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Mecca Shrine Motorhead's Transportation Unit are know as the "Road Angels."
Members of the Mecca Shrine who become part of the Road Angels transports kid and their family member to
Shriners' Hospitals in Philadelphia PA, Boston MA and Springfield MA from the Greater Tri-State NYC Metro area.
This is done with no cost to the patient or their family.
Mecca Shriners Temple - where it all began - formed in 1872 by Dr. Walter Fleming and
a stalwart group of Freemasons - the birthplace of Shrinedom.
In 1870, several thousand of the nine hundred 900,000 residents of Manhattan were masons. Many of these
Masons made it a point to lunch at the Knickerbocker Cottage, a resturant at 426, 6th ave. At a special table on
the second floor, a particularly jovial group of men used to meet regularly
The Masons who gathered at this table were noted for the good humor and wit. They often discussed the idea of a
new fraternity for masons, in which fun and fellowship would be stressed more than ritual. Two of the table
regulars, Walter M. Fleming, M.D and William Florence, and actor took the idea seriously enough to do something
Billy Florence was a star. After Becoming the Toast of the New York stage, he toured London, Europe and Middle
Easter countries, always playing to capacity audiences. While on tour in Marseilles, France Florence was invited to
a party given by an Arabian Diplomat. The entertainment was something in the nature of an elaborately staged
musical comedy. At its conclusion, the guests became members of a secret society. Florence, recalling the
conversations at the Knickerbocker Cottage, realized that this might well be the vehicle for the new fraternity. He
made copious noted and drawings at that initial viewing and on two other occasions when he attended the ceremony,
once in Algiers and again in Cairo. When he returned to New York in 1870 and showed his material to Dr. Fleming,
Dr. Walter Millard Flemming was a prominent physician and surgeon. Born in 1838, he obtained a degree in
medicine from Albany, NY, in 1862. During the civil War he was a surgeon with the 13th New York Infantry Brigade of
the National Guard. He then practiced medicine in Rochester New York until 1868, when he moved to New York City and
quickly became a leading practitioner.
Flemming was devoted to fraternalism. He became a Mason in Rochester and took some of this Scottish Rite work
there. Then completed his degrees in NC. He was coroneted a 33° Scottish Rite mason on September 19, 1872
Fleming took the ideas supplied by Florence and converted them into what would become the Ancient Arabic Order
of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (A.A.O.N.M.S)
Shriners Hospitals for Children® is a health care system of 22 hospitals dedicated to improving the lives of
children by providing pediatric specialty care, innovative research, and outstanding teaching programs for medical
professionals. Children up to age 18 with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and
palate are eligible for care and receive all services in a family-centered environment, regardless of the patients’
ability to pay.
What is a Shriner?
Shriners International is a fraternity based on fun, fellowship and the Masonic principles of brotherly love,
relief and truth. There are approximately 340,000 members from 193 temples (chapters) in the U.S., Canada, Mexico,
the Philippines, Puerto Rico and the Republic of Panama.
Shriners International supports Shriners Hospitals for Children®, a health care system of 22 hospitals dedicated
to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, innovative research, and outstanding
teaching programs for medical professionals. Children up to age 18 with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord
injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for care and receive all services in a family-centered environment,
regardless of the patients’ ability to pay.
Shriners believe in God and
that He created man to serve His purposes, among which is service to others in His name.
We believe that care for the less fortunate, especially children who suffer from burns and crippling
diseases, is our institutional calling.
We are patriots, each willing to serve his country with fidelity and courage. We cherish independence under
law and freedom with responsibility.
We honor family. We respect our parents, wives and children. We should instill in our children the tenets of
this creed, and the heritage from which it emanates.
As individuals we pledge ourselves to integrity, virtue and nobility of character. Our intentions will be
honorable, our relations will be trustworthy and our spirits forgiving of each other.
As brothers we offer each other fraternal affection and respect. Together we will support each other in
adherence to this creed, so that we and our communities will be the better because of our fraternity and its
As Shriners we look beyond ourselves to serve the needs of others, especially children who cannot help
themselves. We believe Shriners Hospitals to be the world's greatest philanthropy, and we covenant with each
other to support its "temples of mercy" with spirit, time, talent and means.
If you are Interested in More Infomation on Shriners:
If you don’t think former President Gerald Ford, astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, country crooner Brad Paisley and
race car driver Sam Hornish Jr., have anything in common besides celebrity, you need the Shriner Primer.
If you think that "Potentate" is the strength of hot sauce that lies somewhere between "mild" and "hot" at your
favorite burrito joint, you need the Shriner Primer.
And if you think the only thing Shriners - those guys in the odd-looking, tasseled, red hats in your local
Independence Day parade - do is ride around in tiny cars, you really need the Shriner Primer.
Download the Shriner Primer (in PDF format) and enjoy our version of the CliffsNotes® on Shriners
International. Spend a few minutes perusing the booklet, and we hope you’ll have a better insight into the
Shriners, the fraternity, Freemasonry and Shriners Hospitals for Children®. At the very least, you’ll be able to
amaze your friends with your knowledge of American trivia. At the very most, you’ll be inclined to continue
- The first Shriners meeting was held in New York City in 1872.
- To become a Shriner, a man first must be a Master Mason.
- All Shriners are Masons... but not all Masons are Shriners.
- The fez was named after the town of Fez, Morocco, where it originated.
- The chief executive officer of Shriners of North America is the Imperial Potentate.
- The first Shriners Hospital for Children opened in Shreveport, La., in 1922.
- There is never a charge for any of the care or services provided at Shriners Hospitals.
... from the Shriner Primer: The ultimate guide.