Al Chymia Patrol was in existence in 1908, and it had a Drum Corps. From this Drum Corps, the Brass Band was started in 1912. The first Clowns in Al Chymia evolved from the Brass Band and formed a Clown Band in 1920. Among those in the Clown Band were Chalmers Cullins, Glenn Pinkston, Cash Dozier, Bert Fielding, Midge Fox, Tom Phillips, Bill Freeman, and Keith Lawrence. In 1937, Floyd Harvey, Paul Martin and Willie B. Smith formed a clown group within the Patrol; in 1948, a separate clown group was formed, and it was called the Al Chymia Street Team. This group consisted of Floyd Harvey, President; Jimmy Moore, Secretary-Treasurer; John Goodenough, Rudy Willing, and Eddie Howard. By 1950 it had grown to nine members. The first member voted into the unit by its membership was Dr. G. B. Ramsey when he succeeded Rudy Willing.

The Street Team attended its first Southeastern meeting as a unit in Miami in 1951. Al Chymia Street Team, along with the Yaarab Red Devils, Morocco Funsters, and several other clown units met at the King Cotton Hotel during the 1957 Southeastern in Memphis and organized the Southeastern Shrine Clown Association. The late Eddie Howard of Al Chymia was elected President pro tem of the association, and Charlie Parker of Yaarab and others were appointed by draft bylaws. Early in 1958, Al Chymia Street Team officially became the Al Chymia Clown Unit – it had grown to fifteen members and was authorized up to eighteen in number.

In 1960 at the SESCA meeting in Louisville, Dr. Ramsey of Al Chymia was elected 2nd Vice President, and became President of the SESCA in 1962-63. Albert Guenther of Al Chymia was elected Executive Secretary in 1961 for a three-year term, and served until 1963. Dr. Ramsey finished out his term for the last year. In 1962, Potentate Carl Stokes increased the authorized number to twenty-two members. In 1967, Noble Floyd Harvey was elected President Emeritus of the unit. Also in 1967, Bob Hagenhoff was elected as 3rd Vice President of SESCA in Atlanta, and became President in 1972-73. In 1972, the unit elected Dr. Ramsey as President Emeritus.

No history of Al Chymia Clowns would be complete without mentioning Charlie Stull of Savannah, Tennessee. He was a long time honorary member of the clowns, and even though he lived 100 miles from the Temple, he rarely missed a meeting, ceremonial, or convention. He wore an authentic Buster Brown suit designed for him by the Brown Shoe Company, and up until he was in his seventies, he made every parade. He was a dedicated Mason, Shriner and an outstanding clown.

The Clowns have always been very active in SESCA activities and have won many awards. In 1977 under President Lawhorn and again in 1985 under President Ed Allen, the Memphis unit served with distinction as hosts to clown units of SESCA.

Many individual trophies and plaques have been won in competition by our clowns. In SESCA competition, the unit has won numerous trophies. Among those were 1978 under President Gamer Hardy, first place parade ability; 1979 under President Bill Kin, second place parade ability; 1980 under President George Fritz, first place parade ability. In 1982 under President James Jackson, second place parade ability and the first-place president trophy. In 1983 under President Louis Anderton, third place parade ability. In 1987, under President Larry Parham, third place unit skit. All the clowns through the years have done outstanding jobs performing in parades, hospitals, children’s affairs, and whenever called for any worthwhile event.

Dan Watts, who was a member of the Street Team back in 1956, was a founding member and helped organize the Southeastern Shrine Clown Association in 1957.

Memphis Clown Unit 

President:   Walter Fast 901-297-2717
Vice Pres:  Harry Bogart
Secretary : David “Sparkles” Waddell
Treasurer:   John “Keysone” Hervert & Charlie Burch (assistant)
Meets First Friday of the month

Past Presidents

Clint Fuller 1958
Clint Fuller 1959
Ben Ramsey 1960
Charles Clark 1961
Dan Watts 1962
Al Guther 1964
Bob Shepard 1965
Ralph Autry 1966
Carl Young 1967
Robert Hagenhoff 1968
William Magee 1969
Frank Sykes 1970
Gordon Bestul 1971
George Wampler 1972
Sol Braslow 1973
W. E. Noe 1974
Jerry Wilson 1975
Robert Poole 1976
Leonard Lawhorn 1977
Garner Hardy 1978
Billy Kink 1979
George Fritz 1980
Ralph Cowden 1981
James Jackson 1982
Louis Anderton 1983
Billy Allen 1984
Ed allen 1985
Don Morris 1986
Larry Parham 1987
Hollis Hickerson 1988
Dick Weiss 1989
George Beale 1990
Jim Simmons 1991
Harry Bungard 1992
Don Chenault 1993
Richard Henery 1994
Cary Canada 1995
John Phillips 1996
Howard reed 1997
Donald Lefkowitz 1998
Don Chenault 1999
Johnny Canady 2000
Jim Steward 2001
Tom Myrick 2002
Walter Smith 2003
Tom Turner 2004
Dean Brown 2005
Brian Jones 2006
Robert Steward 2007
Tim Good 2008
Randy Waddell 2009
Tom Myrick 2010
Walter Smith 2011
Stan Bolden 2012
Ray Sanders 2013
Greg Lacki 2014
Sean Hamilton 2015
Walter Fast 2016
Tim Hanson 2017
John Hervert 2018
Stan Bolden 2019
Walter Smith 2020