Walter M. Fleming, William I. Florence

The Shriners, or Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine ( Old Arabic Order of the Noble Mystic Shrine from ) are a non-profit religious, belonging to Freemasonry. Their motto is: "A smile of a child makes it all worthwhile " ( A child's smile makes it always rewarding ). Founded the Order in 1871 by the physician Walter M. Fleming and the actor William I. Florence from New York City. The headquarters of the Shriner is located in Tampa (Florida ). The Shriner describe themselves as a brotherhood founded on friendship, joy, and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, care and truth.

  • 7.1 USA
  • 7.2 Canada
  • 7.3 Mexico


1870 a group met Freemasons frequently for lunch at the Knickerbocker Cottage on Sixth Avenue in New York. Among them were Walter M. Fleming, physician, and William J. "Billy " Florence, an actor. The group often talked about starting a new fraternity for Masons - and one that should be based on fun and camaraderie more than rituals. Fleming and Florence took the idea seriously and were active.

Florence, a world-famous actor, was during a tour in Marseille and was invited to a party by an Arab diplomat. The entertainment was in the style of an elaborately staged musical comedy. At the end of the performance the guests were members of a secret society. The exotic style and the extraordinary music of the Arab festival inspired him to propose this topic as a basis for the new fraternity. When he returned in 1870 to New York, he showed his material recorded Walter Fleming.

Fleming took the ideas of Florence and called this group " Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine ( AAONMS ) ". Fleming also created the ritual, emblem and costumes. The first meeting was held on 13 August 1870.

The founding took place in the New York City Masonic Hall on 26 September 1872. Fleming was elected the first potentate. In 1878 there were 425 members in 13 temples in eight states, and by 1888 there were 7,210 members in 48 temples in the United States and Canada.

The organization of the Shriner is neither Islamic nor opposes Islam. In the history of her people of all faith and brotherhood of all nationalities have joined. It contains more than half a million members in nearly 200 centers in the United States of America, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Europe and Australia. Their meeting places are usually marked by a striking oriental style architecture, for example the Shrine Auditorium, or the former Moolah Temple in St. Louis (see: Freemasonry (architecture) ).

The Shriners often participate in local parades, where they ride miniature versions of cars and motorcycles. It can easily be recognized by their red fez.


During a yellow fever epidemic in Jacksonville ( Florida), helped members in the care of the sick. 1889 Shriners involved in the assistance to the victims of the flood disaster in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Brotherhood grew rapidly. With the increase in number of members and the support for the idea to operate the official charity grew. Most temples had local charities, and now and then also offered the umbrella organization of Shriners her help. After the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, the Shriners donated $ 25,000. The idea to open children's hospitals, 1919 submitted by the Mayor of Philadelphia, Freeland Kendrick, after he had visited a hospital for handicapped children of the Scottish Rite in Atlanta.

In June 1922, the foundation stone for the first Shriners Hospital was in Shreveport, Louisiana, set Hospitals for Children. The first patient, who was recorded in 1922, was a little girl with a club foot, who had learned, rather than on the top to run on the sole of your foot. A member of the Shriner carrying the patient on his arms in the hospital (see picture on the left from the hospital in Shreveport).

1938 were organized at the Shriners in the United States 340,000 members, this year, reported Life magazine in an extensive report about their charitable work.

The Shriners are all non-profit basis. Once a year, the fraternity meets for " royal council " in a major North American city. More than 20,000 participants are not uncommon. The charitable arm of the Shriners consists of a network of 22 hospitals in the United States, Mexico and Canada. They were founded in the treatment of young polio patients. As this disease had become manageable, they expanded their field of activity. Today, they deal with all pediatric cases, especially with orthopedic injuries and diseases, and severe skin burns.

In hospitals, the Shriners never a price for treatment is required. The religion of the patient, their origins and their relationship to Freemasonry does not matter. However, patients must be under eighteen and treatable. Mostly take over local Shrine Temple, the cost of transportation to the nearest hospital.

