President Reagan named honorary Shriner
WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Ronald Reagan was named an honorary member of the Shrine fraternity in a ceremony held at the White House on Thursday, Feb. 11.
The highest ranking official of the Shrine, Imperial Potentate Voris King, presented Reagan with a certificate naming him an honorary member of the Imperial Council in the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (A.A.O.N.M.S.) in a private ceremony held in the Oval Office.
"We decided to make President Reagan an honorary Shriner because his devotion to peace and prosperity and his compassion to mankind," King said.
King also presented the President with a gift, a gavel made from the wood of a tree which stood on the site where the first Shriners Hospital for Cripple Children was built in 1922 in Shreveport, La.
Reagan was also honored by the Masons during the ceremony. Francis G. Paul and C. Fred Kleinknecht, Sovereign Grand Commanders of the Scottish Rite, Northern and Southern Jurisdictions respectively, presented Reagan with an honorary membership to the Scottish Rite. Raymond F. McMullen, Grand Master of the District of Columbia Grand Lodge, presented the President a Certificate of Honor.
During the same ceremony, Shrine and Scottish Rite officials were awarded "private sector initiative commendations" by President Reagan for their organizations' humanitarian efforts.
The Shrine of North America is a 116-year-old fraternal order which established and operates a network of children's specialty hospitals across North America. The 19 Shriners Institutes have helped more than 350,000 children since 1922. These hospitals treat children up to their 18th birth date, without charge.