John Ruffo and Fred Haggart, members of the Tunis Shriners, virtually attended the Smiths Falls town council meeting on Monday evening. Next month marks the Shriners’ 150th anniversary on June 6, and Smiths Falls will be marking the day and flying the Shriners’ flag in honour of this significant celebration.
Mayor Shawn Pankow introduced Ruffo and Haggart, stating “Shriners International is a well-known fraternity dedicated towards fun, fellowship, and philanthropy… its members support 27 hospitals and treatment centres.”
“This year marks the 100th anniversary of our Shriners’ hospital system as well,” added Ruffo, “which will be celebrated later this year.”
Haggart thanked Smiths Falls for their support and this gesture as the organization celebrates two big anniversaries this year. “We’ll be marking this with a special gala on September 10, and the public is invited,” Haggart added, “contact John or me for further information.”
Councilor Jay Brennan mentioned that he is a proud Mason and his father was a Shriner for many years, “so I am really glad to see [Ruffo and Haggart] here.”
The Tunis Shriners is the Eastern Ontario chapter of Shriners International; Former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker was its first CEO.