Shrine Units

The Damascus Shrine Band

Damascus Shrine was known for many years throughout the country for having an outstanding band. About 1994 it underwent a hiatus that lasted 16 years. In mid 2009, then Potentate Bruce Chilton asked Noble Frank Russell to put together a band for our Temple. Frank undertook the project and today has a nucleus of 26 experienced bandsmen. The band continues to look for additional musicians. Frank urges all of you to contact any Shriner Mason or Blue Lodge Mason who might be a potential member. If you know someone who would be an asset to the band and is not yet a Mason, encourage him to apply to his local Lodge and become a Brother. The bandsmen provide their own instrument, except for sousaphones and percussion.

The band plays for formal and informal events at the Temple. For some of the informal events, the band invites family members of the musicians as well as the Ladies of our sister Masonic organizations to play with the band. Frank is aware that bandsmen have family and employment concerns that have to be considered. Plans are in the works for the band to present a program, to include the Shrine Clowns, several times a year throughout our area as a fund raiser for the Shriner Children’s Hospitals. It has been asked to play on August 7 as part of the Sodus Bay Lighthouse Sunday afternoon concert series. From a time standpoint, the band tries to maintain a schedule that averages about once a month for a commitment.

While the band plays some standard marches, it also plays patriotic songs, songs of our military services and some standard old time familiar songs. The band is there to support the Damascus Temple and for its members to have fun and be there to play what it plays well. It has even been known to play “The First Noel” in the off season.

Anyone interested in joining the band should contact Noble Frank Russell (315-331-7621) or call the Damascus Shrine Center (585-671-7701).

The Damascus Wheelers

The Damascus Wheelers originated as a group that rode black 350 Honda Night Hawks in all the Shrine Parades. The Nobles that owned the motorcycles bought them and the uniforms at their own expense and used them exclusively to be a part of this Unit. It is unknown when the Unit started or much information about it as formal records were not kept.

The Unit we have today uses the original name and the same Logo as the original Wheelers but that is about the only similarity. The current format of the Damascus Wheelers reformed in 1997 by authority and permission of the then Potentate Erwin M. Newell. The founder held the Presidency for a number of years until the Unit had enough members to fill the officers stations.

The group today is alive and well and in fact one of the more active of the Clubs and Units in Damascus. The Wheelers meet the fourth Tuesday of every month with the exception of December. In December they typically support other Shrine Clubs that hold Holiday Parties and attend theirs. The qualification for membership is that you are a Noble of the Shrine and that your dues with the Shrine are current. Any Shrine Mason belonging to any Temple can join and we do have members from at least 3 other Temples that are Wheelers. The other qualification is that you either have to own a motorcycle or wish you did. If you own a motorcycle you are not required to own a type or size. ALL motorcycles are tolerated.  The annual dues are $5.00 and this typically includes free admission to an annual picnic.

The meetings are always casual and little business is discussed. Events and other business are delineated via a monthly publication entitled the Wheelers Gazette. The Wheelers have never had a meeting that their spouses were not encouraged to attend. The dress code is biker casual and Fezzes are not worn or required to be worn. The Wheelers typically meet in a different restaurant each month and the majority of the communication is done via a Google email list. At this writing there are 106 email addresses on the list.

The Wheelers have many fun activities including their infamous HOGG DEGREE, their annual Poker Run to raise money for the Shriners Hospitals for Children, their annual picnic, Halloween Events and a Euchre Tournament to name a few plus many rides and purely social events. The whole purpose and goal of the Wheelers is to be the best social unit they can be and they do a good job at it.

If you would like any information about the Wheelers you can contact the 2017 President:
Sean Noonan
Phone   585-261-6311

The Directors Staff Unit

As a Shrine Mason you can become part of the Directors Staff Unit engaged in the mission of helping children while having fun.


As a Shrine Mason you can become part of the Directors Staff Unit engaged in the mission of helping children while having fun.

The Directors Staff Unit was approved for all shrine centers in 1919. In December 1951 the Directors Staff Unit was established in the Damascus Shrine. The Unit is responsible for preparing the Shrine for all meetings and to return it to its original condition after the meeting.

The Directors organize and participate in skits for the installation of new members. This ensures that candidates for the Shrine receive a proper welcome into the Nobility.

