Who are those men wearing the red Fezzes? Find out more as Ottawa celebrates International Shriners Day.

OTTAWA, June 5, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - June 6, 2013 will be proclaimed International Shriners Day in Ottawa by Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. Ceremonies will commence at 10 am on the steps of Ottawa City Hall located at 110 Laurier Ave. W. Several dignitaries will be on hand to recognize this fraternity and the important work that Shriners have done through their philanthropy, a network of 23 health care facilities helping sick children in the US, Canada and Mexico. Expected are; the MP for Ottawa Centre, Paul Dewar, Yasir Naqvi MPP of the Ontario Liberal Party, Alex Munter, CEO of the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario and M.W. Bro. Garry Dowling, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario along with his Deputy Grand Master.

Deputy Imperial Potentate John Cinotto of Shriners International, Tampa, Florida, as well as Gino Berretta, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Shriners Hospitals for Children-Canada will speak. Most importantly, they will be accompanied by several of our patients, including National Patient Ambassador and singing sensation, Jérémy Gabriel.  In addition, several Shrine clubs and units will be on hand to entertain and share more about the fraternity.

Who are the Shriners? The Shriners fraternity started in Manhattan in 1870 when some members of what is considered the world's oldest fraternity - Masonry - came up with an idea for a new philanthropic fraternity based on fun, fellowship and the principles of brotherly love, truth and relief.

The Shriners fraternity is committed to fostering self-improvement through leadership, education, the perpetuation of moral values and community involvement and serving mankind through the resources of its philanthropy, Shriners Hospitals for Children.

And the red Fez? The founding members were influenced by the then popular Middle-Eastern culture, of which the fez was a traditional garment. Now, although it might seem an extraordinary choice of headwear, the attention-drawing fez, nevertheless, serves as a simple and effective means of gaining valuable exposure for Shriners and their philanthropy.

The Canadian Shriners Hospitals for Children is located in Montreal and has been in existence there since 1925 with a new hospital to be built and completed by 2015. The local Ottawa-based Tunis Shriners have been in existence since 1975 with our first Potentate (CEO) being the late P.M. John Diefenbaker.


For further information:

Note to media: Many visuals available. Interviews upon request.


Peter Rippstein
Tunis Shriners
cell : 613-297-7098

Emmanuelle Rondeau
Shriners Hospitals for Children-Canada
cell: 514-207-1057

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