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Shriner’s Dictionary

A.A.O.N.M.S. – The initials of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, the fraternity’s official name.

AIDE – A noble appointed by a potentate or Imperial Potentate to assist him with his duties during his term.

AMBASSADOR – A noble appointed by a Potentate to represent him and the temple at club and unit meetings and functions.

APPOINTED DIVAN – Six nobles appointed by the Potentate to assist him during his term. They include the First Ceremonial Master, Second Ceremonial Master, Director, Marshal, Captain of the Guard, and Outer Guard.

BLACK CAMEL – Term used to refer to the death of a member of the Shriners fraternity.

BYLAWS – The rules and regulations governing the Imperial Council and each temple.

CABIRI – A social organization composed of Past Potentates.

CEREMONIAL – The Shrine initiation ceremony.

DIVAN (Pronounced di-van, with emphasis on the second syllable. ) – In Oriental countries, a royal council or council room. In the context of the Shrine, the Divan is the “board of directors” or “executive council” of the organization, and serves as the management team for both fraternal and business activities of the Temple. Each Shrine Temple has it’s own Divan, and the minimum number of Divan members is set by Imperial by-laws at five, with each of these being elected by the Nobility (membership). The additional positions are usually appointed by the Potentate. Like most Masonic organizations, the Divan is usually a “progressive” line, which means that one new person is appointed or elected to the line each year, the other members of the Divan move “up” one position, and the top man retires from the line and becomes a Past Potentate. In addition, two more elected officers are considered part of the Divan, namely the Recorder (Secretary) and Treasurer. These two officers, however, are not usually part of the “progressive” line, and may serve in the same office for more than one year (if so elected)
Each position in the line has it’s own title, derived from Arabic tradition, and each has it’s own set of defined duties and responsibilities. Potentates (both past and present) are addressed as “Illustrious Sir”, Imperial Potentates (both past and present) and members of the Imperial Divan are addressed as “Imperial Sir”, while all other Shriners are addressed as “Noble”. Assuming an individual is re-appointed and/or re-elected to the Divan each year, in the time it takes to move up from Outer Guard to Potentate, he will have had exposure to and responsibility for every aspect of the Shrine’s operation.

EDITORIAL WITHOUT WORDS – The image of a Shriner carrying a little girl and her crutches. This image originated from a photograph and has been reflected in statues, graphics, and other media as a symbol of the Shriners fraternity and Shriners Hospitals for Children. It is currently an important part of the visual identity of Shriners Hospitals for Children.

ELECTED DIVAN – The collective name of the officers of a Shriners temple: The Potentate, Chief Rabban, High Priest and Prophet, Oriental Guide, Treasurer, and Recorder.

FEZ – The official headgear worn by members of the Shriners fraternity. It derives its name from the city where it was first manufactured – Fez, Morocco.

IMPERIAL COUNCIL – The body of representatives from each of the 191 temples, which determines the direction of the fraternity.

IMPERIAL DIVAN – Thirteen officers elected by the Imperial Council to lead the Shrine fraternity.

IMPERIAL SIR – The title preceding the name of a Shriner who is serving or has served on the Imperial Divan.

IMPERIAL COUNCIL SESSION – The Shriners annual convention, generally held during the first week in July. The business of both the fraternity and Shriners Hospitals for Children are conducted at that time. Also, there are parades, unit competitions, and social events during the session.

ILLUSTRIOUS SIR – The title preceding the name of a Shriner who is serving, or has served, as a Potentate of his temple.

LADY – The title preceding the name of the wife of any Shriner. The wife of a Potentate or the Imperial Potentate is referred to as the First Lady.

NOBLE – Refers to a member of the Shriners fraternity, and it is also the title preceding the name of any Shriner who is not a past or current Potentate or who has not served on the Imperial Divan.

PCM – Stands for “Permanent Contributing Member.” The purchase of a $150 PCM certificate, which is tax deductible as a charitable donation, relieves the noble from paying the annual hospital assessment.

STATED MEETING – Held by a temple to conduct official business.

SHRINEDOM – The realm of the Shrine fraternity, including its members, governance, programs, activities, organizational atmosphere, etc.

TEMPLE – Any group of nobles chartered by or under dispensation of the Imperial Council. “Temple” should not be used in the proper name as a group of Shriners. For example, the proper name for the first temple formed is “Mecca Shriners” not “Mecca Temple.”

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