Brother Mike Hayslip here....this is 1 Degree.
For those of you unaware, Shriners International, also commonly known as the Shriners, is an appendant body to Freemasonry. All Shriners are Masons first. But not all Masons are Shriners.
The Shrine's charitable arm is the Shriners Hospitals
for Children, a network of twenty-two hospitals
in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Shriners Hospitals
provide orthopedic care, burn treatment, cleft lip and
palate care, and spinal cord injury rehabilitation. These treatments
are offered with no out of pocket costs to the child or their family.
One of the main reasons I became a Mason was to be able to participate in this sort of charitable work, so I joined Antioch Shrine at the end of 2015. By the time spring had sprung in 2016, I had joined the Parade Escort unit (I participate in parades riding my Harley-Davidson at the front of the Shrine units with a huge American flag flying from the back of my bike).
My wife and I are having a wonderful time with the Shriners. Last night we attended the annual meeting to install the new officers for the Antioch Shrine Center in Dayton, Ohio.
Illustrious Sir Wes Ramsey was installed as our Potentate for 2017. His theme for the year is "Making Sure The Kids Are Alright".
After we got home, I sat down to read the Potentate's Message on the inside flap of the 2017 calendar we all received. (the Potentate is like the President of the club).
I really liked what the message had to say so I have received permission from Illustrious Sir Wes to share it with you here:
The Shrine is like a family. Taking the time to make sure the kids are all right is an awesome experience for everyone involved. The twenty-two Shriners hospitals depend on us to provide support which keeps these "homes away from home" part of a Shrine child's life - both now and in the future.
As a whole, there is not a greater gift to Antioch shrine and Shriners international than the gift of time, dedication, and other resources to support what Shriners do every day!
We at Antioch rely on the knowledge and wisdom of all nobles, past and present, to help guide our decision-making and keep Antioch what it is today - a place where everyone can have fun, make memories, and celebrate the daily efforts of our great fraternity.
Myself, lady Johanna, and our twins - John Wesley IV and Mercedes - are privileged to be part of this fantastic Antioch family. I feel honored to be able to help lead Antioch through 2017 and into the future.
Thank you to all who have given their time, resources, input and suggestions to help make Antioch the great Shrine Center that it is!
We could not do what we do or be who we are without you!
In closing, the well-known founder of the Methodist Church, John Wesley, once stated:
"Do all the good you can,
by all the means you can,
in all the ways you can,
in all the places you can,
at all the times you can,
to all the people you can, as long as ever you can."
What a great saying!
God bless all the Shriners of North America, Antioch Nobles and their families, and most importantly, those children, and the families we help take care of.
In 2017, we are "Shriners: Making Sure The Kids Are All Right!"
And so I ask you, dear reader...are you ready to join in?
Do you have a heart for service and to help children lead better lives?
Have you not yet been made a Mason? (remember, only a Mason can become a Shriner)
If your answers are YES, and if you are a good man of solid moral character, then all that is left is for you to ask to join us!
Lux e tenebris!
(Light out of the darkness)
Michael E. Hayslip II,
Lebanon Lodge 26
Preceding "1 Degrees":