Ainad Temple was conceived in 1912, when many of the members of the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine gathered at the Scottish Rite building in East St. Louis to bring to Southern Illinois the chance to join the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. These local men of the business and professional world had journeyed to Chicago at one time or another for admission into Shrinedom, and they felt they had enough members to start a Temple.
Affiliations and applications gave them 105 members for the first year under dispensation. After they granted the Charter the following year, they initiated 154 more Nobles, which made the rolls read 259 members at the end of 1913. Ainad then became the fourth of five Temples in the State of Illinois.
Thomas L. Fekete was our first Potentate, serving as temporary leader until our Charter was to be issued. Ainad became Temple 130 on the numerical list. Fekete was then elected and served as the Illustrious Potentate for the Charter year. Eight of the original Officers became Potentates. The 1920 Pilgrim Class furnished the second largest number of Potentates namely H.O. Baker, Sr., Walter Bader, Ray Holroyd, Fred Buck, and Robert F. Miller.
In 1994 the Divan decided the present day Temple needed a lot of work. A building Fund was established to restore our temple. The work began with the complete tuck pointing and sealing of the building. Then the interior was repainted, sections of the many roofs were replaced, the dining room refurbished and the kitchen completely updated, and finally, after many years an elevator fund was established. The rear elevator and new entrance addition was dedicated in November of 2001 at a cost of $230,000.00.
In 2015 we had an offer to sell the property. After an extensive study and search of several options the idea of moving to a new location was not financially feasible. It was determined as a result of these efforts that we are best situated in our current original building. It was agreed that major investments in making the building water tight, usable year-round by updating the heating and air condition, the electrical to handle these and other improvements is in the best long term interest of the membership. A new Capital Campaign has been established to undertake the investment in these needed upgrades. All this can be accomplished with the support from our Nobility, our Shrine Clubs and our Shrine Units.
With a current membership of over 4,000 this positions Ainad as the 7th largest Temple out of 196 in all of Shrinedom and as temple number 130. It is also to our members credit that this also makes Ainad the largest in Illinois out of 5. Total membership in all 196 world-wide temples is over 250,000. The average age of Ainad is currently 64 years of age. Our Charter was granted on May 13, 1913 in Dallas TX.
We are each a part of Ainads proud history! You can make a difference with your heart, your hands, and your wills and bequests. Will you help continue this tradition for future generations?