Al Kader Shrine Center and their delegation of representatives to the Imperial Council which met in Portland, Oregon in 1920 helped write that indelible page in the Book of Humanity, the Shriners Hospitals for Children. It was here that the movement to establish our philanthropy began.
W. Freeland Kendrick of Philadelphia was Imperial Potentate in 1920 and he recommended that the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine combine heart interest with its relaxation periods by undertaking to help restore the bodies of crippled children in the families unable to finance expert treatment. Before the close of the session on the first day the proposal had been voted down.
That night, a group of Representatives that included Noble Forest Adair of Atlanta and all of those from Portland, gathered at the Multnomah Hotel. They labored at changing the views until early in the morning at which time Noble Forest Adair went to his room discouraged and heartsick. He was the head of the small Scottish Rite orthopedic hospital in Atlanta and knew of the field from good that awaited the Shrine. As he stood at the window of his room there floated up to his ears the notes of a trombone. The player, a Shriner, was leaning against the hotel wall, all alone on the dewy morning playing "I'm forever blowing bubbles: Pretty bubbles in the air". That music gave Noble Adair the inspiration for his famous "Bubbles" speech which swayed the reluctant delegates to renewed action. The meeting produced a unanimous vote in support of the Imperial Potentate Kendrick's resolution.
Al Kader Shrine Center is located a few miles South of Portland, Oregon in Wilsonville. We are fortunate to have one of those great hospitals located in the Portland metro area. The Portland Unit, located originally on 82nd and Sandy, opened in 1924, was the third hospital built by Shriners International. Over a period of time, it became evident that modern medical treatments required a closer liaison with the University Medical facilities on Marquam Hill. It was decided to move the Shrine facility in proximity to the Oregon Health and Sciences University at a capital investment of over $25 million to create the new hospital which includes a research center designed in the study of prevention of children’s afflictions.
In recent years, it has become evident that many people are unaware of the medical treatment available at Shrine Hospitals, which was provided absolutely without charge. Al Kader Shrine Center has been among the leaders in scheduling of "Screening Clinics" which are conducted at various cities and towns in the Northwest. This was started by Potentate John Coates of Al Kader Shrine Center in November 1984 and followed yearly by ongoing clinics. These clinics review the children in specific areas of appraisal for possible assistance by the Portland Unit. The first series produced 554 examinations with 398 accepted for treatment. Since then, thousands of children have been accepted for treatment.
Clubs and Units:
- Al Kegger Brew Club
- Hospital Support Club
- Al Kader Patrol
- Oriental Band
- Desert Patrol
- Concert Band
- Motor Escort