Meet a Shriner

Noble Ralph Mayo

Introduce Yourself

My name is Noble Ralph Mayo.

My hometown is the community of Burin on the Burin Peninsula. I am a member of The Boot Shrine Club and over the past 30 years I have served as President of the club for 5 years. I stepped down as President in December of this year, but I still serve on the Board of Directors.

Why did you become a Shriner?

Well, that is a long story that goes back to my youth and my Father. He was a Mason and I had a deep respect for him. He earned his living as a Deep-Sea Diver for Fishery Products and he would take me and my brother on trips with him, to give him a hand, when he travelled around the province. After a while observing my Father at work, I noticed that wherever he went, he knew all kinds of people. Why is that, I asked him? He told me it was because he was a Mason, and because of that he had friends everywhere. I learned very early in life that being a Mason meant that you had lots of friends and that stuck with me and influenced my thinking and opinion of the craft. I eventually became a Mason in 1972 when I joined Cabot Lodge in Port Aux Basques. From there I went on to become a Shriner in 1985 when I joined the Boot Shrine Club. I can thank my Father for where I am today as a Mason and a Shriner.

What is your proudest moment of being a Shriner?

My proudest moment was meeting a Shrine patient on a ferry crossing some 5 years after my club had assisted him. In 1991 I had received a call from Noble Doug Alteen, of what was then the Corner Brook Shine Club and now The Long Range Shrine Club, asking if our club had any money. They needed $15,000 to pay for an air ambulance for a Michael Gaultois, who had just been severely burned in a cabin fire. We had the money and gladly donated it. On the ferry in 1996, where I worked as an Engineer, I noticed Michael, whom I had never met but had seen pictures of him. I went up to Him and asked if I had the right person and he was surprised that I knew of him. I told the story of my involvement through the Boot Shrine Club and he was very happy I made myself known to him. Over the years we have stayed in touch up to this day. He is now a motivational speaker for Fire Safety and travels around to high schools, Fire Departments, hospitals and whenever he is asked, to tell his story and the Shriners story of the help he received. He calls himself the “Million Dollar Man”, because of all the money the Shriners have spent on him to make him well. He had an opportunity to travel for a speaking engagement in Boston and at the same time got to meet with the Doctors and nurses at the Boston Shriners International Hospital where he was air-lifted to first receive treatment many years ago. They all knew him and welcomed him back. Michael went on to graduate with a Degree in Psychology from Memorial University and has a partner with a young son. As a Shriner, the greatest reward is in meeting our patients, especially many years after their treatments, and seeing the miracles that our Shriners Hospitals and their people have performed. It puts a lump in my throat.

Could you tell me a story about being a Shriner in public?

Well, I have been very active in my Shrine Club. As I said, I have served as President some 5 years over the last 30 years. We carry out special activities like, calling Bingo every week, which is a collaboration with three other organizations in the area. The funds we raise help us to support our Mazol Patient Travel Fund and other causes. Over the years we have raised $25,000 for Burin Peninsula Health Care. As a club we are very proud that some years ago we pledged to raise, over 10 years, $100,000 for our Shriners International Hospital in Montreal. We did it in 5 years. I had the privilege in May of this year to visit our Montreal Hospital and I was totally amazed at the facility and the wonderful environment for our patients. I wish every Noble could visit and see first hand this place of miracles. We also sell tickets for the Mazol Temple such as for the Annual Fezeroo. When I wear my Fez in Public, I get only the best of respect from the public because, those that know what Shriners do, are very appreciative and they tell you about it. Being a Shriner is very rewarding in that way. I have to add that I would not have been able to support my Masonic Lodge and The Boot like I have without the full support of my wife Roberta. Together it seems we can do anything.

Noble Ralph Mayo
Noble Keith Boone


Noble Ralph Miller

My Name is Noble Ralph Miller.

My home town is now Gander NL (grew up in Portugal Cove, NL moved to Gander 1971 to teach at the Community College. Retired from there in 1991). I am a member of the Gander Shrine Club and holds the position of Patient Co-ordinator and Mazol Shriners holding the position of Patient Chairman.

