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Title: Shriners  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Walter M. Fleming, Economy of Lexington, Kentucky, Richmond CenterStage, Masonic bodies, Freemasonry
Collection: Masonic Organizations, Organizations Established in 1870, Shriners
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Logo of Shriners International

Shriners International, previously known as the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (A.A.O.N.M.S.) and also commonly known as Shriners, was established in 1870, and is an appendant body to Freemasonry.

The name change from the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, as well as Shriners North America, to Shriners International was facilitated in 2010 across North America, Central America, South America, Europe and Southeast Asia.[1] The organization is best known for the Tampa, Florida.[2] Shriners International describes itself as a fraternity based on fun, fellowship and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief and truth. There are approximately 340,000 members from 195 temples (chapters) in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Mexico, the Republic of Panama, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Europe and Australia.


  • History 1
  • Membership 2
    • Women's auxiliaries 2.1
  • Architecture 3
  • Shriners Hospitals for Children 4
  • Parade unit 5
  • Other events 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9
  • List of Shrine Temples 10


In 1870, there were several thousand Masons in Manhattan, many of whom lunched at the Knickerbocker Cottage at a special table on the second floor. There, the idea of a new fraternity for Masons stressing fun and fellowship was discussed. Walter M. Fleming, M.D., and William J. Florence took the idea seriously enough to act upon it.

Florence, a world-renowned actor, while on tour in Marseille, was invited to a party given by an Arabian diplomat. The entertainment was something in the nature of an elaborately staged musical comedy. At its conclusion, the guests became members of a secret society. Florence took copious notes and drawings at his initial viewing and on two other occasions, once in Algiers and once in Cairo. When he returned to New York in 1870, he showed his material to Fleming.[3]

Fleming took the ideas supplied by Florence and converted them into what would become the "Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (A.A.O.N.M.S.)". Fleming created the ritual, emblem and costumes. Florence and Fleming were initiated August 13, 1870, and initiated 11 other men on June 16, 1871.[4]

The group adopted a Middle Eastern theme and soon established Temples (though the term Temple has now generally been replaced by Shrine Auditorium or Shrine Center). The first Temple established was Mecca Temple (now known as Mecca Shriners), established at the New York City Masonic Hall on September 26, 1872. Fleming was the first Potentate.[5]

In 1875, there were only 43 Shriners in the organization. In an effort to spur membership, at the June 6, 1876 meeting of Mecca Temple, the Imperial Grand Council of the Ancient Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine for North America was created. Fleming was elected the first Imperial Potentate. After some other reworking, by 1878 there were 425 members in 13 temples in eight states, and by 1888, there were 7,210 members in 48 temples in the United States and Canada. By the Imperial Session held in Washington, D.C. in 1900, there were 55,000 members and 82 Temples.[6] By 1938 there were about 340,000 members in the United States. That year Life published photographs of its rites for the first time. It described the Shriners as "among secret lodges the No. 1 in prestige, wealth and show", and stated that "[i]n the typical city, especially in the Middle West, the Shriners will include most of the prominent citizens."[7]

Shriners often participate in local parades, sometimes as rather elaborate units: miniature vehicles in themes (all sports cars; all miniature 18-wheeler trucks; all fire engines, and so on), an "Oriental Band" dressed in cartoonish versions of Middle Eastern dress; pipe bands, drummers, motorcycle units, Drum and Bugle Corps, and even traditional brass bands.


Despite its theme, the Shrine is not connected to Arab culture or Islam. It is a men's fraternity rather than a religion or religious group. Its only religious requirement is indirect: all Shriners must be Masons, and petitioners to Freemasonry must profess a belief in a Supreme Being. To further minimize confusion with religion, the use of the words "temple" and "mosque" to describe Shriners' buildings has been replaced by "Shrine Center", although individual local chapters are still called temples.

