2015 Recorders Corner

December 2015

I am trying to type this article my first day back in Wichita Falls after a two week cruise, starting in Puerto Rico and terminating in Galveston, just because editor and Past Potentate Billy Bumgarner says he needs it NOW! I knew the deadline, but I did not think it would be so hard to string words together after such a fabulous Fiftieth Anniversary vacation! I missed my first Stated Meeting of the year this month, and I am more than a little behind!

We have not been away from home this long in any month except July since I was elected Recorder, and Maskat is always dark at that time. My thanks to P.P Treasurer Greg Stockton for covering for me at the Stated Meeting. I knew I was leaving the job in very capable hands, so I didn’t worry about it. He told me the Gala went well on Saturday, and that the preliminary figures ‘look good’.   At this point, the only big event remaining in November is the Foster Children’s Christmas Party on November 30th.

I feel compelled to mention the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. We were at sea, steaming toward Galveston when we got word of it. Just like 9/11/2001, it suddenly occupied my thoughts. No matter where you are or what else you are trying to accomplish, the tragedy is right there in your mind. Since we are Americans, our thoughts and prayers are with the people of France.

December and Christmas is almost here! Units Council will be December 2nd, and take note of the fact that Stated Meeting, which is also Officer Elections, takes place on December 8th. Maskat will have its Annual Christmas Dinner on Thursday, December 10th. The Rider High School Orchestra performs for this party each year, and everyone enjoys hearing these young people perform Christmas tunes we all know and love. Come on out, it will put you in a Christmas mood!

I pray God’s blessings for each of our families as we celebrate Jesus’ birth and the Holidays. And I pray a special prayer for our Military men and women, especially those who are in harm’s way at Christmastime. There will probably be troops deployed before Christmas. I spent the Holidays with my Marine Rifle Company in South Vietnam in 1967, and I can tell you no one is as lonely as a soldier ‘in the trenches’ at this time of year. May God bless America, our Military, and the Shrine!

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


November 2015

First and foremost, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. We, as a country, have a lot to be thankful for without ever considering the world’s current condition, so we better count our blessings. Personally, I have been blessed beyond measure, despite my many shortcomings. Our only daughter Leah and her cousin walked away from a rollover car wreck in late September. She used up one of her lives, had a concussion but nothing was broken. Sometimes, “Thank you God” seems inadequate, but it’s the best we have to offer!

Maskat has had a busy October so far, but with the Ceremonial on Friday the 30th, and Halloween the next day, it ain’t over yet! At Stated Meeting, on the second Tuesday, we honored the Nobles who reached a milestone in their membership. Starting with the 25-year members, we honored these men all the way up to fifty and even sixty years. We missed a few, but we will mail them their pins. A few of them, who couldn’t make it, assured us they will be here in November.

November’s Shrine calendar of activities has fewer Temple wide activities. Jennifer and I are going on a cruise for a couple of weeks and will be out starting November 2nd. It looked like a perfect time when we booked it, but we will have to miss The Gala on November 14th. . I hate to miss this event with it’s fine food and a live and silent auction. It is a fundraiser for Maskat; and, judging from the success it enjoyed in 2013, you don’t want to miss it. P.P. Terry Martin’s crew is cooking, and they are preselling ribs by the slab. I have already bought some because I have to miss the event. Call Maskat to place an order. Try a slab of these ribs, and you’ll probably let him cook for you from now on! On Monday, November 30, we have a party for the Foster Children. This is an annual event at Maskat, and we give a Christmas gift to each of the Foster Kids. This is the first time we have held it in November, but the December calendar is already too full!

We are all about having fun and helping kids at Maskat, and I hope you are taking some time to participate. I don’t know if you have seen the ads for SHC [Shriner’s Hospitals for Children] on television, but take time to notice the kids in those thirty second spots! They are real, and they benefit from our support. I had an opportunity to meet Clint Crain this summer at Imperial. He is a patient representative from SHC-Houston. I wish you could meet him! Clint lost his leg above the knee in a boating accident just a couple of years ago and nearly died, but it hasn’t slowed him down at all! He has a prosthetic leg for swimming, another for track, and a regular leg for normal activities. He is an exceptional young man, one of our great patients and God’s miracles. His story makes me proud to be a Shriner!

Thanks for being a Shriner, Gentlemen, and thank you Ladies for helping us be better men and Shriners!

