What is the Divan?
Divan (Pronounced di-van, with emphasis on the second syllable. ) – In Oriental countries, a royal council or council room. In the context of the Shrine, the Divan is the “board of directors” or “executive council” of the organization, and serves as the management team for both fraternal and business activities of the Temple.
Each Shrine Temple has it’s own Divan, and the minimum number of Divan members is set by Imperial by-laws at five, with each of these being elected by the Nobility (membership). The additional positions are usually appointed by the Potentate. Like most Masonic organizations, the Divan is usually a “progressive” line, which means that one new person is appointed or elected to the line each year, the other members of the Divan move “up” one position, and the top man retires from the line and becomes a Past Potentate. In addition, two more elected officers are considered part of the Divan, namely the Recorder (Secretary) and Treasurer. These two officers, however, are not usually part of the “progressive” line, and may serve in the same office for more than one year (if so elected).
Each position in the line has it’s own title, derived from Arabic tradition, and each has it’s own set of defined duties and responsibilities. Potentates (both past and present) are addressed as “Illustrious Sir”, Imperial Potentates (both past and present) and members of the Imperial Divan are addressed as “Imperial Sir”, while all other Shriners are addressed as “Noble”. Assuming an individual is re-appointed and/or re-elected to the Divan each year, in the time it takes to move up from Outer Guard to Potentate, he will have had exposure to and responsibility for every aspect of the Shrine’s operation.
Philae Temple has an Elected Divan, an Appointed Divan and an Elected Executive. Please select from the links on the right of this page to obtain more information on any of these groups and their makeup.