Imperial Potentate Edward G. McMullan - leader of 825,000 Shrine Masons throughout the world - is visiting Utah this week on a yearlong goodwill tour of North America.
McMullan, 63, from Calgary, Alberta, said he is bringing Shriners and others wherever he goes a message of international peace and brotherhood.The Shrine leader, his organization's 100th imperial potentate, will attend a special Desert Ceremonial through Saturday in Moab where 37 men will be initiated into the fraternity. The Shrine will present a show at the Moab High School football field Friday at 8 p.m. and will hold a parade in Moab at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Utah potentates, McMullan and Aaron E. Saathoff, Murray, said Thursday the Shriners will build a new 40-bed children's hospital adjacent to the University of Utah Medical Center in 1991. They're currently negotiating with the U. for a 99-year lease on the land. The hospital is expected to cost between $25 million and $35 million to build.
They said the Shrine operates 22 hospitals in the United States, 19 orthopedic facilities and three burn institutions. Children patients, up to 18 years, pay nothing for the services they receive. The hospitals are supported by fund-raising events and by endowments, wills and gifts.
McMullan said the Shine's budget for hospitals this year is $211 million. The hospitals' operation budget of $175 million includes $15.5 million for research and $36.8 million for equipment and construction.
He said 100,000 Shriners and their partners are expected to attend the organization's annual convention July 2-5 in Toronto where a 14-hour-long parade is being planned.