Monday, May 30, 2011

Gizeh Shriners ~ Spring Ceremonial Parade ~ Kamloops, BC

I believe that most of us who live in North America would be familiar with the Gizeh Shriners and have seen the hats (fez) they wear and the scooters they drive in parades.  Some of us may even be aware of their connection to Children’s hospitals but I think very few of us realize the extent of the amazing work Shriners do and contributions they make and have done for the Childrens hospitals for so many years.

Parade Marshall leads the Gizeh Shriners parade in Kamloops, BC
Shriners International first began in New York 139 years ago and the Shriners of British Columbia and Yukon are 109 years old.  They have always been a fraternal and charitable organization and in 1924 began helping children of BC and they’ve carried that on for 87 years now.

Shriners have fun on their mini cars in the parade
There are now 22 private hospitals that are funded only by the Shriners with no cost to the children or the government for their care and that includes transportation to and from the hospitals, wherever that may be.  Some of those hospitals specialize in different treatments, so the kids may be taken to a hospital out of their area.  Click here if you wish to learn how to apply to Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Visiting Gizeh Shriners to the Kamloops Spring Ceremonial
In 2010 alone the Shriners contributed over $5,500,000.00 to Health Care of BC. Most of this would be medical treatment but a portion is also in transporting children to various hospitals for their treatment. There is one hospital in Montreal, PQ, one in Mexico City and the rest are in the U.S. These hospitals are all privately owned by Canadian and American Shriners.

Candidates for Gizeh Shriners participate in the parade in Kamloops
This group of men are 23 candidates who have come to the Spring Ceremonial from all over the province, to be initiated into the Gizeh Shriners. They are all good sports to be willing to parade through town like this, it is all part of the entertainment the Shriners offer.
Shriners perform famous scooter routine during the parade
The scooters or unique small vehicles are all privately owned and transported here at their Shriners owners’ expense but all part of the fun that they enjoy bringing to the cause.  Their focus is on the kids and the scooters have been a big part of the organizations for the entertainment part of the club.  Many clubs have their own style of vehicles so offer a variety to the parade, as well.

The Clown unit of the Gizeh Shriners adds color to the parade
There is a clown unit as part of the Gizeh Shriners and they make a commitment to be part of the entertainment at all these events for the clubs.  They enjoy what they do and the kids enjoy them, too, it is all about the kids.

Fez hats are worn proudly by the Shriners.
Shriners International chose the Near Eastern symbolism to be their fraternity theme when it was founded in 1872 and they still wear the fez (hats) and sometimes the costumes to pay tribute to the tradition.You may learn about becoming a Shriner and how to be involved in their incredible organization by clicking here and learning more about their legacy, mission and goals. 

Kamloops Keystone Kops of the Gizeh Shriners
The Kamloops Gizeh Shriners have been a big part of many parades in the Kamloops area as the always-entertaining Keystone Kops.  They are up to their usual antics as they play to the children on the sidelines of the parade.  Locally the Kamloops Shriners have donated $100,000.00 to the Royal Inland Hospital over the past 10 years.

The Shriners Care Cruiser Program
The Shriners Care Cruiser Program is 10 years old and now has five units which travel in British Columbia transporting the kids to the BC Childrens Hospital as well as to other Shriners hospitals including Portland and Spokane, Washington.  They have carried almost 26,000 children and family in the time since they began, spending over $1 million a year taking kids to these hospitals.  If you wish to learn more about this, click here for their webpage.  They are an amazing organization.

 Just another reason why we love Kamloops ~ there is no place like home.