What is a Shriner?
What kind of organization attracts truck drivers, dentists,
contractors, heads of state, movie stars, generals, clergymen
and accountants? ( Four Presidents of the United States were
Shriners.) What is the Shrine?
Someone might answer: "Oh yeah, Shriners are those guys who
are always having those parades with the wild costumes and
funny little cars." Another might think of Shrine circuses and
Shrine clowns. The fellow next to them might interject, "No,
Shriners are the guys who wear those funny hats-like flowerpots
and have those big conventions.
"I don't know about that," a passerby might add. "But I
my little girl was born with club feet and now they are straight,
and she can walk like anyone else thanks to Shriners Hospitals
for Crippled Children."
"Crippled children?" questions still another. "I thought
ran those fantastic burns institutes. I've read stories about them
saving kids with burns on 90 percent of their bodies."
All those people are right. Each has experienced an aspect of
Shrinedom. What they cannot experience, unless they are Shriners,
is the camaraderie, deep friendships, good fellowship and great
times shared by all Shriners. What they may not know is that all
Shriners share a Masonic heritage: Each is a Master Mason.
There are approximately 634,000 Shriners who are members of 191
Shrine Temples throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and
the Republic of Panama. There are 22 Shriners Hospitals for Crippled
Children, 19 orthopaedic units and 3 Shriners Burns Institutes. These
hospitals have cured or substantially helped nearly 510,000 children,
at no cost to parent or child since the first Shriners Hospital opened