Pote's Notes - December/January

Dear Brother Nobles and Ladies:

This shall be my last communique to you as Potentate of the Nile Shriners for 2017.

It has been a full and busy year with many projects identified and accomplished. Most of which will not be visibly apparent to you, as they were administrative in nature.

We put out a new Directory and did it in-house, thanks to the excellent skills of our Membership Administrator, Laura VanDeventer. We updated and revised the Nile Business cards with current and correct information; updated and revised the Cold Sands and Unit/Club Installation Ceremonies; Memorial Notices were and continue to be put out when a Brother Noble passes away, out of respect to him and his family; updated and revised the Job Responsibilities of the Divan; updated the Balloting Procedure used at a Closed Stated Meeting; updated the Nile By-Laws and had them approved by Imperial; all twenty of the Units and Clubs updated their By-Laws; updated and revised the Unit and Club Seminar information; updated and revised the Petitions for Initiation, Affiliation, Association and Restoration; continue to play catch-up on our 25- and 50-Year Service Awards to Nobles for uninterrupted time in the Nile; updated our letterhead from the “Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine” (A.A.O.N.M.S.) to “Shriners International” (this change took place at the Imperial Session in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on July 5, 2010); changed our Temple Name to “Nile Shriners, Shriners International” with the state; updated our Website on a continual bases to keep it relevant; sent personal letters to 111 Nobles who had taken a Demit, encouraging them to return (many of whom have done so); continued to visit Blue Lodges as Shrine-Masons; created a new map of the Picnic Grounds for Catering and others to use; updated the Membership Policy and the Employee Handbook; held a successful Fall Ceremonial honoring Noble Virgil G. Mudd in celebration of his One Hundredth Birthday on August 31st of this year; and upgraded our phone and security systems, thanks to Noble High Priest & Prophet, Michael J. Riley. This is just some of the many activities that have been performed during the year, and does not include the multiple activities that the Treasurer and Recorder have stumbled onto, addressed and worked over the past couple of years.

At the beginning of 2017, our membership was at 1,147 members. We currently have 1,109 active members and will be suspending 109 members for non-payment of dues at the end of the year, whom we have carried on our books for the past two years. If we do not lose any more members to the Black Camel, our numbers will drop to 1,001 on January 1, 2018!

Brother Nobles, we are all getting older and need to make every effort to bring in new members and embrace the Imperial Potentate’s “I AM COMMITTED NOW R U” program for membership. When I started in the line five years ago, we had over 1,800 members. From then until now, we have lost 691 members, and that is not counting the 109 that we will lose to non-payment of dues! Please make every effort to speak with your Blue Lodge brothers about joining the Shrine. Our future depends upon it.

Now, I would like to bring you up-to-date since my last message. On October 7th, we attended our eighth and final parade for the year in Granite Falls. There was a little rain, but we all made it thru. Thank you, to all the Units who have participated this season braving the rain and wind and cold, and also, enjoying the warm and sunny days. A tip of the fez to you all! Thank you, thank you, thank you. Everyone always enjoys and looks forward to seeing the Nile Shriners in their parade! On the 11th, we had the Official Visit of the Grand Master, MWB Warren R. Schoeben and his Lady Mary Jo. It was a wonderful evening showcasing our own Nile Piper, Noble Daniel C. “Dan” Boren, the Rainbow Girls, DeMolay and Job’s Daughters, as they performed one of their ritualistic ceremonies and ended with Noble Adam J. Creighton, playing the piano and singing for all in attendance. The month also showcased the Nile’s largest fundraiser for the year, our 7th Annual Haunted House, under the capable leadership of Noble Peter Pawlicki and Noble High Priest & Prophet, Michael J. Riley. Thank you, to all the volunteers who showed up to help-out in various capacities, who worked quietly behind the scenes and who gave of their time and energy. It is truly appreciated. The numbers are not all in yet, but I can tell you that it was our most successful to date, and to top it off, look for “Halloween in December” because Krampus is coming to town!

In November, on the 10th, we enjoyed the music of the Arlington High School Jazz Band, as they entertained us during the social hour and after dinner. These are very talented young musicians and will be returning next year to play during the Oriental Band’s Crab Feed in February. So, if you missed them this time, be sure to attend next year’s Crab Feed. On the 14th, we made our sixth and last Blue Lodge visit of the year as Shrine-Masons, to Damascus Lodge No. 199, and once again shared in brotherly love and friendship. On the 18th, we had a successful Fall Ceremonial, under the direction of Ill. Sir Richard M. Kovak, P.P., and welcomed 15 Nobles to the Nile family “officially”, with the exception of one imposter! A big thank you to all who participated: the Cast, Masters of Ceremonies, Ceremonial Robes and Makeup artists, the Oriental Band, Chanters, Greeters, Director’s Staff, Legion of Honor, Audio Coordination, Photographer, Daughters of the Nile, Ladies Oriental Shrine, Divan and Ladies. You all made it a special day for everyone, thank you, again. And if I missed anyone, I apologize. 

In December, on the 8th, 9th, 15th and 16th, “Krampus is coming to town!” at the Nile. I hope that you have been good, otherwise, I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes. On the 10th, the Nile Clowns, along with the Ladies Oriental Shrine Clowns, will be putting on an Xmas Party for all the kids to enjoy. This event is open to the public. Please join us for a fun afternoon in the Ballroom from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. Our last Closed Stated Meeting for the year will be on the 13th. This is an important meeting for the Nobles to attend, as we will be having Elections and passing the Budget for 2018. A current dues card is required for entry. Zem Zem is at 5:00 p.m., Buffet Dinner at 6:00 p.m. and the meeting to follow at 7:00 p.m. 

January 14th will be the Installation of Officers for the year 2018. Please plan to be in attendance to support our new leaders of the Nile. 

As I close out my year, I would like to leave you with these final words of wisdom. While traveling in Europe in the fall of 1971, I stayed in a Youth Hostel in Florence (Frienze) Italy. On one of the walls, I noticed some words of wisdom that are just as true today, as they were in 1971. It was entitled “To Be Young”.  

To Be Young 

Youth is not only a period of our life; it is also an aspect of our intelligence, a characteristic of our will, a quality of our imagination,a richness of feelings. 

Youth is courage overpowering timidity, love for adventures overpowering laziness. 

Nobody becomes old for years passing, but only if one gives up his ideals. 

Years draw wrinkles on our features, but giving up enthusiasm brings the wrinkles of the soul. 

We shall be young till we have faith and old as soon as incertitude wins us. We shall be young till we have hope and old as soon as we lose it. 

As long as our heart is sensible to beauty, to truth and courage, we shall be always young. 

Brother Nobles and Ladies, may you always be young. 

So Mote It Be 

Yours in the faith, 

Gale H. Kenney 
Potentate 2017