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


October 2015

Lots of things happening at Maskat this month. Before the end of September, we will have the P2 Chili Cookoff on the 19th followed closely be the Shrine Circus on the 22nd and 23rd. After that event, unless you are a Provost Guard Member, you get to coast. The Circus is a Maskat fundraiser we rely on to meet expenses, so I hope you bought your tickets even if you could not attend. If not, it is not too late! Just mail your payment to the office.

We do have our Fall Ceremonial on Friday, October 30, at Maskat. It’s a great time to bring in new Nobles, and it is an “open” Ceremonial. Ladies are invited; and, after the program, we have a meal. If you know a Mason who would benefit from being a Shriner, ask him to join us! As always, a few new Nobles could help solve our membership problem. Ceremonial starts at 6:30 pm followed by a dinner around 7:45. We still have high hopes for a ‘plus’ year in membership!

Nobles, your dues for 2016 are going up $15.00, bringing the total to $124.00 per year. Between now and December 31, you have an opportunity to purchase a lifetime per capita portion of your dues for $450.00. After that date, it will cost $900.00 to purchase that lifetime portion of your dues. That is thirty times $15.00 until December 31 and thirty times $30.00 thereafter. Several Nobles have already taken advantage of that savings. It is a good bargain if you intend to live thirty more years. Donna Hyde has written about this in another article.

I want to report to you that Maskat had more clothing donated to our drop boxes than any other Texas Temple over the summer Months. This translates into dollars for our Shriner’s Hospitals. So keep contributing used clothing to this worthy cause. And Nobles and Ladies, if you know a child who could benefit from treatment at either our orthopedic Hospital in Houston or our Burns Hospital in Galveston, they are a phone call away from help! Call 800-237-5055 to apply. That number is in an ad on the back page of the Wildcat.

Besides the Ceremonial on October 30th, we have the return of the Dead Cow Cookin and Bean Fixin Extravaganza at the land on Hatton Road. On October 10th. We always need judges, so come on out. Turn in times are around 12:00-2:00 pm. If you want to judge, or just come look at the cooking units, you are welcome. That is all our public events, but we do present Membership Milestone Pins at Stated Meeting. Hope to see you there.

Thanks for being a Shriner, Gentlemen, and thank you Ladies for putting up with us!

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


 September 2015

Hope your summer has gone well. We have had a busy one; and, first thing, I would like to thank God for the rain! Our lakes are still at or near capacity, and most folks around here have learned the hard way to be better stewards of that precious resource! Since we have been “dark” since our June meeting, I will use my article to try to bring you up to speed.

At Imperial Shrine Meeting in Houston, we passed a Per Capita dues increase for all Temples. Due to declining membership, it became necessary for us to raise that portion of dues just to meet fraternal expenses. That portion of your dues has been $15.00 for more than ten years. That is money we simply pass along to Headquarters in Tampa. That amount will now be $30.00. I want to make sure all members know you can purchase a per Capita Life Membership between now and December 15th for $450.00 [thirty times $15.00]. As of the first of January 2016, a Per Capita Life Membership would be $900.00 [$30.00 times 30 years].

Our local dues will not go up. They are $89.00 per year. The Hospital Assessment is still $5.00. Total dues per year will now be $124.00 annually when you add in the $30.00 Per Capita. If it appeals to you to pay your dues by the month, Donna Hyde, our administrative assistant, can set up a bank draft for you. There is a small service charge, but you can pay your dues for less than $12.00 per month and never get behind on your dues. Each case is different, depending on when you begin the bank draft. We have many people in this program. Call Donna for details at 940-766-4511. She has an article in the Wildcat this month to explain the program.

On a lighter note, the Circus is coming to town on September 22 and 23! Please buy your tickets and attend. If you can’t go, buy your tickets and send them back to Maskat for the kids in the community who would otherwise not be able to attend. The Circus is one of the events we use to raise money to keep our doors open, but it is also a great public relations tool. It gets our name in the public eye, and I am sure you have all seen the circus through the eyes of a child, whether you remember it or not! It’s great family entertainment. If you can come, wear your Fez. They look impressive to the audience.

