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Al Kader Oriental Band – History


Although we for many years have been a regular member of' the uniformed units of our temple, the oriental band. first got started with members of the Camel Herders. Chinook Stable No 45. At every ceremonial of Al Kader Temple, initiation into the Camel Herders takes place at high-noon. Music for this session was usually just a piano. Some of us thought that we shou1d do better than that music-wise and Noble Jim Bracco who times played said piano, came up with the idea of forming an oriental band. The idea took hold and Sahib Jim wrote one of the greatest bandsmen of all, the late Monty FerDon who at that time was Sec'y-Treas. and National Organizer for the Association of Shrine Oriental Bands asking for advice and information about getting started with the forming of an O.B. Needless to say, the letter to Monty got a prompt reply with full info on what to do and it was decided that Jim Bracco would while in San Francisco for· the Shrine East-West Football game find out all he could from the oriental bands in attendance at the game about uniforms, instruments, etc.

January 11th, 1951 was the date we held our organizational meeting, elected. our first officers and a new O.B. was born. Those elected to serve as first officers of the band. were: Jim Bracco - Director, Floyd Charbeneau - President, Wm. Leverenz.-.Vice President. Marion Kuebler -Sgt-at-Arms, and Bob Parkhill as Sec'y-Treas. Having formed an oriental band, we applied for membership in the A.S.O.B. were accepted and received our charter from Monty FerDon a short time later - date on the same being January 29. 1951.

Our first playing and marching performance as an oriental band was at the regular April meeting of the Camel Herders in 1951. We started with 15 members and by the end of 1951 had a band of 35. Of the 15 charter members, only seven are left., Gene Loyd, Bob Smith, Harold Durr, Pete Briggs, Clyde Cushman, Ray Evanson, and Bob Parkhill. Retirements, transfers to other areas and visitations of the Black Camel accounting for the others.

Al Kader Oriental Band participates in the first section at all ceremonials, has never missed a parade, and naturally, furnishes the music for every initiation of the Camel Herders. During the year the band is kept busy with attendance at all Temple Stated Meetings, weekly practice sessions every Tuesday night, participates at all Shrine football games here in Portland, Oregon and many times makes the trek to Pendleton, Ore. to take part in annual Shrine game there. Each year during Shrine circus. time the O.B. is busy with the selling of ads for circus programs, also selling of said program as well as circus tickets. At the last two Shr1ne circus sessions the band has appeared 1n full orientals in the circus arena and played before the start of the big snow.

Each band member owns his own uniforms from the full orientals, which are made by the way by a member of our group Noble Gene Loyd, to the regular O.B. red coats, with grey slacks, white shirts, black tie and shoes and O.B. Fez which is worn when not appearing in full orientals. When occasion demands, all Nomads, of course, wear formals with a white coat. This band as did most O.B.s started with the double reed Chinese musette but has long since changed to the precision Steinhauer in key F for the 18-inch horns and key C for the 24-inch tenor musettes. We find that with our Steinhauer musettes we can play harmony that is not possible with any other musettes. We are most fortunate in having as a member of the band the man who makes these instruments and who quite naturally is in our musette section – Sahib Kirby Steinhauer.

Many of our instruments are owned by the Nobles who play them and if not owned by band members belong to the band. When on stage or 1n parade we can have 50 men in uniform led by band director, Noble Ben Gillaspie followed with two banner carriers, two who carry gongs, one magician, twenty-four musettes, eight tambourines, six conga drums, two cymbals,  two gong players and two tympani drums.

Al Kader O.B is a charter member of the Pacific Northwest Shrine Oriental Band Association.  Two members of our group, Chuck holder now retired, and Jim Crider has served through the line and are now Past Presidents of P.N.S.O.B.A. Sahib Larry Severson who is our band President for 1964 is also an officer of the O.B. Regional Ass’n. having been elected to the office of Sgt-at-Arms at the last regional meeting. Another Al Kader O.B. member, Bob Parkhill also serves the P.N.S.O.B.A. as Sec’y-Treas., and having served through A.S.O.B. line is a Past President of the National O.B. Ass’n. it would be most remiss not to mention here that Al Kader Oriental Band turned out in full force giving wonderful support to their above-mentioned fellow bandsman who was the outgoing ASOB President in 1960 at Imperial Session at Denver, Colorado.

