The Shriners are known for their colourful parades, circuses and clowns. But there is also a serious side to this international fraternity of approximately 500,000 men belonging to 191 Shrine Centers, throughout North America. For over 80 years, the Shrine has operated a network of specialized hospitals that treat children with orthopaedic problems, burns and spinal cord injuries, up to their 18th birthday, at no cost to them.
The Shrine was founded in 1872 by a group of 13 men belonging to the Masonic Order. It was originally established to provide fun and fellowship for its members. But as the organization grew, its members decided to dedicate their efforts to helping others by establishing an official Shrine philanthropy -a network of 22 specialized hospitals that have provided expert medical care to more than 600,000 children. Since the first Shriners' Hospital opened in 1922, the Shrine has supported what has come to be known as: the "World's Greatest Philanthropy". The best-known symbol of Shrinedom is the distinctive red Fez that Shriners wear at official functions. Because Shriners are men who enjoy life, fun is a large part of the Shrine and the activities that help support the Shrine's philanthropy. Most Shrine Centers sponsor Shrine clubs and special units, such as the motor corps, band or clown units and many other units of interest. They share in the camaraderie, deep friendships and good fellowship that are all part of being a Mason and a Shriner.
For Other Family Members
The Masonic Family also includes many bodies where other family members can participate, such as The Order of the Eastern Star, The Daughters of the Nile, Ladies of the Oriental Shrine. For young men, The Order of DeMolay. For young ladies, The International Order's of Rainbow for Girls, and Job's Daughters. All of these Orders are based on Masonic themes.
Freemasonry offers much to oneself- the opportunity to improve and make a difference, and to help build a better world for all mankind. It offers the chance for fellowship and to work with men who have similar values and ideals. It's easy to find out more. If you know a Mason, ask him. Otherwise contact the webmaster or
The Grand Lodge Office