Category Archives for Announcements

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

Grand Opening! Shriners Antique & Crafters Flea Market

The Shriners Antique & Crafters Flea Market kicks off THIS SUNDAY MAY 27th and continues every last Sunday of the month through October. It is a Fundraiser for the Pittsburgh Syria Shriners Temple and for the Units, Clubs and Caravans that help and participate. We’re looking for visitors, crafters and flea marketers of all types. Stalls are $25 a month for a 24” x 20” booth area. The Market runs rain or shine, hopefully it shines!

2018 Dates:

  • May 27
  • June 24
  • July 29
  • Aug. 26
  • Sept. 30
  • Oct. 28
  • The Shriners Antique & Crafters Flea Market is the creation of Flea Market Chairman and Syria Shriner Dennis Conrad.

    What You'll Discover at our Flea Market

    “Our event is for anybody who gets a kick out of flea markets. We’re hoping to serve people who are looking for unique historical items, crafts, tools, paintings, we’ll have people who make jewelry, another person will have Swarovski crystal. Basically, it’s for people who are looking to buy or sell items at a bargain. Sometimes you find what you’re looking for and sometimes not. This is more than a craft show. People are bringing someone else’s treasure.”

    For vendor inquiries, please contact Peg McKillop at 724-274-7000 or email Peg at mmckillop(at)syriashriners.org

    syria shriners flea market


    Dennis says another popular item is collectible die-cast cars. Dennis himself is a collector of Texaco die-cast cars and trucks. He visits the Fleatiques at Tour Ed Mine and Museum in Tarentum almost every month. “My wife likes flea markets. She collects depression glass,” Dennis said. His daughter collects china.

    Vendors and visitors will find they’re set up on asphalt, no fields or lawns. There is ample parking, and indoor restrooms (as opposed to no facilities!)

    The Shrine Clowns will be attending to entertain the kids. “We're trying to make it a destination place,” Dennis said.

    Expectations of Flea Market's Growth

    “We would like to regularly see 200 vendors and grow it as big as any of the locally large flea markets in the area. Our goal is to establish this as a continuous fundraiser for the Syria Temple.”

    The Shriners in Pittsburgh have long held antiques and craft shows at both the old Syria Mosque in Oakland and the new Pittsburgh Shrine Center in Cheswick. The old will soon feel new again in more ways than one!

    Dennis was quick to mention the great help that he has received in his effort to reestablish the Shrine as a go-to destination for flea market fans. “Joe Micikas and John Handshue have been very helpful, and of course Peg McKillop has been very helpful. There are many that are working hard to help make this event come together,” he said.

    Supporting the Shriners Supports Shriners Hospitals

    Dennis hopes that you’ll stop by to browse or reserve a booth to sell your wares in support of the Syria Shrine, and by doing so, help us support the Shriner’s Hospitals for Children.

    “The focus is on helping the Temple, and the Temple supports the hospital system,” Dennis said. “That is why we exist. We persevere to keep our hospitals open and make sure that children get the best possible care they can get. The fact is that we take care of any child in need. People must realize the most well-kept secret is that our hospitals are out there helping kids, and that is why is we support them."

    So come on out this Sunday and every last Sunday through October and give us a look! We’re putting our best foot forward and were open to suggestions. Please let us know how we can improve our event to suit you. The plan is to ask each vendor every Sunday what they think of the event and collect feedback on ways to make this the best flea market it can be.

    Fraternally,

    Syria Shriners