This bearded bunch of Nomads has made many public appearances as well as those for Shrine and Masonic functions. They have been in attendance at most temple regional sessions of the P.N.S.A., also have made the trek on three occasions to participate in the W.A.S.O.B. Jamboree and World’s Championship O.B. contest. Although never having won the overall Championship we never the less have always brought home trophies, five of the same on one occasion.

As aforementioned, our first director was Jim Bracco and to Noble Jim must go a lot of credit for it was he who was the spark plug in getting this band started and leading it until he moved from Portland to Los Angeles some two years later. With Bracco leaving, the Ass’t director Dick Braughn took over and we were under the direction and leadership of Noble Dick for the next three years. A visitation of the Black Camel has taken Sahib Braughn to the Unseen Temple and for years now we have been under the leadership and guiding hand of Noble Ben Gillaspie. No question but what this O.B. is most fortunate in having as its director this Noble Son of the Desert who can and frequently does play any instrument in the band. Being a patient man, Sahib Ben has spent many hours instructing his fellow bandsmen and we have learned much under his most able leadership. Thanks to our director the musette section of Al Kader Oriental Band now plays notes and harmony we didn’t know could be done until this hard-working Nomad showed us the way. All music we play is written by Noble Ben and we are hoping his being appointed to Al Kader Divan will not interfere too much with his directing of our band.

The Nomads of Al Kader O.B. are firm believers in what has often been said…that nowhere will you find better fellowship than that which exists among oriental bandsmen. Certainly, we have found this to be so whenever we have had the pleasure to visit and rub elbows with our fellow bandsmen from other temples at various Shrine functions regardless of where it might have been.

Needless to say, we are proud of our unit and as a member of the Al Kader Uniformed Bodies are always ready to serve our temple in any way we can. No matter what the activities may be – ceremonial, circus, football game, annual sessions of PNSA and PNSOBA, or whatever there you will find, these bearded Nomads of Al Kader Oriental Band are always willing to play, parade, perform or lend a helping hand. May it ever be so.


Bob Parkhill



Greetings Bandsmen! 

We have just completed a very unusual year in our history.  All Association of Shrine Oriental Band Events were canceled beginning in March 2020 because of the Covid-19 Virus which has impacted the entire world, and in most areas still going strong.  The ASOB Jamboree to be held in Billings MT was canceled and the Imperial Council Session in Kansas City, Mo was also canceled. 

Congratulations to now Past President Darren DeHass P.P. for a very unusual year.  In March all Masonic and Shrine events were canceled by the leadership of the organizations.  When it became time for the Jamboree the Coronavirus was in full force and many states eliminated travel, group events, and close contact with each other. 

A new vocabulary came to the forefront, ZOOM Meetings, many of us knew nothing about electronic communication.  We had to learn in a very short time because we started talking about ZOOM Meetings, etc.  Well, we learned and started holding these meetings.  The ASOB Annual Meeting was held by a Zoom Meeting with about 22 members attending. We had our Annual Meeting and the election of officers for the year 2020-2021 electronically, it went very well.  I guess you can teach old dogs new tricks.

The slate of officers was elected going forward into 2020-2021 and hopefully further the Association’s longevity. The new Officers are: Noble Richard “Bear” Sobek, President, (Abdallah); Noble William “Bill” Bailey, 1st Vice-President (Midian); Noble Grady VanDiver, 2nd Vice-President, (Akdar); Past President Noble Chris Tsaros, 3rd Vice-President, (Al Azhar); Past President Ralph Jubb, Sergeant at Arms, (Al Kader);  Past President Don Moores, Re-elected Secretary/Treasurer, (Amara).   As you will notice the 3rd VP and the SAA positions are being filled with Past Association Presidents because despite the Officer’s efforts no one came forward to present their names for these positions.  It is hoped that someone reading this report will see fit to come forward and present their name for one or both these positions, so the President and the Executive Committee can appoint someone to fill these positions for going forward into next year.

The minutes of the Annual Meeting were distributed to the Executive Committee by email and no corrections have been reported to date; therefore the Minutes are approved as written.


Aleikum Es Selam,
Don Moores
A.S.O.B. Secretary/Treasurer

Greetings from the Sgt. at Arms (pro tem) to the A.S.O.B.


