The Pote’s Message
Wow is all I can say. Between the installation on January 4th & the Mass Installation on January 7th, my head is still swirling. Thank you all for your resounding friendship and vote of confidence in allowing me to take the helm of Rajah Shrine. I will not let you down!
Having had well over five years as an officer of Rajah Shrine, I have had time to study the organizational structure, receive guidance and advice from many Past Potentates and Nobles, assemble a team and evaluate ways to offer improvements to our great organization.
So, today, we would like to share with you our vision and three (3) critical goals for 2023
& how we believe they will benefit Rajah Shrine, its members, and our future.
First, Goal #1 “Fraternity, Fun & Family” – My lady Barb and I truly love the Masonic fraternity, steeped in history, tradition and the old moral codes, as well as Shriners International & Rajah Shrine. These organizations have allowed us to share our time and talent, working together to support the world’s greatest philanthropy & to share this love with our granddaughter, family, and friends. I think it’s important that Rajah Shriners & prospective Shriners understand that wives and children are welcome to be part of the shrine journey.
Shriners International & the Rajah Shrine Officers’ officers training manual also encourage all clubs & units to find ways and create events that will inspire family participation. And, family participation should mean, in most situations, including children. Last year we learned from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board that the only limitation on our Club/Banquet Facility liquor license is that children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian when the bar at the Shrine is open… common sense really.
Secondly, Goal #2 “Membership, Attendance, Participation & Mentoring” – Did you know, 40 years ago, Rajah Shrine had over 8,700 members? Today, our membership stands at just over 2,000. If we bury our heads in the sand and ignore this fact, we will stay on this trajectory and go the way of the Dodo Bird.
We need to think outside the box. We need to stop the decline and start growing again. With that in mind, I’m asking you to take this message back to your blue lodge… the Divan will come to any lodge that submits six petitions for membership to conduct a Mini-Ceremonial with the express condition that the new members attend the full ceremonial on December 9th.
With attendance in mind, we have designed several promotional items to commemorate this year. At every meeting, event, or function that I am in attendance, our team will conduct a free raffle whereby some of these items will be shared. Hopefully, these ideas will encourage nobles to attend meetings and functions and participate in activities.
Our slogan or theme for this year is “Shriners – the Bare Necessities.
Notice the Pote’s Pie. A big, friendly, lovable bear to help our children navigate.
the challenges in their world. We, as Shriners, do the same thing through our hospitals. We help children with burns, cleft pallet and spinal muscular disorders get well and learn to thrive even with these conditions. We have also created a Shrine Ladies & Shrine Kids pin to be handed out by my lady and granddaughter when they are in attendance.
After all, our goal is to increase membership in our cherished organization because we want others to share in this amazing fraternity and to experience the joy and satisfaction of serving their communities and the patients of Shriners Children’s while having boatloads of fun!
And, Lastly, Goal #3 “Communication & Public Presence” – I have created a new position on the Divan & appointed Noble Shane Paisley as our Digital Media Chairman. He is charged with putting together a team to take the bull by the horns in order to better engage with our members, clubs & units and the public in this new digital age.
In addition, we propose installing a digital sign along route 73 to replace the rather small wooden one. This will be Lady Barb’s primary project and will be the beneficiary of the Casino Night, Ladies Bingo & Cash Bash. A digital sign, with pre-programmed changing messages, will promote the weekly bingo and other upcoming activities at the Shrine to inform and remind the public that we are here. This project will not be cheap. But I think with a little hard work, we can raise the needed funds.
We all need to do a better job in engaging the membership & public. Getting the public to our events may very well be the best way to start. The public comes, has fun, spends money, tells their friends and we get more people engaged and perhaps new members in the process.
Nobles & Ladies… The only way we fail to succeed is if we don’t try! It is our sincere hope you will embrace and support our vision by assisting in any way you can in making these important and necessary goals a reality for the betterment of Rajah, its members, and the children we support. Now is the time!
Duane A. Dellecker