Dunn Shrine Club 211 N Clinton Ave, Dunn, North Carolina 28334
Dunn Shrine Club

Dunn Shrine Club - Having Fun & Helping Children

History of the Shriners

Shriners International is, at its most basic level, a fraternity. 

It all started in Manhattan in 1870 when some members of what’s considered the world’s oldest fraternity – Masonry – were hanging out at their favorite tavern. They felt that Masonry, which traces its roots to stonemasons and craftsmen of the Middle Ages, was a tad too focused on ritual. These guys wanted a fraternity that stressed fun and fellowship.  

Two of those gentlemen – Walter M Fleming, M.D., and Billy Florence, an actor – took that idea and ran with it. Florence came up with the idea for a Near Eastern-themed party after attending a party thrown by an Arabian diplomat. Fleming added the structure, drafting the fraternity’s name, initiation rites, rituals and rules. Together, Fleming and Florence designed the fraternity’s emblem, devised a salutation and determined that the red fez with the black tassel would be the group’s official headgear. 


The first chapter, Mecca Shriners, met in New York City in 1872. As word got out about the fledgling organization, membership grew rapidly, spreading across the U.S. In the early 1900s, membership spread into Canada, Mexico and Panama. Today, Shriners International is a fraternity with nearly 200 temples in several countries, thousands of clubs around the world and hundreds of thousands of members dedicated to the principles of brotherly love, relief and truth.  

Famous Shriners

Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin

 Astronaut and the second man to walk on the moon 

Brad Paisley

Country singer 

Arnold Palmer

 Professional golfer 

Richard Tyson


Sam Hornish, Jr.

Racecar driver 

David Ragan

Racecar driver