DUE TO BE RELEASED IN THE SUMMER OF 2019
What are they saying about “Shriners Diary, Our Mission – Our Members – And Me”
If children are the soul of Shriners Hospitals for Children, Shriners are its heart. Physicians and nurses help heal while Shriners give compassionately. This story takes you on a journey of an Imperial Potentate’s servant leadership and dedication to helping children take their first steps.
Anchor/Reporter – Hawaii News Now
Former Communications and Marketing Director
Shriners Hospitals for Children – Honolulu
I had the privilege of meeting Gary through a mutual friend. In June 2018, Gary came to my house in Plains, GA to present President Carter with the Shriners Hospitals for Children Humanitarian Award. I found both Gary and Anne to be wonderful people and was enthralled with his service. I had the opportunity to read his manuscript when he sent a copy to Andrea. I really enjoyed his stories and found his work throughout the year very special. As you read, you will be reminded of what the good people in this world do.
Around 1963 or so, I came to the realization of just how much the Shriner’s Hospitals for Children did for the care and health for needy children. As a result of this realization, I resolved to become a Shriner as soon as I had the means to do so. I was in law school at the time and was living hand to mouth. I became a Shriner in 1972 and the Shriner’s Hospitals have been one of my passions in life ever since. The Shriners are unparalleled in their loving care for children. Please read these pages carefully and you will be impressed as I was with all that the Shriners do for children. God bless the Shriners and their “kids”.
Gordon H. “Stumpy” Harris, Esq.
2017 and 2018 Imperial Conventions
The Springfield Shriners Hospitals for Children has been collaborating with the George & Thelma Paraskevaides Foundation in Cyprus for over 38 years and the charitable help provided is immense. Over 3500 children from Cyprus, Greece and other countries in the region have been admitted to the Shriners Hospital in Springfield, Massachusetts for treatment. In addition, 12,000 children have been examined on the annual Shriners outreach clinic in Cyprus.
In October 2017 for the first time after 38 years of cooperation the Imperial Potentate, Imperial Sir Gary and Lady Anne Bergenske visited Cyprus together with the team of doctors from the Springfield Shriners Hospital. Their visit gave a new dimension to the cooperation of Shriners International with Cyprus by signing agreements with the Cyprus Ministry of Health and the Medical School of the University of Nicosia. The Imperial Sirs visit gave inspiration to the Nobles of Alasia Shrine Club of Cyprus to consider the possibility of establishing a new Local Shrine Chapter in order to expand Shriners work all over the Middle East.
Costas Paraskevaides, Executive Director
George and Thelma Paraskevaides Foundation
Being Imperial Potentate requires many qualities, total dedication and love. One of the highest qualities is communications including sharing information with various media outlets, the membership of the fraternity and our hospital system. Gary and Anne were able to follow their dreams to enhance Shriners International and Shriners Hospitals for Children in every visit, in fact sometimes you felt that you were even traveling with them. As a Bahia Shriner I am very proud of Gary and Anne and all the time and hard work they contributed during their year. Thank you, Gary and Anne.
Bob Wagner, Chairman Public Relations Committee
2017-18 Sessions Committee
Gary and I met at Oriental Guide school when my late husband was elected to the HASAN Shrine Divan. He and Gary had many great adventures including the privilege of awarding Former President Jimmy Carter as an Honorary Shriner and a Hospital Ambassador. After my husband passed away during his Potentate year, Gary and I remained friends while I helped Gary complete a project with President Carter. After completing his Potentate year, Gary sent me a transcript of his memoirs. Gary really embraced his year as Imperial Potentate. His memoirs were a joy to read. As a past First Lady of the Shrine, it really warms my heart to know others that care so much.
HASAN Shrine, First Lady 2017.
Shriners International is a fraternity of men who have the desire to serve their community. As Shrine Masons we have committed to this with other members throughout the world. We try to make the countries that we live in a better place and have fun with a purpose. Shriners Hospitals for Children is our philanthropy and the back bone of the drive in all of us to be better. Taking care of children that need our services is the main focal point in our organization. The Imperial Potentate is the number one Shriner who leads us in the direction to accomplish the needs of these children. In this book you will live the life of serving in this position. This book will give you an insight on the drive, dedication and sacrifices it takes to accomplish and provide the care for those in need.
Deputy Director General 2017 – 2018