Until 2000, before being eligible for membership in the Shrine, a person had to complete either the Scottish Rite or York Rite degrees of Masonry,[8] but now any Master Mason can join.[9]

Shriners count among their ranks presidents, senators, local business leaders, professional golfers, country music stars, astronauts and racecar drivers.[10]

Women's auxiliaries

Daughters of the Nile at Montreal Shriner's Hosptial in 1948.

While there are plenty of activities for Shriners and their wives, there are two organizations tied to the Shrine that are for women only: The Ladies' Oriental Shrine and Daughters of the Nile. They both support the Shriners Hospitals and promote sociability, and membership in either organization is open to any woman 18 years of age and older who is related to a Shriner or Master Mason by birth, marriage, or adoption. The Ladies Oriental Shrine of North America was founded in First Lady Florence Harding, wife of Warren G. Harding.[13]


Some of the earliest Shrine Centers often chose a Fox Theatre (Atlanta, Georgia) which was jointly built between the Atlanta Shriners and William Fox.

Shriners Hospitals for Children

The Shrine's charitable arm is the Shriners Hospitals for Children, a network of twenty-two hospitals in the United States, Mexico and Canada. In June 1920, the Imperial Council Session voted to establish a "Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children." The goal of this hospital was to treat orthopedic injuries, diseases, and birth defects in children.[14] After lots of research and debate, the committee chosen to determine the site of the hospital decided there should be not just one hospital but a network of hospitals spread across North America. The first hospital was opened in 1922 in Shreveport, LA and by the end of the decade thirteen more hospitals were in operation.[14] They now deal with orthopedic care, burn treatment, cleft lip and palate care and spinal cord injury rehabilitation. The rules for all of the Shriners Hospitals are simple and to the point: Any child can be admitted to the hospital if, in the opinion of the surgeons, the child can be treated and is under the age of 18.[14] Until June 2012, all treatment offered at Shriner's Hospitals for Children was offered without any financial obligation to patients and their families. At that time, because the size of their endowment had decreased due to losses in the stock market, the Shriners started billing patients' insurance companies, but still offered free care to those that didn't have insurance. There is no requirement for religion, race, or relationship to a Shriner. Patients must be under the age of eighteen and treatable.[15]

In 2008, Shriners Hospitals had a total budget of $826 million and in 2007 they approved 39,454 new patient applications, attended to the needs of 125,125 patients.[15]

Parade unit

A Pittsburgh Shriner in an iconic miniature car participating in a Memorial Day parade

Most Shrine Temples support several parade units. These units are responsible for promoting a positive Shriner image to the public by participating in local parades. The parade units often include miniature cars powered by lawn mower engines.

A St. Louis Shriner in a miniature racing car, stopping to greet children along parade route
An example of a Shrine parade unit is the Heart Shrine Clubs’ Original Fire Patrol of Effingham, Illinois. This unit operates miniature fire engines in honor of a hospital fire that took place in the 1940s in Effingham. They participate in most parades in a 100 mile radius of Effingham. Shriners in Dallas, Texas participate annually in the Twilight Parade at the Texas State Fair. Shriners in St. Louis have several parade motor units, including miniature cars styled after 1932 Ford coupes and 1970s-era Jeep CJ models, and a unit of miniature Indianapolis-styled race cars. Some of these are outfitted with high-performance, alcohol-fueled engines. The drivers' skills are demonstrated during parades with high-speed spinouts.

Other events

The Shriners are committed to community service and have been instrumental in countless public projects throughout their domain.

Shriners host the annual East-West Shrine Game, a college football all-star game.

The Shriners originally hosted a golf tournament in concert with singer/actor Justin Timberlake, titled the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, a PGA Golf Tour golf tournament held in Las Vegas, NV.[16] The relationship between Timberlake and the Shriners ended in 2012, due to the lack of previously agreed participation on Timberlake's part.[17] In July 2012, The PGA TOUR and Shriners Hospitals for Children announced a five-year title sponsorship extension, carrying the commitment to the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open through 2017,[18] now titled The Shriners Hospitals for Children Open,[19] and is still held in Las Vegas, NV.

