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Noble Tom Rousseau Receives Coveted
 Imperial Potentate’s Award of Merit - July 2004
Noble Tom Rousseau The Imperial Potentate’s Award of Merit

During the Shrine’s 2004 Imperial Council Session in Denver, Colo., July 4-8, three Nobles were named recipients of the highly coveted Imperial Potentate’s Award of Merit, selected by the Shrine’s 2003-2004 Imperial Potentate M. Burton Oien for their exceptional lifetime achievements.

The Imperial Potentate’s Award of Merit program was created in 1997, and each year, can be given to up to five deserving Nobles. The award recognizes outstanding achievements and selfless and extraordinary contributions to the Shrine and Shriners Hospitals. In the Shrine, there is no greater honor.

Noble Tom Rousseau has been capturing life in the Shrine on film for more than 30 years. He was born in Dearborn, Mich., on November 20, 1925. He studied at the New York Institute of Photography, and after graduation, he joined the Marine Corps. He served in the Korean War as a photographer. His pictures were seen all over the world, thanks to the Associated Press.

In 1963, after moving to Spokane, Wash., Rousseau opened an insurance agency in the basement of his home. A few years later, he left the basement and opened his own agency. Twenty-eight years later, his insurance business is still a Spokane landmark.

Rousseau began his Masonic career in 1972, at Oriental #74 Blue Lodge in Spokane. He joined El Katif Shriners in 1973. He is a member of the El Katif Clown Unit; President of the El Katif Camera Club; and Vice President of the Spokane Valley Shrine Club. He has served on the Temple Insurance Committee, Temple newspaper staff and Potentate’s Staff as Temple photographer.

In 1998, Rousseau was presented with the DeMolay Legion of Honor Award, and in 2003, he received the coveted “Jewel of El Katif” medal. For 22 years, he has been Chairman of the Imperial Photography Committee. Through his camera lens, he continues to share some of the Shrine’s greatest moments.