Archive Monthly Archives: March 2020

March 22nd Update on Syria Temple’s COVID 19 (Coronavirus) Response

At Syria Shriners, we are doing our best to keep you informed as circumstances quickly change, events are canceled, rescheduled, and our Grand Lodge and Shriners International reach decisions and issue statements that affect all of us.

We feel an absolute responsibility to maintain the flow of information. Watch for additional communication, check our website at syriashriners.org, and follow our Facebook page for ongoing information as developments unfold.

You can view our earlier COVID 19 (Coronavirus) Response communications below:

We'll all get through this together, and if we take proper public health precautions, most of us will not become seriously ill.

Meanwhile, stay well, and stay home. We look forward to being together again soon.

If you don't regularly receive our communications,
 click the "JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST" link at our home page here,
to sign up for our email list.

Pittsburgh Shrine Center Closure

The Pittsburgh Shrine Center remains closed until further notice. Please keep our office and facilities staff, and our entire Syria Shriners family in your prayers. We all need to remember each other during this trying period. Call your fellow Shriners, and look after their well-being. Run errands to the grocery or drug store if your situation allows, and theirs does not.

Forward this article to your friends who don't receive it directly, and encourage them to sign up for our email list on our home page here.

Rescheduled Events

The Potentate's Stag Testimonial Dinner, originally scheduled for March 21, has been rescheduled for Saturday, November 21. Rocky Bleier will join us that day. Hospitality Suite reservations have been shifted to November, and all tickets issued will be honored in November.

The Potentate's Ball, originally scheduled for April 18, has been rescheduled for Saturday, October 24. The same menu, entertainment, and other festivities will be offered in the fall. All reservations have been shifted to the new date.

If you need a refund for either event, contact the Shrine Center office, 724-274-7000, after we reopen.

Canceled & Postponed Events not yet rescheduled

The Bunny Bash, scheduled for April 4, has been canceled. we will try to schedule another party for our kids sometime this spring.

The Quarterly Meeting,and First Ceremonial, scheduled for April 6, has been postponed to a date to be determined. Shriners International bylaws require Temples to meet at least once a quarter, and we will reschedule when we can safely do so.

The Caravan 14 Seafood Stag, scheduled for April 17, has been postponed. The new date has yet to be determined.

The Swing Time dance, featuring the Syria Stage Band, scheduled for April 24, has been canceled. The dances are scheduled to resume on the third Friday in May, and continue on the third Friday of every month through November.

The Directors Staff Spaghetti Dinner, scheduled for April 26 has been canceled. No further information is available at this time.

At this time (mid March), we are scheduled to resume activities in May.
We will keep you informed as developments unfold.

As we learn to cope with the "new normal," and hope that is only a temporary state of normalcy for us all, this hymn, penned by Jeremiah Eames Rankin in 1880, and set to a tune by Ralph Vaughn Williams, brings to mind my sincere hopes and prayers for all of the Syria Shriners family.

View the video below to hear the tune, and see the lyrics below.

May the Great Architect of the Universe continue to be the tracer of designs upon your trestle board, and keep you in his loving arms until we are able to come together once again as Brother Nobles.

God Be With You Till We Meet Again

God be with you till we meet again,
By his counsels guide, uphold you,
With his sheep securely fold you,
God be with you till we meet again.

God be with you till we meet again,
’Neath his wings protecting hide you,
Daily manna still provide you,
God be with you till we meet again.

God be with you till we meet again,
When life’s perils thick confound you,
Put his arms unfailing round you,
God be with you till we meet again

God be with you till we meet again,
Keep love’s banner floating o’er you,
Smite death’s threatening wave before you,
God be with you till we meet again..

Imperial Potentate Defers to Grand Masters on Temple Activities

Nobles -  Please click here to see the March 18 memorandum from Noble John C. Piland, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Shriners International, regarding decisions of Grand Masters of Masons in jurisdictions where Shriners International subordinate Temples operate.

The Imperial Potentate is essentially deferring to Grand Masters in terms of Temple activities, under the umbrella of Masonic activities, placing his trust in local authorities to do what is right in and for their respective areas.

You can view the letter of March 12 from the R.W. Grand Master of Masons in Pennsylvania by clicking here.

If you had activity scheduled of which we were unaware, you should immediately take action to cancel or postpone. If you need help communicating that information, send it to me at syriarecorder@gmail.com, and I will disseminate it for you.

I apologize for the volume of emails we are sending you. We are simply doing our best to keep you informed, and that is requiring frequent communication at the moment on behalf of our various constituencies.

Yours in the faith,


Robert T. Addleman, Jr., P.P.

3/16 Update: Syria Shriners Facility Closures and Event Rescheduling


Effective immediately, and until further notice (at least for the remainder of this month), all Temple, Unit, Club, Caravan and other sub-group meetings, rehearsals and other activities scheduled for the Pittsburgh Shrine Center are canceled. This includes the meeting of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee scheduled for March 24.

We are frustrated, and share your frustration, but given the current public health concern, the demographics of our membership, and the response from Masonic, governmental, and public health authorities, we have chosen to act with an abundance of caution.

We apologize for the inconvenience this causes you. Please use email, telephone conference calls, virtual meeting software, and any other technology that may aid in conducting your business and communicating with your members.

