Maskat Provost Guard was originally formed as the Foot Patrol Pistol Team with the purpose of fostering out-door related activities, not specifically as a shooting club. However, members soon learned they could not compete with Provost Guard units while still affiliated with another competing unit, i.e., the Foot Patrol. In order to compete, these members separated from Foot Patrol, formed the Provost Guard unit, and joined the Texas Shrine Provost Guard Association (TSPGA). Since receiving the charter in 1975, it has remained one of the most active units within the shrine centers in TSPGA.
The principle objective of the new unit was to promote the welfare of Shrinedom, support all Shrine activities and encourage a healthy fellowship among its members through out-door related activities. This continues to be our objective, and individual members strive to be a guiding influence to all Shriners.
H. C. (Mac) McLaren was an active charter member and first Marshal of the unit (1975/76. Mac went on to become Maskat’s first TSPGA State Marshal in 1979/80. In the history of the unit, we have had six State Marshals. These include: H. C. McLaren (79/80), Jimmie Holland (86/87), Jerry Sloan (93/94), Harry Warren (99/00), James Burden ( ), and Bruce Urban ( ). Additionally, Bill Hammack was TSPGA State Recorder for five years. In 2018, he also became 2nd Lieutenant of the International Association of Shrine Provosts (IASP) and will culminate as IASP Colonel in 2023.
The Provost Guard supports Shrinedom by competing in the annual Texas Shrine Association (TSA) Ceremonials and Imperial Sessions and supporting all Maskat functions and activities as requested by the Potentate.
The promotion of Shrine activities and encouragement of a healthy fellowship among nobles is accomplished with competitive pistol shooting. Competition is with .22 caliber automatic pistols using a modified NRA course and includes four-man teams shooting in Class A, B, C, or D. Trophies are also awarded for the individual classes of: High Marshal, High Individual, High Divan, Over 60, and two-handed for nobles over age 70. The unit participates in three (900 point) matches each year: Fall Invitational usually held the last full weekend in September; Mid-Winter usually held in March; and TSA held in June. Date and location of the Fall Invitational and Mid-Winter are determined by the TSPGA 1st Assistant Marshal and State Marshal respectively. TSPGA now has a “Ladies Shoot” on Friday during the Fall Invitational and Mid-Winter at the choice of the Temple hosting the shoot.
Maskat and Sharon are the only Shrine Centers that have their own ranges. Construction of the Maskat Range, located on Hatton Road, began in 1982 following purchase of the land by the center in 1980. Initial plans included a 30-point outdoor range and a unit room with an eight-point indoor range. Direction for construction was provided by our first two Range Building Chairmen, H. C. Mclaren and Jerry Sloan. Sequence of construction was to be the outdoor range, indoor range, and then the unit room. All construction costs were paid by the unit from fundraisers and using begged, borrowed, and scrounged materials. The last phase of construction, the unit room bar, was completed in 1998, almost 16 years after the initial start up.
The first Mid-Winter hosted by Maskat was in 1980 under State Marshal H. C. McLaren. This was followed by a Fall Invitational in 1983. Both of these matches were conducted at the Sheppard Air Force Base range. There were over 100 nobles here for this second shoot–at the time the largest ever hosted by any center. In anticipation of Mid-Winter 1987, under State Marshal Jimmie Holland, all efforts were directed toward completion of the 30-point outdoor range. This Mid-Winter has become known as the coldest and most miserable shoot ever hosted by any center.
All subsequent Fall Invitationals and Mid-Winters have been conducted on the range. The numbers of competitors continues to grow and now utilizes all 32 shooting stations on the range. This growth is contributed not only to the high quality facility and range operations, but also the high quality social functions planned for visiting nobles and their ladies. Friday evening of each shoot begins with a first-class Hospitality Suite. Saturday includes competition, dinner, awards ceremony, and a dance. During the actual shoot, the ladies and guests attend a luncheon which may include entertainment such as Backdoor Theater or a style show. Nobles and wives alike continue to look forward to attending shoots hosted by Maskat here at “The Falls.”
The Provost Guard year runs from October 1st through September 30th of the following year. Annual dues are payable no later than the February unit meeting.
If you have questions about this unit, call or email Maskat Office