Shriners - Masud Temple No. 69. Nobles (l to r) Sam T. Brady, Eugene Stevens, William Mercer, James Arnold, Leonard Stevens. Circa 1952
THE ORIGIN OF THE NAME “MASUD”
Masud is the name derived for Nuaym ibn Masud. Nuaym ibn Masud was from Najd in the northern highlands of Arabia. He belonged to the powerful Ghatafan tribe. As a young man, he was clever and alert. He was full of enterprise and traveled widely. He was resourceful, ever ready to take up a challenge and not prepared to allow any problem to get the better of him.
This son of the desert was endowed with extraordinary presence of mind and unusual subtlety. He was however someone who liked to enjoy himself and gave himself over to the pursuit of youthful passion. He loved music and took delight in the company of many songstresses. Often when he felt the urge to listen to strings of musical instruments, he would leave the hearths of his people and make his way to Yathrib, a Jewish community, which was widely known for its song and music. In this way Nuaym ibn Masud came to develop strong links among Jews of the city and in particular with Banu Qurayzah.
At the time when God favored mankind by sending His Prophet Muhammad with the religion of guidance and truth, and the valleys of Makkah glowed with the light of Islam, Nuaym ibn Masud was still given over to the pursuit of sensual satisfaction. He was opposed to the religious movement for fear that he would have to give up his pursuit of sensual satisfaction. He joined forces with the opposition of Islam and waged war against the Prophet.
The moment of truth came for Nuaym ibn Masud during the Great Siege of Madinah in the fifth year of the Prophet's stay in the city. The Prophet banished a group of Jews belonging to the tribe of Banu an-Nadir. This tribe formed and alliance with many tribes to wage war against the Prophet Muhammad. The night prior to the attack Nuaym ibn Masud could not sleep. He gazed into the stars in the vast firmament and began to question himself. "Why are you in this far off place to fight this man?" Certainly not for the triumph of right; or for the protection of some honor violated. He struggled with his conscience and debated with himself and came to a decision. He went to the Prophet and stated, "I came to declare that there is no God but Allah and that you are the servant of God, and His Messenger". "I have declared my submission to God, O Messenger of God". Thus, Nuaym ibn Masud caused disarray and among the tribes leaders and harmony did not prevail for he had found favor in the eyes of all the tribe’s leaders. The tribe’s leaders became so infuriated with one another that they fled and did not attack Madinah and the Prophet Muhammad. Nuaym ibn Masud gained confidence of the Prophet and was appointed Standard-Bearer of the Prophet.
THE BEGINNING OF A LEGACY
Masud Temple No. 69 was formed in the fall of 1949 by a group of Nobles with Shrine degrees who lived in the Palm Beaches; but who had been a shrine club affiliated with Kazah Temple No. 149 in Miami, Florida. Founding Members of the club were: Nobles C. G. Dyson, W. T. Burney, James B. Meadows, George P. Coleman, Dr. W. T. Edgecome, Seph Allen, and W. C. Burney.
In 1953 Another Group of brothers were created in Kazah Temple on behalf of the budding Shrine club. They were: Willam Mercer, George Scruggs, S. M. Fluellyn, Joseph Dellagall, Dr. J. H. R. Dyett, Dr. W. E. Norvell, and Otis D. James. In 1957 Kazah Temple created Eugene Stevens, John W. Stevens, and Fred Wilson. In that same year, Robert Sanders, J. C. Arnold, Manny Bates, Harold Cummings, and Alex Jenkins were also created under Kazah temple; with the ceremony taking place in the Masonic building in West Palm Beach.
By September of 1959, Kazah had assisted in creating a total of 38 Masud Nobles when the first Temple was officially established in West Palm Beach. Noble Sam Brady was appointed the First Potentate of Masud Temple No. 69 under dispensation by Imperial Potentate Booker T. Alexander. Nobles Walter Johnson, Jr., W. B. Minus, and Norris Nelson; were the first novice class to become Nobles created by the newly appointed Illustrious Potentate Sam Brady.
On September 18, 1960 Imperial Potentate Alexander granted a charter to the Temple and the First election was held. The following Nobles were the First to be elected into office by the Masud Nobility: Eugene A. Stevens, Ill. Potentate, J. C. Arnold, Chief Rabban, William Mercer, Assistant Rabban, W. B. Watson, Treasurer, and John W. Stevens, Recorder.