Once a year, the fraternity meets for the Imperial Council Session in a major North American city. It is not uncommon for these conventions to have 20,000 participants or more, which generates significant revenue for the local economy.

Many Shrine Centers also hold a yearly Shrine Circus as a fundraiser.

See also


  1. ^ "Fun With Purpose" Shriners International. Retrieved on August 7, 2011.
  2. ^ Home page. Shriners International. Retrieved on March 12, 2010.
  3. ^ Shriners of North America. A Short History: Shriners of North America and Shriners Hospitals. September 2004 edition. pp. 3–4.
  4. ^ Shriners of North America. A Short History: Shriners of North America and Shriners Hospitals. September 2004 edition. p.5.
  5. ^ Shriners of North America. A Short History: Shriners of North America and Shriners Hospitals. September 2004 edition. p. 6.
  6. ^ Shriners of North America. A Short History: Shriners of North America and Shriners Hospitals. September 2004 edition. p. 8.
  7. ^ "The Shriners / "Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles" Reveals its Pageantry". Life. 1938-05-16. p. 50. Retrieved September 8, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Abd El Kader's Masonic Friends" (PDF).  
  9. ^ "Be A Shriner Now". Shriners International. Accessed March 12, 2010.
  10. ^ "Values - Leadership". Shriners International. Accessed August 7, 2011.
  11. ^ Ladies Oriental Shrine of North America. Accessed 6 November 2011.
  12. ^ "About Us". Accessed 6 November 2011.
  13. ^ Preuss, Arthur A Dictionary of Secret and other Societies St. Louis: B. Herder Book Co. 1924; republished Detroit: Gale Reference Company 1966; p.106
  14. ^ a b c International Directory of Company Histories, Vol.69. St. James Press, 2005.
  15. ^ a b "Shriners Hospitals for Children About Us". Shriners Hospitals. Retrieved 2010-08-18. 
  16. ^ "Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open" | Sunday, September 25, 2011 - Sunday, October 2, 2011 | Las Vegas, NV 89134".] Shriners International. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
  17. ^ [1] | Justin Timberlake and Shriners break charity golf ties 5:55p.m. EDT October 2, 2012
  18. ^ [2] | Shriners Hospitals for Children Extends Tournament Sponsorship - Monday, July 2, 2012
  19. ^ [3] | 2013 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Retrieved January 2, 2013

External links

  • Shriners International – Official homepage
  • Shriners Hospitals for Children – Official Homepage
  • Be A Shriner Now
  • Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
  • Shriners Australia (English)
  • Shriners of British Columbia & Yukon
  • Shriners Fantasy Show Canada (English)
  • Shriners Club Excelsior zu Wien (German & English)

