The Sheiks evolved as a unit around the time of World War I as a horse-mounted patrol. The original membership was primarily stockyard men from South St. Paul who owned horses and thus formed the unit for their own enjoyment. Timely progress changed social conditions and thus the membership changed in profile to a sleek motorized sports car patrol unit. During the 1950s, many members drove such classic cars as the Corvette and Thunderbird. Foreseeing the decline in the availability of convertible cars for parades in the mid-1960s, the Sheiks built their own original float which went on to win recognition and awards in many parades and displays.
The Sheiks’ colorful Arab costumes, among the most unusual and distinctive in all Shrinedom, were designed after much research and study. Today, without the horses and sports cars, the Sheiks still present a most impressive image at any parade or function in the Arab costumes, colorful turbans and capes and carrying menacing looking scimitars.
Through the years, the Sheiks have been appointed to serve as the Potentate’s Personal Escort and to attend the needs of the Illustrious Sir at parades, ceremonials, the Potentate’s breakfasts and other functions.
The Sheiks participate very actively in the annual Circus and Shrine ceremonials. The Sheiks provide much of the cast of the Ritualistic Divan in the ceremonial presentation.
The Sheiks are proud of the distinction of being the only Unit of its kind in all of Shrinedom.