In 1983 I joined Airways Masonic Lodge in Gander with the prime intention of becoming a Shriner. I became a Shriner at the summer Ceremonial of 1985 in Gander, NL (Dr. Gerald Hewitt from Gander was the Potentate). I took on the position of Gander Club Patient Co-ordinator in the late 90s and became Mazol Patient Chairman in 2006?

I had heard a lot about the wonderful work that Shriners did for children with Orthopaedic & Burn conditions. Joining Shriners for me was a way in which I could payback for help I received which has given me the opportunity to enjoy some of the good things in my life. Now as Mazol Patient Chairman, I always feel empathy for the young patients I have the honour & privilege to work with.

Payback for me goes back to my childhood when I was a young boy around 11 years old and was stricken with what was believed to be “Spinal Tuberculoses”. With that diagnosis I received the devastating news, I was to spend the rest of my life in a wheel chair. However, I was fortunate enough that through the training and dedication of a nurse, she happened to notice there was something different about my case. She summoned the Orthopedic Surgeon who made a more extensive examination and realized that it was not “Spinal Tuberculoses” but it was “Spinal Cord Trauma” due to inflammatory arthritics of the lower spine. After several months in hospital with physiotherapy and medication and physiotherapy at home as well, I was able to return to school to finish my sixth grade.

For me, during the past 12 years as Mazol Patient Chairman as well as Gander Club Patient coordinator, I feel so blessed & fortunate to meet the many young “Heroes”, who have become our patients. I’ve met and made friends with grateful parents and caregivers who face the world every day with such a positive outlook and the children’s smiles despite their pain all because Shriners were able to help.

For each Clinic held at JPM, the great feeling of hope for the children begins when I pick up Dr. Francois Fassier at the airport, which I’ve done for every clinic held. In coordinating & assisting at the Outreach Clinic, I am so proud that I can in some small way give a little back and possibly a lot forward to the young people who strive daily to be all they can be.

In recognizing patients from many areas in NL was having to travel to either St. John’s or Montreal were being stressed. In 2003 it was decided maybe a central location was needed to have an Outreach Clinic from Montreal Shriners hospital. I was able to arrange consultation between Mazol Patient Chairman and the administration JPM hospital, Gander. From that an agreement was reached with no difficulty to begin the process. I was glad to have played a role towards making this happen. In the spring of 2004 the first clinic was held with Dr. Francois Fassier, his clinical assistant and Shriner representation present and has continued since. That was a proud time for me with the hope many NL children needing the help we could possibly provide would be seen and taken care of. Since then, to date over 300 patients has been seen by Dr. Fassier and his clinical assistants. This has been resulted in much less stress and anxiety to the many patients and families in NL.

My proudest moments as a Shriner:
There are so many that there’s no special one that I can say stands out above others. From 2004 – present time being involved with the Outreach Clinic there has been many proud moments on my journey as a Shriner. Time spent with patients and families, many looking for hope and support to make life better for the children has been satisfying, fulfilling and gratifying.

  • One of the first patients I assisted was a young boy about 2 years old. When I first met him and his mother he was crawling on the floor, could not walk. I was told by his mother he had a brace on his leg but she had been advised he would never be able to walk without one. His parents had little hope for anything more so one more try was to contact “Shriners”, He was immediately accepted as a Shrine patient this was followed with many surgeries at Shriners Hospital, Montreal. After 12 years or more being cared for by the wonderful Shriners doctors he visited the Outreach Clinic in Gander and was again seen by Dr. Fassier. After a short time along with his mom seeing Dr. Fassier he left the examining room, took his brace and threw it down the corridor saying Give this to somebody who needs it, “I don’t need it any more”. That was a moment I’ll never forget feeling so proud I was able to travel this journey with him and see the positive results that came from it.
  • Another story of a young boy’s parents who came to me wondering if there was anything that could be done for their son who was born with no external ears. He was having a lot of difficulty socially, especially in school. I was able to connect them with a Shriners Hospital who did some marvelous work by arranging for cosmetic techniques and the use of implants. This greatly improved not only his hearing but his self esteem and increased his social well being and confidence.
  • Some patients have come to us unable to communicate and in a wheel chair. One patient (teens now) is now able to walk very well on his own and is able to express himself much better. Recently, visiting the Outreach Clinic, walked up to me with arms outstretched for a big hug. Now that’s a time when I felt very proud to be a Shriner.
  • A mother contacted me about her little girl who had brittle bone disease (Osteogenesis imperfecta). She was very stressed about the child as the child had just gone through some surgery and in the process her pelvis was fractured. Needless to say myself and my wife took this to heart and every effort was made to see if Shriners could help. After many visits and specialized treatments and procedures at Montreal Shriners hospital she was able to carry on with a much better and more normal active life. This is only one of the many with this condition who have been able to access the help of Shriners.
  • Others not connected to the Outreach Clinic has been related to a couple of cases re spinal cord injury. From that I was able to make contact to set the wheels in motion resulting in the patients being transported to one of our Spinal Cord specialty hospitals. I have received messages of the amazing help and treatment the patients along with the families received there. Personal thanks came from a young patient who spent some time receiving care. This again made me proud to be a Shriner helping those who were in desperate need.

