Location: Ararat Shrine Temple, 5100 Ararat Drive, Kansas City, MO
Owner: Ararat Shrine Temple
Artist: Harrison Covington
Dates: 1987 (original); Donated October 1, 2000
Medium: Fiberglass (sculpture), granite (base)
AKA Silent Messenger; Shriner Carrying a Crippled Child
In 1970, a photographer by the name of Randy Dieter was covering a Shriners function for handicapped children. He happened to take a photograph of a Shriner carrying a girl in his left arm while holding her crutches in his right hand. This photograph became synonymous with the Shriners and became one of the best known symbols of the Shriners Hospitals.
In the 1980s, artist Harrison Covington created the larger than life sculpture based on the famous photograph. A man wearing the distinctive fez of the Shriners carries a little girl in his left arm. The girl wears braces on both of her legs which necessitates the use of crutches. The man carries the girl's crutches in his right hand. This fiberglass sculpture is a replica of the original which was placed outside the International Shrine Headquarters in Tampa, Florida.
The 10-foot square granite base has inscriptions on all four faces. The east, or front, face is inscribed with the name of the sculpture. The north face notes when the Ararat Shrine was founded. The west face lists the locations of the Shriners Hospitals in the United States. The south face is inscribed with the words "Masonic Brotherhood" and the various symbols associated with Masons and Shriners.