Shriners come from all walks of life. We are members of the community who are working or retired, members of the trades, business professionals, business leaders and men who want to just have fun. We are fathers, uncles and sons. We are also brothers. When you become a Shriner, you become part of a brotherhood of men committed to family, engaged in ongoing personal growth, and dedicated to providing care of children and families in need through Shriners Hospitals for Children regardless of their ability to pay.
While our backgrounds and interests may be diverse, what binds us together are shared values and a desire to have fun, do good and build relationships that can last a life time. Is it time for you to learn more about Shriners International? Visit www.beashrinernow.com and find out. You can also go to our Join Nile page for what it will take to join.
Michael J. Riley
In Masonry, the hourglass is an emblem of human life. Behold! How swiftly the sands run, and how rapidly our lives are drawing to a close. We cannot without astonishment behold the little particles contained in this machine; how they pass away almost imperceptibly, and yet, to our surprise, in the short space of an hour, they are all exhausted. Thus, wastes man! To-day he puts forth the tender leaves of hope; to-morrow blossoms, and bears his blushing honors thick upon him, the next day comes to a frost, which nips the shoot, and, when he thinks his greatness still aspiring, he falls, like autumn leaves, to enrich our mother earth.
Symbolically, the sun is setting on my term as Potentate and, the frost is drawing near. It is an understatement to say that things did not go as planned. Ironically, Bob Gunther told me that I needed to get anything that I wanted to accomplish done early in my term as it would not happen towards the end. I do not think that he had the pandemic in mind, but how prophetic in hindsight. It would be useless to have regret, as I have run the businesses of the Nile to the best of my ability and, I have fulfilled my term with both honor and distinction. We have been able to weather the loss of most of our revenue streams (building rentals, catering, restaurant, and all Nile & club fundraisers), something that we could not have done five years ago. We have been able to make the needed modifications to continue operating the golf course. We have performed improvements on both the building and grounds and kept them in good repair. We have done right by our employees, volunteers, and members. All in all, I am proud of my accomplishments and performance this term.
We received approval to hold an election via Zoom and cast ballots electronically. We will have an election in a few weeks. Larry Gillespie is ready to assume the reigns and carry us forward into 2021 with his plans and officers. Upon election, I will dismiss my officers and install Larry by proclamation. I will support him and the divan as best I can. Larry's term will endure some of the challenges that I faced, and inevitably a few new ones. I have no doubt, Larry and his officers will thrive due to their knowledge, skills, and abilities. I wish him and the Nile prosperity.
There are so many people that I need to thank; Dave Brady and Richard Syson for asking me to run for Oriental Guide. The past Divans for their aid & assistance throughout the years, helping me learn and accomplish everything that I have on this journey. Larry, Dale, Ned, Brent, Arne, and Ken, for being available and working together to deal with all the challenges that came up this year, for not only identifying problems but coming prepared with solutions and getting their hands dirty to fix them. Darrick and Anne Hayman agreed to support me with my term details, so I could focus on being Potentate and not worry about the caterer, hotel, centerpieces, etc. Even though the social events did not happen, there was still a lot of work done and, I appreciate them more than I am sure that they know. Everyone who accepted an appointment this year and fulfilled their obligations to the best of their abilities. The Nile Nightmares haunted house volunteers who prepared all year for two events that ultimately could not happen. Pete Echols, Joe Korn, and their teams for keeping the Golf course operational and prosperous. Lance and Shelby Sawyer and the employees of Northwest Signature Events & Catering for their ongoing efforts to restart revenue from room rentals, catering & outside events, in addition to seeking out new revenue streams. The West Seattle Shrine Club, for their support & encouragement throughout the years. Grandma Ferry, who would frequently escort me to events. And who decided to make masks to raise money for the hospitals, not only donating her time and materials but also matching 100% of anything someone else donated. Laura keeps me on track, supports and assists me, and generally handles all things related to the membership. Thank you!
Lastly, I need to thank my wife for taking this journey with me and supporting me. Thank you, Kim. I love you with all my heart!
At the recent Conference of Grand Masters in Louisville, Kentucky, Imperial Potentate Jeff Sowder, along with Scottish Rite Sovereign Grand Commanders David A. Glattly, 33° (Northern Masonic Jurisdiction), and James D. Cole, 33° (Southern Jurisdiction), announced a formal partnership on the Path Forward for Freemasonry.
As part of that initiative, the three leaders announced BeaFreemason.org, which features a wealth of information including an explanation of Masonic terms, lodge life, symbolism, degrees and family organizations. Launched in mid-February, this first-of-its-kind site introduces Freemasonry to men who are looking to "become the best version" of themselves. The site has a "Get in Touch" button, so prospects (in North America) can fill out a short form that will put them in touch with a Masonic leader in their local area. We hope you share this helpful site with men that you know who are committed to lives of honor, integrity and character.
For more information, go to: beafreemason.org