Statement on 69th Pittsburgh Shrine Circus camel incident

Statement from the Pittsburgh Syria Shriners:

On Sunday, September 16, 2018 at approximately 3:38pm, during the final intermission of the 69th Annual Shrine Circus, a domesticated camel, which had been giving rides to patrons during each of the five performances of the circus, was startled while returning to the ride platform. This caused the animal to rear and attempt to dislodge the three persons (one adult, two children) who were riding.

At this time, we are unable to confirm initial reports that an audience member threw a nearby shovel at the camel’s feet during the ride, which allegedly startled the animal.

At the time of the incident, the camel was being led by a trained and licensed handler. The animal had not displayed any abnormal behavior prior to the incident.

The incident lasted at total of approximately eleven seconds before the camel was brought under control by the handler; all other animals remained under control during the incident.

The three persons who were riding the camel were transported to the hospital for injuries sustained when the animal reared, as were three or four other audience members who were injured in the commotion of the crowd while the incident was occurring. Several people were released after being treated for minor injuries.

This is first incident impacting patron safety in the 69 years of the Shrine Circus in Pittsburgh and is now being investigated by the proper authorities.

The Shrine Circus expresses its deepest regrets for the incident and extends its sympathies to all those who were injured or impacted by the event.

Pittsburgh’s Syria Shriners Debut New Website

Nobles throughout the Oasis take notice, the Syria Shriners are pleased to announce to one and all the debut of our new website! 

The address is still the same, www.SyriaShriners.org, but we now boast a fresh new look. The new site adds modern functionality that we hope will serve the Nobility's desire for a strong online presence to promote the activities of our Temple.

The newly designed website satisfies the vision of our 2018 Potentate, Bill Branthoover. Our Illustrious Sir decided this spring to make the site redesign one of his focal projects this year.

"It is my great pleasure to announce the release of our new fraternal website, Bill said. "It is my hope than an improved online presence will help educate and inform both the nobility and the public, who express a desire to learn more about our wonderful fraternity and all that we have to offer."

The site is proud to offer each Unit Club and Caravan their own space to showcase the purpose, history and activities of each to current and potential members. 

Our new site also organizes our vast content assets into an easy to access portal. ​

New links will guide site visitors quickly to resources and information about our Shriners Hospitals for Children, information on becoming a Shriner and of course, Freemasonry in our great state of Pennsylvania. 

Additionally, we owe an immeasurable debt of gratitude to our two talented Nobles Tim McKiernan and Tom Ruch of McKiernan & Ruch Photography. Without their incredible creativity and generous permission, the site would not be as beautiful visually. Their hard work truly serves as an amazing record of the activities and people who make our Temple as great as it is. Thank you, both!

We hope you all will enjoy this new site well into the future. If you have any comments about the new site or if you have content updates or suggestions that may help to improve it, please feel free to send us a note via the contact page.

Fraternally,

  • Syria Shriners
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