Murat Firemen's Club "Celebrating 60 Years of Service"

By: Tim Whitaker, President 2009

The first meeting of the Murat Firemen's Club was held in the Kneipe Room of Murat Temple, January 6, 1949. IFD Firefighter Ray Cogan was elected President and Harry Branson was elected Secretary-Treasurer. Encouraged by Potentate Calvin Richey and Noble Harry Geisel, the club grew in both membership and activities from a modest beginning that year under its first president, to its present stature of more than 100 members.

The name "Murat Firemen’s Club" was suggested by Noble Harry Branson and adopted at the second meeting, February 17, 1949. The Club Treasury was started by a $10.00 donation from Potentate Richey and has grown until the services of a separate Treasurer is now required. During that first year President Cogan and Secretary-Treasurer Branson drew up the Club By-Laws. The By-Laws allow the club to have Active, Associate and Honorary members.

In the beginning years of the club, they were a marching unit. They marched all across the country representing Murat Shrine and Firefighters. They attended many Imperial Sessions and Great Lakes Shrine Association Parades displaying our Country's Colors Proudly with an Honor Guard. In 1980 the Club became a motorized unit. The City of Indianapolis was disposing of reserve apparatus that were no longer being used by the fire department. Our Club purchased a 1955 Maxim Fire Engine from the City and made it parade worthy for use in parades and community events. This is the big "Red Fire Engine" you see when we parade at the Indiana Masonic Home and other parades both locally and nationally.

The Club now operates with five Principal Officers, has dues, meets monthly and participates in as many Community Activities as possible. It manages to have a good turnout at various events, in spite of the unique working hours of firefighters. Most firefighters work 24 hour shifts.

The Objectives of our Club are to provide Murat Shrine with a Safety Committee and form a social club for Indianapolis/Indiana Firefighters (Active and Retired) that have common interests and are members of Murat Shrine.

Club members provide Emergency Medical Services at the Shrine Circus, promote bicycle safety, fire safety and assist with the Mini-Clinic evaluation for children with birth defects or who are burned in a fire, plus we participate in many Shrine and Civic Parades, both on the local and national levels.

Our unit has been very diverse for the past 60 years and we are proud of our accomplishments of service to our various communities. We are not only a social club but, we are involved in Shrine and Civic affairs. We are especially proud of our member’s accomplishments and for the many who have taken leadership roles in the Indianapolis Fire Department and surrounding fire departments. Our membership represents various ranks in fire department personnel in Indianapolis, Marion County and other Cities within the State of Indiana. Many have served as Chiefs of some of those departments.

The Murat Firemen’s Club membership has participated and held high offices in Shrine Groups on the Local and National levels. We are especially proud of Ronald M. Elliott, Past Potentate of Murat 2008 (Ron is a retired member of IFD) Serving as Potentate, Ron became the first Indianapolis Firefighter to ever serve as the Illustrious Potentate of Murat. We are proud of his year and the way he conducted himself as Potentate and as a retired member of The Indianapolis Fire Department.