WOW! That was how I felt and stated so as I thanked the Nobility for elevating me to the high office of Potentate of Rameses Shriners. That was January 4 and I still feel the same way at the time of writing.
This is a tremendous honour and responsibility, but I promise to put my shoulder to the wheel to execute all that is necessary to keep Rameses Shriners as a pace setter. Noble John Neil, Ill. Sir Roger Lippert, Noble Kevin Lockey, Noble David Bennett and Noble Rod Blair all contributed significantly to this once-in-a-lifetime event. Thank you for a job well done. The elected Divan must also be thanked for coming together as an undivided team throughout the year and at the elections.
A hearty welcome is reserved for Noble John Domonkos on joining the elected Divan as Oriental Guide. He brings many talents to the table that is sure to assist in keeping us on our chosen course. Some of the appointed Divan exited this year. They all put in a tremendous amount of time, tirelessly behind the scenes and I thank them for their unstinting efforts. I also wish to welcome several newly appointed Divan members. I am sure continued good service will be the result.
January 4th was also a fitting send off for Ill. Sir Jed Handy. Thank you very much for the last five years on the Divan. You now are able to drive off into the sunset with one less job to worry about.
Club Installations are ongoing as I write. I have completed only two installations so far in the first week and can’t help but notice that the Club executives and members have shown outstanding kindness and hospitality to both me and Lady Barbara. We always enjoy meeting the Nobility and talking with them. It is in the Clubs and Units that most of the creative thinking and innovation comes from. It is prudent to listen to them when given the chance.
I was very pleased that the Nobility solidly endorsed the use of a highly qualified Social Media company to handle the first use of social media to increase membership numbers. I have the contract in hand. There are several small points our lawyer suggests that we change before signing the contract, so we accomplished that at our first Divan meeting. We also obtained the permission of the Imperial Potentate Jeff Sowder to use videos already prepared by Imperial in our social media campaign, with one caveat, we cannot use the videos in fundraising of any kind, but we can use them in membership/recruitment campaigns. That fits us to a tee. There will likely be some dead time while we do the program set up and prepare some other material for it.
Please consult this Papyrus issue for all the upcoming functions that we would like to see full-house attendance. They are numerous and fun-filled.
The significance of our pin design is as follows: We have a membership numbers issue to deal with. It is arguably an existential crisis. The foundation of everything related to the Shrine is the Nobility. If we lose our Nobility due to low numbers, then we lose the Shriners Hospitals for Children.
The year 2020 suggests perfect vision, so I want to capitalize on that suggestion and thereby focus on solving our largest problem. The best situation for the Nobility to be happy is to have a more youthful and numerous groups of Nobles, working diligently, guided by the accumulated wisdom of our more senior Nobles. Many hands make light work and happiness is contagious. The magnifying glass has a shrine emoticon in focus and clearly enjoying sunshine and warmth provided by the Shrine. The handle of the magnifying glass is the Silent Editorial signifying the Shriners covenant with each other to support our great philanthropy. The future is in our hands.