A Message from the Potentate



Francis J. Mason
Illustrious Potentate

 


2017 Potentate's Message


Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!

   WOW! What a great start to the year! The installation ceremony was a bit different than usual, being in the Fez Room, and I thank everyone involved in the planning and execution of the program. As if this wasn't enough, we had the fabulous Aleppo Ball in Danvers three weeks later. As usual the snow was falling this weekend but everyone's spirits were high: and with lots of help from many Nobles and their Ladies, I believe the weekend was a success.
   The one thing I want to stress this year as your Potentate is “Remember why you joined.”
   Thirty-four years ago, when our 1st child was born, he seemed to be a healthy baby boy, except that his feet looked different. The next morning the pediatrician came in and informed us that our son had bilateral club feet and so our journey began with weekly castings and his initial operation at Boston Children's Hospital. When our son was three, we found ourselves in a position of needing help with his medical needs - so with help from both Jack Grant and Ed Jenkins, we arranged for him to be evaluated at the Shriners Screening Clinic in Pocasset, and our son F.J. was accepted as a patient into the Shriners Hospital in Springfield. We spent many summers at that hospital. Weekends were his favorite, because the staff would roll the beds outside where a Shrine Club or Unit would have a cookout and often bring toys or stuffed animals for the patients. I'm happy to say that our son was soon able to ride a bike and play hockey like any other child. F.J. still skates today with his son Cole.
   I am relating this story to you, not so much so that you will think of why I joined, but rather to encourage you to think about why you joined. If we, as Shriners, do not “remember why we joined” and if we do not remember to support our Shrine, then who will be here to help those children and support those hospitals if our numbers continue to decrease?
   “Remember why you joined.” You joined to have FUN. The best way to have fun is to attend our meetings, support our clubs and units with your membership in at least one unit, and mostly to SUPPORT OUR SHRINE!
   I want to finish by thanking all of you for the work that you do. Thanks for the work you do at our building. Thanks for driving our patients to and from appointments. Thanks for volunteering at our hospitals. Thanks for answering your phone when someone calls for help canning at a supermarket. Thanks for taking the time out of your weekend to march or ride in a parade. We have a lot to be proud of. Our hospitals provide life changing operations to children that may not otherwise have access to quality healthcare in their country. You have made a difference in our lives. You have made a difference in their lives. And, if you “remember why you joined,” you will make a difference in your life.

    Es Selamu Aleikum
    Illustrious Francis J. Mason
    Potentate, Aleppo Temple – 2017

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