India is one of the constituent Temples of Shriners International. A Dispensation for the formation of India Temple was granted by the Imperial Council on May 3, 1893 and the First Ceremonial was conducted on May 22nd 1893 with 7 novices (candidates). The Temple Charter was received on July 25, 1894, and now hangs in the Conference Room of the Shrine Center in Oklahoma City.
There are three Temples located in Oklahoma. Oklahoma City is India’s headquarters; Muskogee is the headquarters for Bedouin Shriners and Tulsa is the headquarters of Akdar Shriners. Once a brother is a member of the Mystic Shrine, he is welcome to Shrine activity in any temple, Club or Unit anywhere in the world. In fact, Temples are always careful to make every noble feel cordially welcome at all activities when away from his home. It is not necessary to change membership as you move, although Nobles are urged to belong to the Temple in which they feel they can contribute the most.
INDIA SHRINE CENTER
The word “Shrine Center” is Shrine language for Headquarters building in which most of the internal business of the Temple is conducted. The word “Temple” is the membership as a whole.
India’s Shrine Center is located at 3601 NW 36th Street and consists of two stories. The upper floor is the Grand Ballroom which extends the entire width and length of the building. The Ballroom will accommodate all assemblies and social functions up to 650 persons.
The ground floor consists of a suite of offices for all India business. Also included on the main floor is a large meeting room, Nobles Lounge, Ladies Lounge, kitchen, and storage facilities.
The business office hours are open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The telephone number 405-947-3311.
The Temple Divan is the governing body of the Temple with the Potentate as the leader. While he can not delegate his responsibilities, he may appoint members as Unit Heads, Club Presidents and Divan Members, to assist him in carrying out his duties. The Potentate has appointed Potentate Aids and Ambassadors who also assist him.
Elected officers are Potentate, Chief Rabban, Assistant Rabban, High Priest and Prophet, Oriental Guide, Treasurer and Recorder. The Potentates Appointed Divan consists of First Ceremonial Master, Second Ceremonial Master, Director, Marshal, Captain of the Guard and Outer Guard.
At India we call both elected and appointed officers “The Divan”.
The Potentate is responsible for the Temple operation and he may direct certain officers to carry out specific duties to assist him in this operation. This may be done regardless of the Divan member’s office.
There is no rank among appointed officers who have no tenure. Each is appointed for one year and none have authority over the other, unless directed by the Potentate. Only the Potentate has the authority to direct activity. When an individual is directed by the Potentate to do anything, he does it in the Potentate’s name, not by authority of his own office.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Board of Directors consists of seven elected officers of the Temple. By virtue of his office, the Potentate is the Chairman of the Board. This Board is responsible for the business transacted by the Temple. They decide what funds should be spent, who may use the Temple and what functions they may promote.
The Temple Recorder is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Temple Business Office and he is the person that should be contacted if you have a problem or need a question answered. He is the Corporate Secretary and a member of the Board of Directors.
Should a Unit or Club wish to have the Potentate, the Divan or a portion of the Divan (elected or appointed) present for a meeting, function or social event, they should extend the invitation to the Temple Recorder, indicating who they wish to invite and he in turn will contact those people giving them the necessary information. DIVAN MEMBERS WILL NOT ATTEND A UNIT OR CLUB FUNCTION WITHOUT FIRST BEING INVITED. NEVER ASSUME THEY SHOULD BE THERE. ALWAYS EXTEND AN INVITATION.
Please do not hesitate to contact the Temple Recorder, the Office staff or any Divan member should you have questions.
The Unit structure may be headed by a President, Captain, Commander or Director.
The term Unit is actually short for Parade Unit. Units differ from clubs in that Units are considered to be an integral part of the temple and are the “working force” of the Temple. Their primary function is to actively participate in parades, have social functions, and provide financial support for the India Shine Children’s Hospital Transportation Fund.
A Noble can only belong to only one unit, but may have associate memberships with other units if their by-laws permit.
Shrine Clubs are also an important segment of India Temple.
A Shrine Club is an organization for the promotion of Shrinedom in the Nobles home area through community projects, etc. It is a valued source for both patients and financial support for the Shrine Hospital Program. Many of the our clubs do an excellent job of patient recruitment and some have
outstanding fund raising activities that keep the Shrine on display before the public. The Shrine Club can also generate new sources of potential Nobles for membership in the Temple.
Shrine Clubs actually have no jurisdictional lines. That is, a Shrine member is free to join the club of his choice and may belong to more than one club, in addition to the unit the Noble has selected.
Usually, a Shrine Club meets once a month for business. From dances to barbecues and covered dish dinners, the social events of the Shrine Clubs are among the most enjoyable occasions of the entire Shrine year. These clubs are under the control of the Potentate through their president. Some of these clubs also participate in competition and Temple Parades.
INDIA SHRINE CIRCUS
India’s annual Shrine Circus is the most important program of the entire Shrine year. During years and years of Circus productions by most of the Temples in America, the Circus and the Shrine have become almost synonymous.
The India Shrine Circus is the one project in which every Noble and his family is urged to participate by their own attendance, encouraging others to attend, working at the performances, or by buying or selling Circus advertising and tickets.
The India Ink is a monthly publication distributed to every Noble of India that contains articles submitted by Units and Clubs. It will also list upcoming meetings and activities of India Temple,
Units or Clubs, to which Nobles and/or their Ladies are invited to participate.