I.S. Tom Bland
Well we have had a very busy month
so far. Lady Kathy started March by
attending The Jobs Daughters section
of DJR initiations. The next day we
attended the Daughters of the Nile
Installation. I spent the next week
preparing corrected parade schedules
and on Saturday the 14th I had the
opportunity to lead the Shrine caravan
delivering the three new vehicles to the
Shrine Hospital. We had both bands at
the Hospital to meet the caravan lead by
Motor Escort and followed by a large
group of Shriners and their ladies.
We presented the keys to the vans
to Dr. Patchin and Noble Ron Eggers
representing the Board of Directors. After the presentation the Hospital
hosted a reception for all of our guests. I recognized Margie Thomsen
for her generous contribution to the Al Kader transportation fund. The
following week a great group of volunteers and aides worked very hard
to get Al Kader ready for the Potentate’s Ball on March 21st. The Ball
was a wonderful event and the building looked like pictures right out
of Hollywood. The three rooms looked fantastic thanks to Lady Kathy
and her incredible team. We had the Crystal lounge which represented
Michaels of Los Feliz, A special restaurant we visited when we were
dating. Hef’s Hutch which was a replica of the Lianie Kazan Lounge at
the Century City Playboy Club in L.A. And Harrington represented the
Shrine Auditorium at Al Maleika, where the Academy were held. The Ball
started at 5pm and everyone had a lot of fun and they all looked great in
all that bling, We had our newest club, the Hauntsters, show up as famous
Hollywood Stars. They were really cool.
I had the opportunity to honor all of the Potentates, who have graciously
served Al Kader with their time, talent, resources, and dedication. We
created a well deserved “Walk of Fame” with each Potentate having their
own star, as well as a special thank you for their service.
The Grand Master waived protocol for the evening by letting me ask the
first lady a very important question after he spoke.
You see, this was our 44th wedding anniversary and to celebrate I asked
Lady to marry me again and we had a very special wedding officiated by
our own Chaplain, Carson Bailey. IS Ard Pratt gave Lady Kathy away on
behalf of her mother. Our Daughter Heather was the Matron of Honor
and Chief Rabban John Nerski was my Best Man. Lady Kathy finally got
the wedding she deserved and I want to thank all of you who shared this
special event with us.
This coming Saturday is the annual Easter egg hunt from 1-4pm Bring the
kids and grandkids.
April 18th will be our Spring Fling
social. Join us for some comfort food
and dancing. This will be toned down a
couple of notches, but a good time will
be had by all.
Let’s get the parade season started in style by
everyone coming to the Dalles on April
25th. And then the Newport Parade on
Then we have the all unit Parade in
Sheridan on June 13th. Please do me
the honor of attending this parade.
As it is my Blue Lodge home and I
would love to show them how great the
Shriners really are.
Remember, Membership 1st. What’s your number?
I.S. Tom Bland
Well, Nobles here it is, already the middle of February and it seems like installation was yesterday. Since
then we have been to Hillah for their installation, had Divan and Unit head/Club training with a great dinner. We
traveled to Prineville for the East/West football team selection, where we had a nice visit with the nobles and
ladies of Central Oregon. The teams were selected and the E/W Committee is already planning for the big game in
August, which will be played at 5pm. Hopefully we can skip the thunderstorm this year.
Next we headed to our northern jurisdiction to visit our counterpart at Nile Shrine Center for his Potentate’s Ball. We
had four of our counterparts in attendance and we all had a great time. The next morning we all got up and hustled
back to Al Kader for the “Big Game” party where we watched the home team lose on a crazy call. I had a quiet weekend, because
Lady Kathy had laryngitis and came down with Whooping Cough. I always knew she was a big kid. The next weekend the Divan
took a breather to get ready for our next events. This past Saturday, we celebrated Mardi Gras with a great party at the
Center and ate Cajun & Creole food provided by Dave Dalton and his team. Nice Job. For entertainment, the Howlin
Hobbit & the Accidental Rhino provided great jazz music for the evening. We had guests show up in awesome masks and
costumes. For those of you who missed this event, you still have the opportunity to attend one of the next 8 socials this year.
Well we are one the road again this weekend, heading to Seattle for winter PNSA for some membership training and other useful
information for Al Kader.
Next weekend is the reception for the DeMolay Grand Master at Al Kader. Please support our DeMolay young men. They are our
future Masons and Shriners.
Speaking of membership, Al Kader reached Gold status in 2014, and everyone is working hard to repeat that achievement in 2015. Remember
the challenge to replace yourself with a new noble this year. The secret to recruiting a new noble is “JUST ASK.” New members are in
your neighborhood, car shows, grocery store, and your own Blue Lodge.
March 21st Is the Potentate’s Ball. Make your reservations early, as there are only 250 places available. All reservations must be in by
March 13th. No reservations will be taken after that date.
March 28th is the annual Easter egg hunt at Al Kader. Bring your kids and grandkids for a fun afternoon.
We have had great success in participation so far this year. Let’s keep the momentum going. Attend a meeting and/or a social. Better yet,
bring another noble with you or invite your non-Shrine friends. They might just want to join us.
For all of you picnic goers, we are returning to Oaks Park this year. The Unit Heads and Divan reps will be bringing you the details during
their visits this month.
Lastly, please provide the office staff with your current E-mail address and, when you look at the E-mail blasts, please open the file, so we
can know how effective this tool is. You increased usage by 60% last month, Great job everyone!
I.S. Tom Bland
Nobles and Ladies, the only thing I can say is “WOW!” Kathy and I want to thank each and every one of you
for your support at our Installation. While standing in front of over 200 guests I can say that it was the
most overwhelming and humbling experience of my life. The ceremony was wonderful and the party lasted
until 10:30. The younger Nobles and their ladies loved the dancing. The kids even came downstairs and joined us.
