Al Kader Shriners Portland, Oregon

Al Kader Oasis Newsletter February 2015
February 2015
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Al Kader Shrine Center
25100 SW Parkway Avenue
Wilsonville, OR 97070-9600

Phone: 503-682-4420
FAX: 503-685-5080

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Al Kader Oasis Newsletter February-2015
February 2015
Oasis Archive


Al Kader Shrine Center
25100 SW Parkway Avenue
Wilsonville, OR 97070-9600

Phone: 503-682-4420
FAX: 503-685-5080

Contact Us

Membership Petition


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Our Potentate

IS Tom Bland Al Kader Potentate 2015
Biography Potentate Contact

Pote's Notes

February 2015

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


January 2015

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 January.

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!

IS Tom Bland Al Kader Potentate 2015

Tom was born in Gary, Indiana in 1949. The family stayed in Indiana until he was twelve; when in 1961, the family moved to California. Tom attended junior high school in Southern California and graduated from Leuzinger High School in 1968. Tom later attended Mt. San Jacinto College and Riverside City College.

In the fall of 1968, Tom joined the Navy and was trained in San Diego as a hospital corpsman, specializing in eye, ear, nose and throat surgery. In 1970, Tom received orders to Camp Leujuene, NC to train as a field medical corpsman. He managed to stay in the States and later was sent to optical school in Williamsburg, VA, where he became a licensed optician. After graduating from optical school, he received orders to 29 Palms, CA where served the last 5 years of his 10-year enlistment. During ten years in the Navy, he spent eight years stationed with the Marine Corps as part of the Fleet Marine Force.

Tom spent 20 years as an executive for several optical companies; acting as a troubleshooter, a trainer, and Regional Manager. He wrote the training manual for the ABO (American Board of Optics) licensing certification that is still used by many companies to date. He was also presdent of two companies prior to working for Spirit Mountain Casino as Manager and CEO of Playworld. Tom retired in 2012 and has been active full time with Al Kader since his retirement.

Tom was raised to Master Mason in 1976 at Oasis of Mara Lodge #732 F&AM in 29 Palms, California. He became a member of Sheridan Masonic Lodge #64 in 1997. Since then, he has served as Senior Deacon, Secretary, Treasurer, and Master of the Lodge three (3) times. He has served two (2) years as District Deputy, as well as serving on the Public Education and the Grievance & Appeals committee’s for the Grand Lodge of Oregon. Tom has been a Shrine Mason since 2006. Tom has served as Captain of Motor Escort, is a member of Yamhill County Shrine Club, Polk County Shrine Club and Shurtah. Tom was a member of the director staff prior to being appointed by IS Ard Pratt as both the Executive Aide and the Director on the Divan in 2009.

Tom served two years as chairman of the children’s Christmas party, chaired the raffle car committee for two years and was responsible for upgrading the raffle car to the AC Cobra. He was instrumental in getting the Oktoberfest fund raiser off the ground and served as chairman of this committee for two years; as well as negotiating the purchase of the Oktoberfest trailer. Tom has worked with a great team of Nobles and Divan members to bring the Haunted House to Al Kader. While working on fund raising, Tom chaired the Long Range Planning Committee for three years

Tom and his wonderful wife, Lady Kathy, have been friends since 1968 and married in 1971. They met working on a home coming float after he graduated from high school. While being close friends in the beginning, they began dating after Kathy graduated in 1969. After dating for two years, they were actually married twice in 1971. The first time was in a chapel in Balboa Park near the Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego, in a quiet ceremony on March 22, 1971. The chapel was so small there was only room for the two of them and God, which was perfect. The second wedding was in Gardena, California on May 7, 1971 with family and friends. They have one son, Marc, who is also a Master Mason and Shriner, and one daughter, Heather. They have four granddaughters and two grandsons.

Tom’s company moved him and his family to Keizer, Oregon in 1992. After their children married and had homes of their own, Tom and Kathy moved from Keizer to be closer to work at Spirit Mountain Casino and settled down in Willamina, Oregon in 1997, where they now call home.

Because of Tom’s time in the service and his corporate positions, the Bland’s moved 22 times over the last 42 years and have lived on both coasts. Tom and Kathy have enjoyed many adventures together over the years, but none have compared to the current journey of moving up the Divan or the humbling honor of becoming the 2015 Potentate at Al Kader.

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Al Kader Oasis Newsletter
February 2015


Al Kader Shrine Center
25100 SW Parkway Avenue
Wilsonville, OR 97070-9600

Phone: 503-682-4420
FAX: 503-685-5080

Contact Us

Membership Petition

Facebook Logo


TB symbol

4 Flags

Adobe Reader
Get Adobe Reader


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