WHO ARE THE SHRINERS?
Shriners are a fraternity based on fun, fellowship and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief and truth with nearly 200 temples (chapters) in several countries and thousands of clubs around the world. Our fraternity is open to men of integrity from all walks of life.
Shriners are a brotherhood of men committed to family, engaged in ongoing personal growth, and dedicated to providing care for children and families in need. Our backgrounds and interests are diverse, but we are bound together by our shared values and a desire to have fun, do good and build relationships that can last a lifetime.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SHRINERS AND MASONS?
All Shriners are Masons, but not all Masons are Shriners. Shriners are a spin-off from Freemasonry, the oldest, largest and most widely known fraternity in the world. Freemasonry dates back hundreds of years to when stonemasons and other craftsmen gathered after work in shelter houses, or lodges. The members organized into Masonic guilds and the tools of their trade – the square and compass – became the symbol of their brotherhood. Over time, Masonry evolved into an organization that began to accept members who were not craftsmen.
Today, Masonry is built upon a foundation of improving character and strengthening communities, though the square and compass are still the symbols of the fraternal brotherhood. When the Shriners organization was first founded in 1872, the organization built on the principles that guided Freemasonry, while adding an element of fun and, ultimately, philanthropy, that set Shriners apart. When a member has completed the third and final degree he becomes a Master Mason and is then eligible to become a Shriner.