I enjoyed every minute of the night.
I want to give special thanks to our youth groups. The DeMolay, Jobs Daughters, and the Rainbow Girls. We won’t
soon forget all that you did for us. The Ladies loved the presentation of flowers by the young men of DeMolay.
I appreciated our lovely escorts, the Rainbow Girls. I want to especially thank Morgan for personally escorting
Lady Kathy and I. What can I say to the Jobs Daughters for performing the closing cross for us? That truly
touched my and Lady Kathy’s hearts. A special thanks to our three signers for spending six hours of practice
to make sure it was perfect. You all have our love and gratitude.
This is what “Bridging the Generations” is all about, involving the youth, our younger Nobles and their Ladies
along with our well established Nobles and Ladies.
My plan is to continually change things around and have socials that will appeal to all generations. We’re going
to change things up a bit in February by holding a Mardi Gras social. We’re bringing in some really cool street
performers from Seattle. One is called The Howlin Hobbit and the sounds like Louis Armstrong and plays a
ukulele. Sound like fun? Get your Mardi Gras costume ready and join us.
Now that the installation is over it’s time to get to work. This week the Divan is traveling to Hillah for
their installation. That should be a good time. We come back home for Club/Unit Head, and Divan training on January
16th & 17th. Next we head for the East/ West Game meeting in Prineville on the 24th. The following weekend on the
31st is the OB Crab Feed and the Divan will be in Seattle for Nile’s Potentates Ball. The next day February 1st is
THE BIG GAME PARTY at 2:00pm. We’ll be traveling from Seattle to join the party.
On February 14th, bring your sweetheart and join us for Mardi Gras. Come in costume or come casual and enjoy Cajun
cooking with some fun music.
February 21-24th, the Divan will again be traveling to Seattle; this time for winter PNSA. We hope to bring some good
information back for the nobility.
I mentioned at the installation that we were going to have a membership contest this year. You will find the contest
rules as you read further in the Oasis. I challenge everyone to participate and reap the rewards. I would love to see
everyone become a winner, because then Al Kader also wins.
If you find this issue of the Oasis looking a little different, it’s because we have a new editor. I would like to
introduce you to Noble Patrick Sheehan. He has accepted the position and all correspondence for the Oasis needs to be
sent to him. I know we all wish him well in his new position. Good luck Patrick.
I also announced that we would be returning to Oaks Park for our annual picnic. Look for picnic details in the March Oasis.
Al Kader’s new year has begun and we are all busy preparing for a great time. I challenged everyone to get involved in
service of Al Kader in my first article. I will continue to urge each Noble to serve Al Kader at the level at which he
can serve best. Remember, it takes all of us to make this great organization work.
Finally, I want to remind the Nobility that our next stated meeting is March 9th. I would like to see everyone there
I.S. Tom Bland
First and foremost, I would like to take this time to thank
the Nobility for trusting me to be your Potentate for the ensuing year. It is a great honor
and responsibility; and I will do my best to live up to your expectations.
You elected me to be your leader in 2015 and it has
been my philosophy that I am here to “serve the
Nobility”. Service is the most important commitment we
make; and it is service that is the building block on
which our fraternity was founded. It is my goal to inspire
the membership to serve Al Kader with greater energy
and enthusiasm this year. Service is also an important
part of leadership and I plan to serve Al Kader to the
best of my ability for this year. I learned early in my
Masonic and Shrine journey that with membership
comes responsibility. Responsibility to help others, to
assist in projects and to lend our talents to the running of the
Temple. There is an old saying that if you want something
done, find the busiest person you know and he will get it done; however, it seems like the
same people get used over and over again, sometimes burning them out. Look around
you and at yourself. If you are not this person, we need your time and talents. If you look
hard, you can always find some time to give of yourself. I am asking each and every one
of you to make this a year of service to Al Kader. Service is about making choices. Which
choice are you going to make?
We belong to a great fraternity and support the greatest philanthropy in the world,
Shriners Hospitals for Children. To continue supporting our philanthropy, we need to
commit our energies to all of the fundraising activities, the parades, Units & Clubs and
especially membership. It is incumbent on all of us to help with membership by replacing
ourselves each year with at least one new member. I have appointed a new membership
chairman for 2015, Noble Carl Thompson. He, along with the rest of Al Kader, will
aggressively pursue our membership goals this year. We will make many pilgrimages to
the Masonic Lodges this year and I ask each of you to speak in your Lodge about the
great things we do as Shriners.
I am also instituting an incentive contest for membership this year. One Noble and his
Lady will win a trip to the national East/West All Star Football Game in St. Petersburg,
Florida; as well as other incentives. All details of the contest will be made available in
Training is another area we will working on in January. Al Kader is holding a training
class on January 16th and 17th for ALL Club Presidents, Unit Heads, Divan members
and their Ladies. We will have a get-together on Friday night at 6:30 and training on
Saturday beginning promptly at 8:00 AM and ending around 4:00 PM. The Ladies are not
only invited, but are highly encouraged to attend. Nobles & Ladies, who live outside of
the Portland area, will be offered a complimentary night’s stay at La Quinta Inn. This will
be an informative training session, and we plan on having a little fun too.
Kathy and I plan on hosting one social a month through June. Some will be formal and some will be
just for a fun time. We plan on hosting one social for the entire family. That’s right, the kids
will be invited. Our desire is to bring responsible fun and good fellowship for our members, families
and friends in 2015.
Shriners, Masons, concordant bodies and our youth groups are comprised of many generations. For 2015,
let’s continue "Bridging Generations, Helping Children”.
We want everyone to have a good time!