In August, Nobles and Ladies from Aleppo Shrine, along with Nobles and Ladies from the other fifteen Shrine Centers in the northeast, converged on Concord, New Hampshire, for the 2023 Northeast Shrine Association Fall Field Days hosted by Bektash Shriners. We were lucky enough to obtain all the rooms we needed in the Headquarters Hotel – Courtyard Marriott. Most of the Aleppo attendees arrived at the hotel on Thursday, checked in, got settled in our rooms, then stopped by the Aleppo Hospitality Suite to see who else turned up. Most then set out to find one of the many great restaurants in Concord, New Hampshire.
As with most Shrine conventions, “stuff” happens. Here’s an odd coincidence. The General Manager of our hotel was named Zach Shallah. I asked him if he was related to Noble George Shallah. George was the Director of Aleppo’s Oriental Band for many years. George was very flashy and put on a great show along with the band in our parades and Ceremonials. Our Hotel Manager, Zach, said that he was indeed related to George and that George was his great grandfather. Once we found that out, our Archivist, John Wilder, did some research and produced a few photos of George and a video of a Ceremonial held in 1995 honoring Noble George Shallah. George’s great grandson was thrilled and intended to get the family together to watch the video. He didn’t think any of his close relatives had ever seen it. “The Mysteries of Freemasonry.”
On Friday, after a full breakfast, Unit members headed off for their various competitions. The Divan and Parade Marshalls went to meetings-“awesome!” The Ladies had an opportunity to take a scenic tour of Lake Sunapee. Reports from the trip was that the trip was awesome including the beverage filled bus that transported the Ladies to and from the boat. Friday’s activities continued with Bektash Shrine hosting Axe throwing, Cornhole, and best of all – Cigars under the Bektash Cigar tent! On Friday evening, the Aleppo Nobles and Ladies attended the Aleppo NSA Banquet. Great food, great fun, great friends, and not a lot of speeches – perfect!
We did find out that the Cycles were at the top of the motorized competition as we have come to expect. And, the Aleppo Drifters were winners in their first ever NSA competition. Stories about both these units can be found in this edition of the Aleppo News. The night ended up at guess where? The Aleppo Hospitality Suite. Chief Aide Rob Spear, Lady Jen and the Aides and their Ladies had their hands full hosting not only Aleppo but many, many others from the Northeast. Great job Rob and company.
Saturday again started off with a full breakfast, then off to the Parade. Of course, Bektash being the host Temple had a very good turnout, but Aleppo’s Unit members of both NSA attendees and those who came up to Concord just for the parade were the best. At one point, looking back to the front of the Aleppo Division, you couldn’t see the end of the Aleppo contingent. Excellent turnout by the Units. Following the parade, most of the Ladies attended the NSA Ladies Luncheon. Some of the Aleppo Nobles and many, many Nobles and Ladies from the NSA went to the Aleppo Hospitality Suite for lunch. Aleppo became the NSA hospitality suite, and I think many could be heard nominating Rob Spear as NSA Chief Aide. (I think he’s pretty happy that position doesn’t exist!) A lucky few were obliged to attend another meeting. Yeah! The evening ended at the NSA Luau Banquet. A fun event with most dressed in their best Hawaiian garb.
The Northeast Shrine Association Fall Field Days are always great fun. If you haven’t had the opportunity, plan to attend the 2024 NSA planned to be held in Ontario, Canada.