As I started to write this article I looked at some past Cactus issues…and I said no…This is about the El Riad moving forward not looking back. Don’t get me wrong, we had a lot of outstanding events happen this year.

We were blessed to have our Grand Master visit our Stated meeting and the Masters of the Lodges visit us with a personal message to come back to Lodge.

Our Membership team managed to bring us 12 new members in a Cold Sands and a Warm Sands. Our Ritualistic Unit escorted our new Shriners across the hot sands in two outstanding performances. Now it’s our job to find a unit for our new Nobles. Please help if you can.

Our Chaplin Paul Berndt in prayer asked our Heavenly Father for guidance through this
challenging time.

Our Chief of Staff Aaron Zahn who was the bearer of bad news as we cancelled events.

Our office staff Gail Gustafson, Kent Quail and Bruce Wallin who continue to make things happen. Our behind the scenes guy and Public Relations Director Rocky Hayes…well…he just makes it happen. I think it was Past Potentate John Whitelock who called Rocky “The Rock” and he is our Rock.

We are now into December. The month of festivities from shopping, decorating, Christmas parties, gift buying and most importantly spending time with family and loved ones. We most certainly hope that you will be able to spend time with your families and if not, please call them or set up a Zoom meeting.

This year we did take a back seat to the covid. We have many great Shrine Units and Nobles who are ready to perform. We are looking forward to 2021 being a covid-free year. 

I still don’t know what “Basil Greentree” meant when he said “in the meantime…in between time…ain’t we got fun”. But when you think about it, it fits this year.

I thank my loving wife for supporting me all these years. I did get to hear some words that I cannot pronounce or understand which is probably best.

I do thank El Riad for allowing me to be your Potentate in 2020. It’s been an experience that will not soon be forgotten. El Riad, thank you for TAKING THE EXTRA STEP.  

As Past Potentate Rico Johnson said “until next time, stay home (if you can), stay safe and stay well”.

Fraternally yours,

Al Zahn 

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