I have been on patrol as ordered for the last eight months and have the following to report:
I visited the Shrine Auditorium, and it was closed and empty to public events. Plenty of hard-working Shriners and staff, but no lines in the parking lot to see the circus, or kids jumping with excitement to see the Festival of Trees.
I visited the Warrior Arena and it was closed and empty. No Shriners All-Star Hockey game or any players laced up on the ice.
I visited the several towns where the Shriners regularly march, and they were closed and empty. No parades with all the Shrine Units marching down the street with crowded sidelines and cheering fans.
I visited Bentley College and it was closed and empty. No Shriners All-Star Football Game with cheering Shriners and competitive students taking the field.
I visited Boston Symphony Hall and it was closed and empty. No Keith Lockhart conducting the POPS to the delight of the Illustrious Potentate and his fellow Shrine family and friends.
But then I visited the Shriners Hospital for Children in Boston and it was OPEN and FULL! The hospital is obviously closed to visitors and the public, but it is OPEN to needful children and FULL of patients that require the specialized treatment available to young people around the world. Our hospital is still OPEN to kids who may not otherwise afford the treatment, and it is still FULL of doctors, nurses and staff to care for all the patients.
In summary, Major Elliot, I am pleased to report that while most of the world is closed and empty, the Shriners Hospitals for Children are OPEN and FULL and we are all proud to be Shriners!
On a happy note, congratulations to long-time Arab Patrol member Herb Fish and his wife Marion Fish on the celebration of their 67th wedding anniversary! Herb is recovering from a recent incident at Spaulding Rehab Hospital in Charleston, so the family celebrated the momentous occasion with Herb in the window and Marion on the sidewalk! After 67 years, nothing was going to keep them apart! Congratulations!
When Herb was transferred to the Brudnick Center, Patrolmen Dave Davis and Pete Greelish organized an outdoor group visit with the Arab Patrol. Dave Elliott, Pete Greelish, Dave Davis, Carl Swenson, Cliff Elliott, Jim Starratt and John Whipple joined Marion Fish to bring socially distant greetings to Herb! Special thanks go to Lt. Col. David Fink from the Uniformed Units for attending, and to Maj. Jim Starratt for taking the photos.
On a sad note, the Arab Patrol lost a good friend and long-time Patrolman when Captain Leonard “Bud” Flumerfelt passed away on January 13, 2020. Bud was a member of the Norfolk Lodge AF & AM in Needham as well as the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, USA and the Aleppo Shriners. Bud was raised in St. Catharines in Ontario, Canada, and was a graduate of St. Catharines High School, class of 1949. He earned his Bachelor of Science from University of Toronto in 1953 and his master’s degree from University of Waterloo in Ontario in 1963. Bud began his career as an Electrical Engineer in 1956 for Raytheon Canada where he worked for 10 years before transferring to Raytheon in the USA where he retired.
On another sad note, Past Major James I. Starratt lost his beloved wife Delores (Delly) Starratt after 63 years of marriage, and tragically, his daughter Debra Starratt, age 58. As a member of the Lynn Assembly Order of the Rainbow and Eastern Star, Del worked as a Registered Nurse for Allergy Medical Associates and the City of Lynn Health and School Department as a school nurse until her retirement. A devoted mother, grandmother and aunt, she enjoyed family gatherings, celebrating holidays, and was frequently spotted on the sidelines at Shrine parades. She was a talented seamstress, quilter, and crocheter, having won ribbons for her crewel designs.
Deb was a long-time administrative worker at Lynn City Hall with a big smile and a good reputation for hard work and dependability. Deb attended many of the Shrine public events and was a big fan of the parades. Major Starratt (and your author) are grateful for the loving support of the Aleppo Shrine family during this difficult time of loss.