On the back of this photograph it says “Mr. Bliss” and “Mr. Marcuse”, but we don’t have any more information.
Are these the names of the two men photographed? Can you identify them?
Please share with us in the comments section below!
Both of these men were instrumental in establishing a Shrine Temple in the Canal Zone. Samuel Marcuse was the first Potentate of Abou Saad Temple (1918 – 1919). Gerald Bliss was the second Potentate in 1920. The fez (hat) worn by Samuel Marcuse in the above photo indicates that he is a Past Potentate, From the numbers on the photo, I assume the photo was taken in 1923. if so, the Potentate was William Foster, the fourth Potentate (1922 – 1923).
The efforts of these two men along with those of Francis Walraven, Frank Wang, Quincy Hall and Frank Hamlin in staging a successful ceremonial (initiation) in 1913 lead the way for the establishment of Abou Saad Temple in 1918 in the Canal Zone. The ceremonial made history in that it was the first such ceremonial to be held in the west chamber of Miraflores Locks. Also, it had the distinction of being the first Shrine Ceremonial to be held before breakfast and 25 feet below seal level. It was attended by over 190 shriners (to include the Imperial Potentate, William Irwin), many of whom came by way of St. Paul to New Orleans to catch the ship to Panama. One hundred seventy-one men were initiated on September 1, 1913. The west chamber of Miraflores Locks was decorated to resemble the interior of a Shrine Temple. The Imperial Potentate presided over the ceremonial with the assistance of other members of the Imperial Council.
To commemorate this ceremony, a bronze tablet was placed on the locks centerwall at the base of marker number 690 with the following inscription: “This tablet marks the oasis where, on “Ailoul Ahaad 1327, ” (September 1, 1913) a caravan from Osman Temple paused in its journey toward the setting sun and conferred in full form The Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine on 171 sons of the desert in service under the Isthmian Canal Commission. May Allah protect and sustain them.”
I have to defer to Bob Karrer’s comments that the photo was taken on a ramp to one of the Boeing clipper ships.
September 10, 2014
Yes, Gerald DeLeo. Bliss (Sr.) on the right is my Grand Father. I am Gerald DeLeo Bliss, III (my father being Gerald DeLeo Bliss, Jr. (also known as Budd) – All long-time residents of CZ.
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