Of course, Stated Meeting is September 8th at 7:30pm, with a meal at 6:30pm. If you have not been to a meeting in a while, we would love to have you! It’s easy to get in, all you need is a current Dues Card. I ALSO WANT TO ENCOURAGE OUR NEW MEMBERS TO ATTEND THE MEETINGS. You are important to our fraternity; we need your attendance and your input. We also have the P-2 Chili Cook-Off on September 19th, to round out September’s activities. Come to Stated meeting in September to get information on the Circus and the Chili Cook-Off

Thanks for being a Shriner, Gentlemen, and thank you Ladies for putting up with us!

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


August 2015

Your Imperial Representatives [four of us] recently returned from the Annual Convention of Shriners International held this year in Houston, Texas! I think it’s safe to say a good time was had by all. We had a lot more presence in the Imperial Parade than we usually muster, mainly because the incoming Imperial Potentate, Jerry Gantt, is from Houston and requested our Convee to drive the Imperial Divan in the Parade.   We got a bit of notoriety thanks to the 1976 Cadillac Eldorado Convertibles, which cruised the parade route twice! Once to carry the Imperials, and then they looped back and carried our Divan the second time. Also in the Parade was our calliope, escorted by Scott McNeely and Joe Viavattene. The clowns also paraded in their clown car. I recognized Greg Talley and Clint Lee despite their disguises. Not sure who those other clowns were, but I’m sure I’ll know after this is published!

I am an Emeritus Representative, and Charles Dean and Bruce Urban 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. Huff is an Emeritus Representative to the Colorado Corporation.   In addition to our Ladies, we were joined in Houston by Assistant Rabban Jeff Gainer and Treasurer Greg Stockton and their Ladies.

As always, 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. This year, one patient is from Galveston and the other is from Houston.

The girl is a patient at Galveston Burns Center, and her name is Katharine Koonce. The boy is from Houston Hospital and his name is Clint Crain. As coincidence would have it, they live less than one mile apart! Their personal stories are on the Web. Do me a favor, and bless yourself. Google “Overcoming Tragedy: Stories of Grace and Confidence: Katharine Koonce and Clint Crain.” Do it now, don’t lose the moment! Prepare to let these kids’ stories sweep over you, and you will realize once again why we do what we do.   They are happy true stories of success, and you and I have a part in it. Warning Nobles, unless you are like me and don’t mind your wife seeing tears on your face, watch it alone. Either way, Ladies and Gentlemen. Do it. Please!

We have 15 used clothing boxes scattered through Wichita Falls, and two in Bowie, and they are doing well! Just a reminder, if you have used clothing, drop it in one of the Shriners Hospital boxes. We have one at Maskat, Faith Lodge, Wichita Falls Lodge, and Johnson’s Furniture, to name a few places. You can help our kids have a better tomorrow with your contributions.

Thanks for being a Shriner and a Mason, and be PROUD of your involvement!
John Tunnell, PP Recorder  


June 2015

Good news is it has finally rained! The Lord blessed us with enough rain to more than double our lake percentages! I am very thankful, but in some cases it happened fast enough to cause some real problems with drainage, and I know that is the bad news for some people. Our neighbors next door had about four inches in their house. We are on track for more rainfall this week, and the paper says we are likely to have the wettest May since record keeping started!

I drove to Houston with Jennifer last Friday for the Houston Hospital Board Meeting on Monday. We had a great meeting and a fun trip. We always have to rush home for our Stated Meeting the next day which makes for a whirlwind return trip. We are focusing on making our Hospital a showcase for Imperial Convention, which starts on July 5th in Houston. If you are going to Imperial, the Galveston and Houston Hospitals have set aside Monday afternoon [the 6th] for tours. But they say come any time and they’ll show you around! Please feel welcome to tour both Hospitals. I know going there every month has been rejuvenating for Jennifer and me. We are really changing some kid’s lives, Nobles and Ladies. Take a look, you’ll like what you see.

Nobles, if you see children who can use our help, don’t hesitate to tell their parents where they can be treated at no cost to the family. We even reimburse transportation costs with our local Transportation Fund. The overall system has a patient shortage, which causes a staffing problem, because they have to be prepared to treat patients anyway. At Houston and Galveston, we are nowhere near maximum patient load, but we are treating more than the others. Orthopedic problems, cleft lip and palate, and burns are our medical specialties at Shriners Houston and Galveston.