List of Shrine Temples

Roll No. Temple Name Chartered Original Temple Location Current Temple Location Shrine Facts & Hospital Coverage
* The Fraternity of the A.A.O.N.M.S. Founded 1870 New York City, New York Tampa, Florida Founded by 13 Master Masons
** The Imperial Council, A.A.O.N.M.S. Est. 06/06/1876 M:.W:. Grand Lodge of NY, F.&A.M. New York City, New York Established by the original 13 Temples of the Order; Requirements set that a member must be a Master Mason A./F.&A.M., as well as a Knight Templar of the Ancient York Rite and/or a 32° S.P.R.S. of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite.
Medinah 1878 Atchison, Kansas Defunct Temple; Declared 'Null & Void' at the annual Imperial Session, 1886; Temple name reverted to Medinah Temple - Chicago, IL
Mohammed 1878 New Haven, Connecticut Defunct Temple; Declared 'Null & Void' at the annual Imperial Session, 1886; Temple name reverted to Mohammed Temple- Peoria, IL in 1893
Naja Albany, New York Defunct Temple; Merged with Cyprus Temple #5 in 1881; Temple Name reverted to Naja Temple, Deadwood, SD (Rapid City) in 1893
Salaam 1885 Olney, Illinois Defunct Temple; Temple Name reverted to Salaam Temple #86- Newark, NJ
1 Mecca 09/26/1872 New York City, New York New York City, New York Philadelphia, PA / Springfield, MA / Boston, MA
2 Damascus 1875 Rochester, New York Webster, New York Philadelphia, PA / Springfield, MA / Boston, MA
3 Mount Sinai 1885 Montpelier, Vermont Montpelier, Vermont Boston, MA
4 Al Koran 1878 Cleveland, Ohio Broadview Heights, Ohio Erie, PA
5 Cyprus 1878 Albany, New York Glenmont, New York Erie, PA
6 Syrian 1878 Cincinnati, Ohio Cincinnati, Ohio Cincinnati, OH
7 Oriental 1878 Troy, New York Troy, New York Philadelphia, PA / Springfield, MA / Boston, MA
8 Syria 1878 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Erie, PA / Cincinnati, PA
9 Pyramid 1878 Bridgeport, Connecticut Stratford, Connecticut Springfield, MA / Boston, MA
10 Kaaba 1878 Davenport, Iowa Davenport, Iowa Chartered as 'Pyramid Temple'; however due to a resolution against similar names, adopted at the 1886 Imperial Session, this Temple formally agreed to change its name on March 17, 1887, and was immediately recognized as 'Kaaba Temple'; Chicago, IL
11 Ziyara 1878 Utica, New York Utica, New York
12 Moslem 1880 Detroit, Michigan Southfield, Michigan Chicago, IL
13 Aleppo 1883 Boston, Massachusetts Wilmington, Massachusetts Springfield, MA / Boston, MA
14 Medinah 1883 Chicago, Illinois Addison, Illinois Chicago, IL
15 Islam 06/06/1883 San Francisco, California Sacramento, CA
16 Lu Lu 01/10/1884 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA
17 Murat 1884 Indianapolis, Indiana Indianapolis, Indiana Chicago, IL / Cincinnati, OH
18 Boumi 1884 Baltimore, Maryland Baltimore, Maryland Philadelphia, PA
19 RI Shriners (Palestine) 1886 Providence, Rhode Island Cranston, Rhode Island
20 Kosair 1885 Louisville, Kentucky Louisville, Kentucky Cincinnati, OH
21 Tripoli 1885 Milwaukee, Wisconsin Milwaukee, Wisconsin Chicago, IL
22 Osman 1886 St. Paul, Minnesota St. Paul, Minnesota Twin Cities, MN
23 Zurah 1886 Minneapolis, Minnesota Minneapolis, Minnesota Twin Cities, MN
24 Almas 1886 Washington D.C. Washington D.C.
25 El Kahir 1886 Cedar Rapids, Iowa Cedar Rapids, Iowa
