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Greetings from the Potentate - Elect

I am honored. I will not let you down. These are two uncomplicated statements that say everything. I have stepped to the microphone each December and spoke these two sentences and sat back down. Some may say this is over simplifying my feelings and responsibilities, but the simplest words are always the best. Less than a hundred men have ever been able to be honored enough to serve Mizpah as Potentate. I am privileged to walk the same path as these men and look to their guidance as the final part of my journey begins. Each Potentate before me understood what it means to be a true “Noble”. I vow to take on every task with a tenacious drive to move Mizpah forward into a bright future. This is my promise to you. Failure is not an option.

The time is now. These four simple words explain the next year within Mizpah. In 2013 we will be leaving the building that has served us for over one hundred years and move to our new home. As the face of the Shrine changes, so do the needs of our members. The new facility will allow us to serve our community as well as our kids for decades to come. We need to have the courage to set a course into the future that guarantees our legacy will live forever. The address may change but we all must remember that a shrine is not bricks and mortar. The Shrine consists of the nobles that inhabit the walls.

Please plan on attending the Stated Meeting on January 2nd. Mizpah traditionally does not assemble in January with the exception of installing the officers that will serve in the upcoming year. The Divan believes that January is actually the most important month of the year. The new team that you have elected to serve you is excited to share our thoughts and receive input back from you. It promises to be an exciting year and we need to put our ideas in motion. The most important reason to gather in January is to hear from the Circus Committee and prepare for the biggest weekend of the year in the Mizpah Shrine. Illustrious Sir Owen Stiles, who will still be the Potentate, will open the meeting and the new year will begin. We cannot wait. The time is now.

On Friday January 4th at 7pm I will kneel at the same altar I became a Shriner behind and put my hand on the Bible. The words I will recite are the same that E.H Merritt spoke in 1910 as he became the first Potentate of Mizpah. I will vow to give without hesitation and serve the needs of Mizpah. While it is true that times change, the traditions of service to God, family, and the Shrine never do. If you have never attended an Installation Ceremony I think you would find it entertaining as well as interesting. There will be refreshments served after as we all start the new year together.

Just one final bit of business before I close. The annual club and unit head meeting will be on Saturday January 5th. Breakfast will be served at 8:30am with an exciting meeting to follow. We will be discussing information on the new building, the circus, membership, and parades. The meeting will be conducted differently than in the past and offer the nobility to gather information to take back to each club or unit they represent. All clubs and units MUST be represented at this meeting. Failure to send a noble to gather information will result in that unit or club being banned from the Three Rivers Festival Parade.

Finally I would encourage each and every noble to shake Illustrious Sir Owen Stiles hand and say, “Thank You.” In a time of change he stood as a rock before us. A great leader does not shy away from the hard decisions. He handles them with honor and to the best of his abilities. Owen put the weight of the Shrine on his shoulders and carried us forward. His service to Mizpah shows us all why we are called “Nobles.” Thanks Owen.

Your Humble Servant,

Mike Hardiek Potentate Elect