All posts by SDShirk

About SDShirk

Public Relations Director, Inter Club Relations Chairman, Acting Secretary 2017 Belleville & District Shrine Club, Finance Officer Legion of Honour Rameses Shriners. Historian with the Schürch Family Association of North America.


Last night brought out many smiles and memories for the Nobles, their Ladies and Guests at the Belleville and District Shrine Club President Night installation dinner. 2018 President Noble Stephen Shirk put on a Airforce theme providing all attendees with Airforce Flag souvenirs for the lucky ones, and DVDs covering all Club photos and events from 2017 and earlier. The meal was excellent, the appetizers plenty, and Master of Ceremonies Noble Harold Newton had everyone’s attention. A big thanks to our Piper Noble Don Greer who piped in the Head Table with Potentate Illustrious Sir Noble Thomas W. Woodrow and Lady Linda, followed by piping in the Colours. The President and Lady Kathleen’s daughter Shelley Salisbury with her husband Martin in attendance took these photos.


Lady Kathy Shirk didn’t have any problems setting up for the installation ceremony on President’s Night for Saturday, 13 January 2018. At the Belleville and District Shrine Club Friday Social the Ladies and Nobles helped to load the tables with colour.  Noble Clive Allan had set up the tables, chairs, tablecloths, and cleaned the wine glasses on Thursday. President Elect Stephen Shirk went for the Airforce Theme for this event hoping that the attendees take home lots of memories from the past year and to create new ones for the upcoming year.  Noble Stephen served in the Canadian Armed Forces as an Airforce Serviceman for 23 years as a Human Resources Administrator (Formerly Administration Chief Clerk).  The three flags on the left represent his military service as:  Airforce Flag, Administration Flag , and United Nations Peacekeeping (Cyprus) Flag.  The three flags on the Right represent his family heritage as:  Switzerland, The Schürch Family Association of North America, and Berne (a region in Switzerland where the Shierk/Shirk/Sherk/Sherrick, etc. families came from during the Reformation era).  Schürch families were known as Swiss German Mennonites, emigrated from Europe in around the early 1700’s to become Pennsylvania Deutch (German) Mennonites, and later to the Kitchener/Waterloo and Markham areas as Mennonites in 1789 and 1804, not to mention all other areas of North America and as far south as Chile.



Nobles of the Belleville and District Shrine Club, their Ladies, and guests enjoyed another Christmas Dinner on Wednesday, 20 December 2017 at the Shrine Club.  We had 10 of our Special Ladies in attendance (Grace Grills, Shirley Brant, Peggy McGregor, Ilene Freeman, Shirley Foley, Sheila Smith, Marlene King, Marilyn Hackett, Maggie Miller, Helen McLaughlin (unfortunately Jean Williams could not make it).

Many stayed after the meeting to win turkeys to take home.  The Special Ladies received gifts as well as Pointsettias.  This now ends the business year with everyone looking forward to the New Year with new challenges.


It was a very busy day for the Belleville and District Shrine Club as we had just travelled from the Wellington Santa Claus Parade to attend this parade in Tweed. Once we were done here we would end our trip at Marmora for our last parade of the season.

Finally after a very busy parade season we ended our journey in Marmora for our last parade. The days were getting colder but at least it did not snow during the parades and we only had a very little bit of rain at the earlier ones. Happy to Meet. Sorry to Part. Happy to Meet Again! Have a great Christmas Season everyone and the best in your New Year from the Nobles and Ladies of the Belleville and District Shrine Club.


Many of our Belleville and District Shrine Club Nobles with a few of their Ladies helped to greet the many children and their parents who had attended the Rameses Shriners Holiday Magic Show at the Empire Theatre. A big thanks to Sam McKinney our MMBO Direct Marketing Coordinator and Entertainer Dick Joiner and his team for putting on a fantastic show Tuesday evening, 28 November 2017.  We would like to thank Noble President Jack Hellberg, Nobles Rob Wigmore, Calvin Thomas, Don Gillis, Gary Smithrim, Jim Preston, John Bonnin, Wayne McFaul, Stephen Shirk and Ladies Bonnie Wigmore, Elaine Smithrim for helping with greeting our guests on behalf of Rameses Shriners.


It was a very busy day on Saturday 25 November 2017 for the Nobles and the Ladies of the Belleville and District Shrine Club as they travelled to the Foxboro Santa Claus Parade in the morining followed by the Campbellford Santa Claus Parade in the afternoon and finally the Madoc Santa Claus Parade in the evening. The best part of this day was when it did not rain in Campbellford. There were lots of families waving as our floats went by with lots of the following photos taken. Before proceeding to Madoc the Trent Valley Shrine Club Nobles and Ladies put on an excellent feast for the Belleville Shriners and Ladies.

