Shriners International Welcomes Two New Chapters
201 and Counting
Two Chapters Receive Charters, Creating a Fraternity Milestone
July 3, 2023, was a special day for the nobles of Salah and Lubnan Shriners: Both chapters received their charter at Imperial Session in Charlotte, North Carolina, bringing the number of Shriners chapters to 201, and adding a new country to the fraternity’s footprint: the Republic of Lebanon.
Salah Shriners are based in Florianapolis, in the state of Santa Catarina in Brazil. The Shriners Club International of Santa Catarina was formed in 2018 under the jurisdiction of Amal Shriners. With a strong desire to improve access to specialty medical care for children in their state and a commitment to support Brazil’s established healthcare system, the club quickly began to attract members. During the pandemic, the club held virtual ceremonials and continued to grow. The group received their charter under dispensation in 2021 and Salah Shriners was born. Building on their strong relationship with the Grand Lodges of Santa Catarina, Salah flourished, gaining the required 300 members earlier this year.
Salah Shriners’ efforts to assist children from their home state have already made a significant impact, said Shriner Mario Correa. One of their greatest successes was improving access to pediatric burn care by helping to rebuild a burn unit that had been closed for five years due to structural problems. They have also helped children access care for cleft lip and cleft palate more quickly and closer to home by donating a speech therapy booth to the state’s main cleft lip and palate clinic, and facilitating collaboration between the clinic and the local university.
Members also love to party, Correa said. The first Salah Shriners Music Festival featured bands, dinner and dancing at a resort. They led the parade in the local Oktoberfest in 2022, and will be back out in force for this year’s celebration. In addition, Salah was a beneficiary of Peixada do Gui 2023, a traditional Carnival event in Florianopolis that provided fun and fellowship for everyone, helped introduce Salah to the community, and raised funds to support the temple’s efforts.
This group got its start in 1997, when the Nobles of Lebanon Shrine Club formed under the jurisdiction of Mecca Shriners to work in Beirut, Lebanon. Together, the Shriners of Lebanon shared a strong commitment to the physical, emotional and educational well-being of children in Lebanon and the desire to reach out to local orphans and support children with special needs. In 2019, the club began the necessary steps to become a temple, and Lubnan Shriners, U.D., was launched on July 4, 2022.
Lubnan Shriners' leadership met with several government officials, parliament members and influential people in the Lebanese society to explain who the Shriners are and how the Shriners Children’s healthcare system can help children in Lebanon. “We are working very closely with several doctors to identify children in need of our medical intervention, in full support and cooperation from the Order of Doctors in Lebanon,” Shriner Raffy Timonian said.
Lubnan Shriners supports its community in numerous ways, from assisting with a Shriners Children's clinic held in Cyprus to assisting families in need by providing food rations. They also support children’s happiness and well-being through a musical program and holiday parties.
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