What is a Shriner?
What kind of organization attracts doctors, dentists, contractors,
heads of state, movie stars, generals, clergymen, truck drivers and
accountants? What is the Shrine?
Someone might answer: "Oh yeah, Shriners are
Master Masons who always have those
parades with the wild costumes and funny little cars." Another might
think of Shrine circuses and Shrine clowns. The fellow next to him
might interject, "No, Shriners are the guys who wear those funny
hats - like upside-down red flowerpots - and have those big
"I don't know about that," a passerby might add. "But I do know 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
"She can walk?" questions still another. "I thought the Shriners ran
those fantastic burn hospitals. 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, and possibly a 32°
Mason in the Scottish Rite or a Knights Templar Mason in the York
There are approximately 250,000 Shriners now. They gather in Shrine Centers, or chapters, throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Republic of Panama, the Philippines and Germany. There are 22 Shriners Hospitals for Children - 18 orthopaedic hospitals, three burn hospitals, and one hospital that provide orthopaedic, burn and spinal cord injury care. These hospitals have cured or substantially helped more than 1000,000 children - at no cost to parent or child - since the first Shriners Hospital opened in 1922.