Bartholomew County Shrine Club

Columbus, Indiana

A Little About Shriners

The Shrine of North America is known for its colorful parades, circuses and clowns. But there is also a serious side to this international fraternity of approximately 434,000 Master Masons belonging to 191 Shrine chapters in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Panama. For over 80 years, the Shrine has operated a network of specialized hospitals that treat children with orthopedic problems, burns and spinal cord injuries, up to their 18th birthday, free of charge.

The Shrine was founded in 1872 by a group of 13 Freemasons. It was originally established to provide fun and fellowship for its members. But, as the organization grew, its members decided to dedicate their efforts to helping others by establishing an official Shrine philanthropy — a network of 22 specialized hospitals that have provided expert medical care to more than 865,000 children, free of charge. Murat Shriners in Indianapolis, the largest Shrine chapter, is served by the Shriners Hospitals in Chicago, Illinois; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Lexington, Kentucky. We operate a fleet of hospital vans to transport patients and parents to the hospitals. Like hospital care, van transportation is free of charge. Since the first Shriners Hospital opened in 1922, the Shrine has supported what has come to be known as the "World's Greatest Philanthropy."

The best-known symbol of the Shrine is the distinctive red fez that Shriners wear at official functions. Because Shriners are men who enjoy life, fun is a large part of the Shrine and the activities that help support the Shrine's philanthropy. Murat sponsors a host of fun-filled activities for our members and their families. In the Spring, the Shrine Circus comes to town, providing fun for children of all ages.

There also are many informal occasions to have fun. Twice a month we have live dance music in our Oasis Lounge. Our younger Shriners group, NexGen, holds parties throughout the year. Our chorus, the Murat Chanters, writes and performs a Men’s Show in the Fall. The Murat Shriners Business Connection, our business networking group, has an auction to support college scholarships for Shriners Hospital patients. A group of Nobles (that’s what we call each other) take an annual trip to Florida for golfing, fishing, and lunches with our snowbirds.

Murat, like all Shrine chapters, also sponsors Shrine clubs and special units. Our county Shrine clubs are spread throughout Murat territory, from Logansport in the north, to Crawfordsville in the west, to Richmond in the east, to Jeffersonville in the south, and to a host of communities in between. Shrine clubs allow our members to be active in their hometowns. Shrine clubs sponsor social events for members and guests and are active participants in community affairs. They also have parade units. Murat sponsors special interest clubs, like the camera club and computer club. Our Volunteer Contributing Membership unit operates a food booth at the State Fair to support our hospital program. There are numerous volunteer opportunities, at the circus and other events, and chances to serve on committees.

If a man sings in the shower, acted or played a technical role in the school play, marched with the military, rode a horse, ever played a musical instrument, fancies himself a clown, or likes motor vehicles — big, small, two-wheel, four-wheel, new and racy, or older and statelier — we have a unit for him. A man might even want to learn to play the bagpipes. If a member has an interest that is not covered, chances are there are other members who are interested in the same thing and we surely can start new units. That is exactly how our newest ventures, an antique Power Club and roller blade hockey, got their start.

Our members share in the camaraderie, deep friendships and good fellowship that are all part of being a Shriner. We support the “World’s Greatest Philanthropy.” Nothing could be finer or more rewarding. Please join us. Download, fill out and send in the membership petition available below.

If you would like even more information on becoming a Shriner, visit this link: