The Silent Messenger is an image
taken from a 1970 photograph of a lone Shriner carrying a child in one arm and
her crutches in the other. Adopted by Shiners as a symbol of what Shiners do.
This Statue is located in Tucson, Arizona at the Sabbar Shrine Center. This is a
story about one Silent Messenger among many.
A tall man
walked along a road with a young girl in one arm and her crutches in the other.
A stranger approached intrigued by this man walking on this road wearing an Arabian
looking hat he would learn was called a fez. Curious, he asked the man, “What
are you doing carrying this child on this road less traveled?” The man replied,
“I am helping all of the children in need.” The stranger replied that he could
not possibly help all of the children in need, there must be millions. To which
the man replied without hesitation, “That may be but I can help this one.”
The fact is this man was not walking alone; he was
walking on a path set by thousands who had walked before him. This man was a
Shriner doing what Shiners do; helping children in need one child at a time.
Walking a road less traveled carrying a single child, a silent messenger. This
was not the first time this man had carried a child.
Fifty years before he would get up before the sun
and help fix pancakes for an annual pancake breakfast. This man was always the
first to arrive and the last to leave. With each pancake sold, one more child
carried by a silent messenger.
When there was a job to be done that would help a
child there was no need to ask, he was always there. Millions have enjoyed a
Shrine Circus. This Shriner would help line up needed volunteers and purchase
and sell novelties to raise money for a transportation fund used to carry local
children to a Shrine Hospital for treatment. With each volunteer and novelty
sold, one more child carried by a silent messenger.
Shrine Circus, they would sell hundreds of balloons on a stick. To blow up the balloons
this Shriner built a special bowl to hold balloons with a rubber tipped air jet
used to fill the balloons. With each balloon sold, one more child carried by a
silent messenger. Hundreds of times this
Shriner has carried an American flag to lead a community parade. He walked
proud to represent his Country, his Shrine Temple and his Color Guard Unit.
With each step, one more child carried by a silent messenger.
When this Shriner was Potentate of his Shrine Temple
he had a belt buckle made in the shape of his state, emblazoned with his temple
name and a scimitar. With each belt buckle sold, one more child carried by a
With the help of a local farmer who happened to be a
Shrine Clown who carried a pet chicken on his head, this Shriner helped
organize an annual corn maze. Each year hundreds would venture in to the maze
and be scared by special skits as they wandered through the maze near
Halloween. With each maze guest, one more child carried by a silent messenger.
this Shriner would help others carry a child. Serving on the Board of his State’s
Shrine Bowl Game, young men and women would compete in this annual event to
raise money for Shrine Hospitals across the country. With each ticket sold and
sponsorship received, one more child carried by a silent messenger.
Shriner was a great father and grandfather. There was never a better cheerleader
for his boy and his girl. Twice he flew across the country to watch his granddaughter
run a 60 second race. On another occasion, he drove hundreds of miles to watch
his other granddaughter play in her first college softball game. His grandson
had asked his grandpa to sign his petition to join Masons on his 75th
birthday. He later bought his grandson a perpetual membership to Shrine for his
college graduation. With each act of fatherly love, one more child carried by a
No matter what the project, if there was a need,
this Shriner would step forward to help. If there was a sign to be made, an
office to be remodeled, recycling to be arranged or a financial plan to be
developed this Shriner was there. With each act of kindness, one more child
carried by a silent messenger.
As his legs tired and his lungs began to fail him,
this Shriner would help and support others carry a child. As a trusted adviser,
this Shriner would mentor Shiners near and far. With each thoughtful comment or
word of support and encouragement, one more child carried by a silent
With legs too tired to carry a flag let alone a
child in need, this Shriner would speak with pride to anyone who would listen
about the Shrine Hospitals and how a child in need could be helped with a
single call. With each tearful talk, one more child carried by a silent
This silent messenger, like all Shiners before him,
first joined the Masons as an Entered Apprentice becoming a Master Mason
meeting all others on the level. He is truly comfortable speaking with an
Entered Apprentice, Worshipful Master, Potentate or even Imperial Sir. His name
is not important because it is not about him. It is about the child he carries.
He knows that each child he carries has a name, has dreams, has aspirations and
has a need. Alone this silent messenger cannot help every child but on this day
he can help this one. Together with thousands of Shiners just like him they can
carry thousands of children through Shrine Hospitals across the country. Within
the ranks of Shrine, these silent messengers are called, “Nobles.” An appropriate
name because there can be no more noble person than the one who stoops down to
help a child. “No man has ever stood so tall as when he stooped to help a
Why aren't "You" at the Shrine?