Metro-East News

Longtime Ainad Shriners administrator resigns

Shriners from 21 Temples throughout the Great Lakes region converged on the metro-east for the Great Lakes Shriners Association's regional convention in 2014, which was hosted by the Ainad Temple based in East St. Louis. They held a parade through downtown Belleville on Sept. 13, 2014, starting and ending at Hough Park.
Shriners from 21 Temples throughout the Great Lakes region converged on the metro-east for the Great Lakes Shriners Association's regional convention in 2014, which was hosted by the Ainad Temple based in East St. Louis. They held a parade through downtown Belleville on Sept. 13, 2014, starting and ending at Hough Park. tvizer@bnd.com

Mark Maxwell, administrator for the Ainad Shriners in East St. Louis for nearly two decades, has resigned.

Potentate Denver Tolbert, who leads the local temple, sent an email notifying members that Maxwell had “tendered his resignation in order to pursue other opportunities. After deliberation, the Divan (governing body) accepted his resignation effective today.”

The email was dated Dec. 4. It ended by stating, “We at Ainad Shriners wish Mark the best in his endeavors.”

Maxwell could not be reached for comment. Tolbert didn’t return calls for comment.

Treasurer Kurt Grosse, who answered the temple’s phone Thursday, declined to discuss the circumstances of Maxwell’s departure.

“We accepted his resignation here at the temple, and that’s all I have to say,” Grosse said.

The temple will be working to find a new administrator, according to Grosse. Until then, Divan members will conduct business.

Ainad Shriners has nearly 4,000 members throughout Southern Illinois. The fraternity sponsors annual circus performances in six cities, a circus parade in Belleville and other events.

Many events raise money for Shriners Hospitals for Children. The Ainad Shriners also has a Drum and Bugle Corps.

Maxwell’s family was the subject of a feature story in a Shriners International bulletin in 2015. “For the Maxwell family, being a Shriner is a way of life,” it began.

At that time, Maxwell and his four brothers were Ainad members.

“Mark, his four brothers, his sister and his son and daughter all worked at the temple as teenagers or young adults,” the story read. “Mark’s father, Russell Maxwell, who started the family legacy, joined the fraternity after returning home from World War II.”

Russell was Ainad’s first administrator, according to the story. He also served as temple photographer, bulletin editor and member of the Shriners Hospitals for Children-St. Louis Board of Governors.

Mark Maxwell called his service as administrator “a natural progression.”

“I truly enjoy being administrator of Ainad,” he is quoted as saying. “I love every day of it.”

Teri Maddox: 618-239-2473, @BNDwriter

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