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HELLA SHRINE CENTER
On July 12, 1887, the first meeting of Hella Shrine Temple was held under dispensation granted May 31, 1887. Twenty-four charter members were present with J.K. Ashby elected "Grand Potentate". The charter of Hella Temple was received on June 25, 1888 with a final charter membership of 33. Hella was granted the charter for the entirety of the state of Texas but soon began relinquishing some of its jurisdictions to other newly formed Shrine Temples, which has grown to 12 other Temples in Texas.
In 1935, all of the Texas Temple banded together to have a friendly competition among themselves to exhibit their abilities among the various and sundry units. The three original units of Hella were the Arab Patrol, The Band and Drum and Bugle Corps. Now the units of Hella Temple have been expanded to include the A-La-Karts, the Black Horse Patrol, the Cavaliers, the Clowns, the Directors Staff. the Dixielanders, the German Band, the Legion of Honor, the Mini Patrol, the Motor Patrol, the Oriental Band, the Provost Guard and the Rangers. Non competing organizations include the Antique Classic Cars, "B" Models, the Boat Club, the Bowling League. the Flying Fezzes, the Golfers, the Greeters, the Guards, the Gun and Rod Club, the Hospital Transportation Group, the Knights of Mecca, the Nobles of Note, the One-O-One's, the Parade Committee, the Peace Officers, the Potentates Aides, the Press Corps, the Rollin Nobles, the Sons of Hella and the Hella Tellas. The Temple has Shrine Clubs located throughout North Texas and include Bowie-Cass Shrine Club, East Texas Shrine Club, Garland Shrine Club, Grand Prairie Shrine Club, Greater Southwest Shrine Club, Irving Shrine Club, Metro East Shrine Club, North Texas Shrine Club, Oak Cliff Shrine Club, Peters Colony Shrine Club, Plano Shrine Club, Red River Shrine Club, and Top O'Dallas Shrine Club.
Hella's final jurisdiction includes the 20 counties in North Texas that stretches to Oklahoma on the North to Arkansas on the East.
Hella's successes have been built on the premise that there is something for members to do such as, becoming a member of a unit, a club or association. Hella's First ceremonial was held in Ft. Worth, Texas where 33 novices were required to walk the "Arab's Path". Hella Shrine met at the Masonic Temple during its formation. In 1907, there was a resolution to erect, as soon as practical, a building in Dallas for the exclusive use of the Shrine. In 1910, the Nobility voted to accept the offer of the Scottish Rite Bodies to receive the free use of a portion of the building (Scottish Rite Cathedral) in return for an advancement of certain monetary amounts to be considered a loan. Later Hella Temple started contributing to the cost of operating the Cathedral. In January 1971, the Hella offices were moved across the street and a makeshjft "Mosque" was established on the second floor for unit meetings and storage of Temple paraphernalia.
In 1973, a serious effort was undertaken to acquire a location for Hella Temple. In 1976, after much searching, Earl Knox, Potentate 1981; found 85 acres on Rowlett Rd. in Garland, Texas.
The site committee inspected the property and decided that this would be a perfect location for the Temple. The property selected overlooked Lake Ray Hubbard. The finance committee recommended that the Temple purchase 32 acres of the 85 for $9,000 per acre.
The 1977 Potentate, John Sales signed the final papers and appointed a construction committee with Earl Knox as Chairman. Bill Pardue, Stanley Ballard, Claude Lyon and Bob Watson were general contractors for the building.
The property, being a farm, was cleaned up by volunteer labor of the Nobles of the Temple. A fence was installed around the property in J 978 and a practice pad for marching and motor units was built. A volunteer plan was instigated for donations to the building fund. The contributors to the fund are still listed on plaques in the halls of Hella Temple.
In 1979, a contract was let for the 150'x200' shell of the Temple activities building. During the construction of the building, a severe storm delayed the building process when one of the prefab walls was blown down.
During 1979, the first ceremonial class was installed in the new facility before it was complete. In November 1980, the building was dedicated by the Grand Master of Masons in Texas, Jimmy Wilson.
The office area was completed first and occupied in late 1980. The total facility was constructed with about 50,000 square feet of usable space.
Throughout the years, improvements have been made to the building, but the basic structure is the same. The facility is the host of many activities within and without the Shrine.
In 1999, Hella Temple with Potentate Ed Kirkpatrick was the host Temple for the Imperial Council Session of 1999 The success of the event was due to the large number of Hell a members that volunteered their time and talents to planning and implementing the various activities that were associated with the Session.
A Shrine night at the Mesquite rodeo was held at the beginning of the Imperial Session with the Divans from across North America attending. All of the horse patrols attending the Imperial convention participated in the Grand Entry and the Hella Black Horse Patrol performed their drill in between events. There were over 5,000 Shriners and their ladies in attendance. It was a thrilling night for the entire Shrine but was an even great showcase for Hella Shrine.
2001 saw Hella again hosting the Texas Shrine Association convention. Again Hella showcased its facilities, spirit and determination required to put on one of the most successful TSA conventions ever held. Again a rodeo night was made a part of the convention with the Texas Horse Patrols riding the Grand Entry and the Hella Black Horse Patrol performing their drill routine.
2002,2003,2004 and 2005 brought a very high number of trophies and awards for Hella Shrine at the Texas Shrine, Central States Shrine and the Imperial Shrine competitions. 2005 also brought name entertainment after each stated meeting which quadrupled attendance and enjoyment for the Nobles and ladies of Hella.
Our Potentate Bob Jensen and his Lady Judy spent three years collecting a fez from every Shrine in North America and presented it to the nobility, as a gift, at the Potentates Ball in 2005. A beautiful lighted case was built and this collection occupies a very prominent place at Hella Shrine.
The future is upon us and we look forward to the changes and challenges that the future will bring.