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Meet the Divan
The Divan is the “board of directors” or “executive council” of the organization, and serves as the management team for both fraternal and business activities of the Shrine. Each Shrine Center has its own Divan, and the minimum number of Divan members is set by Imperial by-laws at five, with each of these being elected by the Nobility (membership). Therefore, all Shrine Centers have at least five members on the Divan.
Born in Boston, and raised in Norfolk, MA, I graduated from King Philip Regional H.S., Wrentham, MA. I enrolled at New England Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences, in Boston, now part of the University of Massachusetts, Boston. After graduating, and passing my State Boards, I embarked on my forty-year career beginning as a freelance trade embalmer for several funeral homes. In 1981, I purchased an established funeral home in my hometown, and then in 1986 opened a branch in Andover, MA. I served on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Funeral Directors Association for several years.
I have been married to my favorite Radio City Rockette, Andrea, for 47 years; have five children and three grandchildren. My two favorite sports are ice hockey and golf and I am lucky to have been able to play and excel in each. I played hockey in high school, college, and semi-pro leagues, then became a Certified High School & NCAA College Hockey Referee for eleven (11) years and a Varsity High School Hockey Coach in my home Town of Reading, MA for 15 years, during which time my team won several League, Division and State Championships! What a thrill it was to play, referee and coach at Boston Garden (now TD Garden), home ice of the Boston Bruins! I have also always loved the sport of golf. I am currently a member of Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club in Venice, FL..
I have one hobby, Barbershop Quartet & Chorus singing which I did for over 50 yrs. I have been a member of several groups including Chorus of the Keys, Sarasota, FL and International competing chorus, THX of Sunrise, FL. It was amazing to compete at the Rogers Center (now the Scotia Bank Center) in Toronto, Canada, home ice of the Toronto Maple Leaves, when we placed 7th in the International Championship in 2016.
In 2002 I retired as CEO of Edgerley & Bessom Funerals Homes Inc. of Reading and Andover, MA and Andrea and I moved to Florida. Retirement did not seem to suit me though and I decided to get a part time job: first at Plantation Golf & Country Club, Venice, then as a bar tender at Sahib Shrine, Sarasota. Venice Theatre, recruited me to tend their bar twice a week. Which quickly led to my 14-year, full time job as Concession Stand Manager & bar tender.
My Masonic background began March 2, 1983, when I was Raised to the Subline degree in Good Samaritan Lodge AF & AM, Reading, MA. Among other offices I held I was elected as Master to serve in 2001-2002. I was a member The Scottish Rite Bodies, Valley of Boston, Aleppo Shriners, Wilmington, MA, and Bektash Shriners Concord, NH. At Bektash, I was quite active as a member of their Aides Unit. Upon moving to Venice, I joined Sahib Shrine and became a member of the Mariners Unit. I have served as Fleet Captain, Vice Commodore and then Commodore in both 2010 and 2021. I was honored to be appointed as Asst. Rabban in 2021, elected as Chief Rabban in 2021 and Potentate in 2022. To be part of a great team hear at Sahib and Shriners International is the high point of my working life. Because We Care, Paul F. Bekkenhuis, Potentate
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Allen Sorbie began his Masonic journey in 1994 in the Caledonian Lodge of Uganda No 1389 of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. In October of 2005 he became a plural member of The Builders Lodge No. 376 Free and Accepted Masons here in Sarasota, ultimately becoming Worshipful Master in 2008 and District Deputy Grand Master for the 27th Masonic District in 2014-15.
Allen was regularly Received, Admitted and Constituted a Noble of the Mystic Shrine in Sahib Shriners of Sarasota, Florida on December 1st, 2006. He joined the newly reformed Past Masters Unit and served as the Warden in 2009 serving as the Master/President in 2013. He has been a regular participant in the Ceremonial team since 2009 as well.
in 2006 Allen joined Scottish Rite Valley of Tampa Scottish Rite and installed in Consistory as the Master of Kadosh in 2019. Allen was also invested with the rank of "Knight Commander Court of Honour" (KCCH) in 2019.
He joined the Royal Arch in 1995 and became a Knight Templar in 2004 both in Scotland. He has held the office of District Deputy in all three York Rite bodies and served as Most Illustrious Grand Master in 2021-22. Allen was also invested with the rank of "Knight of the York Grand Cross of Honour" (KYGCH) in 2022.
Allen was born in Connecticut, however his parents moved back to Scotland when he was four. He came back for the military to serve in the US Navy when he was seventeen and went back to the UK after that. Allen came back over for a third time, this time to Sarasota, Florida in 1999 and he has been here since. He works for a Tax Software company as a Director of Information Security.
Oh, and he likes to play golf when he can :)
High Priest and Prophet
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(941) 371-2750 ext 387
Born June 3, 1927 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Graduated from Shortridge High School in three years and had parental approval to join the army. When discharged from service, enrolled at Butler University, Indianapolis. Met my wife, Jean and we were married, June 8, 1947 in Sweeney Chapel on campus.
My fraternal order is Mystic Tie Lodge #398, December 20, 1948 Indianapolis, Scottish Rite 32nd Degree. March 24, 1950 Indianapolis, and Murat Shrine, December 12, 1954 Indianapolis, Indiana.
Entered Grain Dealers Mutual Insurance Company’s Special Agent training program. I was Special Agent in Indiana, Michigan, and California. Opened a branch office in San Francisco. Began with one employee, and it grew to 30, as I became Vice President of the Pacific Office.
I retired June 8, 1990 and moved to Sarasota, Florida, where I became very active in Sahib Shriners. Served as Assistant Recorder for six years and elected Recorder for fourteen years. In 2021 became the recorder again and hold that position today.
Scorecard of years for 2023
Scottish Rite 73
With God’s approval and MY PILLS, I hope to add another year.
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