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Oriental Guide


reetings, Nobles. The first four months of 2013 have been very busy and learning the ropes as a member of your Khedive Divan is proving to be a tedious task. After an unexpected personal trip to Maine in January, regular business resumed and I accompanied the Potentate on the remainder of his official visits to the Shrine Clubs. In addition to several other visits to the Clubs and various fundraisers, Lady Val and I attended the Four Temples Meeting in Charlottesville, Khedive, Kazim, Kena and Acca Pote’s Balls, MASA Spring Meeting, and the Oriental Guide Leadership Seminar in Tampa. The latter two deserve some further mention. Most Worshipful Lewis K. Campbell spoke at MASA with a clear message that the Blue Lodges, Scottish Rite, York Rite, Shrine and other Masonic bodies should live in harmony. He stressed that we are Masons first, but everyone has to find their niche in the various Masonic bodies. He further stated that all Masons have to realize that there is no single body that is “right” for everybody, and each of us must learn to respect the work done by the members of each body. At the OG Leadership Seminar we learned that membership is the Shrine’s #1 problem, and that in order to fix our problem, we must first help the Blue Lodges fix the same problem. At the MASA Spring Meeting, Imperial Sir Gary

Bergenske, Imperial Oriental Guide, discussed the same issue. He said that the Fraternal Strategic Planning Committee researched the membership issues in several nonMasonic fraternal organizations, including the Lions, Rotary, Moose, etc., and found that membership is actually growing in those organizations. He stated in essence that we can’t afford to kid ourselves any longer by using the excuse that “every fraternal organization has the same problem” because they don’t. To help reverse the downward spiral in the Shrine, we need a grassroots effort at the Units and Clubs level to increase our presence in the Blue Lodges and to seek out and mentor those who would find their niche in the Shrine. Overall, those two speeches and what we learned in Tampa dovetailed together very well. We need new members in the Shrine and we only have one source – the Blue Lodges. To that end, if we don’t maintain a presence and participate in the Blue Lodges and acknowledge that we are Masons first, the anti-Shrine sentiment that pervades some of those Lodges will continue. SO…. I challenge each Club and each Unit to take stock of what Blue Lodges their members belong to. During the “casual season”, make an effort to visit each of those Lodges as a Unit or Club. Wear your Unit parade uniforms or your Unit/Club polo shirts, let the Worshipful Master

Nobles, If you know any member who hasn't paid his dues for 2013 talk to him about paying now.


We need a grassroots effort at the Units and Clubs level to increase our presence in the Blue Lodges and to seek out and mentor those who would find their niche in the Shrine.

know that you are visiting as a group, and ask him to introduce your Club/ Unit head during introductions. Take the opportunity to say a few words in Lodge about upcoming Shrine events, parades, etc. Show the Lodge that we haven’t forgotten that we are Masons first, and let them in on the fun that we have and the work that we do as Shriners. I’ll look forward to discussing your experience with each of the Club and Unit heads as I make the rounds, and certainly look forward to seeing each of you around the Temple. Yours in the Faith, John Howe - Oriental Guide


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