Our History

Shriners Fraternity

The history of Shriners International originates back in 1872 when a group of men came together in the spirit of fun, fellowship, and a shared desire to making the world a better place. As polio ravaged the United States, in 1919, Imperial Potentate Freeland Kendrick proposed establishing a hospital to provide free medical care for keiki with orthopedic conditions.

Thus began a system of care grounded in research, committed to providing educational opportunities for physicians and other healthcare professionals, and, most importantly, dedicated to improving the lives of keiki with bone, joint and muscle conditions regardless of a family’s ability to pay. King David Kalākaua was a Brother Mason who inspired a worldwide Hawaiian cultural renaissance. Days before his death in 1891, he became a Shriner and is thought to have been the inspiration behind the founding of the Aloha Shriners temple in 1901.

Celebrating a Century of Care

You might know The Shriners as simply the men in red hats, but there’s a fascinating, 150-year history behind those fancy red fezzes. The story begins in 1870, when a group of fellows created an organization to serve their communities and help build a better world.