The Southern Ohio Shrine Club is looking forward to the installation of 2018 officers and a ceremony to reveal their larger-than-life “Silent Messenger” statue.
The statue, depicting a 1970 photograph of Noble Albert Lanier Hortman carrying young Bobbi Jo Wright in on arm and her crutches on the other, is a massive honor for a Shriners’ premises to hold and this celebration is open to the public on Saturday, January 13 with an RSVP by this Friday, the 6th, and $10 per person. The event will begin at 2 pm with the dedication of the statue, moving into social hour at 3:30PM and onto a dinner prepared by the Shriners and their families at 5.
The “Silent Messenger” statue will not only serve as a grand physical presence, but as great inspiration as well. The photograph that the statue bases itself on, known as the “Editorial Without Words”, was taken by photographer Randy Dieter nearly by accident when his camera jammed as Hortman and young Wright passed by him.
Dieter said, “I had to take my last shot as they walked by. It was the end of the roll. If I had to think about it, I wouldn’t have come up with something like that. Fate guides you”.
Dieter’s fate certainly played a massive role in the iconography of the Shriners’ organization, as the image has become a crucial piece of the group’s history and an inspiration for members to look upon with pride. It represents the Shriner dedication to children and in my correspondence with Michael Osborne of the Southern Ohio Shrine Club, he showed that same care.
When I asked Osborne what the “Silent Messenger” being presented at his local club meant to him, he replied, “…having a statue of this type in the Portsmouth area and on our club grounds, represents hope and inspiration. That future supporters and Shriners will be inspired to continue this charitable work and continue to be inspired on behalf of any child that may need medical treatment.”
Osborne continued, “The statue of a Shriner holding a child in his arms should be forever a representative of hope to any child that needs help and can’t help themselves.”
Shriners Hospitals for Children assists minors eligible for care by way of their network of locations regardless of the patient’s ability to pay for the treatment. Albert Hortman actually joined the Shriner organization after his own daughter received treatment from the Shriners Hospital in Saint Louis, and much like Hortman hoisted Wright and carried her forward, the Shriners Hospitals allow many children who would typically go without opportunity for treatment to receive the help that they need.
Osborne talked about his time in the Shriners and what has brought him the most pride over the years.
He said, “I, as most Shriners, am most proud each time a child is helped by our hospitals and doctors at no cost to the child or parents. In over 30 years of being a Mason and Shriner, the feeling that maybe we, as a fraternity, have made a difference in a child’s life is a reward in itself.”
January 13th provides an opportunity to the community to celebrate and fraternize with the Shriners over a homemade meal.
Osborne assured, “The food will be great. It will be prepared by Shriners with help from the ladies, of course.”
Send your RSVP via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Jay Foster, President at 740-981-3001 or Micheal Osborne, Treasurer at 740-357-6588 by January 6th to confirm attendance and mark your calendars for January 13th.