Divan 2024

The Divan is the board of directors or executive council of the Philae Shriners and serves as the management team for fraternal and business activities. Its 2023 members are:

Illustrious Sir Aaron Verge


Despite having been born in Toronto, I have spent much of my life in Sheet Harbor,
Nova Scotia. Upon graduating high school, I attended St. F.X. University, the
University of Maine and Mount St. Vincent University, I have taught and have been an
administrator in a number of schools in HRM, with the lion’s share of them being in rural
settings. This was intentional as I am a passionate advocate for rural education.
I am currently the proud principal of Marine Drive Academy.
Five years ago, I found my soul mate Jayme, and fellow clown, who is also a teacher,
and fellow clown and works and lives with me in Sheet Harbour. I have two wonderful
sons, Liam, and Connell.
I have been a Mason and member of Eureka #42 for 14 years. I have served in a
variety of lodge positions, including Master for 3 consecutive terms. I have been
honored to have been appointed to the position of Grand Standard Bearer, and Grand
Stewart positions.
I have been a Shriner for 7 years. I have been a member of Central Shrine club and am
currently a member of Metro Shrine club.
Since joining the Divan, I have attended many events and have been involved in
committees and unit work including:
– Assistant Rabban School in Tampa Florida.
– The Imperial Session in Minnesota and North Carolina
– Membership summits and online development opportunities
– Fall Field days, and this year’s mid-winter meetings.
– Long Range Planning committee
– A member of the Philae clown unit.
Being a Shriner has been a transformative journey for me. It is amazing to know that
the work we do impacts the lives of so many children and their families.


Illustrious Sir Ken Conrod

Past Potentate

Ken Conrod, P.P.

Potentate – Philae Shriners 2023

Born and raised in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia attending schools in the East Dartmouth area, graduating from Prince Andrew High in 1977. Currently living in the same neighborhood with 1st Lady Debbie Ryan.  

A “Lewis” Mason raised in Eastern Star Lodge #51 Dartmouth in 1981 serving as Worshipful Master in 1989 and 1999. Served as District Deputy Grand Master in 2006-2007, Lodge Treasurer for the past 13 years and the recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal in March of 2023. Active in the Order of the Easter Star and served as Worthy Grand Patron in 2018-2019.

At the Club level, served Philae Shriners in many capacities. President of both the Halifax Shrine Club and the Dartmouth Shrine Club, Secretary of The Halifax Club and Treasurer of both the Halifax and Dartmouth Clubs.

Served a number of terms as an Elected Representative on the Philae Executive Committee and was elected to the Divan position as Assistant Rabban in September 2019, Chief Rabban in 2020 and was elected as Potentate in the Covid year of 2021.

“No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a Child”

Noble Sandy Buchan

Chief Rabban

Noble David Skinner

Assistant Rabban

My name is David Skinner and I’ve been elected to serve as your Assistant Rabban for 2024.
I began my Masonic Career on November 1994, following in both my Father’s and
Father-In-Law’s footsteps. On ???? I became a Shriner – a wonderful
organization dedicated to helping others, especially children. I am also the
Temple Jeweller and am ready to serve on any other committees as required.
One of my biggest pleasures is acting as my alter ego, Salty the Clown, in various
parades and events throughout NS and PEI.
I am married to the love of of life, Susan, for the past 45 years and we are proud
dog parents to our Australian Shepard, Penny.
If you want to know to know more about this organization or are interested in
becoming a member, please contact me at your convenience –

Noble Greg Gillespie

High Priest and Prophet


Greg and Lady Gayle hail from small town Nova Scotia…Greg from Kentville and Gayle from Amherst Head.
They have four adult children, two living in Nova Scotia, one in New Brunswick and one in Saskatchewan. And, four grandchildren here in the Maritimes.
The Gillespies recently moved back to Nova Scotia after working and living in rural Saskatchewan for the past seven years.

Masonic & Shrine Journey

Greg was raised to Master Mason in Masonic Lodge No. 7 A.F. & A.M. (Saskatchewan) in 2016, and later that year joined WaWa Shriners #123 (Moosomin, SK). Greg held the office of Junior Warden in that Lodge, and was WaWa Shrine Club’s President for the past four years. Being a small rural Club (20 registered Nobles – but only 12 active), all Nobles had to be very involved in keeping the Club alive and relevant. Besides his role as Club President, Greg was very active in Fundraising Committee work (Shrine concerts and Rose Day), and assumed a lead role in the Lodge’s building upkeep.


Greg enjoyed a successful career in the business world, starting many moons ago in Marketing. Over the years, his responsibilities expanded to include Sales and Operations. For the past 16 years, Greg has held Divisional Leadership positions, with overall responsibility for Operations and Profitability. Greg has worked in a variety of companies and industries; his longest stint with the Shaw Group Limited in Halifax (20 years)


Outside of the Masonic Lodge and Shriners, Greg has been an active volunteer for 40 years, including Board positions with the AVR Hospital Foundation (Kentville), VON, and Red Cross (Halifax) and active involvement in Big Brothers and Junior Achievers (Halifax). Greg recently took on a senior volunteer position with the North American Indigenous Games (Halifax) – the largest sporting event ever held in Atlantic Canada.