On Sunday another great crowd turned out for the Picton Santa Claus parade.  Unfortunately we were unable to take photos of the Trenton Santa Claus parade as we were number 81 out of 84 floats waiting a half hour before we could get out of our staging area.  It was cold dark night as we road over the Trenton bridge to the downtown area.  Again we were amazed by the large numbers of children who eagerly waited for the arrival of Santa who came up right behind our Motorhome.




Sunday was a great day for the Belleville and District Shrine Club with over 56 Nobles and Ladies attending, riding in the “People Mover”, Clown Train, Camel Herder float, or the Motor Home participating in the Belleville Santa Claus Parade. We were also joined by the Lakeshore Shrine Club vehicle Nobles as well. There were thousands of smiling faces on the sides of the many streets and roads to greet us. We returned to the Clubhouse where we enjoyed some hot stew and chilli to help us thaw out.  Thank you to the delicious meal from our Ladies. This is the first time that the Legion of Honour Floa, also known as the “People Mover”, was full to capacity. Now if the other upcoming area Santa Claus Parades can be just as successful but warmer we will have called this a fantastic season for our Club.


The Belleville and District Shrine Club hosted the Belleville Chamber of Commerce Business Mingle on Wednesday, 15 November 2017 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. This gave us a chance to showcase our beautiful facility. A special thankyou goes out to Wayne Dewe from Dewe’s Independent Grocers for donating the fruit and vegetable trays as well as to Arnie’s Applicances in Shannonville for donating the deserts. Door prizes were donated by Lady Celine Hellberg and Lady Kathleen Shirk. A video of our Shrine Hospital for Children in Montreal was shown to our guests and President Jack Hellberg provided an interesting story of a Shriner Child he had met in the U.S. while on vacation one year. We would also like to thank Nobles Brian Cook, Clive Allan and Gary Smithrim for helping out with this important event.


The Belleville and District Shrine Club participated in a wreath laying ceremony in Belleville, Ontario on November the 11th this year. We also attended and presented wreaths at the Wellington, Picton, Trenton and Frankford cenotaphs. Thank you to those who presented and to those who attended. We know that there are many more who could not attend due to their health, age, etc. However we know your thoughts were with them and this very important ceremony.

President Jack Hellberg and 1st Vice President Otto Nungesser presented the wreath in Belleville.  Noble Harold Newton and Noble Clive Allan presented the wreath in Trenton.  Noble John Bonnin presented the wreath in Frankford.  Noble Bruce Ferguson and Noble Maurice Peacock presented the wreath in Wellington.  And Noble Malcolm Stokes presented the wreath in Picton.  Thank you Nobles on behalf of the Club.


Nobles of the Belleville and District Shrine Club had a fantastic day at the Wellington Pumpkinfest Parade.  Noble Don (Trout) Douglas commented that the parade started with over 500 lining the streets and seemed to reach 5,000 by the time we were at the end.  The crowd kept getting bigger and bigger with smiles galour.  The bad weather held off and gave an opportunity for our Clown Unit to continue making children happy with balloons in the park.


On 16 September 2017 the Belleville and District Shrine Club had 37 recorded visitors for the Doors Open Ontario event. Here are some pictures of the few guests we were able to capture when we were not busy conducting tours. Both Lady Kendra Nungesser and Lady Kathleen Shirk were a great help. Lady Kendra conducted tours in the lower banquet room and lounge area while Noble Stephen Shirk took our visitors to the top floor boardroom and other areas. Lady Kathleen took care of our guests on the main floor and ran for supplies, etc. Maybe next year we will get a bigger crowd. This certainly helped with advertising our great facilities avaiable for renting for any type of event in the different areas of the building as well as who we are as Shriners.



I had the great time visitng with Lady Sheila Smith yesterday at her home in Trenton. Sheila was so proud of her husband Fred for all of his accomplishments and in particular his dedication to the Shrine Children when he was Chairman of the many Shrine Circuses in Belleville from 1987 to 2000. In the later years of the Circus from 2001 to 2012 the 1st Vice Presidents of the Club would be in charge of the Circus however they still had Noble Fred putting a committee together to sell tickets, set up for the Circus, and to enter the ring to make the announcements on behalf of the Belleville and District Shrine Club and the Rameses Shrine Circus. Noble Fred was the true coordinator for these events. The 1st Vice Presidents may have taken the accolades for this event however Noble Fred was the true spokesman for the Club and our Nobility. He needs to be remembered. Thank you Sheila for sharing these memories.