ABOUT EL BEKAL SHRINE CENTER
The Imperial Council for North America of the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine granted Dispensation on July 12, 1951 in the City of Long Beach, California, for Nobles of the Long Beach Shrine Club to meet with the intention of forming the El Bekal Shrine.
On June 10, 1952, the 164th Shrine Temple of North America was chartered with 2,221 charter members joining and to be known from that time forward as El Bekal Shrine. The following Nobles were the first honored to serve as officers of this new, exciting Shrine:
Potentate Cedric E. Perry
Chief Rabban Francis H. Gentry
Assistant Rabban Robert R. Ruchti
High Priest & Prophet Oakley K. Morton
Oriental Guide W. Blair Gibbens
Treasurer Frank C. Blair, Sr.
Recorder Howard C. LeManquais
Late 1970’s found El Bekal Shrine members longing for a new home in Orange County, and at the Imperial Sessions of 1978 El Bekal asked to be allowed to move to Orange County and was denied. At the Imperial Sessions of 1979, Potentate Illustrious Sir Junior V. Lewis was able to obtain permission by working with neighboring Shrine, Al Malaikah, for Sole Jurisdiction Rights in Anaheim.
In October of 1979, El Bekal Shrine moved to State College & Lincoln Avenue in Anaheim, in 1980 moved again to 1284 E. Katella Avenue, in 1982 to 1170 Gene Autry Way, and to our present location at 1320 South Sanderson Avenue in Anaheim in November 1997.
El Bekal’s present location has over 11,500 square feet with approximately 25% of total square footage as modernized office space and conference areas.
El Bekal has a large auditorium with stage area, which can be divided into separate dining or meeting rooms. Each Unit has a storage area within the building plus the radio room for the Rad-Ops Shrine Club.
In 1984, at the Imperial Session in Boston, Massachusetts, El Bekal and Al Malaikah Shrines petitioned the Imperial Council to dissolve the exclusive jurisdiction of both Shrines and make concurrent jurisdiction in the Counties of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles, and Orange.
SHRINERS - A BROTHERHOOD OF MEN
Dedicated to Fun & Fellowship, but with a Serious Purpose
Shriners come from all walks of life. They represent a cross-section of the various social, economic,
educational, and spiritual men found in North America today. However, even with their individual uniqueness, they share one common bond – they are all members of the Masonic Order and adhere to the principles of Freemasonry – Brotherly Love, Belief, and Truth. This fraternity is dedicated to the vows of morality in public and private life and espouses belief in a Supreme Being and in the constitutional rights of members of free choice of religion and political persuasion.
Only after a Master Mason has achieved the 3rd Degree in his Masonic Blue Lodge can he petition to become a Noble of the Mystic Shrine.
It is probably more than a coincidence that the initials of the fraternity’s formal title – Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (A.A.O.N.N.M.S.) when rearranged spell a Mason.
Back in 1872, thirteen close-knit Masons regularly gathered in a favorite restaurant in New York. There they discussed the idea of developing a Fraternity of Masons where good fun and fellowship would be stressed more than ritual. Actor William Florence witnessed an Arabian entertainment while on a European tour and came home with the idea of using that particular oriental motif as the vehicle for the new Fraternity. Dr. Walter Fleming developed the idea into a ritual and designed the structure of the new organization, to be called the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.
Today there are over one-half million Shriners and 191 Shrine Temples located throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
There is colorful pageantry and ceremonials, exciting performances and parades, and many opportunities for men, and their families, to participate in a variety of social and special interest activities.
There are no strangers in Shrinedom, and wherever a Shriner goes, he can be assured of meeting men with similar Masonic heritage and a contagious zest for living and enjoyment of life.
Each Shrine Temple offers a wide range of special interest Units where a man may fulfill his dream… be a clown, a keystone cop, an Oriental bandsman, a midget motor or motorcycle driver… or anything he desires.
Perhaps more than any other social organization, the Shrine offers and encourages family participation and involvement. Nowhere else will a man and his lady find the unlimited opportunities available to them, for social enjoyment and satisfaction, as are offered in the Shrine.
Throughout its history, the Shrine has always been involved in charitable endeavors. However, in the early 1920’s the membership decided to develop and support an official philanthropy. They fulfilled this desire in the establishment of Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Today the Shrine operates 19 Orthopedic Centers and 3 Burns Institutes where children, regardless of race, religion, or relation to a Shriner, receive excellent medical care… absolutely free.
Since 1922, Shriners have substantially improved the “quality of life” for over 450,000 crippled and burned children. Millions more have benefited from outpatient services or as recipients of treatments and techniques developed at Shriners Hospitals.
Many Shrine activities are centered around Shriners Hospitals, which has often been referred to as the “World’s Greatest Philanthropy”. As you can see, a Shriner’s life is full.
Becoming a Shriner may be the best decision you’ll ever make!