When the public at large thinks of the Shriner’s, they think of “the guys in the silly hat’s in the parade”. When Master Mason’s think of the Shriner’s, many think of “those guys in the silly hat’s that know how to party...”
Both may be correct, but there is a deeper meaning and mission that these Brethren take on than most people probably know. Originally, the Shrine was established to provide a social and entertaining setting, to further Masonic Beliefs and Brotherhood. Based on the Masonic creed of - “Faith, Hope and Charity”, holding “Charity” as the greatest, they created their own charity, The Shriner’s Hospitals for Children.
The first Temple, Mecca Shriners, was organized and established in New York City in 1872 by Walter M. Flemming (a prominent physician) and William J. “Billy” Florence (a popular actor). By the early 1900’s membership was soaring as did the calling for the establishment of an official Charity. In 1922, the first Shriner’s Hospital for Children opened in Shreveport, LA., providing pediatric orthopedic medical care, regardless of the families ability to pay.
In the 1960’s the Shrine recognized a lack of expertise in the field of burn care and henceforth entered the field. The 1980’s saw the opening of the nation’s first spinal cord injury rehabilitation center which was specifically designed for kids of course. These patients receive long term rehabilitation, physical, occupational and recreation therapy. The most recent addition to the menu of specialties is the cleft lip and palate surgeries, orthodontia, audiological, speech and psychological therapies for children.
All of which are free including transportation to and from the hospital and family lodging during treatment. After all, “No Man Stands So Tall, As When He Kneels To Help A Child.”
Col Harland Sanders
Gen. Douglas MacArthur
Gerald Ford, Jr.
Frank Stallone, Jr.
Harold Clayton Lloyd
Hubert Humphrey, Jr.
John E. Hoover
J Phillip Sousa
Harry S Truman
Sam Hornish, Jr.
Dedicated to Butch.
As a Medinah Aviator he flew children to and from Shriner’s Hospitals for treatment.