From Galveston to Houston
In 1870 a group of Masons gathered frequently for lunch at the Knickerbocker Cottage on Sixth Avenue in New York City. At a special table on the second floor, a particularly fun-loving group of men met regularly. Among the regulars were Walter M. Fleming, M.D. and William J. “Billy” Florence, an actor. The group frequently talked about starting a new fraternity for Masons – one centered on fun and fellowship, more than ritual. Fleming and Florence took this idea seriously enough to do something about it.
Billy Florence had been on tour in France and had been invited to a party given by an Arabian diplomat. The exotic style, flavors, and music of the Arabian-themed party inspired him to suggest this as a theme for the new fraternity. Walter Fleming, a devoted fraternity brother, built on Fleming’s ideas and used his knowledge of fraternal ritual to transform the Arabian theme into the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (A.A.O.N.M.S.).
With the help of the Knickerbocker Cottage regulars, Fleming drafted the ritual, designed the emblem and costumes, formulated a salutation and declared that members would wear the red fez.
The first meeting of Mecca Shriners, the first temple (chapter) established in the United States, was held September 26, 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, Shriners International is a fraternity with nearly 200 temples in several countries, thousands of clubs around the world and hundreds of thousands of members dedicated to the principles of brotherly love, relief and truth.
"Great Men Wear A Fez"
Who Are We?
The Shriners' mission is straightforward. Shriners are committed to:
Being the premier fraternal organization for men of good character
Providing interactive, 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®
How To Become A Shriner
If you hold the title of Master Mason in Freemasonry, you qualify and are invited to join the Shriners.
In order to become a Shriner, you must ask a current Shriner to support and sponsor your application.
If you are not a Freemason, you must pursue that first. To inquire how to become a member, you can go to this list of Lodges in Texas and check the one that is close to you. Once you are a Master Mason, you will then be eligible to petition to become a Shriner.
There are many benefits to becoming a Shriner.
Membership in a well-known fraternal organization recognized for its social and philanthropic activities.
Opportunity to develop lasting relationships with like minded men from all over the world
Engage in social activities and events that are available for the entire family. Participate in many special interest groups with Shriners that allow like minded men to enjoy a little high-spirited fun. Motorcycles, trap shooting, parades, golf, flying and sports cars are all examples of these types of groups
The privilege of supporting the "world’s greatest philanthropy,” Shriners Hospitals for Children®, offers Shriners many opportunities to find personal fulfillment and satisfaction