Shriners International is a fraternity based on fun, fellowship and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief and truth with nearly 200 temples (chapters) in seven countries and thousands of clubs around the world. Our fraternity is open to men of integrity from all walks of life.
Shriners International also supports Shriners Hospitals for Children, a health system of 22 locations dedicated to providing pediatric medical care, world-class research and educational opportunities for medical professionals.
Shriners Believe in Brotherhood
Shriners are a brotherhood of men committed to family, engaged in ongoing personal growth, and dedicated to providing care for children and families in need. Our backgrounds and interests are diverse, but we are bound together by our shared values and a desire to have fun, do good and build relationships that can last a lifetime.
Shriners Believe in Family
Although Shriners International is a brotherhood, it is also an organization focused on bringing families together. Many of our fraternity’s activities are designed to involve family members, promote our shared values and help develop the next generation of community and business leaders. A variety of affiliated groups for both women and children, emphasizing personal growth, fun and friendship, participate with Shriners.
Shriners Believe in Leadership
Shriners count among our ranks presidents, senators, local business leaders, professional golfers, country music stars, astronauts and racecar drivers. We believe it is also important to be a leader in your personal life. Our unique brotherhood helps good men become better – at home, at work and in business.
Shriners Believe in Giving Back
Shriners Hospitals for Children® were founded in 1922 with the goal of providing expert medical care for children with no financial burden to the patients or their families.
Today that philanthropic effort supports the health care system's 22 locations across the U.S., Canada and Mexico, treating children up to 18 years of age who have orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate. Our advanced care is provided in a family-centered environment that is focused on maximizing a child’s quality of life, regardless of the family’s ability to pay.
Meeting at the Knickerbocker Cottage
In 1870, a group of Masons met regularly at the Knickerbocker Cottage, a restaurant located at 426 Sixth Ave., in New York City. These 13 men often discussed the idea of a new fraternity for Masons, in which fun and fellowship would be stressed more than ritual. In 1871 these men formed The Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, today known as Shriners International.
First Chapter Established
Mecca Temple is established as the first chapter of Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (today known as Shriners International). Originally, the group met at the NY Masonic Hall. In 1923, the group moved into their own building, designed by Harry P. Knowles, on 56th St and 6th Avenue. The building now is home to New York City Center.
In 1872 Fez Adopted as Official Headgear of the Shriners
Governing Body for the Organization is Formed
A new body was created to help spur the growth of the new fraternity. This governing body was called “The Imperial Grand Council of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine,” and Walter Fleming became the Imperial Grand Potentate (highest ranking Shriner). Today, fraternity leadership is known as the Imperial Divan and the top Shriner is called the Imperial Potentate. The annual international business meeting of the organization is now known as Imperial Session.
Cornerstone Ceremony for First Shriners Hospital
The cornerstone for the first Shriners Hospitals for Children is set in place. The hospital would open on September 16, 1922. The idea to establish a network of hospitals was brought forth at the 1920 Imperial Session by Imperial Potentate Freeland Kendrick of Lu Lu Shriners and Forrest Adair of Yaarab Shriners.