The annual Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital for Children Open, a golf tournament on the PGA Tour, one of the most monetarily successful charity events in the U.S. Shriner. In Europe, the highly acclaimed International golf tournament of the Shriners Excelsior Club in Vienna Golf Club Altentann is annually held in Salzburg since 2010.


By the year 2000 you had to have reached the rite to become a member of the 32nd degree of knowledge of the Scottish Rite or the corresponding degree Knights of the Temple in York. Today, you need the Master degree from a recognized Masonic Lodge.


The multiple Academy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Hollywood (Los Angeles ) was held. The silent film star Harold Lloyd was Shriner and served in 1949 as the so-called Imperial Potentate ( "Royal ruler "). He was very active, to make known the Brotherhood in the entertainment industry. Today one of the most prominent supporters of the U.S. musician Justin Timberlake.

Other activities ( selection)

  • The Shriner host the annual All- Star game East - West Shrine Game in Football.
  • Some Shriner organizations support an annual circus ( Shrine Circus) for children.

Women and Shriner

There are many common activities for male Shriners and their wives, but there are also women-only societies of the Shriner ( as The Ladies' Oriental Shrine and Daughters of the Nile ). This, for example, support the Shriner hospitals with fundraising and organizing actions for the entertainment of children patients. Membership is open to women 18 and older, who belong to the family of a male Shriner through marriage, birth or adoption.

The first women's organization of the Shriner was founded in 1903 in Wheeling (West Virginia).


  • Laurel and Hardy: Sons of the Desert ( Sons of the Desert ) 1933 One of the most famous films that allude to the Shriners. . Oliver Hardy was a Freemason and a member of Solomon Lodge No.. 20 in Jacksonville. In the film, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy embark on a Convention in Chicago, wearing the fez and meet in an oasis ( the Masonic Shriners ).

Children's hospitals of the Shriner

The twenty-two children's hospitals in the Shriner are mainly specializing in orthopedic injuries, treatment of burns, cleft lip and cleft palate, care and rehabilitation of spinal cord injuries and birth defects of children.

2006 decreed the Shriner hospitals still have a budget of $ 8 billion, fed from foundation assets, equity funds and donations. In April 2009, during the economic crisis and the associated financial losses in the stock market, as well as donations decline in the budget has been reduced to $ 5 billion. By June 2012, all treatments were offered in Shriner hospitals without financial obligation for children and their families. Patients through the donations declines only treats that do not have medical insurance.

The Health Advisory Board of the Shriners Hospitals ( Research Advisory Board) supports research projects in the healing of severe bone and joint diseases, and cleft lip and cleft palate, and the best treatments and rehabilitation for burns, spinal cord injuries and neuromuscular disorders. In 2011, commissioned and funded 88 research, 22 clinical studies and 28 scholarships.

Since March 2013, the Shriner hospitals work closely with the Mayo Clinics and are part of the Mayo Clinic Care Network.


  • Shriners Hospital for Children - Boston, Massachusetts
  • Shriners Hospital for Children - Chicago, Illinois
  • Shriners Hospital for Children - Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Shriners Hospital for Children - Erie, Pennsylvania
  • Shriners Hospital for Children - Galveston, Texas
  • Shriners Hospital for Children - Greenville, South Carolina
  • Shriners Hospital for Children - Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Shriners Hospital for Children - Houston, Texas
  • Shriners Hospital for Children - Lexington, Kentucky
  • Shriners Hospital for Children - Los Angeles, California
  • Shriners Hospital for Children - Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Shriners Hospital for Children - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Shriners Hospital for Children - Portland, Oregon
  • Shriners Hospital for Children - Sacramento, California
  • Shriners Hospital for Children - St. Louis, Missouri
  • Shriners Hospital for Children - Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Shriners Hospital for Children - Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Shriners Hospital for Children - Spokane, Washington
  • Shriners Hospital for Children - Springfield, Massachusetts
  • Shriners Hospital for Children - Tampa, Florida



  • Shriners Hospitals for Children - Mexico City

Known Shriner (selection)

  • Shriner

Harry S. Truman

Harold Lloyd

Gerald Ford

Brad Paisley

Buzz Aldrin

Sam Hornish Jr.

Arnold Palmer