Rabban, Charles Dean replaced him as Assistant Rabban, and Bruce Urban became High Priest and Prophet.  P.P. Greg Stockton was elected Treasurer and I am still your Recorder.

In other action, the Financial Advisory Board remained the same, with Past Potentates John Christoff and Charles Oldham agreeing to serve another term.  Although we did not have to suspend anyone for Non Payment of Dues this year, the new members we added could not keep pace with deaths and demits,  so we will finish the year with less than we started with.  Membership continues to be our single worse problem.

I hope the Christmas Season gave you hope for the New Year.  We all need that for a happy life.  My thoughts on Sandy Hook are not political; I try to keep politics out of this article.  I wanted to talk about Shrine happenings locally and across the country, but I was caught up in that thing.

As always, Thanks for being a Shriner!  The kids need you and we do too!

In The Faith
John Tunnell, PP Recorder