Some members attend the yearly National Shrine Directors Staff Association of North America Convention which is held in a different city each spring. We enjoy a parade, meetings, sightseeing trips, entertainment events and plenty of shopping for Shriners and their ladies.

The Director maintains a 1940 fire truck for the Unit which is used by all Shriners for a number of local parades and other fundraising events for the Shrine Hospitals. The fire truck is used to promote the awareness of children’s needs while having fun and spreading some joy.

The Nobility go on field trips to the local Shrine Children’s Hospitals in addition to enjoying parades, picnics and restaurants to support the mission.

The Directors Staff has a monthly dinner meeting at a local restaurant each month except July and August. We have a speaker every few months to keep the meetings interesting.

The Directors Staff presently meet at: The Yellow Mills Diner 2534 Route #31 Palmyra, NY. We meet at 6:00 PM to enjoy a meal together and each person orders off the menu. Ladies and guests are encouraged to attend the meetings.


  • Commander: Kenneth R. Milner
  • 1st Lt. Commander: Fred Ludwig
  • Adjutant and JAG Officer: Cyrus Kloner, Past Potentate1994 and Past Commander 1990
  • Financial Officer: James A. Slocum Past Commander 2001
  • Chaplain: Vance R. Collom Past Commander 2007
  • Sergeant at Arms: James H. Pray Past Commander 1997

If you are interested in becoming a member speak to any of the officer of the Legion or Call the Shrine Office at 671-7701 or E-Mail the Commander John R. Faro at, or the 1st Lt. Commander Kenneth R. Milner at

Legion of Honor

The Legion of Honor was originated on February 3, 1925 with 60 members, and many more waiting to become members. The first Commander was Charles Owen.

Objectives and Purpose: To provide Damascus Temple a unit or organization to accommodate all eligible servicemen, ex servicemen and veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States of America or his Country who are members in good standing of Damascus Shrine for comradeship and fraternity, to encourage and promote a Spirit of Patriotism, Love of Country and Flag.

Membership requirements: You must be active duty service member or ex service member to be a regular member and only regular members can hold an office in the Legion. You must prove your eligibility with your ID card for active service or your discharge papers.

Honorary Membership you must be a member of the Shrine and be proposed by a regular member and have your name presented to the Executive Committee who will in turn investigate the candidate and make its recommendation to the membership.

Membership Fees Initiation fee $30.00 annual dues $20.00 per year.

The Officers of the Legion are elected each year in January.  Their corresponding rank, in the service of the US Army, is as follows:

Commander: Colonel

First Lt. Commander: Lt. Colonel

Second Lt. Commander: Major

Third Lt. Commander: Captain

Adjutant: Captain

Two Executive Committee members: No Rank

Delegates and Alternates to the International Legion of Honor: No Rank

The appointed officers are Financial Officer, Chaplain, Personnel Officer, Sergeant at Arms and the JAG Officer.

The Legion of Honor meets on the 2nd Wednesday of the month, except July and August.  It is up to the Commander, to decide each year where the meeting will be held. This year all meetings will be held at the Shrine Center. Social Hour is 5PM to 6PM with Dinner at 6PM at a nominal fee followed by the meeting at 7PM.

At every Legion meeting you can witness the moving ceremony of the Missing Man. This ceremony reflects on those Veterans still missing in action on foreign shores. Click here to download and view the POW-MIA Missing Man Program

The Divan

The Divan is the name that Shrine Mason’s use to describe the Board of Directors of any Shrine Temple.

There are two components to the Divan, elected and appointed members.

The elected members of the Divan are as follows:

Potentate: CEO

Chief Rabban:  Vice President

Assistant Rabban:  Vice President

High Priest and Prophet: Vice President

Oriental Guide: Vice President

Treasurer:  CFO

Recorder: COO

The elected officers are elected once a year by the membership and are the voting members on issues that come before the board.

The Potentate can choose his appointed officers. The appointed Divan is tasked to various functions as the Potentate sees fit.

Currently the Elected Divan is composed of:

Potentate:  Charles I. McDonald

Chief Rabban: James R. Ryan

Asst. Rabban:  Jerry W. Lack

HP and P: Mike Pavone

Oriental Guide: Jason Simmons

Treasurer: Michael P. Hueston

Recorder:  Sean R. Noonan