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The Shriners’ Legacy Program: The Bede family’s Shriner Legacy

Friday, February 3, 2017
Dr. Bede

As Shriners, we are part of an international organization that strengthens us individually, enhances our families and makes us part of a history of brotherhood and camaraderie. And, as Shriners, we also have the opportunity to be legacies. The Legacy Program helps strengthen our fraternal bonds with those closest to us, and allows members to honor the many men who laid the foundation of our great fraternity.

February is now designated as Legacy Month. Throughout the month, temples are encouraged to host Legacy Nights to promote membership and honor the members who have taken part in this program. Shriners International will also share stories of legacy families in our various publications and on our websites in recognition of their dedication to the Shriners fraternity.

For many men, like those in the Bede family, being a Shriner is a family tradition that stretches across generations.

Dr. Bede is a member of the Board of Trustees and part of a Shriner Legacy family

W. Brandt Bede, M.D., of Afifi Shriners in Tacoma, Washington, has played an integral role in our fraternity for many years, and has made countless contributions to Shriners Hospitals for Children during his service, especially as a member of the Board of Trustees. Dr. Bede is also part of a Shriner Legacy family, and both he and his father served as Potentates of Afifi Shriners. With nine family members who are Shriners, it is clear that fun, fellowship and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief and truth run deep through the Bede family tree.

The Legacy

Bede cufflinksThis Shriner Family Legacy began with Dr. Bede’s father, Dr. Brandt Bede, who served as Potentate of Afifi Shriners in 1966. This was the same year Dr. Bede, the oldest son of three, joined Shriners International. Dr. Bede’s father was very involved in his son’s becoming both a Mason and a Shriner, and participated in both ceremonies. “My father inspired me to join,” said Dr. Bede.

Dr. Bede’s  two younger brothers, Barry and Brewster, also became Shriners as soon as they turned 21.

In 1999, while Dr. Bede was serving as Potentate, his two sons and three nephews joined the fraternity – creating three generations of Afifi Shriners. That year, Washington State University offered a one day class on Masonry, which the younger generation attended together prior to joining. “There was a real bonding experience between the younger family members,” said Dr. Bede. 

Dedicated Mason, Shriner and orthopaedic surgeon

Dr. Bede is currently serving his fourth three-year term on the Shriners Hospitals for Children Board of Trustees, having returned as an active member of the Board in 2015. He also served one year on the Board of Directors of Shriners Hospitals for Children from 2012–2013.

Dr. Bede previously served as a member of the Board of Trustees from 2002–2011, and was honored with emeritus status. He was a member of the Board of Governors of Shriners Hospitals for Children — Spokane in 1991 and 1992, and a member of the Board of Governors of Shriners Hospitals for Children — Portland from 1994 through 2002, serving as chairman the last three years of his term.

An accomplished orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Bede served in the U.S. Naval Reserve Medical Corps in Orlando, Florida, and has been very active in his home community.

In addition to being a Past Potentate of Afifi Shriners, Dr. Bede is a member of Morton Lodge #209, F. & A.M., the Scottish Rite, Royal Arch Masons, Royal and Select Masters, Knights Templar, Red Cross of Constantine and Royal Order of Jesters.

Dr. Bede and his wife, Leslie, have five children, including a daughter, Sierra, who was a patient of the Portland Shriners Hospital. 

“Dr. Bede could use the time he spends on the Shrine to make money, for travel, or for lounging around his house, but he can do nothing that honors the legacy of his father more than giving of his time, talent and treasure to the Shrine,” said John Piland, executive vice president of Shriners International. 

“Legacy is not just about membership. It includes faithful service to the fraternity as a meaningful and overt means of honoring family members. Dr. Bede’s sacrifices and dedication to the Shrine honors the memory of a great Shriner, his father. Other Shriners can honor their family members through dedicated service to the Shrine as exemplified by Dr. Bede.”

Start your family’s legacy today

We encourage everyone to pass along the Shriners tradition of fun, fellowship and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief and truth in their family, and to strengthen their fraternal legacy. Shriners International will continue to grow from one generation to the next when you share the tradition and join the Shriners Legacy Program.

Pictured (above right): W. Brandt Bede, M.D., member of Shriners Hospitals for Children Board of Trustees; (above left): Pair of Afifi Shriners cufflinks, which lists the names and years of service as Potentate for both Dr. Bede and his father, Dr. Brandt Bede