Out of the Night that Covers Me,
As Black as the Pit From Pole to Pole.
I Thank Whatever Gods May Be,
For My Unconquerable Soul.
In the Fell Clutch of Circumstances,
I Have Not Winced Nor Cried Alound.
Under the Bludgeoning of Chance,
My Head is Bloody, But Unbowed.
Beyond this Place of Wrath and Tears,
Looms but the Horror of the Shade,
And Yet the Menace of the Years
Finds, and Shall Find Me, Unafraid.
It Matters Not How Strait the Gate,
How Charged with Punishment the Scroll,
I am the Master of My Fate;
I am the Captain of My Soul.
William Ernest Henley
RINCE HALL SHRINEDOM embraces all of the basic fundamental concepts of the Masonic Order, but is more colorful, with a broader spectrum of visability by the master in which it dispenses charity in the community, and the care for its own.
John George Jones, the founder, is said to have been introduced to the ritualistic mysteries of the Order by one Ali Rofeit Pasha, Deputy and representative from the Grand Council of Arabie, during the World's Colombian Exposition in Chicage in 1893.
Shrinedom, because of its pageantry, has on occasions been referred to as the "Display" House in Masonry, causing men to sometimes join the prerequisite Hourses solely with the intent on becoming a Shriner.
There are 224 Constituent Temples throughout the Imperial Domain (the World), with a membership of over 25,000 - and growing.
Shrinedom is throught of as a Fraternal, Social, and Charitable Organization: FRATERNAL in the sense of using passwords and symbols to remind the members to ever strive for Inner self-improvement; SOCIAL from the standpoint of the enjoyment of good times within its own ranks; and CHARITABLE for its unselfish giving of goods and services on both the local and national level.
Heading the list of recipietns is the NACCP, the Legal Defense Fund, the Urban League, and United Negro College Fund, along with Annual Grants to several institutions of higher learning and hospitals throughout the land, for medical and other research projects.
Substanial grants are awarded to colleges annually to supplement the education of economically deprived youth, along with a program of financial aid to figth drugs, crime and delinquency. There is also a national scholarship grant program for young ladies between the ages of 17 and 24 to attend colleges and universities of their choice. They also strongly endorse the Assualt on llliteracy (ADIP), amid an engagement in development programs with Third World Countries.
The Shrine Organization is 108 years old and takes great pride in its Auxillary, which is composed of wives, sisters, mothers and daughters of the membership - officially styled, the Imperial Court Daughters of Isis.
They are 90 years old and mirror, in some respect, the activities of the parent body. Both share officers in the organization's Headquarters Building located in Memphis, Tennessee.
The Shrine is headed by the Imperial Potentate, and the Daughters by the Imperial Commandress. The red Fez is worn by the men and the white Fez by the women, both of whom are community oriented - and definitely on the move!