Greetings from the Sgt. at Arms (pro tem) to the A.S.O.B.

I am Ralph Jubb from Al Kader Shrine Center in Portland/Wilsonville, Oregon.

I bring you greetings from the Great Northwest and our Band.  With much of what has been going on throughout the country, we are no different, as all of our events, rehearsals, and parades being canceled.  Our Band has been doing a great job of holding weekly Zoom Calls for the last 5 months.  We have a Booze Bingo each night where the Band gives up to a $50 bottle of booze to the winner, it seems to keep the members joining in the call, go figure.  The Zoom type method of communication is a great way to keep your members involved, and I would suggest something like that to all of our bands and associations.

Just a line or two about my history in the Al Kader Oriental Band.  I have been a member since about 1991.  During my duration, I have been a drummer, musette player, and director along with WASOB President.  I served as A.S.O.B. president in 2010 & 11 and hosted the annual meeting in Denver, Co.

Having gone through the line once, serving as a pro tem position hopefully will only be for a short time.  As a permanent replacement comes along, I will most gladly mentor that Bandsman for the duration of his time on the line.  Please let's step up to help preserve the A.S.O.B.

In closing, I have attached a brief history of our Oriental Band in Portland.  It was penned by Robert Parkhill, who was the A.S.O.B. President in 1959-60, back then we were called Organizers.  This history was written about 60+ years ago.  I would love to see more Bands post their history on our Na Khabar, so please submit.

Until later,

Ralph Jubb

To see that history, you can click on the following link:

President Report – August 2019

What a whirlwind of a summer it has been. I hope all is well with each one of you and you are out enjoying the weather, vacations and parade season.

This edition of the Na Khabar was not planned on my agenda, but when I started to think about the info that we always write about in our September/October issue of our magazine, it always covers Imperial or the Jamboree. That is a long time to wait before our members get to hear about what transpired at our annual gathering. Now that we don’t have the constraints of layout, publishing and then mailing why wait so long? So this “Special Jamboree Edition” was born. I hope it meets with everyone’s approval.

As I have said, this has been a busy summer for me. My trip to Nashville for Imperial and the ASOB Jamboree, managing updates on the website, laying out this edition of the Na Kahbar, shoring up arrangements for our executive planning session in September and the list goes on. Oh, yes I even managed to sneak in a parade with my band!

If all that was not enough, my wife, Timmie-Lynn and I decided to adopt two wonderful but feisty children of the four-legged variety. Both are rescues that are estimated at approximately a year old. The brindle little girl is Mia and the darker one is little boy Gilley.







Speaking of children, as Shriners and especially of bandsmen, we have adopted many children that need the specialty care that our Shriners Hospitals for Children provide. That is a very expensive endeavor and we have dedicated ourselves as ASOB bandsmen to collect money each year to help offset those cost so our hospitals may continue their commitment to helping our children. Please continue to fundraise with enthusiasm, for truely we do support the “World’s Greatest Philanthropy”.  As promised, to help you with some fundraising ideas, you will find the first suggestion in the “Ladder of Smiles” section below. Let’s commit to meeting that goal of 100% participation from each band this year. This can happen if we choose to work together.

I would like to leave you with a challenge and a reminder. Several disagreements that I have either heard of or witnessed as of late has given me a reason for concern. It is not the disagreements themselves that give me pause but the way they have been addressed. The majority of them had nothing to do with Oriental Band except that we are all brothers and Master Masons. As such, we are taught that we all meet on the level. I think we all tend to forget that lesson at times in our passion to do what we believe is right. In a world that is so very polarized at times, we need our masonic brotherhood to be as strong as it has ever been. As bandsmen, we need to set the standard and be the light, show by our example, how to treat our brothers especially in times of disagreement. So the challenge is to give all of your brothers the benefit and courtesy that you would expect for yourself. The reminder… is to remember from whence we came.

Until next time,

Es Salam Alaikum, my brothers!

Darren DeHass P.P.

First Vice President Report – August 2019

Well now that I have stepped up a chair of office in ASOB, I totally look forward to not only fulfilling my role, but hopefully making it a great year of music, brotherhood, and the mindful changes I would like to help make.

