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Potentate Soullier Offers Parting Words to Nobility

Dan Soullier, Potentate 2014 & 2015 speaking at the 2015 Imperial Session in Houston, TX.

“When the soldiers of Consul Minucius came out of the valley they shouted for joy and crowded around Cincinnatus, thanking him as their deliverer and protector. “Let us give Cincinnatus a golden crown!” they cried; but the great general only smiled, shook his head, and gave the order for the homeward march.”

“Instead of ruling the Republic, Cincinnatus chose to return to his private life. This immediate resignation is often seen as a good example of service for greater good, civic virtue, modesty, lack of selfish ambition and outstanding leadership, making him part of a list of the famous Roman Generals.”

 “Within his lifetime Cincinnatus became a legend to the Romans. Twice granted supreme power, he held onto it for not a day longer than absolutely necessary.”

This being my final article as Potentate of Saladin Shrine, I want to say Thank You all. I have been given the golden crown, twice, and now return to my home, a common noble, who has had the chance to do great things. In the last two years, we have strived to move forward at the pace of a run-away train, and made Saladin one of the most noted and recognized temples in all of Shrinedom and thus the world. I have embraced change and placed nobles willing to work hard in all appointed areas; they have all worked very hard. Our Saladin Trust has supported our Shriner hospitals and communities, over a two year period, to the amount of near three-quarters of a million dollars. Our nobles and clubs have raised more money than ever before and brought a magnificent notice to our prodigious fraternity; I could never be happier. If I could take one thing with me, that I am most proud of being part, is a quote from one of our well-known nobles, who said, “I have never enjoyed so much peace and quiet and lack of political bull as I have in the last two years. Thank you for creating this, so the club and units could be Shriners in peace.”

Now my hopes and comments for the future

Our new location

The future is set, the change in location for our charter will be voted on at Imperial Session 2016, and I have never seen one voted down. This means that the location will be in Grand Rapids, Michigan; this is a very large area. If you do not like it; grow up. We have stripped down the budget to sub-bone level and have survived on mainly the dues of the nobles; we have asked for and accepted NO money from the clubs for two years. This means that the reasons for not attending stated meetings is personal; again, get over it. If you do not attend stated meetings, then you cannot complain if bylaws are changed or money allocation is successfully voted on for any use.

Clubs/Units

“Growth” is the word. You must make wanting to come to a club/unit event, FUN. I know at least one club who tells their nobles that they are a fundraising club…come on, who joined the Shrine to become a salesman? This is the reason that they have, usually, no more than eight nobles who do all of the work, they do not make it fun. If your clubs and units are not actively recruiting nobles, mainly younger men, then you are committing a slow suicide; your clubs and units will die by attrition. If the young nobles you have are not having fun, then they will not bring in their friends. I have had two clubs tell me that it is the responsibility of the temple to bring them nobles. They said this even after we call them and tell them of men who inquired on the “be a Shriner” website and offer financial incentives to bring in new nobles. It is not the responsibility of the temple to bring you nobles, it is yours.

Fundraising

I have nothing to say, but keep it up. Saladin shrine is the greatest contributor to the Chicago Shrine Hospital, and have given much of themselves to our hospital system and our communities…Thank you.

Leadership

This goes out to all Past Club Presidents and Past Potentates. We all swore in our Shriner obligation to “not suffer silence in order to gain sway.” This means that we do not go behind the backs of our fellow nobles and cause dissension. You were a leader, step aside and let the newly elected leadership, lead. I was told by a past potentate that they had a right to have a say in everything a new potentate says and does, because they wanted to make sure that “their” temple is going in the right direction. I told him that it is everyone’s temple and everyone has elected me and I will do their bidding; we then had words…he lost. I also know a past club president who threatens his ruling club president (I know, he openly threatened me) to do his bidding. He and a small group in his club hold, “unofficial Monday meetings,” to make club decisions between a chosen few within the club; disenfranchising the overly large majority of his club members. This is all un-masonic and un-noble like behavior.

I want to personally thank two Past Potentates as I close this section. I want to Thank Augie Meyer, who taught me that a leader takes his time to lead and nothing else. Added, he taught me that when he leaves office, to go back and be the common noble that he once was and continues to be, and be loyal to whomever is in charge, no matter is written on “your” fez. The other is James Lentz. Jim taught me that it is not “your year to plan,” it is the future years to plan. Everything we must do, we must do so there is a Saladin Shrine and a next year.

In Closing

I am weary after a trying four years followed by a wonderful two years in the leadership of a fraternity that I will never leave and always be a proud member of becoming. My final words come from the Brother George Washington’s final speech to the nation; I believe you all will understand its connotation and its significance to and for me.

“Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that, after forty five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.”

“Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated by that fervent love towards it, which is so natural to a man who views in it the native soil of himself and his progenitors for several generations, I anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat in which I promise myself to realize, without alloy, the sweet enjoyment of partaking, in the midst of my fellow-citizens, the benign influence of good laws under a free government, the ever-favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers.”

 

Peace be with you all,

Noble Dan Soullier

Saladin Shrine

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