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 before us who laid the foundation of our great fraternity.
Each February, which is now designated as Legacy Month, temples are encouraged to host Legacy Nights to promote membership and honor the members who have taken part in this program. Throughout the month, 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 Stewart family, being a Shriner is a family tradition that stretches across generations.
A Masonic Family Legacy
The Stewart Family has a long history, and legacy, of being part of the Shriners fraternity.
Charles Elliott Stewart has been a Shriner since June of 1992. He belonged to Medinah Shriners in Chicago and was in the Motor Corp Unit until he moved to South Carolina in 1997 and joined Alee Shriners, where he participated in the Pirate Unit until just recently. Now he is a member of Omar Shriners in Charleston, S.C., and is interested in becoming one of the Roadrunners to further his service to both the philanthropy and the fraternity.
Charles’ father, Edward Harold Stewart Jr., became a Shriner right after his son became a Mason and joined a blue lodge. Edward Stewart joined Medinah Shriners and was in the Clown Unit until he moved to South Carolina in 2007 and joined Alee Shriners and its Pirate Unit, where he was an active participant until his passing in 2009.
Charles’ grandfather, Edward Harold Stewart, was a member of Ainad Shriners in East St. Louis, Ill. Honoring his grandfather was the main reason Charles became a Mason.
Charles’ maternal grandfather was also a member of Medinah Shriners, and his mother and grandmothers were all active members of the Order of Eastern Star.
“I am proud to come from a long line of Masons and Shriners. Although neither of my grandfathers were around when I became a Mason and Shriner, I know they were with me on my journey and were proud of me. I know for sure my father was, as he rekindled his activity in his blue lodge and became a Shriner all because I asked him how to become a Mason. We shared a special kinship and brotherhood that my blood brothers will never know, all because I asked how to become a Mason,” said Charles.
“I have no children, so there will be none to follow me, but I have had much enjoyment in being a Shriner and find it quite fulfilling to see and be part of the good work that we do as Shriners. I am proud to be part of a Shriners legacy.”