I am W. Richard “Bear” Sobek, 1st Vice President for ASOB. I live in the country in Miami County, Kansas. I am semi-retired but manage a Bail Bond Business in 7 counties. My Beautiful Lady Fran keeps me from doing the middle of the night bonds, but if the money is good, I refuse to listen to her. I am still in one piece anyway.

I am proud to be a part of ASOB and look forward to working with our President and the rest of the officers to build more into this grand organization. Many out there have ideas and we need to hear more about them. Now is the time to jump up and help us not only keep ASOB, your regions, and the Oriental Band system in place. We have lost membership and I would like to understand why above and beyond death and age.

I am also proud that Ed Harvey, a great member of the Abdallah Oriental Band, is our Central States Ambassador and have always looked to him for help. He devotes himself to the betterment of “The Band”, as we are known and makes FUN a real word.

From the flatlands of the central state, I remain,

W. Richard “Bear” Sobek

Second Vice President Report – August 2019

It is great to be part of the ASOB and see things getting better. I am Bill Bailey and was elected to the line a year ago and have been proud to serve on the ASOB line. Now as 2nd Vice President to the association I can see some of the progress Past President Chris Tsaro was putting into action.

I have been in the Shrine since 1996 and have been proud to be the President of 3 different units in that time as well as serving on the Divan for Midan Temple in Wichita Ks. I have also served as the President of the ASOBCS and am currently serving as Secretary\Treasurer for that group.

I spend my winters in Costa Rica and have become very active in both the San Jose Costa Rica Shrine and the Abou Saad temple in Panama City Panama. I am an associate lifetime member to Abou Saad.

If you are a friend of mine on facebook or the ASOB website you have seen me with the President of Panama’s wife who is a proud supporter of our Children’s Hospital and you have seen me working at the Children’s Hospital in Panama City. I will be headed back to Panama in Feb to spend another 4 days working with the Doctors form Shrive Port La. I am a member of Midian Shrine’s OB in Wichita Ks and a Charter Member of Abou Saad OB in Panama City Panama.

If you have questions or suggestions on making the ASOB better email me at and I will be glad to listen to you.

Bill Bailey

Secretary/Treasurer Report – August 2019

Don MooresWe have just returned from the Imperial Session held in Nashville, TN. The 2018-2019 Annual Meeting was held during the Imperial Session. The Minutes of the Meeting are published below as well as being posted on the website at ASOB.ORG.

The Annual Meeting was well attended by Past Presidents, Ambassadors, elected Officers, as well as several members of member bands. As you will notice in the minutes we are missing the bottom two officers of the progressive elected line, if anyone is interested in serving this Association as an officer, please contact one of the current elected officers.

Congratulations to our Bandsman of the Year, Dr. A.J. DiCaro, for his efforts in getting the ABOU SAAD Oriental Band up and going. ABOU SAAD’s Band is our first international Oriental Band. This was an effort of several people but Doc was the leading person in getting the interest started, almost two years ago several bandsmen went to Panama to present the charter to ABOU SAAD.

Congratulations to the KHIVA Oriental Band for another outstanding performance at the Opening Ceremony of the Imperial Session. There were setting around us that we setting very unanimated until the band arrived at the front of the Convention Center by the end of the first number they were all standing and cheering, well through the HEY Tune.

Our Prayers are needed for our Past President, Harry Pressman, who was admitted to the hospital shortly before the Annual Awards and Installation Banquet. He is now at home in Houston after being hospitalized for about a week. Surgery that was scheduled for later in July was canceled until he builds up his strength.

Aleikum Es Selam,
Don Moores

2019 Annual Meeting Minutes

2019 Annual Meeting Minutes

2019 Annual Meeting Minutes

Association of Shrine Oriental Bands International

July 1, 2019

The Annual Meeting of the Association of Shrine Oriental Bands was held at the Sheraton Music City Inn on July 1, 2019. President Harry Pressman called the meeting to order on 9:05 A.M. CDT.

President called on Sergeant-at-Arms to lead the Shrine Pledge of Allegiance to the flags and 2nd Vice-President Richard Sobek to give the invocation. There were eight Past Presidents and four Ambassadors in attendance.


The Auditors, consisting of Darren DeHass, Chairman, Paul Gluck, and Dr. A.J. DiCaro, reported that the books of the Treasurer and Ladder of Smiles Chairman had been audited and no discrepancies were found. The Ladder of Smiles Chairman and Treasurer were commended on keeping good records. It was moved and seconded that the report of the Audit Committee be approved, the motion carried.


