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History of West Suburban Shrine Club and Our Parade Units

Following the Second World War and the growing migration of Americans and Canadians out of the cities and into the surrounding suburbs, the various Shrine temples increasingly chartered numerous geographic and interest-based Shine clubs, and re-chartered others which had gone dormant during the war. The Medinah Shriners were no exception. In 1951, West Suburban Shrine Club became one of twelve such clubs (two more were chartered over the next three years).

Although the club now elects its president and vice-presidents for one-year terms, Noble Clarence Lindquist provided continuity during the club’s infancy by serving as our president from our chartering in 1951 until 1955. Click here for a list of the men who have led the club as our president over the years.

As the Shrine clubs grew in membership, they formed their own parade units to march in Medinah parades and other parades.

West Suburban Shrine Club’s first and longest-lived parade unit was “Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves”, in which West Suburban Shriners sported Arabian-style costumes and marched with scimitars and the unit’s famous jewel-filled chest. The unit lasted until the early 1990s.

In the 1960s, West Suburban Shrine Club also had a “Red Fez Limited” train unit, featuring a multi-car train driven on the street. West Suburban Shriners dressed as engineers and other rail personnel, and even a gorilla who would “escape” from his cage car and mingle with the spectators.

In the early 1990s, Ali Baba and his thieves were replaced by the Trikers – West Suburban Shriners peddling oversized tricycles. In the photographs above and below, you can see the transition phase between the two units, showing West Suburban Shriners in both the Arabian costumes and the Trikers’ red shirts.

  

The Trikers unit was retired following the 2003 parade season. In 2004, West Suburban Shrine Club debuted its “Roaring ‘57s”. We’ve continued our tradition of red shirts, on Saturdays, with matching blue shirts on Sundays (Friday and Monday parades alternate).

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This site was last updated 03/08/13