Going back to the beginning our story starts many years ago when we were
known as the Sarasota Shrine Club. The Club had grown to somewhat over
800 members and it was becoming difficult to find a restaurant to
accommodate our many functions. We had a large regular Thursday
luncheon, Ladies Day's events and dinner dances.
Consequently a group of nobles contributed enough money to buy a
piece of land out in the "boondocks" of Sarasota for $13,000 hoping to
have our own facilities in the future. This is now the site of our
present temple and the "boondocks" have changed into a bustling suburban
setting. However the land sat idle for a number of years due to a lack
of funds to build.
Then the effort to build our own temple came to life. We raised a
sizable amount of money through donations and loans from members,
against notes payable and on call. This was not long-term indebtedness
and we started building. It should be noted that many of the nobles who
had loaned money in this manner eventually donated their notes to the
Building Fund. Other notes were paid and the debt was wiped out.
This was truly an example of cooperation and hard work, plus a lot of
blood, sweat and tears. But it was an enjoyable experience for all to
see a dream become reality. Many members worked on the grounds in work
parties as things progressed. In 1975 the building went up. We held a
Dedication Luncheon for our members and their ladies. We also invited
the dignitaries of the local Knights of Columbus, who had been truly
supportive of our efforts. We invited the Potentate of Egypt Shriners to
honor us by officiating at the dedication of our building.
This was the beginning of wonderful developments, hard work and lots
of enjoyment. We had to raise money continuously, but we had plenty of
dedicated volunteers. The King Pins were formed (for those who do not
realize it, KP was the nomenclature for Kitchen Police in the service)
and named after the Kitchen Police. They raised over $10,000 annually
through their volunteer Pancake Breakfasts, open to the public. The
Vocalions (now the Chanters) also raised money by singing for different
About then, it dawned on us that we were not getting to really
participate in temple activities. It was a 120 mile round trip to Tampa,
usually at night. Why not become a temple, in Sarasota? We thought the
idea had merit and enthusiastic Shriners in Manatee, Venice, Gulf and
DeSoto Shrine Clubs joined us for formative discussions. A new Temple
Committee was formed. In due course, we obtained the necessary Imperial
petition and organized to get the necessary 1,000 Shrine signatures.
A meeting of the Sarasota Shrine Club was held and a vote taken to
donate the building to Sahib Shriners as soon as it became a temple.
This was a key vote which was later instrumental in negating action by
This vote was not premature confidence, we hoped. At the meeting with
the Imperial Charters and Dispensation Committee we were complimented on
the booklet we had prepared telling what we had and why we thought we
were ready to become a temple. We sweated out the evening not knowing
their vote. The next morning at the Imperial Session, Sahib was granted
Dispensation as a temple by a unanimous vote with one year in which to
prove ourselves. Joy to the world!
We had Dispensation, but that only meant that we had been given a
year in which to prove ourselves worthy of a Charter. Now came the truly
hard work. We had to make it a working temple.
There were many headaches in that year of Dispensation, but we worked
them out. It was our temple and we wanted it to succeed! In 1982 at the
Imperial Session in Orlando, Florida, Sahib temple was granted its'
charter by a unanimous vote. All our units participated in our Imperial
Parade. Since that the day the temple has flourished, and has become a
GEM in SHRINEDOM.
In 2007 we began celebrating our 25 Anniversary with a gala event in
October that corresponded with our Fall Picnic. As with all of our
events the participation of the nobles from our units and clubs under
the leadership provided by then Chief Rabban John Mitchell and aided by
Unit Council President James Smith and Club President James Jensen made
this event an outstanding success. It made one proud to be a Shriner
since we dedicated the event to attracting younger members of our
communities and their children.
Our Past Potentates and their year(s) in office are listed below,
click here for their photos.
|1981-82 - Howard D. Noble
||1983 - Glenn "Buck" Walters
|1984 - Tom L. Bing
||1985 - Theodore S. Barton
|1986 - Paul "Ned" Jaworowski
||1987 - W. Bruce Steube, 33°
|1988 - Wallace "Bubba" Tervin
||1989 - Walter E. Lander
|1990 - Lee E. Stewart
||1991 - William H. Magill
|1992 - Al "Spuds" McKenzie
||1993 - Lester G. Taylor
|1994 - Ralph E. Kaye
||1995 - James P. Arendall
|1996 - Philip L. Mitchell
||1997 - Al "Bear" Robinson
|1998 - Ken Terryberry
||1999 - Curt Toale
|2000 - Lou Ortt, 33°
||2001 - Ken Gerrard
|2002 - Pat Baessler
||2003 - Ed Phillips
|2004 - Robert Goldenberg
||2005 - Dwain Jones
|2006 - Homer Cranmer
||2007 - Dale La Bell
|2008 - John Mitchell