The President called for the reading of any of the Minutes of previous meetings. It was moved and seconded, the reading of the minutes be dispensed, the motion carried.

The Secretary/Treasurer was asked for the Financial Report for April 1, 2018, through March 31, 2019, for the two accounts operated by the A.S.O.B. A motion was made and seconded to approve the report as read. The motion was approved. (The full reports are available to any member of the Association, in good standing, and requesting a copy in writing.) The Secretary/Treasurer reported that he had attended no regional meetings during the past year because of health problems. It was reported all bills had been paid with the exception of bills related to the Annual Meeting and Competition, those being Honorariums, Plaques for Competition.


The Ladder of Smiles Chairman reported that the goal for 2018-2019 was $75,000. He reported the donations had reached approximately $40,000. The final report will not be issued until after the banquet collections on the evening of July 1, 2019, because all donations prior to the Installation of the New Officers would apply to the 20018-2019 Goal. The final Report will be issued after the end of the Convention.




Past President Jim Whitehouse presented his comments regarding the officers of the association and their Activities for the last year.

Item No. 1-By-Laws Update: P.P. Jim Whitehouse highlighted the lack of the update to the ASOB By-Laws approved at the 2017-2018 Association Annual Meeting. The Secretary/Treasurer announced he would take the responsibility of getting the By-Laws updated and approved.

Item No. 2 -Conformance to and abide by the By-Laws: He then asked each setting officer to confirm that they would conform and support the existing By-Laws of the Association. Each officer, (1st VP; 2nd VP and Sergeant-At-Arms) responded in the affirmative.

Item No. 3-NA KHABAR Articles and updates to the Web page: Update the Web page to include the new officers and their contact information. Provide articles written for publishing in the NA KHABAR and that the required number of magazines (minimum of three) be produced. Each officer (1st VP; 2nd VP and Sergeant-At-Arms) responded in the affirmative.

Item No. 4-Travel: Each officer was asked to confirm that in addition to attending his own association they would attend at least three regional Association events during the year. Each officer (2nd VP and Sergeant-At-Arms) responded in the affirmative. The 1st VP noted that he could not commit to visiting three regional Association events due to current restraints on his time but that he would attend as time became available.

Past President Paul Gluck outlined the procedure to add new tunes to the Music Library and made a motion to add the 2019-2020 Competition Tune THAMONIA to the Music Library, The motion was seconded and passed by a unanimous vote.

The Secretary/Treasurer asked approval to create a resolution to continue the Banking Relations with the BB&T Bank with the Secretary/Treasurer as an official authorized Signature and add Past President Jeffrey S. Moores to the BB&T ASOB bank Checking Account as an official additional authorized Signature. The Motion was made and seconded. The motion passed unanimously.



Noble Harry Pressman reported that he traveled to SESOBA, Nashville to attend the Hoedown in April of this year. He also announced he made additional trips to Nashville to work with the Sheraton Music City Inn to set up the various rooms and events required to the Jamboree for 2019.


Past Potentate Darren DeHass announced that he had contacted the Ambassadors of the regions for which he was responsible. Darren listened to the issue they believe they have, which are the same as usual: Members and participation. His comment was that we need to continue to support and work on ways to add value to the membership in an attempt to stabilize and grow both membership and participation levels. He announced the Strategic Committee will be held in Billings, MT the last week of September, hopefully before the snow falls. The meeting will be held at the KOA Training Facilities and Conference area. Events are scheduled for Thursday Evening, Friday and Saturday wrap-up with a trip to the “Top of the World” with dinner and shopping area. The 2019 Jamboree will be held the last week of May 2020. No events will occur at Shriners International’s Imperial Convention in 2020.

Second Vice-President

Noble Richard “Bear” Sobek announced no travel last year because of work and health issues. He did announce the Ladder of Smiles support program of the “Camel Herders” where the members of ABDALLAH SHRINERS CAMEL HERDERS group are fined for the Ladder of Smiles if they did not wear the camel necklace provided to them as members.


Noble Norman Tinkham reported he would be stepping down from the ASOB Officer line for personal reasons. He also reported he attended the GLSOBA Jamboree in Cincinnati in June.


