Fez installed near Lloyds Toyota
Shriner members hope to create awareness of organization.
Jamestown might find itself in the Guinness World Records for a metal fez that recently was placed on Lloyds Motors property.
The fez was installed on Dec. 10. Two dignitaries from the El Zagal Temple in Fargo attended the event along with some members of the Jamestown El Zagal Shriners.
“The fez just came about as a discussion with just a few (Jamestown) members,” said Rick Qual, past potentate, El Zagal Shrine. "… The fez obviously is the most recognizable symbol for Shriners international. And so with that being said, we wanted to display it somewhere.”
The group worked with the Krein family, which owns Lloyds Motors, and gave permission to put the fez on their property, he said.
“Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to put this placement of the fez,” Qual said.
Scott Krein, general manager of Lloyds Toyota, said his family was supportive of the project.
“We’re grateful they thought of us and we’re happy to be part of it,” he said.
He said the fez has attracted some traffic to the site.
“The basic premise of having the fez is to make more people aware of the Shrine and its organization,” Qual said, “... to help build a better working relationship on awareness of what Shriners are all about.”
Blake Wrigley, who is also a past potentate, said his company, Wrigley Mechanical in Fargo, made the fez. The fez is made of carbon steel angle iron and flat metal with 16-gauge carbon steel sheets, Wrigley said. It is 7 feet, 6 inches tall and 8 feet, 6 inches wide. It was placed on a 2-foot stand. The “tassel” attached to the fez is made of 1-inch nylon rope.
Wrigley said the fez weighs 1,050 pounds, and the tassel weighs 150 pounds.
“It was just kind of a fun project,” Wrigley said. “They have great support out there in Jamestown so it’s pretty cool to have that on the hill there.”
Local companies were also part of the project. Lux Concrete put down the cement foundation where the fez sits, Midmach donated the powder coating of the fez, Newman Signs printed the letters for the fez, and 913 Graphics applied the lettering to the fez, Qual said.
The fez is located near the holiday light project done this year by the Jamestown Shriner clubs, which include the Clowns, Mystics, Easy Wheels and James Valley Shrine Club. The groups contributed $30,000 for the project and in late summer placed multi-colored LED lights on about 55 trees on Mill Hill.
“We decided to get together and we put our funds together to purchase the lights and put ‘em up for Jamestown to give back to the community because they always give back to us,” Qual said. He said the community supports its fundraisers that go toward hospital transportation for children and families and also to the Shriners Health Care for Children (formerly Shriners Hospital for Children).
Qual said the group also applied to the Guinness World Records, originally called the Guinness Book of World Records, for the world’s largest fez designation.
“There was no fez listed at this time,” he said.
The fez is the official headgear of Shriners International, Qual said. It was named after the city of Fez, Morocco, and represents the Arabian theme the fraternity was founded on. It’s also an outward symbol of membership in the fraternity, he said.
The emblem on the fez is a crescent and scimitar and represents characteristics embodied by the Shriners. The scimitar stands for the members and the two claws represent the Shriner fraternity and philanthropy. The sphinx represents the governing body, the star represents children helped by Shriners, and a phrase on the emblem, “Robur et Furor,” means “Strength and Fury.”