May 3rd COVID-19 Response Update – Syria Shriners to Remain Closed Through July 1
At Syria Shriners, we are doing our best to continue keeping you informed as circumstances quickly change and events are canceled or rescheduled, while our Grand Lodge and Shriners International reach decisions and issue statements that affect all of us. While it has never been our intention to flood your inbox with email, we feel an absolute responsibility to maintain the flow of information.
You can view our previous updates and news at these links below:
- Syria Shriners COVID-19 Response Update, April 26th
- April 19th Update on Syria Shriners COVID-19 Response
- Syria Shriners Coronavirus Response Update for Sunday, April 12
- Syria Shriners’ Covid-19 Response April 5 Update
- Syria Shriners’ COVID-19 Response Update March 29
- Pittsburgh Shrine Center to Remain Closed Through at Least June 1st -R.W. Grand Master
- March 22nd Update on Syria Temple’s COVID 19 (Coronavirus) Response
- Imperial Potentate Defers to Grand Masters on Temple Activities
- 3/16 Update: Syria Shriners Facility Closures and Event Rescheduling
Watch for additional communication, check our website at syriashriners.org, and follow our Facebook page for ongoing information as developments unfold. We'll all get through this together, and if we take proper public health precautions, most of us will not become seriously ill.
Let's continue to pray for one another and support each other through safe social contact (i.e., phone, text, email, FaceTime, Skype, etc.), all the while practicing proper physical distancing to control the spread of the coronavirus. We must all do our part. Even if you think this situation is overblown, please exercise caution, as many of your friends and neighbors are counting on you not to increase their likelihood of exposure or illness.
We are repeating some information below, in the hope that more people will see it. More people are signing up for our emails, and our open rate is improving, but most who receive messages from us continue not to open them, so we apologize for the repetition, and hope you understand that redundancy is not a bad thing when the information is important. There's plenty of new content, though, so keep reading!
Meanwhile, stay well, and stay home. We look forward to being together again soon.
R.W. Grand Master Extends Suspension of All Masonic Activity Until at Least July 1
Brother Thomas A. Gamon IV, Right Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Pennsylvania, has extended his order suspending all Masonic activities in Pennsylvania until further notice, and at least until July 1. Shriners International has directed local Shrine Temples to follow their respective Grand Masters' leads in this regard.
Acccordingly, by order of the Illustrious Potentate, Donald J. Taylor, Sr., all Syria Shriners activities for May and June are hereby canceled, with the exception of pick-ups for the Onion Sale. As foodstuffs are life-sustaining, we will conduct the order fulfillment outdoors, and all proper public health protocols will be observed, our Onion Sale pick-ups are exempt from the Grand Master's order, and those of the Governor and the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health.
You may read the Grand Master's letter of May 1 below.
May 1, 2020
Due to all of the uncertainties surrounding this health crisis, the Grand Lodge will be extending the suspension of all Masonic activities until July 1, 2020 at the very earliest. We will continue to monitor the ever-changing situation and make a determination around June 1st as to whether we will be able to safely resume some activity sometime mid-summer.
I understand that while our lodges are dark, many fellowship, fundraising and community events are often held during the summer months. Please realize that these decisions have not been easy to make, but our concern is first and foremost for you, our members of this great fraternity.
Please continue to reach out to your brethren and offer assistance and support. Reassure them that we are all in this together, that their health and welfare are paramount and that we will be back in lodge enjoying the fraternal bonds that we all so love real soon!
Please stay safe and stay well!
Sincerely and Fraternally,
Thomas Gamon, IV
R.W. Grand Master
Second Quarterly Meeting Virtually ZOOMs to Monday, June 1
Shriners International Imperial Potentate Jeff Sowder recently issued General Order No. 2, allowing for electronic meetings.
The bylaws of Shriners International require all Temples to meet at least quarterly. The bylaws of Syria Shriners establish quarterly meetings on the first Monday of January, April, August and October. The Quarterly Meeting of Syria Shriners, previously scheduled for Monday, April 6 had to be postponed, as electronic meetings were not yet possible, the Grand Master had suspended all Masonic activity in Pennsylvania, and Imperial Sir Jeff had directed Shrine Temples to take their lead from their respective Grand Masters.
