Dear Ill. Sirs, Nobles & Salaam Family,
Thank you for electing me your Imperial Representative for the 15th time. I have finally achieved Iowa emeritus status and will be able to serve in this capacity for life.
Having an emeritus member gives Salaam Shriners an extra vote at the annual imperial sessions regardless of our temple membership level. It is probably worth considering that Salaam grooms one or two Nobles to be future Iowa emeritus representatives, if and only if, this Noble is willing to give one week per year for the rest of his life to serve. We can discuss this when our annual elections in December approaches.
The 148th annual session in Minneapolis took place in the first week of July. Some important bylaw changes came up for a vote. The following is the Reader’s Digest version of my report. For our younger Brother Nobles, RD is a family magazine founded 100 years ago. 😉
- On the Iowa (fraternity) side, several bylaw changes were proposed. First, any bylaws changes would require approval by over two-thirds of the present and voting delegates and at least 400 votes to pass. This bylaw was successfully amended to require over two-thirds & at least 300 votes. This change took effect immediately following the approval. This is significant because once our membership dips below a critical level, it will become virtually impossible to make any amendments in the future. Sad but true.
- The motion from the Canadian Shrine centers for virtual attendance and votes when the government declares a state of emergency failed. The debate was basically on the cost (over 100K to set up just in case needed) and which level of government declaration (national, state, or your small town) was too vague. In addition, the secured environment for the votes to take place without unqualified people nearby.
- The proposal to raise the annual imperial per capita tax from $30 to $50 failed again this year. Although I believe this was necessary, the delegates did not approve.
- Amal Shriners in Brazil and Al Atfal Shriners in Mexico fulfilled all their requirements and were granted their charters respectively.
- Lubnan Shriners in Lebanon received their dispensation. Lubnan is the Arabic word for Lebanon. It evolved from a 25-year-old Shrine club from Mecca Shriners. This is the first time a Shrine is proposed in an Arabic and Moslem country. Lubnan has three years to create 300 Nobles to be qualified to receive their charter. They have 189 signatures out of about 800 Master Masons in Lebanon so far. Their founding Potentate is their current Grand Master who resides in San Diego, USA.
- On the Colorado side, an identical proposal on the fraternal side to reduce the requirement of no fewer than 400 votes to 300 was approved.
- Similarly, the proposal on the prospect of virtual meetings due to emergencies was denied.
- The age limit of 72 for being a candidate for Trustee was lifted.
- Salaam Shriners is a gold medal recipient on membership gain in 2021 thanks to our Junior Past Potentate Ill. Sir Paul DiGaetano’s great effort last year. Our Potentate ill. Sir Robert Howard Welch and Oriental Guide Noble Paul Ferreira attended the Membership Hall of Fame luncheon representing Ill. Sir DiGaetano & Salaam Shriners.
On a personal note, I was not elected SHC trustee on the philanthropy side. Although I received 541 out of the possible 900+ votes, I lost the election by 4 votes. It has been a great journey. I met many Shriners and made many friends during the many campaign trips all over the country. I had a ball in the process. I will continue serving our mission in our local area with the same enthusiasm and love.
On the fraternal side, I was appointed by our new Imperial Potentate Imperial Sir Kenny Craven to continue serving on the Imperial Jurisdictional Lines Committee. I was promoted to the 3rd vice president of Cabiri International Past Potentate Association.
Thank you, Ill. Sir Robert Howard Welch and the Divan, for attending the annual Cabiri International annual meeting and breakfast.
Andrew A. Kuo, DDS, PP