TSA is upon us! June 4, 5, and 6 have us in Corpus Christi this year. Our numbers are a little down this year, since Imperial is in Houston, and many of us cannot afford back to back conventions. Good luck if you are competing! Our hotel is the Omni, and you can pick up packets there at the Hospitality Room. Let me know if you aren’t staying there, and I will try to get it to you.

The next week is Oil Bowl Week, culminating in the Game Saturday Night! The Oil Bowl Game will be the same format as last year, with two Texas Teams as opponents. But Chairman Gary Hill has promised us a great contest, and CR Bruce Urban has secured Miss Harley White as the guest speaker at the Hall of Fame Banquet. She will be at the game also, but she has a personal story of triumph which she will share with the audience at the Banquet. She was severely burned when she was in a car racing accident. She was a patient at the Galveston Burns Hospital. Of course, the net proceeds from both events benefit Shriner’s Hospitals for Children in Galveston and Houston.

This is a notable and historic community event, in its 78th year, 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, and WEAR YOUR FEZ. Buy your tickets to both events, early if possible! We need your presence and support!

Thanks for being a Shriner!
John Tunnell, PP Recorder


May 2015

Welcome to May, 2015! We are not having the wettest April on record, but there are still several days to go [eleven to be exact] and a lot can happen. We can always hope and pray!

We have a Novice Clay Shoot scheduled for scheduled for April 2nd at the North Texas Field and Stream. It should prove to be a lot of fun, and there will be some valuable gifts involved. If you are a Novice shooter, or shoot like one sometimes, come on out! Also on the list for May is the Hospital Golf Tournament on April 8th. We depend on this event, along with the Oil Bowl, to generate funds for our Shriners Hospitals. If you have not ‘signed up’ to play, it is not too late. And, they always need help to monitor holes, help the cookers, etc. It is at River Creek this year, and the first one I have missed. I have to be in Amarillo at an Outreach Clinic/Hospital Board Meeting for Shriners Hospital Houston.

TSA is in Corpus Christi the first weekend [June 4th through 6th]. It’s a long haul down there, but at least we don’t have to host the event! But then the second week of June is Oil Bowl Week culminating in the Oil Bowl itself on Saturday, June 13th. The Hall of Fame Banquet on June 12th will feature a Former Patient Ambassador from SHC Galveston, Harley White. She will be the Guest Speaker. She is a shining example of determination, grit, and truly one of our miracles. Get your tickets early; this event usually fills Maskat’s Shrine Building.

The Oil Bowl Game will be the same as last year, with two Texas Teams as opponents. Thanks in large part to Chairman Gary Hill and his committee, things are shaping up for 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. Buy your tickets and wear your Fez! We need your presence and support!

Looking ahead, the Shrine Imperial Convention will be held July 5-9 in Houston. We do not usually have a large attendance at Imperial, because it usually is out of state. We do have some units participating this year. More info next month!

Thanks for being a Shriner!
John Tunnell, PP Recorder


April 2015

Rain has been flirting with Wichita Falls yesterday and today, but we have yet to receive the inch the National Weather Service forecasted. If we do, we will be at average rainfall for this time of year. At least the weather is nice. We’ll take it! And all the rain we can get, we’ll be thankful for!

We have a trio of major events this summer. Of course, we have TSA and the Oil Bowl back to back weekends, as always. Then we have the Shrine Imperial Convention starting on July fourth in Houston. I will talk about the Imperial Convention first. Every few years, when we have an Imperial Potentate from Texas, we have the Convention in Texas, this year Imperial Sir Jerry Gantt of Houston becomes Imperial Potentate at the Convention, so the Nobility from Texas has one of our own at the helm. We expect many more attendees from Wichita Falls because of this, and many of our Nobility have indicated an interest. If you have never seen an Imperial Parade, this will be a great opportunity. We have rooms set aside at the Embassy Suites downtown. Come join us in Houston July 4th through 8th!

I purposely jumped ahead to Imperial because it seemed appropriate, but we have our annual Hospital Golf Tournament on May 8th, and it is one of our two major Hospital fundraisers at Maskat. This is a great event, and it raises funds and awareness within the community of our charities. And, even if you don’t play golf, we always need workers to help with registration.

Then moving on to June, we have TSA in Corpus Christi June 4th through 6th. At the April Meeting, we will be pushing that event, trying to get everyone registered who wants to go. There are lots of great seafood opportunities in Corpus, and it is a fun destination. Hope you will join us! The Oil Bowl, which is the next weekend, is the oldest continuous high school senior football game in the Shrine. It is our other major Hospital benefit. So in May and then in June, we have fundraisers for Shriners Hospitals.

