William C. Wedley, veteran and educator elected as 61st Illustrious Potentate

March 21, 2014 in Lifestyle, Local News, News, Top Stories


Journal Staff Writer


Toledo City Council President, Paula Hicks Hudson presents William Wedley with a resolution from council.

Serving with Integrity, the theme for the 61st annual Potentate Ball held on Saturday, March 15, reflects the past, as well as the office, just inherited by newly elected Illustrious Potentate of Mecca Temple 43, William C. Wedley.

The former active duty United States Air Force officer, and current Executive Officer of theUniversityofToledo’s Army ROTC Battalion, was introduced to the general public at the Premier Banquet Hall, located at4480 Heatherdowns Blvd.

Past Imperial Potentate and Master of Ceremonies for the evening, Greg Hopkins said, the ball attracts members from all over the country. This year members from Tennessee, Illinois, North Carolina, and New York attended the festive occasion

Although officially elected to the office in December 2013, the 2014 Potentate Ball historically showcases the newly elected Illustrious Potentate in the month of March, to those visiting guests, as well as to the Toledo community.

In attendance was the highest dignitary of the Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order of Nobel’s and Mystic Shriners, the Imperial Potentate, Homer L. Buchanan, who presides over 500Templesand Courts in 15 countries worldwide.

He explained that the election of a Potentate not only benefits their organization but the immediate community.

Mr. Buchanan pointed to the fact that their organization strives to help make their individual cities a better place for people to reside in. They do this by their members volunteering to donate time, and money, various charitable contributions throughout the year. Such contributions as giving students scholarships for college, and donating money to organizations such as the American Diabetes Association; which he pointed out, that they’ve donated one million dollars to eradicating the disease.

Upon being elected as the Illustrious Potentate, Mr. Wedley said, “It’s an honor to serve in the position, and I’m going to make sure I do the job required of me.”

He said they will continue their charitable donations such as working with the American Diabetes Association, and working with the staff and students of Martin Luther King Academy for Boys, where they provide mentoring and donate funds to purchase school uniforms for the young scholars.

Also that evening, two scholarships in the amount of $1000.00 were given to Bay’Shawn Jones of Woodward High School, and Trayvon Kinnebrew ofScottHigh School.

Mr. Jones will be attending the historical black college ofBethuneCookmanUniversity, located inDaytona Beach,Florida, majoring in education.  Mr. Kinnebrew will attend either the University of Toledo, or Tiffin College, majoring in engineering.

The event concluded when awards were given to members of the fraternal order. A lifetime achievement awards was given to the Imperial Potentate, Homer L. Buchanan and Ted Patton ofMeccaTemple43. Noble Mike Stanton, also of Mecca Temple 43 was awarded Noble of the Year.

Illustrious Potentate William Wedley and scholarship recipients, Trayvon Kinnebrew left and Bay’Shawn Jones

Nobles from various Temples were in attendance for the Potentate Ball

Daughter from courts throughout the country were also present.