The Manhattan Area Shrine Club, located in North Cental Kansas, is home to more than 100 Shriners. We are associated with the ISIS Temple located in Salina Kansas.
We proudly support the Shriners Hospital for Children located in St. Louis, Missouri, dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing specialty pediatric care, innovative research and outstanding teaching programs. Children up to the age of 18 with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries and cleft lip and palate are eligible for admission and receive care in a family-centered environment at no charge – regardless of financial need.
History of the Shriners
Shriners International is, at its most basic level, a part of the Masonic fraternity. Shriners, in Kansas, must first be Master Masons in good standing.
It all started in Manhattan, New York, in 1870 when some members of what’s considered the world’s oldest fraternity – Masonry – were hanging out at their favorite tavern. They felt that Masonry, which traces its roots to stonemasons and craftsmen of the Middle Ages, was a tad too focused on ritual. These guys wanted a fraternity that stressed fun and fellowship.
Two of those gentlemen – Walter M Fleming, M.D., and Billy Florence, an actor – took that idea and ran with it. Florence came up with the idea for a Near Eastern-themed party after attending a party thrown by an Arabian diplomat. Fleming added the structure, drafting the fraternity’s name, initiation rites, rituals and rules. Together, Fleming and Florence designed the fraternity’s emblem, devised a salutation and determined that the red fez with the black tassel would be the group’s official headgear.
The first chapter, Mecca Shriners, met in New York City in 1872. As word got out about the fledgling organization, membership grew rapidly, spreading across the U.S. In the early 1900s, membership spread into Canada, Mexico and Panama. Today there are approximately 309,000 Shriners belonging to 195 chapters in the U.S., Canada, Germany, Mexico, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and the Republic of Panama.
Throughout their history Shriners are committed to:
- Being the premier fraternal organization for men of good character.
- Providing attractive, quality programs and services for its members, their families and their friends in a spirit of fun, fellowship and social camaraderie.
- Fostering self-improvement through leadership, education, the perpetuation of moral values and community involvement.
- Serving mankind through the resources of its philanthropy, Shriners Hospitals for Children®.
The Emblem of a Shriner:
The crescent was adopted as the jewel of the order. Although any materials can be used in forming the crescent, the most valuable are the claws of a royal Bengal tiger, united at their base in a gold setting. In the centre is the head of a sphinx, and on the back are a pyramid, an urn and a star. The Jewel bears the motto “Robur et Furor,” Latin for “Strength and Fury.” Today, the emblem includes a scimitar from which the crescent hangs, and a five-pointed star beneath the head of the sphinx.
The red fez with a black tassel, Shriners’ official headgear, has been handed down through the ages since Ancient Greece. It derives its name from the place where Western Europeans first discovered it: the city of Fez, Morocco.
The fez bears the Shrine fraternal emblem under the name of the temple to which the wearer belongs, written in large, elaborate style. Below the emblem, the wearer may display in simple block letters his office or the name of a unit, club or committee to which he belongs within that temple. The only other adornments permitted are one or two tassel holder pins.
If you know of a child Shriners Hospitals might be able to help, please call our toll-free patient referral line, In the U.S. 800.237.5055, in Canada: 800.361.7256