Yours in the faith,
Donald J. Taylor, Sr.
Illustrious Potentate

Rescheduled Major Events for 2020

SYRIA SHRINERS announces the following rescheduled events, after recent postponements due to public health concerns.

Potentate's Ball rescheduled for Sat. Oct. 24

An Enchanted Evening, the 2020 Potentate's Ball, honoring Illustrious Sir Donald J. Taylor, Sr., and First Lady Eleanor, will enchant you at the Pittsburgh Shrine Center Ballroom, Saturday, October 24.

The same menu, entertainment, and enchantment will light up your evening, Saturday, October 24.

Potentate's Testimonial Banquet rescheduled for Sat. Nov. 21

The Potentate's Testimonial Banquet, honoring Illustrious Sir Donald J. Taylor, Sr., affectionately known as, "The Stag," will invade the Comfort Inn & MainStay Suites at RIDC Park, Saturday, November 21.

Four-time Super Bowl Champion, decorated Vietnam veteran and internationally-acclaimed speaker Rocky Bleier will be on hand to accept "The Gunner," the Noble Robert F. Prince, Jr. Award for Lifetime Achievement.

It's the same great day, with all the same great fun, and the same great speaker, just eight months (to the day) after the originally scheduled date. Your tickets for the March 21 event will be used in November, so don't throw them away!

Pittsburgh Shrine Center Office Policy for the remainder of March, 2020

Pittsburgh Shrine Center Office Policy for the remainder of March, 2020

Your Shrine Center office will be open to answer phone calls, receive mail, pay our obligations, allow our auditors access to our files, and carry on other essential business, but we ask that you not make personal visits to the office until further notice, at least for the remainder of this month.

Our staff will be taking proper precautions, following the guidelines established by the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in practicing social distancing and preparing our workplace for this public health concern.

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in this matter.

Robert T. Addleman, Jr., P.P.

Syria Shriners’ Events Update Concerning the Coronavirus

From the Desk of Robert T. Addleman, Jr., P.P. and Recorder


March 13, 2020 - This statement is an effort to provide you with the most up-to-date information regarding upcoming Syria Shriners events and other events scheduled for the Pittsburgh Shrine Center. 

It has come to my attention that rumors are circulating throughout the nobility that are spreading inaccurate information. We were hoping to be able to make one statement concerning these activities, but it has become clear that we must communicate with you now, while certain details are still being determined.

We are fully disclosing the details of all events as we understand them at this time. Accordingly, this email is lengthy. We apologize for that, but want to be fully informed of all developments.

First, all events scheduled for the Shrine Center this weekend 

  • The Legion of Honor Spring Luncheon will be in the Unit Meeting Room, beginning at 11am, Saturday, March 14. 
  • The “Night at the Races” fundraiser will be in the ballroom beginning at 6pm, Saturday, March 14. 
  • The Airys Temple No. 48, Daughters of the Nile open installation will be in the ballroom, beginning at 3pm, Sunday, March 15. 

None of these events will be large gatherings. The luncheon will have fewer than 40 people in attendance. There are 90 advance tickets sold for the “Night at the Races.” The Daughters of the Nile event will have fewer than 60 attendees. Ample opportunity for social distancing will be had at each of these events.

Moving forward, the Stage Band Swing Time dance, scheduled for the Shrine Center ballroom, Friday, March 20 has been canceled.

The Testimonial Banquet, honoring Illustrious Sir Donald J. Taylor, scheduled for the Comfort Inn & MainStay Suites at RIDC Park on Saturday, March 21 is being postponed.

Rocky Bleier contacted us at 12:10pm, Friday, March 13, to inform us that he would be unable to attend “the stag.” The Potentate, Banquet Chair, and other advisors had been weighing options, including suspending the hospitality rooms, and the banquet over the last few days. When Rocky canceled his March 21 appearance, but readily indicated a willingness to appear at a later date, the decision was made to postpone the event.​

We are nearly, but not completely certain that we have a date to reschedule the stag. We expect to be able to make that announcement Monday, March 16, as soon as we are 100% certain of Rocky’s availability. Rocky has indicated his availability on the date we have selected, based on the schedules of the hotel and the Potentate, but wants to confirm that his secretary has not booked an engagement of which he is not yet aware. We had hoped to confirm that information today, but were unable to do so. Hence, we anticipate an announcement on Monday.

The inaccurate information being disseminated by rumor-mongers forces us to make a statement now, however.

In April, the Bunny Bash, scheduled for the Shrine Center ballroom, 
​Saturday, April 4, has been canceled. 

We will attempt to schedule another party for our kids at a later date.

The Quarterly Meeting and Ceremonial, scheduled for the Shrine Center, Monday, April 6, has been postponed. We will announce the rescheduled date as soon as possible.

The Potentate’s Ball, scheduled for the ballroom, Saturday, April 18, will be rescheduled for a later date. Again, as soon as we know when that will be, we will let you know. 

The Swing Time dance, scheduled for the ballroom, Friday, April 24, is still on at this time. We will evaluate that as developments continue.

At this time, we anticipate holding all of our events in May - and later -
as scheduled.

Further developments will determine whether any of those events needs to be rescheduled.

Watch your email, and check our website and Facebook page for additional information moving forward.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused by our schedule changes, but we have decided to act with an abundance of caution as we all deal with this public health matter.

Stay safe, be sure to practice proper hygiene, and follow the recommendations of federal, state, and local public health agencies, and government authorities.

Yours in the faith.