2023 Potentate - Doug Garland


Doug Garland    |    

Douglass Blake “Doug” Garland, by appointment of Illustrious Sir Mike Neaves, joined the Oasis Shrine Divan as 2nd Ceremonial Master for 2017.

Doug was born and raised in Boone, Watauga County, NC. His father retired as the electrical supervisor for Appalachian State University, and his mother worked as a Registered Nurse at the Watauga Medical Center, and later retired with the Appalachian State University Health Care System. He has one sister who currently resides in Boone and works as a Registered Nurse at Watauga Medical Center.
Doug learned the value of hard work early in life, often working during the summer on his grandfathers’ dairy farm. The hours were long and the work was tough, but he learned that being rich was not always about having lots of money, but was the ability to build strong relationships with your family, having friends who were quality people that you can depend on, and the satisfaction of doing a good job at whatever you are slated to do.

After beginning school, he became active in the 4H programs in Watauga County. He participated in numerous 4H projects, attended several 4H camps, and continued his participation into high school where he was selected to receive the “I Dare You” Leadership Award by the Watauga County 4H Extension Agent in 1985.

In 7th grade, a teacher encouraged him to participate in a public speaking contest, which helped him to improve his self-confidence and social skills. His participation earned him school, county and district awards over two years.

In high school, he volunteered as a photographer with the “Powderhorn” school newspaper, and was appointed Photo Editor for this publication during his Senior year.

He participated in the Explorer Program, sponsored by the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office as a teenager. This began an interest which defined his adult working career as a law enforcement officer.

After graduation from high school, he moved to Morganton, NC to complete the Criminal Justice Program at Western Piedmont College, where he also volunteered at the Burke County Women’s Crisis Center, to serve as an advocate for women who had been victims of violent assaults.

Upon graduation from Western Piedmont Community College, he began a career in law enforcement with the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office as a sworn Detention Officer, and later as a Sheriff’s Deputy. After working for 2 years, he was employed by the Boone Police Department where he worked as a Police Officer for 2 years. In 1991, he was hired by the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, completing the 87th Basic Highway Patrol School in Garner, NC. Between 1991 and 2015, he had the opportunity to serve in a law enforcement capacity throughout most of the counties within the Oasis Jurisdiction.

In 2004, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant, and assigned to work in Guilford County. In 2011, he was promoted to the rank of District First Sergeant and remained in Guilford County until his retirement in 2015.

During his tenure with the State Highway Patrol, he had several opportunities to lead motorcades in the Triad for several high-ranking political figures including former United States Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

After his retirement, he enjoyed six months of leisure with his family. In August, 2015, he began his second career working in the Court Services Division of the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department.

Doug has been awarded the State of North Carolina’s highest civilian award, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, by Governor Pat McCrory, and the Red Cardinal Award by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety for his service to the citizens of the State of North Carolina.

Doug was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason in Asheboro Lodge #699 in 2007. He was created a Shriner with Oasis Shrine in June, 2008 in Asheboro.

Doug has been a member of Randolph Shrine Club, Greensboro Shrine Club, and High Point Shrine Club. He has served in several elected positions in all three of these Shrine Clubs, currently serving as Treasurer in High Point Shrine Club, and is recognized as a Past President of High Point Shrine Club. He also currently serves on the Greensboro Shrine Club Board of Directors.

He is a member of the Oasis Nascart Parade Unit.

He received his 32nd degree in 2010 when he joined the Greensboro Valley of the Scottish Rite.

Doug is married to Leah Johnson Garland whom he met at a Watauga County United Way charity auction. Ironically, it was Doug who was being auctioned. Leah did not submit the winning bid but she won his heart. Their marriage has produced two children, Jackson Thomas Garland, age 12, who is currently an out-patient at the Greenville Shriners Hospital for Children, and Lauren Ainsley Garland, age 10.

Doug and Lady Leah have lived and worked in the Greensboro area since 2004. They are members of Pleasant Garden Baptist Church, where they volunteer to serve in the nursery and on the church security team. During summer months, the family enjoys the opportunity to serve in the concessions at the Victory Junction Camp in Level Cross, NC.

He is a true example of the ultimate Shriner, devoting time and energy because “We All Love Kids” (WALK).
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