If you came on the OG Trip I am sure you enjoyed the Hospital Tour at Shreveport Shriner’s Hospital. It is a great example of our Charity. If you did not get to go, you will have a chance to see our Galveston Burns Hospital and Houston Orthopedic Hospital if you go to Houston for Convention. Every Shriner or Lady who tours our Hospitals can easily see why we take such pride in our ownership and involvement in such a worthy cause. Another good reason to go to Imperial Shrine Convention!

I feel I must address the fact that we have already had several Nobles expire this year, and we are just halfway through the third month. This would be a great time to recruit some new Nobles. All of us know a few guys who would be great Shriners. Problem is, most of my friends are already great Shriners. Hope you Nobles younger than “three score and ten” have some good prospective members!

I know that Conner and Donna in our office are going through classes on the new membership program, called the Web Fez Program. It is a huge change designed to connect all the Membership data bases to the Shriners Headquarters in Tampa. If you walk into the Maskat office during one of their classes [they are all one hour long], you may have to wait a bit. You may want to call ahead if you are in a hurry.

I know I can’t seem to quit talking about our hospital system. But I can’t apologize for that! Most of you know what conditions we treat, but if you know of a child who may qualify, please call the office. A Noble asked me the other day if we treat cleft lip and palate, and I was glad to say yes! If we can help, we want to. It’s one of the many things that make us proud to be Shriners!

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


March 2015

February came and went! Pretty full month to be so short! We started with a Special called meeting to elect an Oriental Guide on February 2.  We had two worthy candidates, and the voters have spoken. Steve Harris is the new O.G., winning the election with a very slim margin over Bill Hammack. The candidates were cordial toward one another, each agreeing to continue to serve Maskat Temple and the Nobility to the best of their ability.

The Divan went to Texas Shrine Midwinter meeting the following weekend, and we had a productive meeting. Of course, the major thrust of the meeting and most conversations were about membership improvement. We have a great Fraternity and a Noble Philanthropy [our hospital system], but our membership throughout the international community is dwindling. We have to solve this problem! To put it bluntly, more members will rectify the situation. Anything else is just a temporary fix. Many of us came into the Shrine when things were great. The year I joined, 1979, was Shrinedom’s best year for overall membership. We began to lose members at an alarming rate when the WWII and Korean vets began dying in greater numbers. Sad to say, this trend continues. There are a mere handful of Temples who are gaining members each year. Maskat has had a few plus years, but continues to lose members overall. If everyone would go out this year and recruit a member, we would not have a problem!

Most of you know Bob Hamblin and I are Members of the Board of Governors in Houston, and Dr. Steve Dryden represents Maskat in Galveston. Part of our duty is to report on activities at our respective Hospitals. Last week at Houston Hospital we had a short program on prosthetic hands being made by Rice University engineering students and fitted for patients who have lost hands. This is touted as a “game changer” for these kids and our hospital. A very functional hand can be produced with a 3D printer for about $50.00 worth of material! Anyone who knows about the cost of prostheses will testify that this is a real breakthrough both in technology and cost. Exciting news for kids who “need a hand”!

This week, many New Nobles [and old Shriners too] will have the opportunity to tour the Shreveport Shrine Hospital when we head to Shreveport for the annual O.G. Trip. New O.G. Steve Harris will serve food and beverage to participants who make the trip, and we will tour the Hospital this Friday. Shreveport is home to our first Shriners Hospital. Although Houston is considered Maskat’s “home hospital,” we have two patients we send to Shreveport. They moved to our jurisdiction after treatment had already started at that facility.

Many of you have contributed to our Care Bear Program at Houston Hospital. If you buy a bear [they are ten bucks], we present it to a Houston Hospital Patient with a card signed by you. A little personal touch, and the kids can take them home! We have sold more than fifty of them to Maskat Nobles and Ladies, and the check will be made to Patient Services fund, so that every dime stays at SHC Houston. Thanks for your help! If you would like to contribute, call me. Also, Bob Hamblin has approached many units who have indicated they would like to give to the Hospital. Make checks payable to the Patient Services Fund. Maskat has collected more clothing through our donation boxes than any other Temple in Texas! Please keep putting used clothing in the Shriner boxes, and if you need a receipt, call me at Maskat! These are just a few of the ways you can help our Temples of Mercy! Thanks for being a Shriner!