26 Moolah 1886 St. Louis, Missouri St. Louis, Missouri St. Louis, MO
27 Saladin 1886 Grand Rapids, Michigan Kentwood, Michigan Grand Rapids, Michigan Chicago, IL
28 Acca 1887 Richmond, Virginia Richmond, Virginia Greenville, SC
29 Osiris 1887 Wheeling, West Virginia Wheeling, West Virginia
30 Abdallah 1887 Leavenworth, Kansas Overland Park, Kansas
31 Isis 1887 Salina, Kansas Salina, Kansas
32 Jerusalem 1885 New Orleans, Louisiana Shreveport, LA
33 Rameses 1887 Toronto, Ontario - Canada Toronto, Ontario - Canada
34 Hella 18__ Dallas, Texas Garland, Texas Houston & Galveston, TX
35 Sesostris 1887 Lincoln, Nebraska Lincoln, Nebraska
36 Kismet 1887 Brooklyn New York Hyde Park, New York Hicksville, New York
37 Ismailia 1887 Buffalo, New York Buffalo, New York
38 Ararat 1887 Kansas City, Missouri Kansas City, Missouri
39 El Jebel 1888 Denver, Colorado Denver, Colorado
40 Al Malaikah 1887 Los Angeles, California Los Angeles, California Los Angeles, CA
41 Algeria 1887 Helena, Montana Helena, Montana
42 Morocco 1887 Jacksonville, Florida Jacksonville, Florida Tampa, FL
43 El Riad 1887 Sioux Falls, South Dakota Sioux Falls, South Dakota Twin Cities, MN
44 Ballut Abyad 1889 Albuquerque, New Mexico Albuquerque, New Mexico
45 Moila 1889 St. Joseph, Missouri St. Joseph, Missouri
46 Al Kader 1889 Portland, Oregon Wilsonville, Oregon Portland, OR
47 Afifi 1889 Tacoma, Washington Tacoma, Washington
49 Sahara 1889 Pine Bluff, Arkansas Pine Bluff, Arkansas
50 Alhambra 18__ Chattanooga, Tennessee Chattanooga, Tennessee
51 El Zagal 18__ Fargo, North Dakota Fargo, North Dakota
52 Yaarab 18__ Atlanta, Georgia Atlanta, Georgia
53 El Katif 1891 Spokane, Washington Spokane, Washington
54 Zamora 1891 Birmingham, Alabama Irondale, Alabama Shreeveport, LA
55 Media 1891 Watertown, New York Watertown, New York
56 El Kalah 1892 Salt Lake City, Utah Salt Lake City, Utah Salt Lake City, UT
57 Al Chymia 1892 Memphis, Tennessee Memphis, Tennessee
58 Ben Hur 1892 Austin, Texas Austin, Texas Houston & Gavelston, TX
59 Kora 1892 Lewiston, Maine Lewiston, Maine
60 Zem Zem 1892 Erie, Pennsylvania Erie, Pennsylvania Eire, PA
61 Hamasa 1893 Meridian, Mississippi Meridian, Mississippi
62 Naja 1893 Deadwood, South Dakota Rapid City, South Dakota
63 Rajah 1893 Reading, Pennsylvania Blandon, Pennsylvania Erie & Philadelphia, PA
64 Mohammed 1893 Peoria, Illinois Bartonville, Illinois Chicago, IL
65 India 1894 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
66 Ahmed 1894 Marquette, Michigan Marquette, Michigan Chicago, IL
67 Aladdin 1894 Columbus, Ohio Columbus, Ohio Cincinnati, OH
68 Tebala 1895 Rockford, Illinois Rockford, Illinois Chicago, IL / Twin Cities, MN
69 Korein 1895 Rawlins, Wyoming Rawlins, Wyoming
70 Oasis 1895 Charlotte, North Carolina Charlotte, North Carolina Greenville, SC
71 Irem 1895 Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania Dallas, Pennsylvania Erie & Philadelphia, PA
72 El Zaribah 18__ Phoenix, Arizona Phoenix, Arizona Los Angeles, CA
73 Sphinx 06/24/1896 Hartford, Connecticut Newington, Connecticut Oldest Chartered Shrine Band; Springfield, MA / Boston, MA
74 Alee 18__ Savannah, Georgia Savannah, Georgia Greenville, SC
75 Oasis 1895 Charlotte, North Carolina Charlotte, North Carolina Greenville, SC
76 El Korah 18__ Boise, Idaho Boise, Idaho Portland, OR / Spokane, WA
