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"A Dream That Became A Reality"

How Sahib Shriners was Started
by Ill. Sir Howard D. Noble, P.P.
Dispensation July 16, 1981
Charter June 17, 1982
Edited by Phil Mitchell, PP and John Mitchell, 2008 Potentate

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 occasions.

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 opposing parties.

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  


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Receiving Charter in Orlando, Florida, July 1982 (left to right) Paul "Ned" Jaworowski, Glenn "Buck" Walters, Ill. Sir Howard D. Noble, Imperial Sir Randolph R. "Randy" Thomas, Tom L. Bing, Theodore S. "Ted" Barton, John H. Browning and Herbert G. Brader.

Click Here for Photo of Charter Class (210KB)

Source: From "A Dream That Became A Realty", produced in 1982 at Sahib Shriners for distribution (updated in 2008.) Copies are available in the Sahib Shriners Office.

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Updated: 07/08/2017