Dispensation for Charter of Akdar Shrine was granted during the 37th Annual Imperial Council Session, held at Rochester, New York, on July 11th and 12th, 1911.
After the opening of the second day’s session, Wednesday, July 12, 1911, a call for a report of the Committee on Charters and Dispensations was made. The following is taken from the minutes of that meeting:
“Your Committee on Charters and Dispensations, having given the matter careful consideration, respectfully recommend that a dispensation be granted to Akdar Temple of Tulsa, Oklahoma. This portion of the report was upon motion adopted.”
During the following year, 1912, at the 38th Annual Imperial Session held at Los Angeles, California, it is interesting to note that a break in the report of the Committee on Charters and Dispensations occurred after Wahabi Temple of Jackson, Mississippi, Bedouin Temple of Muskogee, Oklahoma, and Al Bahir of San Diego, California were each granted charters.
A report of the Committee of Jurisprudence and Law proposing a change in Imperial Bylaws to elect members of the order “Emeritus Members” of the Imperial Council was presented. Then a roll call of temples and representatives was held.
During the second report of the Committee on Charters and Dispensations, the following report was submitted:
“In the matter of the application of Akdar Temple, under dispensation at Tulsa, Oklahoma, for a charter, your Committee is pleased to report that the progress made by this temple is very gratifying. During the year past, a large number of business sessions were held and two successful Ceremonial Sessions, at which were initiated 227 novices, received under demit 96, and by petition for 319, making a total membership of 639.
- Total Receipts were $ 13,540.83
- Distribute Paraphernalia, etc. $ 3,818.24
- Set Aside for New Center Fund $ 1,500.00
- Miscellaneous Expense $ 5,737.62
- Cash, First National Bank, Tulsa $ 2,484.97
- Total $ 13,540.83
All the requirements of the Imperial Council Law have been complied with and your Committee recommends that a Charter be granted. This report was accepted and recommendations adopted.”
H.P. Anderson served as Potentate under dispensation, while Arthur C. Farmer served as the first elected potentate of the newly chartered temple. The name AKDAR means “Mightier or Mightiest.” Akdar was the 125th Temple chartered. Today there are 195 Temples. The first Temple meetings were held at the Hotel Tulsa. Our first groundbreaking ceremony was held on October 24th, 1922, under the direction of Illustrious Sir Robert B. Hanna, Potentate. This was the beautiful building located at Fourth and Denver Streets, an architectural masterpiece.
During the depression, the Temple was sold and later became the Cimarron Ballroom and was purchased by Leon McAuliffe of Bob Wills Fame. In need of major repairs, it was demolished in 1976.
Our next Temple was located at 20 East 21st Street. Ground was broken December 22, 1948 by Illustrious Sir C. Williford, Potentate. Akdar moved into its new home in June 1951, under the direction of Illustrious Sir B.L. Lightwine, 1951 Potentate.
A remodeling project was undertaken and completed under the direction of Illustrious Sir Harry Lord. A long and hard legal encounter was started involving our Minarets or “onion domes” (as they became known) and was finally concluded to the satisfaction of the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
The Temple on 21st Street was aging and in need of much repair. During 2000, Akdar had the opportunity to sell the existing Temple and purchase a medical facility from the University of Oklahoma at 2808 South Sheridan Road. During the late summer and fall of 2000, after much debate, checking figures, looking over the history of the building, the nobility voted unanimously to sell the property on 21st street and purchase the facility on Sheridan Road.
Past Potentate Dr. Richard Polk, chaired the committee to oversee the moving from 21st Street to Sheridan Road in a very short period of time. The entire lower level was renovated…a complete kitchen, a dining room, dance floor, closets for each unit, and kitchen cookware were purchased, while outside of the lower level you’ll find a nice wooden deck complete with flowers, trees and picnic tables. Illustrious Sir Charles Gruse, Potentate 2003, donated both a large grill and smoker. All of this is on one campus for the entire nobility to enjoy.
On the main floor were much needed administrative offices, workspace, circus office, transportation office and an auditorium. The auditorium is a beautiful place for the nobility to hold its monthly meetings. The nobility did much of the remodeling work on the new building and they are to be congratulated on a job well done.
In August of 2004 Akdar made History when the Will Rogers Telemedicine Suite opened inside our Shrine Temple. The first such clinic in all of Shrinedom, Potentate Tommy Henshaw, Jr. welcomed Past Imperial Sir Ralph W. Semb to Tulsa for the Grand Opening. Children and their families were seen by their Doctor in Shreveport, LA that day without leaving Tulsa. This effort was made possible through the generosity and cooperation of Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma University and the Tulsa Regional Medical Center.
Today as you enter the nice spacious parking lot, then enter our beautiful Temple, you can sense the pride of Akdar Shriners. We are proud to be Americans, proud to be Shriners, and very, proud to be Akdar Shriners.
Yes indeed! We are proud to share the beauty of our building and grounds with our neighbors and the community.