77 Antioch 18__ Dayton, Ohio Dayton, Ohio Cincinnati, OH
78 Melha 18__ Springfield, Massachusetts Springfield, Massachusetts Springfield & Boston, MA
79 Zenobia 18__ Toledo, Ohio Perrysburg, Ohio
80 Kalurah 18__ Binghamton, New York Endicott, New York Springfield, MA
81 Karnak 18__ Dollard des Ormeaux, Quebec - Canada Dollard des Ormeaux, Quebec - Canada Montreal, QC - CAN
82 Za-Ga-Zig 18__ Altoona, Iowa Altoona, Iowa Chicago, IL / Twin Cities, MN
83 Aloha 18__ Honolulu, Hawaii Honolulu, Hawaii Honolulu, HI
84 El Mina 18__ Galveston, TX Galveston, TX Houston & Galveston, TX
85 Gizeh 18__ Vancouver, British Columbia - Canada Burnaby, British Columbia - Canada
86 Salaam 1885 Newark, New Jersey Livingston, New Jersey Philadelphia, PA
87 Luxor ____ St. John, New Brunswick - Canada St. John, New Brunswick - Canada Montreal, QB
88 Abba ____ Mobile, Alabama Mobile, Alabama Greenville, SC
89 Abou Ben Adhem 1903 Springfield, Missouri Springfield, Missouri St. Louis, MO
90 Cairo 19__ Rutland, Vermont Rutland, Vermont Boston, MA
91 Jaffa 1903 Altoona, Pennsylvania Altoona, Pennsylvania Erie & Philadelphia, PA
92 Yelduz 19__ Aberdeen, South Dakota Aberdeen, South Dakota Twin Cities, MN
93 Zembo 19__ Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA
94 Crescent 19__ Trenton, New Jersey Westampton, New Jersey Philadelphia, PA
95 Khartum 19__ Winnipeg, Manitoba - Canada Winnipeg, Manitoba - Canada Twin Cities, MN
96 Bektash 19__ Concord, New Hampshire Concord, New Hampshire Boston, MA
97 Aad 19__ Dulith, Minnesota Dulith, Minnesota Twin Cities, MN
98 El Hasa 19__ Ashland, Kentucky Ashland, Kentucky Lexington, KY
99 Elf Khurafeh 19__ Saginaw, Michigan Clio, Michigan Chicago, IL
100 Kalif 19__ Sheridan, Wyoming Sheridan, Wyoming Salt Lake City, UT
101 Anezah 19__ Mexico City - Mexico Mexico City - Mexico Mexico City - MEX
102 Kerak 19__ Reno, Nevada Reno, Nevada Sacramento, CA (N. CA)
103 Omar 19__ Charleston, South Carolina Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina Greenville, SC
104 [4]Abu Bekr 1908_ Sioux City, Iowa Sioux City, Iowa Twin Cities, MN
105 Calam 19__ Lewiston, Idaho Lewiston, Idaho Spokane, WA
106 Al Azhar 19__ Calgary, Alberta - Canada Calgary, Alberta - Canada Spokane, WA
107 Mocha 19__ London, Ontario - Canada London, Ontario - Canada
108 Oleika 19__ Lexington, Kentucky Lexington, Kentucky Lexington, KY
109 El Maida 1909 El Paso, Texas El Paso, Texas Houston & Galveston, TX
110 Hillah 19__ Ashland, Oregon Medford, Oregon Portland, OR / Sacramento, CA (N. CA)
111 Nile 19__ Seattle, Washington Mountlake Terrace, Washington Portland, OR
112 Rizpah 19__ Madisonville, Kentucky Madisonville, Kentucky Lexington, KY
113 Hadi 19__ Evansville, Indiana Evansville, Indiana Lexington, KY
114 Mizpah 19__ Ft. Wayne, Indiana Ft. Wayne, Indiana Chicago, IL
115 Orak 19__ Michigan City, Indiana Michigan City, Indiana Chicago, IL
116 Kem 19__ Grand Forks, North Dakota Grand Forks, North Dakota
117 Khedive 19__ Virginia Beach, Virginia Chesapeake, Virginia
118 Midian 19__ Wichita, Kansas Wichita, Kansas St. Louis, MO
119 Mirz 19__ Pittsburg, Kansas Pittsburg, Kansas St. Louis, MO
120 Zorah 19__ Terre Haute, Indiana Terre Haute, Indiana Chicago, IL
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