One of the great feelings of any organization/ family is the traditions that are handed down from one generation to the next. Some of our traditions go back over 50 years! Here are their stories-
1. The Sombrero of the El Jefe- Because of our close cultural heritage with Mexico and the fact that our President is called El Jefe, the symbol of authority has become the black sombrero. Sometime in the early 1970’s the tradition of passing the sombrero from one El Jefe to the next signified the beginning of the new Caballero Year. This presentation is always done at the Annual Steak Fry dinner in June.
2. The Bolo Tie- This was designed by Frank Patania Jr. in Tucson during the very beginning of the organization in 1963. The design of the bolo tie included the smiling sun with a cowboy hat which was the logo used for many years by the Tucson Sunshine Climate Club.
3. The President’s Gavel- There are now two gavels that are used by the El Jefe to officiate all Caballeros del Sol meetings. The first 30 El Jefe’s are recorded for posterity on the larger of the two gavels. In 2000, El Jefe Dan Chambers started a second gavel and added all the El Jefe’s that had not been inscribed (no room left) in the older gavel to the smaller and newer gavel.
4. Capitan De Los Copas- Historically the organization always set a high priority for sharing liquid refreshments and food after their good work was completed. This helped sponsor the development of good fellowship and comradery. This function has been preformed primarily on bus trips. Also, a number of past El Jefe’s have used the Capitan’s as Sergeant-of Arms during monthly meetings. To Honor this special role in Caballeros del Sol, Past El Jefe Dan Chambers in 2000 started the tradition of awarding the Capitan De Los Copas a serving bib with their name inscribed as part of the presentations made at the beginning of each year.
5. Luncheon Meeting- Have always been the second Thursday of each month September thru May.
6. Trips- Have always been the third Thursday of each month from September thru May.
7. Caballero of the Year- In an effort to acknowledge leadership and enthusiasm amongst all Caballeros, Past El Jefe Dan Chambers started the tradition in 2000 of awarding a Caballero of the Year plaque at the year ending annual Steak Fry dinner. All active Caballeros are eligible except the current El Jefe and El Jefe elect. In 2003 an exception to this was made to acknowledge the tremendous effort made by Past El Jefe Frank Farias in taking the organization to full independence from the Tucson Chamber of Commerce. The awardee is given a plaque to keep at his or her office for the following year. The membership is provided a list of all individual Caballeros achievements for the year in ballot form at the May meeting. The current El Jefe is required to pick up all the ballots and announce the winner at the Steak Fry.
8. The Nominating Committee for El Jefe- It has always been the tradition that the immediate past (5) El Jefe’s, chaired by the most recent El Jefe, are responsible for collecting nominations, from a call for nominations in January and submitting a slate of not more than 3 candidates to the Executive Board during their February meeting. They are then presented to the membership at the March meeting. Each candidate will give a brief speech as to why they want to be El Jefe. Following this meeting, ballots will be sent to the general membership. Ballots are to be returned to the current El Jefe to be counted. The name of the new El Jefe Elect will be announced at the Steak Fry.
9. Key Dates to Remember January- A call for nominations for El Jefe Elect will be sent to the membership with submission of Applicants to the past El Jefe’s nominating committee. February- Past El Jefe committee presents a slate of not more than 3- candidates to the Executive Board for approval. March- Past El Jefe committee presents a slate of not more than 3 candidates to the general membership at the March luncheon. Each candidate will give a brief speech as to why they want to be El Jefe. Following this meeting, ballots will be sent to the general membership. Ballots are to be returned to the current El Jefe to be counted. May- The El Jefe will call for a vote by the membership for Caballero of the Year Award. A ballot containing the entire Caballero membership list with current year activities accomplished by each member after their names, will be presented to the membership present at this luncheon for voting. The El Jefe will be responsible for gathering the ballots and announcing the winner at the June Steak Fry Dinner. The El Jefe will then be responsible for securing the Caballero of the Year plaque from the previous awardee and get the new awardees name placed on the plaque by the Steak Fry.