The Ladies’ Oriental Shrine of North America
The Ladies’ Oriental Shrine of North America or LOSNA was founded in Wheeling, West Virginia in 1903, when the Ladies of Osiris Shriners were invited to attend the social events and festivities surrounding Osiris’ Spring Ceremony of Initiation. When the Shriners departed for their ceremony, the ladies were having so much fun, they didn't want to stop. They surveyed the McClure Hotel and in a joyous mood, began to parade through the halls. They eventually arrived at one of the hotel’s conference rooms. The doors were closed, a guard was set, and within that room, with dignity and sincerity, and without a ritual or prepared paraphernalia, the first session of the Ladies’ Oriental Shrine of North America was held and Isis Court No. 1 came into being. They would henceforth conduct their own affairs, even while continuing to support the Nobles with their Shrine activities.
LOSNA is not an auxiliary of Shriners International. We are a separate and distinct Order.
Initially, membership in the LOSNA was restricted to the families of Osiris Shriners, but when the reputation of Court No. 1 reached the ladies in Pittsburgh, PA and Parkersburg, WV, they wanted to be a part of the fun and thus Court No. 2 and Court No. 3 were formed.
The Ladies soon realized the need for a Grand Body. Representatives from the three existing Courts met on June 24, 1914 to organize the Grand Council. The top official of the Grand Council is known as the Grand High Priestess, and the Executive Office in a local Court is known as the High Priestess. All members are addressed as "Lady".
Today, LOSNA has nearly 8,000 members in 64 Courts across North America, Japan and Taiwan.
The goal of the Ladies’ Oriental Shrine, as set forth at the organizational meeting in 1903, is to promote sociability, good fellowship and the betterment of all Ladies connected with the organization. The Ladies participate in parades, mini-clinics, Shrine Circuses, and much more. Ladies may choose to be active in a variety of special interest Units within each local Court such as Oriental Bands, Patrols, Clown or Dance Units. Members are always ready to display their pageantry and glamour in order to show the public how much they enjoy their activities.
When the Shriners founded the Shrine Hospitals for Children and the first hospital was built in 1922, the Ladies committed to supporting the Shrine’s official philanthropy. Today the Courts continue to support the hospital fund, hospital sewing, research projects and other areas of interest. Each Court not only raises funds for the hospitals, but they donate clothing, stuffed animals, purchase equipment, staff the information desk in the various hospitals and serve as office personnel on a voluntary basis. LOSNA contributes well over a half million dollars annually to the Shrine Hospitals.
Within the past few years, LOSNA has expanded their membership requirements to be more inclusive to those without a Masonic connection. All Ladies, at least 18 years of age, with an interest in their mission and philanthropy are encouraged to join and become part of their legacy.