Illustrious Sirs, Nobles, Ladies and Friends of Jericho
Each new year brings excitement and anticipation of things to come. I share the enthusiasm experienced in the past by newly elected Potentates and reflected in their incoming messages. In 2004, Illustrious Herb Kennedy wrote: “One of the greatest things that could happen to a man is to be elected to serve Jericho as Potentate”. Illustrious Hugh Pickle in 1995, Illustrious Elbert Bridwell in 2010 and Illustrious Ron Bergquist in 2003 believed Jericho to be the “greatest Shrine Center in North America”. I strongly share their beliefs and those of Michael Austin in 1999 that stated “Jericho Nobles are the best in Shrinedom”. Our Nobles are a unique treasure of Shriners International.
As leaders of Jericho before me, I also promise to do my very best, as I undertake this task. I shall also endeavor to serve in a manner reflected in our Shrine creed.
Masonry makes good men better and the Shrine makes the world better, especially for children who suffer from burns and crippling diseases. Illustrious Richard Keesling wrote in 2006 “using our Masonic tools and knowledge, our strength in determination, our compassion for others and the dedication to the Shrine, our goals can be achieved”. The things we do for ourselves lasts for our lifetime. The things we do to make the world a better place lasts for generations to come.
Shriners Hospital for Children needs a strong Fraternity to be successful. Fraternal strength lies not just with numbers, but with passion, dedication and determination of the membership. Let's claim our legacy and share our passion in 2018.
In our creed, we say, “We respect our family”. Let me say; the best thing that has happened to me in my life is my wife, Carolyn. I am where I am today and a Shriner because of her love and support. She understands what Shriners do to make the world a better place, especially for children like our daughter. “Living a life of significance” is a lesson she has instilled in our children.
In closing, it is a great honor and privilege to serve the Jericho community. We are grateful to join with you in the “Service of Others” in 2018.
Michael A. Ponder MD, MBA and Potentate Jericho 2018.