The last 10 months have flown by so quickly! You all know the quote, “Life is like a roll of toilet paper; the closer you get to the end the faster it goes!” Well, that’s certainly is true about the happenings in 2018 at El Riad! The year is winding down very rapidly!

Let’s start off with the Fall Ceremonial. It was an Open Ceremonial and part of it was available to anyone who wanted to attend, both Nobles and Ladies. Second Ceremonial Master Doug Kristensen wheeled the gavel and kept everything moving. We also experienced a first-of-a-kind event for El Riad – the Shrine Arch Ceremony. This is an excellent learning tool that helps the new candidates to understand the connection between Masonry and Shrinedom. Our Directors Staff, with the leadership of Temple Director Paul Berndt, traveled to Kansas City Shrine to watch it there, brought it back here, and were able to complete an impressive performance for El Riad to see. There will be another Lukewarm Sands in the very near future for our newly made Shriners to enjoy. 

The Scottish Rite BBQ was a great success in October, as always. Lunch and dinner were provided; if you went away hungry, it was your own fault. You did a great job with the tasty food and serving it up, guys. Thank you for your efforts each and every year!

Shriners Hospitals Open on November 4 drew 55 willing individuals from El Riad to the warm climate of Las Vegas to man three holes during the Shrine Golf Tournament. PP Charlie Brown and Lady Paula put this together again this year, and it has been a very good opportunity to show that El Riad is on the move and supports the Shrine! Thanks to all of the Nobles and Ladies who made the trip and participated in this event! 

The cash calendars are now available for unit sales. If you haven’t picked yours up yet, contact Gary or Kent in the office to get them. Your units can sell a lot of them for Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers! Go for it, Nobles! 

If you are not yet aware of this, Kent Quail is our new unit and club office support person. Gary will be walking Kent through the daily/monthly/yearly responsibilities and will get him up to speed during the next two months. Be sure to give Kent the thumbs up the next time you see him. Welcome aboard, Kent!

On that note, Lady Marla and I want to give Gary Smith so many thanks for all of the help he’s been to us this year, as well as in the past! No matter what we’ve asked him to do, he’s been there for us! We truly hope Gary enjoys this additional phase of his retirement! 

Chief Rabban John Whitelock, with the assistance of George Hamilton, and Todd Schmidt, have been supervising the west outside wall progress. The weather has not been in the favor of the Ron Fox crew but the progress so far gives us an idea of how it will bring the appearance our building into this century. And it’s looking good so far! We look forward to seeing the finished renovation!

The Christmas parties started with the Shutterbugs & Pixels on October 14 at Rocky Hayes’ home. The food was delicious and everyone had a great time. Thanks, Rocky! Lady Marla and I are looking forward to our last round of Christmas parties with each of the units. Getting to know them has been one of the best things about this “trip up the Divan!” El Riad has some pretty amazing people, and it has been our pleasure to spend time with you!

The Brookings Shrine Club had their annual basket ball game, and several of us attended. It was a success as always, thanks to the Nobles in that unit. It’s always great to see the South Dakota State University fans in attendance and we welcome their support!

The Shrine Patients Christmas Party is in full planning mode! Once again this year, we will host El Riad’s Shrine patients from ages 2 through 12, as well as their families, to an afternoon of fun! We will again provide gifts for each of them, food, games, a visit from Santa Claus, and will receive lots of smiles and laughter from them all! The Nobles and Ladies from El Riad have almost as much fun planning and hosting this event as the kids do, it seems! Steve Haase and Lady Sandra will make this annual event another success this year! If you want to have a very fulfilling afternoon, come down and join us on December 2! You will be happy you did!

Thank you all for your time and efforts! Remember to HAVE FUN and INSPIRE someone every day!

Maury “Big Moe” Richard

2018 Potentate, El Riad Shrine

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