Rameses Legion of Honour (LOH) Unit
By Noble Stephen D. Shirk, Commander 2004
The Legion of Honour (LOH) was first established as a Club Unit by the Waubuno Shrine Club at a meeting on September 18th 1997 with Noble Ernie Watthey appointed as their interim Acting Commander. At this meeting there were fifteen (15) Shriners present. Nobles Murray Fraser, Ellis Gates and Bob Gilbert also assumed temporary acting officer positions. Formal elections were held at their next meeting on 15th October, 1997 with the first official meeting held on 17th December, 1997 with their new Commander Noble Murray Fraser elected. Noble Gates was their first Secretary, Noble John Wetham appointed as Treasurer with the By-Law Committee comprised of Nobles Jack McKay, Ernie Watthey and Frank Kirk. Motions were made by Nobles Al Poolton and Bob Gilbert to forward membership fees to the International Association of Legions of Honor (IALOH). Yearly elections were held with new Commanders appointed as follows: 8th October, 1998 – Noble Ernie Watthey; 19th January, 1999 – Noble Robert Gilbert; 21st January, 2000 – Noble Bill Gerhart; 10th January, 2001 – Noble Bill Gerhart.
An Emergent Meeting was held on 7th February, 2002 where it was announced that the LOH Unit must be a Unit of Rameses Centre versus a Unit of the Waubuno Shrine Club. Noble William Gerhart was elected as the new Commander of the Rameses Centre LOH for 2002. During the following years new Commanders were elected as follows: 2003 Ernie Watthey; 2004 Stephen D. Shirk; 2005 Gordon M. Culbert; 2006 Russell McFarland; 2007 Ernie Watthey; 2008 Peter Penner; 2009 Illustrious Sir Bevan J.M. Carrique. P.P.; 2010 Don Scandrett; 2011 Harold E. Newton; 2012 Blair H. Smyth; 2013-14 Len Tufford; 2015-16 Bernard L. Nehring; 2017-18 Sandy MacMillan; and 2019 David J. Jack.
The purpose of the Rameses Centre LOH Unit is to bind all eligible servicemen, past and present, of Rameses Centre into a single Unit of comradeship and service. It holds sacred and perpetuates the memory of those who made the supreme sacrifice in the service of their country. The Unit has cultivated a spirit of comradeship with and among all Masonic and Shrine organizations, both domestic and international. Our primary aim is to support and assist the Illustrious Potentate and Divan of Rameses Centre in advancing the best interests of the Centre. We intend to encourage and assist Nobles of Rameses Centre, if eligible, to join the Rameses Centre LOH Unit.
This Unit is a uniformed body of Rameses Centre and as a marching Unit guarding the Colours and acts as an official escort to the Illustrious Potentate when requested.
The objectives of this Unit are: To foster a Spirit of Patriotism, Love of Country and Flag; To perpetuate the memory of our Comrades in Arms who made the Supreme Sacrifice by giving their lives for their country while members of the Armed Forces; To devote our efforts as individuals, and LOH Units to strive for an increase in Friendship and Cooperation between our LOH Unit and other Rameses Centre Shrine Units.
For membership in this Unit, all members of the Rameses Centre must have received an Honourable Discharge, be released from active duty under honourable conditions or satisfactory Certificate of Honourable Service from his last service from the Armed Forces of his country, or produce evidence that he is presently serving honourably in the Armed Forces of his country at the time of his application. This Unit may further restrict these qualifications, but those restrictions must not be contrary to the IALOH By-laws. The phrase Armed Forces of his country shall be interpreted to include only those military forces as defined by the government of that country, and, who would be considered military veterans upon completion of their tour of duty.
An Honourary Membership may be granted for a Noble who may not be eligible for regular membership but the Unit would like to honour or pay tribute to i.e., Potentate, Past Potentate, Director of Units, Club Presidents or Nobles who have achieved a high honour within the Centre. These Nobles may be presented certificates, time-limited dues cards, etc. However, Honourary Members may not wear the LOH medallion, pay dues or hold any LOH office.
Nobles who are members of Policing Services such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ontario Provincial Police, City Police, etc., may be considered for membership in the LOH Unit if they can prove that they were performing policing duties in a theatre of action as employed by the Canadian Government Department of National Defense.
Platoons have been established in locations throughout the region of responsibility governed by Rameses Centre. A Platoon must consist of a minimum of seven (7) Unit members. Unit members elect a Platoon Lieutenant that must be approved by the Unit Executive. Platoon Lieutenants are active voting members of the Unit Executive. Since the creation of our LOH Unit we have had Platoons in Parry Sound (Waubuno), Orillia, Collingwood (Manito), Belleville, and Kingston with another Platoon in the Muskokas.
The Rameses Shriners LOH Unit is actively looking for new members to join our ranks. Membership fees are $25.00 per year or a lifetime membership is $100.
It is our intention to hold one general meeting as a Unit in November at the Fall Ceremonial of each year or at a location as designated by the Commander when elections would be held. Platoons will hold their meetings throughout the remainder of the year at the direction of the Platoon Lieutenants. LOH Unit Nobles are encouraged to attend the Banner exchanges in January, Wreath Laying ceremonies in Ottawa in May, participate as a Unit at the Spring Ceremonials to assist with guarding the banner, the drumhead ceremony, etc., and attend other official Unit functions at the request of the Commander.
Please contact the Commander or any member of the LOH Unit if you would be interested in becoming a member or if you would like to form a Platoon in your area. We have a great LOH parade float for our veterans to enjoy during the parades.