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


February 2015

We are halfway through January and, because of spellcheck, I can still spell February. Winter has apparently deserted us, not that I mind, but it will return. We just hope to have some moisture of any sort. We are way overdue!

We had a great Potentate’s Ball last night to kick off Illustrious Sir Charles Dean’s year. We had several Military guests in keeping with our Honor America theme, plus a contingent of the Hella [Dallas] Divan and India [Oklahoma City] Divan. Throw in a great band and great food, an enthusiastic crowd, and everyone seemed to have a great time.

Our next big thing is the Super Bowl Party on February 1, and then we have a called meeting specifically to elect an Oriental Guide at 6:30pm on February 2. We have two announced candidates, Bill Hammack and Steve Harris. They are both great Shriners, and they have vowed to support the one elected to the Divan. Come on out. Your vote makes a difference.

Your Divan goes to El Paso for Midwinter On February 5-7, and our regular Stated Meeting is February 10. Last Month, we had 85 Nobles at Stated Meeting because of Installation and Ladies Night. That is a good crowd for a Shrine our size, and we would like to see that every month. Thanks for attending and come on out every month! It is about time for Midwinters to start for the Nobility, and your Unit Heads have plans to make!.

The long awaited O.G.Trip to Shreveport Hospital is February 19-22. You need to contact Conner in the Office to sign up. It is a STAG trip to Diamond Jack’s Hotel and Casino in Shreveport, and the bus ride costs $50.00. 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 Hospital in Shreveport on Friday. Gives everyone a chance to see what the Shrine supports, and makes you proud to be a Shriner.

I want to take this opportunity as a Houston Shrine Hospital Rep to THANK you all for supporting our “Care Bear Project.” We started this within the local Shrines this month. A person can buy a Care Bear for a Hospital Patient and the child takes it home at the end of their stay. They are ten bucks apiece!   The Nobility and Ladies at Maskat raised $320.00, $10.00 at a time, to award to the Houston Hospital Patients. It’s a good way to put a smile on a kid’s face who is going through a tough time. If you want to contribute, call me or my Lady Jennifer. The more the better!

Thank you for being a Shriner, and Thanks to our Ladies for supporting our efforts!

 For The Kids,
John Tunnell, P.P. Recorder


January 2015

We are making our way to Christmas Day! Maskat is hosting a New Year’s Eve Party for the first time in years. I sure hope it’s successful. The reason we quit having them is because they always seemed to cost a LOT of money. Maybe if we get a good crowd out for it, we can break even. That is all we ever hope to do; it’s not designed to make money.

The Divan Ladies bought Christmas for a family in need today, and I had the opportunity to go with Jennifer to deliver the presents to the single mom and three kids. Plus a turkey and ham and veggies for Christmas cooking. Needless to say, the mom was really thrilled. Most of us don’t really remember living hand to mouth, but she truly did not have money for presents this year. Anyway, when I carried the last of the load in the door, I said “Merry Christmas,” and she said “God is Good!” I think I felt more blessed than she did. That’s what Christmas is really all about. It feels good to give to someone who needs it!

We have installation of officers at the January 13th Stated Meeting, and it’s a Ladies Night. Hope all you Ladies can come out for that. We will install Charles Dean as Potentate, Bruce Urban as Chief Rabban, Jeff Gainer as Assistant Rabban, Calvin Carlton as High Priest and Prophet, and Bing Miller as Oriental Guide. Other elected officers are Greg Stockton as Treasurer and John Tunnell [that’s me] as Recorder. Thanks for a great year in 2014 to outgoing Potentate Dru Landrum.

Then, on January 17th, we have the Potentate’s Ball! I realize that’s only a few days later, but it will be a super party. We have a great band, and Charles Dean’s theme is “HONOR AMERICA.” Should be a notable Shrine occasion.

Speaking of super parties, don’t forget to come to the Super Bowl Party here at Maskat on February 1st! Maybe Dallas will play, we don’t know at this point, we only know they could have the opportunity. Go Cowboys! Remember to lift up our kids in the Shriner’s Hospitals when you say your prayers at night. They make our Fraternity what it is!

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