The History of the Anah Shriners

The first headquarters of Anah Shriners was on the two upper floors at 28 Main Street, Bangor. The next 60 years we were located at 39 Columbia Street, Bangor. For 35 years we were at 586 Main Street, Bangor and as of September 2015 we now are located at 1404 Broadway, Bangor.

The Sunshine Club has become an integral part of the activities of Anah Shriners. This was established in 1927. Its purposes are to provide transportation for children to and from the Shriners Hospitals for Children. This club is made up of wives of nobles, nobles and interested persons.

The Anahgram, the monthly publication of Anah Shriners was first printed in January 1933 and has grown and expanded to become one of the finest publications issued by the many Shrine temples internationally.

Anah Shriners of Bangor held its first meeting on July 1, 1921 with James A. Dunning as the first Potentate and George B. Freeland the first Recorder, and received its charter on June 15, 1922. Prior to the creation of Anah Shriners, Kora Shriners of Lewiston was the only temple in Maine.

At the annual meeting of Kora Shriners on December 10, 1920, a resolve favoring and approving a new temple in Bangor was unanimously passed. Shortly after action by the mother temple, and after much discussion, the name Anah was decided upon. The name originated in Arabia and a town situated on the Euphrates River bears the same name.

The first official divan of Anah Shriners was composed of the following nobles: Potentate, James A. Dunning; Chief Rabban, George W. Wescott; Assistant Rabban, Edward W. Woodbury; High Priest and Prophet, Clarence L. Giles; Oriental Guide, Carus T. Spear; Treasurer, Cleveland L. Giles; Recorder, George B. Freeland; 1st Ceremonial Master, Carl C. Haynes; 2nd Ceremonial Master, Claude A. Kittredge; Marshal, Charles A. Potter; Captain of the Guard, Samuel H. Lancaster; Outer Guard, Charles B. McGrath; Orator, Frank W. Simmons; Captain Arab Patrol, Guy A. Hersey.

At the time of creation of Anah Shriners, there were 1021 members, 560 of which were charter members. Each year the membership increased until 1928 when there were 1697 members. During the so-called depression years there was no gain, however, in the years following, the membership steadily increased until 1987 when our membership was 4,107. Our membership now stands around 2800 members.

Anah’s first big ceremonial was on August 22, 1922 when Imperial Potentate James S. McCandless from Aloha Shriners, Honolulu, Hawaii was present and presented the charter to Anah Shriners. Huge delegations on special trains came to participate in the proceedings and the parade. Aleppo of Boston, Kora of Lewiston, Bektash of Concord, N.H., as well as many other temples were in attendance.