By the year 1961, Masud boasted a membership of 68 members and was considered to be one of the finest temples in the Domain. By the early 1970’s, the Masud membership had grown to over 100 members and the Temple was strong enough to assist in establishing at least one other temple in the Bahamas. In 1971 several members of Masud submitted a petition to the Most Worshipful Union Grand Lodge requesting permission to form a Temple in the area located between West Palm Beach and Kazah Temple in Miami. The petition was approved by Grand Master Rudolph Bradley and sent to the Imperial Divan for consideration. In 1972, under a dispensation granted by Imperial Potentate John W. Edghill, Masud created 25 new Nobles in the Masonic building of Pompano Lodge #409 for the purpose of forming the new Broward County Temple. The new nobility met as a shrine club under the direction of Masud Temple until 1974. Then on September 23, 1974, the Masud membership officially split when Imperial Potentate Marshall S. Johnson granted a charter that officially established Saba Temple No. 186 in Pompano Beach, Florida. Masud Past Potentate Charles Ellington was appointed by Masud to be the first Past Potentate of the new Saba Temple. Noble I. W. West was elected as the first Saba Illustrious Potentate. Today Masud Temple is still going strong with a long history of incredible leadership and an even greater future ahead of it.
To its credit, Masud was recognized on the Imperial level in the mid seventies when it won 2nd place overall in the Motorized Patrol competition in only its first showing. In most recent years, Masud has been named the Desert of Florida’s “Temple of the Year” in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2011. Equally, the Temple’s Foot Patrol has taken top honors as either the Desert’s “Best Parade Unit or Best Marching Unit every year since 1998 up until the year 2011.
In 1999, Masud Temple No. 69 started a practice of naming its Novice Classes that were to be created as Masud Nobles. The classes to date are: 1999 ~ Mamaluke, 2000 ~ Nubian, 2002 ~ Bedouins & Azande, 2003 ~ Kahlan, 2005 ~ Bilaah, 2006 ~ Shabaka, 2008 Mustafa, and 2012~ Bomani. As the many classes before them, each of these classes, in its own respect has contributed to the success of Masud Temple No. 69.
In the year 2000, shortly after being created, Noble Donald Russell wrote the lyrics to what is now known as the “Masud Motivational Song”. The song is an inspiration to all and is a constant reminder of the roads traveled to become a Masud Noble. When sung, it typically instills a level of pride in the Nobles of Masud that is seldom challenged. This song can easily be credited with inspiring many of the successes mentioned above.
Given all of the accolades, Masud Temple puts charity and the preservation of Shrine ethics on the top of its list of priorities. Since 1999, Masud has contributed annually at least $1000 to the Shriners children’s hospital and the United Negro College Fund. Additionally, in the years 2004 & 2005 the temple contributed over $3000 to local charities; namely “HIPPY” and “The Share Program of Palm Beach County”.
“HIPPY” is a program focused on home school instruction of pre-school Children, and “Share” is a program designed to provide meals for the less fortunate. Both programs are worthy causes of which Masud is very proud to be a part of. In 2006, Masud is continuing its works in the humanitarian arena with plans of bringing more awareness to the importance of voting and the need to exercise the voter’s rights. Led and organized by our First appointed Director of Voter’s Registration and Education, Noble Stephen Britt, this plan was put to action by Masud when the temple held its very first Voter’s Registration Drive at the Urban League of West Palm Beach, FL. on February 11, 2006.
Today, widespread use of technology is changing the way we work, learn, and communicate-even the way we carry out our regular, daily activities. Thus we are able to spread SHRINEDOM faster and easier through the use of the internet and other technologies. In 2002 PP Noble Jeff G. Jones constructed the initial website, assumed by PP Pembroke Burrows, Noble Chris Brett, and currently by Noble George L. Lockhart - the technology more robust each change in command due to increasing technology.
Masud continues to work hard to portray Shrinedom to the fullest. God has blessed this temple with extraordinary leaders who continue to elevate Masud and raise the bar of excellence in the Desert of Florida. At Masud Temple #69, Shrinedom is deeply rooted in the hearts of each Noble, as it should be.