During the days of the Great War (World War I), Shriners in this area, and the entire state for that matter, belonged to Morocco Temple in Jacksonville, Florida. They attended ceremonials in Jacksonville and maintained a Tampa Morocco Shrine Club. Florida was growing rapidly in those days and more and more Shriners were moving to the Tampa Area.
There were a number of prospective candidates who wanted to become Shriners, but they wanted a Shrine in Tampa. They had been having ceremonies put on by Jacksonville in the old Tampa Bay Casino. H. B. Plant who owned the first railroad brought into Tampa, purchased the property to erect the Tampa Bay Hotel (currently the University of Tampa). He also built the old Tampa Bay Casino, a tiled swimming pool and a theater for entertaining his guests. These buildings were laid out in an old orange and lemon grove previously owned by Doctor Hayden. That property was originally purchased from a citizen named Carter for a canopy wagon and a white horse.
James McCants led the parade to get Egypt Shrine situated in Tampa and to enlist candidates. In June of 1917, disposition was given and a territorial agreement was made with Morocco Temple. The Orlando, Sarasota, Fort Myers and Key West areas were assigned to the new jurisdiction.
In June of 1918, Egypt Temple was formed and Harry Roberts, owner of several Cigar Factories and a Past Potentate from Morocco who lived in Tampa became the Charter Potentate of the fledgling Shrine. The
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