There are many, many more stories from my experiences with Shrine patients and the Outreach Clinic. I have heard many stories of misdiagnosis, prolonged treatments, etc. with parents feeling of confusion and helplessness for their children. Shriners became their road to hope and help for a better life for the children – our children. In many of the visits with families who are seeking our help I have been assisted by my wife. This lends to a better atmosphere for the family being able to relate vs just a Shriner. It’s the family/team approach.

The parents’ stories tells of the many caring and specialized staff at Shriners hospitals with many positive results and stories. They have the highest praise for the Shriners doctors and medical supports at all Shriners hospitals. Yes, I am proud to be a Shriner!!!

A footnote:
Being present at the dedication & opening of the New Shriners Children’s Hospital in Montreal in 2015 and to realize this was through the work of the many Shriners was a very notable time for me. No doubt, this was going to provide a top notch service to our patients who would be treated there.
Also, in January of 2018 during the Public Installation ceremony of Ill Sir Paul Rose and his Divan I was honoured to be the recipient of an Emeritus Award for my 10 years of continued service as Mazol Patient Chair.

Shrinedom has been a very rewarding experience for me. This is realized when people come to me and say how much they appreciate the work we Shriners do. They tell the wonderful stories of children who have been helped by the Shriners Hospitals in Canada & the US, they tell you of how much a difference we make for struggling families with young children who have disabling childhood diseases/conditions and of how they depend on us to help them cope with this every day. They tell you of how things might have been better for some people if Shriners had been around many years gone by. I know exactly what they mean!!!!

Noble Ralph Miller
Mazol Patient Chairman.


Noble Albert (Bert) Guzzwell

Portrait of Bert and Pauline Guzzwell
Noble Bert Guzzwell with his wife, Pauline.

1. What is your hometown?
St. John’s

2. When did you become a Shriner?

3. What Shrine Club do you take part in?
St. John’s

4. Why did you become a Shriner?
To help the burned and crippled children.

5. What is your proudest moment of being a Shriner?
When I was presented with my Fez, along with many of my friends.

6. Could you tell me a story about being a Shriner in public?
I always enjoy going on parade with the Patrol and watching the reactions of all the children.


Noble Wilbur W. Patey

Each month we are highlighting an individual from Mazol Shriners. This month we are featuring Noble Wilbur W. Patey as part of our Meet a Shriner series!

1. What is your hometown?

Happy Valley, Goose Bay, Labrador.

Noble Wilbur W. Patey pictured with his wife, Loretta.

2. When did you become a Shriner?


3. What Shrine Club do you take part in?

The Lake Melville Shrine Club.

4. Why did you become a Shriner?

When I was a Mason I went to Labrador City and there were Shriners there, and they were working for burned and crippled children. That’s why I became a Shriner. I wanted to help.

5. What is your proudest moment of being a Shriner?

It was when one of our children came to a Shrine Dinner at Goose Bay and her parents explained what they thought of the good works of the Shrine. The little girl got up to the microphone and personally thanked the Shriners and said she loved us very much.

6. Could you tell me a story about being a Shriner in public?

Yes, I have been calling BINGO as a Shriner for 30 years and when I meet people downtown or anywhere, the first thing they say to me is, “You didn’t call my number last night,” or “Oh, here is the BINGO caller”. People get to know and recognize you in a good way and that is rewarding. I enjoy being a Shriner and one of the things I really like is meeting other Shriners. We have a common bond together.