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Shriners International head in Amherst on Sept. 8

AMHERST – Imperial Potentate Gary J. Bergenske, the top ranking Shriner in the world, will be visiting Amherst on Friday, Sept. 8.

Imperial Potentate Gary J. Bergenske and his wife, Lady Anne, will be in Amherst on Friday, Sept. 8. He is the highest ranking Shriner in the world

Bergenske, who was elected to the position on July 18, is also visiting Charlottetown and Halifax as part of his visit to the region.
During his visit, in celebration of Canada 150, he will be meeting with the Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island, H. Frank Lewis, as well as other dignitaries from both Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
He is expected in Amherst from 1 to 3 p.m. at which time he will attend a reception at the Amherst Masonic Lodge on Lawrence Street before going to Halifax for the conclusion of his tour.
As Imperial Potentate, he serves as president of the board of directors of Shriners International, chairman of the board of directors of Shriners Hospitals for Children and a member of the board of trustees of Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Shriners Hospitals for Children has an annual operating budget of over $700 million per year.
The Imperial Potentate has a big vision for the fraternity and Shriners Hospitals and has set an outstanding goal for Shriners International this year – to grow membership by 12,000 by July 2018.
Shriners throughout the system will be helping with this mission, including the Philae Shriners of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
“We’re volunteers. We perform and do our work for no pay,” Bergenske said when asked why Shriners do what they do. “Our pay is the reward of trying to do something good that makes a difference, and to support our philanthropy, Shriners Hospitals for Children.”
“As a fraternal organization, we make good men better,” he said. “All Shriners are Masons first. Many people now know us from the many ads we run on TV. The opportunity to give back and be part of something bigger than yourself is extraordinary.”
At the end of his tour of the provinces, there will be a banquet held at the Westin Hotel in Halifax on Saturday, Sept. 09 at 6:30 p.m. that is open to the public.
For more information on tickets and reservations, please visit To learn more about Imperial Sir Gary, please visit

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