The colorful Al Chymia Motor Corps was organized in late 1957 under Potentate J. A. Conner. David M. Malone, Stanley L. Nolan and Les Bain spearheaded the group of six Nobles who were charter members. They purchased their own uniforms and Cushman Eagle Motor Scooters.
The first public appearance for the Motor Corps was a Shrine Ceremonial parade early in 1958 under Potentate Jack Brittan. Potentate Jack Brittan supported and helped the men in the Motor Corps get off to a good start and be a credit to the Temple. Dave Malone, first Captain, was a truly great promoter with drive and energy towards putting on a first class drill and show for many parades and public appearances.
Again in 1959, Dave Malone served as Captain and the unit won first place trophy for competitive drill on the field. In 1960, Captain Stan Nolan headed the unit and the unit walked away with the Southeastern Shrine Association Convention honors for both the first place trophy as unit with best attendance, and first place trophy in competitive drill for all phases of performance and drill on the field.
In 1961, under Captain Raymond Nippers, the unit served the Temple well on many a hot summer day drill and in the cold of winter at many Christmas parades.
In 1962, the unit changed to Honda 300 motorcycles under Captain Ray Gilliam with unit strength at thirteen members and Ray brought home the bacon again by leading the men to first place in competitive drill in the SESA.
Dave Malone stepped back to the helm in 1963 for a full year where the unit competed both in the Imperial Shrine and Southeastern competition. Also during 1963, the Harley 74 group was formed within the unit. The four charter members of that group were Gilley Hawks, Tommy Taylor, George Cook and Fleming Horne.
Captain Gilley Hawks took over the reins in 1964, sparking an increase in membership to 26 two-wheel Honda and Harley motorcycles beside several four-wheel vehicles that were later discontinued for use in the unit.
It was another fine year in 1964 with Jimmy Fulghum serving as Captain. The unit won several awards at SESA competitive events. Among other awards, the Harley 74 group won its first trophy in competition with a drill team of eight riders under the direction of Lt. Fleming Horne.
Stan Nolan served again as Captain in 1966 and there was an increase in membership with very active participation in the conventions, local parades and other appearances for the unit. Several more awards were won during the year.
In 1967, Al McAlexander led the unit in fine fashion by bringing home several more awards from the conventions. During 1967, another group was added to the unit – the Harley Sportster motorcycles. Now three groups within the unit rode in competitive events – the Heavyweight Harley 74’s, the Sportster Middleweights, and the Honda Lightweights.
Ed Turner took over and served as Captain in 1968. The unit again did well in SESA events – winning many awards, including a competitive drill trophy in the new Sportster Middleweight division.
Glenn Shelton led the unit in 1969 to a great year. All units were polished and glowing with care in Jacksonville in August for the SESA, and then it rained for three days and nights so there was no parade for Al Chymia, but a lot of fun was had just the same.
Ed Turner came back in 1970 to serve again as Captain. This was the year the SESA was in Atlanta, and the unit continued its good riding and won more trophies for Al Chymia under Dr. Rufus Craven.
Stan Nolan was our leader in 1971 and we were hosts that year here in Memphis to the SESA. In addition, Gilley Hawks served as President of the Southeastern Motor Corps group that year. We hosted many nice events and got the grounds for the competitive events where everyone seemed to have a great time with us here.
Fleming Horne served as Captain in 1972 and we went to the great state of Texas for the Imperial at Dallas. We won some trophies there, and later in the year, we traveled to New Orleans for the SESA and won some more there. In September 1972 at the stated meeting, there was time for show and tell about the conventions, and the Motor Corps members had many pretty trophies to show off and present to Potentate Ray Sayle. It was also the year that the Motor Corps room was built. We were honored to have our own Gilley Hawks installed as President of the International Association of Shrine Motor Corps, and our Motor Corps room was later dedicated in his memory.
Bob McQuiston led the Motor Corps as Captain in 1973, and a change was made in wheels in one division – the Sportsters were traded for Honda 100’s. It was Imperial time in Atlanta and SESA time in Louisville – more trophies were won at each convention.
In 1974, Jim Sartain served as Captain and led the unit in winning awards at the Southeastern in Nashville. During 1974, the Al Chymia Wheel Association was formed among the motorized units of Al Chymia Temple with Bob McQuiston as President.
Travis Ray led the unit as we went to Orlando in 1975 for the SESA. There was fun in the sun, great sights such as Disneyworld, and more awards to be won in the competition with other Temples.
Brandon Barker directed the unit to a successful year in the “Spirit of 76” year. In Jacksonville at the SESA, the riders again showed to good advantage by bringing home the awards for Al Chymia. As usual, we rode in many parades during the Christmas season in our territory.
In 1977, Al Chymia was host to the SESA, and Captain Fleming Horne served as host Director General for the Motor Corps Units of the SESA. All the men pitched in to help get good drill fields, arrange for fine banquets, and serve as hosts to the visiting Nobles and families and friends. In addition, the riders had time to win first place in the Harley 74’s and Honda 125 divisions. It was a fine time for everyone.
Captain S. 0. Blackburn took over for 1978, and led the unit to a great year. In addition to riding in local and Temple events, we again went to the SESA. This time it was in Birmingham in August on a good field, and our division had some great rides and won trophies in all divisions for Al Chymia Temple.
In 1996, ten new Shrine 75th edition Harleys were purchased with others on order. The Motor Corps was proud to lead the Imperial Parades in New Orleans in 1996 and the Imperial Parades in St. Louis 1997.
The Motor Corp today consist of not only Motorcycles but also Dune Buggies and small bikes. Come see what all the fun is about…..
Meet the First Tuesday of each month (dark June, July, & August)
Captain – Jason Maness, 901-413-1135, firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice Captain & Tres. – Wayne Bonner, PP
Sec. – Tom Cross, PP