John Mulkern Tribute and Memorial Award
For excellence in the area of Native American Affairs
Words cannot describe the loss with the passing of John Mulkern. True to his Native American roots, he had the rare ability to share his love for Indian traditions to youth and inspire them to achieve. His work as the Indian Affairs Committee chairman was exemplary, and he was instrumental in the success of the Shadow Lodge and Morning Star drum teams. His legacy will live on in this time that he will be sorely missed.
John is survived by a wife with 4 children, three of which are in Scouting. He was active in the native american community thru pow wows and various programs in addition to the Shadow Lodge and Morning Star drum groups. He was also dedicated to his faith, serving the LDS Church and served his mission with the Cree Indians in Canada which really started him in the Native American tradition. He was part Cherokee indian.
In commemoration of John's service, the Lodge Executive Committee in October 1998 established the John Mulkern Award, given annual to the individual or individuals whose service in the area of Indian Affairs is exemplary and warrants recognition.
Some Lasting Thoughts About John Mulkern
John meant a lot to me. When I was lodge chief, in 1996, I had to cover the Indian Affairs for one lodge that did not get the job done. I asked a man I did not really know named John Mulkern if he could run the Indian Dancing at the conclave. I attended and was in awe with how he interacted with the kids. Some were very proficient, most were novices, but he treated them all like what they were doing was special. He got in and joined them. He gave them tips. Everyone had a ball.
And when it came time to award the best dancers, the last place Traditional Dancer got 8th place, not last. He grew to be a great friend. Just last Fall Fellowship, only two weeks ago, we sat at my computer playing with the web site, joking around about whether Macs or IBMs were better machines. And when he judged the sandpainting, there weren't any last place finishers, but a couple of kids did get fourth place. I don't know if eternity is online yet, but if they're accessing the internet, I just want John to know he will be missed.
We were all saddenned to hear of John's untimely death. At such a time words are very hard to gather. As I said at Thursday's meeting I ask that our thoughts and prayers be with Tim, Ian, and all of the Mulkern Family. John was a good scouter and a great friend. He will be missed by us all.
John Mulkern was the type of man, that did what he could to not only help, but teach others as well. The first time I met him, we were at a Fall Fellowship, we had just built our Chapter Drum and we were hitting it and chanting Whi-Al- Lum, John came up and in his low, deep voice, told us that we were disrespecting the drum. If we wanted to do this, then do it right. He showed us, never getting up set at us. Then when we went to NOAC in 1996 and 1998 John was always there cheering on not only the teams, but the boys were just there to experience it. If you ever had a question, he would always try to answer it. If you ever needed to talk to someone, he was there. My thoughts go out to John's family and I hope that John will still look down up on us once in a while.
It is sad to lose a man like John. He has departed this world and we will all miss him and his assistance with Indian Affairs. Anyone who really knew John realized that he believed that death is just the beginning of a more wonderful adventure with his Heavenly Father, that there was a need for John on the other side, an important job. I was looking forward to going to the Pow Wow in Devore next weekend and seeing John, along with other friends, but it will seem empty there without seeing him dancing and enjoying the circle. Remember that we have not lost a friend forever, we will all see him when our time comes on the other side, welcoming us and showing us to the circle.
Thank you for all the support that you have all shared with me over the past few days. After hearing the news from Rusty Shoemake, regarding John's passing, I felt a big pain and a hole in my heart. Going to the Lodge Meeting, I felt that it was going to be difficult for me to face all of you and do my job. However, the care and support that you all shared with me made it easier to deal with. John touched a lot of people both in Scouting and on the Pow-Wow circuit. He will be deeply missed because of all the things that he was involved in.
But, fear not my friends, he would have told us all to continue to work on those things that we have started. "Don't stop just because I'm not there," would have been what he would have told us as he coached us on. I can only think of the good things about John. The great times that we shared sitting on my truck's tail gate as the Morning Star Singers practiced in preparation for NOAC. The times we just sat and talked about our experiences.
To many John was a teacher, and we all were his students. There is now a large void to fill where he stood amongst us. But, we are the mighty Cahuilla Lodge, we have the most spirit of any of the Lodges in our Section. We are a caring group of Arrowmen that any Lodge has ever had. We are the most concerned for our own. We will be there for each other. Help me to be like the Navajo, and speak forever more of the good thingsabout John. Never again speak badly about this Arrowmen who is certainly with our founders. Keep John forever in your hearts
-Peter Mandery Sr.
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