We have now scheduled a Quarterly Meeting using ZOOM, Monday, June 1 at 7:30pm. Watch your email for a link and directions to attend the meeting using your computer, smartphone, tablet, or landline. Details will be forthcoming soon.
In Case You Missed It
Grand Ole Opry Livestream - With support from Shriners Hospitals for Children®, last night, for the 4,922nd consecutive Saturday night, the show went on at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, featuring Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, keeping the music playing in Music City, once again without a live audience. Click the image to the left and enjoy the show.
SHC has kept the music playing the last eight Saturdays. See all the shows here.
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 email to your friends who don't receive it directly, and encourage them to sign up for our email list.
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.
The North HIlls Home Brew Fest, originally scheduled for Saturday, May 9, has been rescheduled for Saturday, August 29. More information here.
*If you need a refund for either event, contact the Shrine Center office after we reopen.
The Swing Time dances, featuring the Syria Stage Band, scheduled for April 24, and May 15 have been canceled. The dances are scheduled to resume on the third Friday in June, and continue on the third Friday of every month through November.
The Sportsmen's Bash Early Bird Drawing has been rescheduled for Saturday, July 11. Get your ticket stubs in before that date for inclusion in the drawing. The bash has been rescheduled for Saturday, September 5. More information here.
The Legion of Honor meetings scheduled for Monday, May 4, have been rescheduled for Monday, June 8.
The Annual Syria Shrine Ladies Luncheon, honoring First Lady Eleanor Taylor, has been rescheduled from May 30 to Saturday, August 8. The event begins at noon, with luncheon served at 12:30pm, and entertainment following lunch. Ladies, mark your calendar now for the new date for this fun afternoon Girls' Day Out!
Canceled & Postponed Events not yet rescheduled
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. We have a goal date in mind, but it would be premature to announce that at this time.
The Caravan 14 Seafood Stag, scheduled for April 17, has been canceled. We'll see you next year!
The Directors Staff Spaghetti Dinner, scheduled for April 26 has been canceled. The event will not be rescheduled this Spring, but the Fall dinner remains scheduled for Sunday, November 1.
The 55th Annual Syria Shriners Horse Patrol Open Horse Show, scheduled for Sunday, April 26, at South Park, has been canceled. Watch for other Horse Patrol events at other venues later this year.
The First Choice Wine Festival, scheduled for Saturday, May 16, has been canceled for this year.
The Prospect Borough Community Day Memorial Parade, scheduled for Saturday, May 23, has been canceled for this year.
The Carnegie Memorial Parade, scheduled for Sunday, May 24, has been canceled for this year.
Lawrenceville and Monroeville last week announced the cancellation of their Memorial Day parades this year.
Sewickley and Coraopolis have each announced they are canceling their Memorial Day parades this year. Several of our units have become accustomed to playing a doubleheader on both sides of the Ohio River in these neighboring towns, but this year, there will be no parade in either community.
Brentwood and Monroeville announced the cancellation of their Independence Day parades this year.
At this time, we are scheduled to resume activities in June. We will keep you informed as developments unfold.
Taking care of ourselves and each other
Let's make sure we look out for each other as we navigate our way through the "new normal." While we practice physical distancing, let's be sure no one goes without vital social contact. Reach out to your fellow Nobles, Lodge Brothers, friends, family and neighbors. If your situation allows, run an errand to the grocery store, pharmacy or other essential business for someone who can't, or really shouldn't, be leaving their home right now. And while you're at it, be sure to take proper precautions like those below.
There is so much misinformation being shared on social media and by email. Do yourself, and all of us a favor, and go right to a trusted source for your information. Please don't pass along things your seen posted or things you've been sent unless they have come directly from a legitimate public health or government authority. Click on the image to the left to visit the federal government's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, FEMA and the White House at coronavirus.gov.