Noble William “Bill” Bailey Announced he had made several trips to Panama to assist the ABOU SAAD SHRINERS Oriental Band to get their start and they hope to be able to compete next year in regional events and maybe the Jamboree.


The Secretary/Treasurer announced that he had attended the Imperial Convention in Daytona Beach, FL last July. He also announced that the Florida Shrine Association had agreed to give up their charter over the Shrine Centers in Florida and if approved by the voting delegates at the convention of the Iowa Corporation the FSA would cease to exist.


Noble Dr. A.J. DiCaro reported on the activities of the newly created Oriental Band at ABOU SAAD SHRINERS, Panama City, Panama. He reported the band was proceeding with their formation and learning some tunes to be played and thanked Noble Bailey as well as others which have contributed support and assistance to getting instruments, uniforms and shipping cost for the equipment supplied to the new band.


President Harry Pressman turned the Elections Process over to Past President and Parliamentarian Past President Jim Whitehouse to conduct the Nominations and elections. Past President Whitehouse called for nominations for the office of President of A.S.O.B. A motion was made and seconded to nominate Darren DeHass, P.P. to the Office of President for the year 2019/2020. Having no other nominations after three calls, the nominations were closed and the Secretary/Treasurer was instructed to cast a unanimous ballot for Darren DeHass, P.P. as President of A.S.O.B. for the year 2019/2020, Noble DeHass P.P. acclaimed his willingness to serve.

Nominations were then opened for the office of First Vice President of A.S.O.B. for the year 2019/2020. A motion was made and seconded to nominate Noble Richard “Bear” Sobek for the office of First Vice President. There being no further nominations after three calls, the nominations were closed and the Secretary/Treasurer was instructed to cast a unanimous ballot for Noble Richard “Bear” Sobek to the office of First Vice President of A.S.O.B. for the year of 2019/2020, Noble Sobek acclaimed his willingness to serve.

Nominations were then opened for the office of Second Vice President of A.S.O.B. for the year 2019/2020. A motion was made and seconded to nominate William “Bill” Bailey to the office of Second Vice President. There being no further nominations after three calls, the nominations were closed and the Secretary/Treasurer was instructed to cast a unanimous ballot for Noble Bailey as Second Vice President of A.S.O.B. for the year 2019/2020, Noble Bailey acclaimed his willingness to serve.

Nominations were then opened for the office of Third Vice President of A.S.O.B. for the year 2019/2020. There being no nominations after three calls, the nominations were closed and the office was left vacant.

Nominations were then opened for the office of Sergeant-at-Arms of A.S.O.B. for the year 2019/2020. There being no nominations after three calls, the nominations were closed and the office was left vacant.

Nominations were then opened for the office of Secretary/Treasurer of A.S.O.B. for the year 2019/2020. A motion was made and seconded to nominate Noble Donald Moores for the office of Secretary/ Treasurer. There being no further nominations after three calls, the nominations were closed and the President was instructed to cast a unanimous ballot for Noble Donald Moores as Secretary/Treasurer of A.S.O.B. for the year 2019/2020, Noble Moores acclaimed his willingness to serve.

President-Elect Illustrious Sir Darren DeHass gave an acceptance speech which was short and sweet and announced the Competition Tune for 2019-2020. The Fall Meeting will be in Billings, Montana.


Noble Harry Pressman relieved all appointed Officers of their assignments effective June 30, 2019, and will need the President-Elect to reappoint them to their new duties after he takes office in July 2019.

There being no further business to come before the Association, the meeting was adjourned in peace and harmony at 10:30 A.M.

The benediction was given by the Noble Richard Sobek.

Respectfully Submitted,
Yours in the Faith,

Donald W. Moores
2019/2020 Secretary/Treasurer

Jamboree 2019 – A talk with Megan

We had a visit from Megan Johnson, an amazing young woman, and former Shriners Hospital Patient and Ambassador. She continues to be an advocate for our hospitals and Shrine Oriental Bands. Megan has some amazing accomplishments from writing books to fundraising. I will let her talk for herself through the video, so click on play and watch for yourself. I did reach out to her to make sure she didn’t mind us posting this video and she told me she would be honored to have her impromptu talk posted to our website. Thank you again, Megan!