June and July are gone…how can that happen??? We were hunkered down hiding from Covid-19 and just like magic…August appeared. The month of June was pretty much that…hunkered down and very little Shrine activity to be seen. 

On June 23, Oriental Guide Doug Kristensen and I attended The Daughters of the Nile Banquet for newly installed Queen Sheila Reimer. I was honored to sit at the head table with Grand Master Jason Swindler and special guest Supreme Queen Heather Krastins Lambert. This was the first of many stops for Heather during her year as Supreme Queen. Heather spoke highly of Ashrama Temple #97. Since 1924, Daughters of the Nile have contributed over $60 million to Shriners Hospitals for Children. Thank you ladies. 

We did have some damage to the chain link fence and gate at our storage area on Cherokee. Our Assistant Rabban found a company “HAS” to do the repairs.  “HAS” stands for Hathcock, Anderson And Slater. Apparently they only work in the rain so we had three wet HAS members, two tall wet HAS and one short wet HAS. The wet HAS did complete the job and we thank Chris Hathcock, Tom Anderson and Jim Slater. Please support your local businesses and call the wet HAS the next time it rains. 

On June 25, the Oriental Band had their yearly Otis Open. Because of Covid-19 they had to make some changes and they did. They relocated to the Northern Links Golf Course in Renner and the staff was fantastic. I golfed with Marv Lovro, we didn’t even get an honorable mention. We did get the pleasure of golfing with Lonnie Albers and Damien Martinmoss, two great guys and a pleasure golfing with you, Thank you. So out of 22 1/2 teams (you had to be there) the winners…Past Potentate David Lewis and Bill Bruns…Congratulations David and Bill. After golf we feasted on pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans and coleslaw with heat…yes…heat…the hot kind. It was a fun day, weather was on our side and great camaraderie. Great job Lee Lewis, Thank you. 

What happened on July 4??? The Clowns left town and landed in Lennox to parade, rumor has it one of them is still there. If you got to choose…which Clown would you choose to still be there??? So do you remember July 8? That was proclaimed as El Riad “UNC DAY” Oriental Band member Herm Martin had a Birthday Party for UNC (Arvin Hannermann) who turned 100 years old July 7, that was fun, Happy Birthday UNC.  

July 10, the Dance Club said “Let’s Dance” the Big Band said “Let’s Play” and they did. A great night for all. Thank you to all who enjoyed the evening.  

On Saturday, July 11, the Divan and Past Potentate did have a virtual voting session, this normally would be done at Imperial. The results are posted in this this issue. Also on July 11, the Motor Corps took their “THUNDER” to Valley Springs to parade. Stop Burns Chairman Dave Murphy hosted the Oasis at his home. July 19 was our first Family Day at Sertoma Park, 2ND Cermonial Master Mark Richard and Marshall Scott Denney knocked this out of the park. The Culinary Unit made sure everyone had enough to eat, Back 40 Boys and the Last Call Band provided the entertainment. Fun day for everyone, thank you to all involved. 

A big thank you to 2ND Ceremonial Master Mark Richard and Lady Denise for hosting a Divan Summer Fun Picnic at their home on July 24. A good time was had by all and the Culinary Unit made sure we were well fed. Thank you, Culinary Unit. 

July 25, Nyberg’s Ace Hardware brought Hot Classics Nights back to their Historic Downton location. The streets were full of people, classic cars, great music including our very own Last Call Band, and the Classie Autos manned the beer tents with help from other Shrine Units. A great evening and fun by all, thank you to all involved.

Our Building Manager Joel Baker has retired, after 16 years he said it’s time. We thank Joel for his years of service and wish him the best in his retirement. Until the board makes a decision on the replacement of Joel, Gail Gustafson, Kent Quail and Past Potentate Bruce Wallin will be filling in. Please respect our Shrine office personnel and be considerate when you have a request. Thank you.    

As we move into August we are getting a few more events in our Shrine. Wednesday nights are starting to pickup and more Units are having meetings at the Shrine. A reminder to sanitize the meeting rooms when finished. It took me two minutes to sanitize the Al Shamil room. We do need to continue respecting each others space and follow social distancing when possible. If you are not comfortable coming to the Shrine, that is fine, the day will come and this covid thing will be over. We have a lot of year left, together let’s make the best of it. As Past Potentate Tom Anderson says ‘We will wake up tomorrow the sun will shine and we’ll move on”.

Thank you for taking the extra step, thank you for being a shriner, thank you for being an el riad shriner.

Fraternally Yours,

Al Zahn

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