Murat's Divan (Leadership)
Joseph R. Collings
Murat Shrine is pleased to welcome Illustrious Sir Joseph R. Collings as our 112th Potentate.
Joseph R. Collings
Fraternal organizations have been lifelong! Joe has long been associated with “the family”, as he was indoctrinated as a youth. Joe’s grandfather, Brooks, and both uncles were members of Parke Lodge 8 and Zorah Shrine in Terre Haute. Brooks Collings 33rd was also very active in the Ancient and Accepted Order of Scottish Rite.
Joe’s father, Dick, a member of Phi Gamma Delta (Wabash), continued walking the sand through the Indianapolis Valley Scottish Rite and Zorah Shrine. The tradition continued while attending Wabash as Joe led the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. Son Blair also “saw the light” and followed his grandfather’s footsteps as a member of Phi Gamma Delta (Wabash). As need presented itself, the role of brotherhood has always taken a front seat.
Family is a focus in Joe’s life, both in upbringing and business. Growing up in Parke County, the family roots were involved in civic, community, and the family business – Ferguson Lumber. Joe’s (now in its fifth generation) great – great grandfather, Solon Ferguson, founded the firm in 1868. Family worked within the business and Hoe’s grandfather, Brooks Collings, was introduced through marriage. The business has two locations today in Fountain and Hendricks counties; with a third location to break ground in 2023.
Those civic and community ties led to board alignment in the local Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, School Board of Education, Indiana Lumber &Builders Supply Association, National Association of Wabash Men and Billie Creek Village – a turn-of-the-century them village. Having presided over the Indiana Lumber Association years prior, Joe was asked to lead a new organization between Michigan and Indiana, the Midwest Building Material Dealers Association in Washington a few years prior. Joe currently serves as a commissioner of the Certified Association Executive Commission, the paramount credentials of the American Society of Association Executives, also in Washington D.C.
One of the highlights of service was the selection to lead a Rotary International Group Study Exchange Team to the Middle East.
Rotarian Joe, along with four non-Rotarian professionals, studied the culture promoting understanding and peace while staring with Rotary host families in Egypt, Cyprus, Lebanon and Jordan. The team visited these Middle Eastern countries while the Gulf War ensued. His father Dick (a past District Governor) also led a GSE team in northeastern India and the family has continued support of a cataract program established in his name. joe, a Paul Harris Fellow, has followed his father’s interest in rotary and has held several offices in the Central Indiana District, including District Governor 2020 - 2021.
Joe began his journey in Parke Lodge 8 and was raised at the Calvin W. Prather Lodge 717 as a Freemason and is a member of the Ancient and Accepted Order of the Sottish Rite. He is also a member of the Rockville Elks Club.
Joe is an elder in the Memorial Presbyterian Church in Rockville and resides in Danville with his wife Edie. They enjoy traveling together, occasional rounds of golf; but mostly time spent with family and friends.
Several Unit memberships within Murat Shrine have provided additional closeness to the Murat family. Joe’s membership with the Murat Highlanders has allowed enjoyment, as the unit remains very active. The 500 Club provides the opportunity to participate in a family favorite.
His 500 car itself not only is exciting, it provides a great focal point in supporting the Shriner’s Hospitals. Membership in the Yacht and Sportsmen’s Clubs are also held. While gathering with fellow Shriners, it has become apparent that the fraternal brotherhood has a strong hold within. This bond will continue and provide the basis for continued growth in the fraternity.