Noble Sean Wheeler

Oriental Guide

Sean Wheeler hails from Stephenville, Newfoundland. He lives in Charlottetown, PEI, with his wife, Tara, and their two children. The Wheeler family has called Charlottetown home since 1996, making it nearly 28 years in this beautiful maritime city.

Masonic & Shrine Journey
Sean was raised to Master Mason in Victoria Lodge #2 in Charlottetown, PEI. He served as a Past Master in 2015 and currently holds the position of Tyler. In addition, Sean holds the position of Grand Senior Deacon in the Grand Lodge of PEI. He joined the Shriners in 2010 and has been an active member of the Island Shrine Club ever since. His leadership roles within the club include serving as President in 2014 and Secretary from 2018 to the present. Sean is also a Past High Priest of Alexandra Chapter #11.

Sean is a Mechanical Engineer with Coles Associates Ltd, a full-service architectural engineering consulting firm. He joined Coles Associates in 2005 and has been a partner leading the mechanical engineering team since 2018.  Sean graduated from the University of New Brunswick with a BSc in Mechanical Engineering and earned an MBA from the University of Prince Edward Island in 2014.

Throughout his nearly two-decade career, Sean Wheeler has significantly contributed to engineering. He has held key leadership positions, including serving as the Past President of Engineers PEI in 2014. Sean is an active Engineers Canada Awards Committee member and chairs the PEI Boiler and Pressure Vessels Committee.

Ill Sir Mike Schmid


Illustrious Sir Mike joined the Shrine in the fall of 1994. He has served on various
Committees over the years and was Potentate in 2017. Mike has served 2 terms as
Treasurer for a total of 10 years in 2024 . He was membership Chair in 2018 when
Philae experienced an increase in membership with the support of a tremendous
membership Committee. Mike also represents Philae on the Board of Governors of
Shriners Hospitals for Children Canada and is the current Potentate of the Ceremonial
As a Mason Mike has served as Master of Bedford Lodge, High Priest of George S
Wright Chapter of Royal Arch Masons and an appointed representative of The Grand
Lodge of Nova Scotia and the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Nova Scotia and
is a founding member of The Widows Sons, Temple Guard Chapter. Finally,
A resident of Dartmouth, Mike has 3 Children and is engaged to Lady Maggie Hebert.
Mike and Maggie have 7 awesome grand children.


Illustrious Sir Ed Corbett

Also elected to the 2024 Executive were:

Illustrious Sir John Phillips
Noble Kevin Kirkbride
Noble Scott Cousins

Philae Shriners Ceremonial Divan

The Ceremonial Divan performs the ritualistic work of the Shrine for our Ceremonials, thus relieving the Divan officers of that responsibility, in order for the Divan to concentrate on their administrative duties and to better to serve our Nobles of Philae Shriners.

Ceremonial Potentate
​Ceremonial Chief Rabban 
​Ceremonial Assistant Rabban 
​Ceremonial High Priest and Prophet
​Ceremonial Oriental Guide

Previous Divans

Potentate: Illustrious Sir Shawn Buchan

Past Potentate: Illustrious Sir Kenneth Conrod

Chief Rabban: Noble David Lewis

Assistant Rabban: Noble Aaron Verge

High Priest and Prophet: Noble …

Oriental Guide: Vacant

Treasurer: Illustrious Sir Mike Schmid

Recorder: Illustrious Sir Ed Corbett

Potentate: Illustrious Sir Kenneth Conrod

Past Potentate: Illustrious Sir Shane Buchan

Chief Rabban: Noble Shawn Buchan

Assistant Rabban: Noble John Cody

High Priest and Prophet: Noble David Lewis

Oriental Guide: Vacant

Treasurer: Illustrious Sir Mike Schmid

Recorder: Illustrious Sir Ed Corbett

Potentate: Illustrious Sir Shane Buchan

Assistant Rabban: Noble Robert Stein

Chief Rabban: Noble Kenneth Conrod

High Priest & Prophet: Noble John Cody

Oriental Guide: Noble David Lewis

Recorder: Illustrious Sir Ed Corbett

Treasurer: Illustrious Sir Mike Schmid

Potentate: Illustrious Sir Ken Wheelans

Chief Rabban: Illustrious Sir Shane Buchan

Assistant Rabban: Noble Helgi Stefansson

High Priest and Prophet: Noble Gino Thibeault

Oriental Guide: Noble Robert Stein

Treasurer: Illustrious Sir Mike Schmid

Recorder: Noble David Penney

Potentate:Illustrious Sir Ed Corbett

Chief Rabban: Noble Ken Wheelans

Assistant Rabban: Illustrious Sir Shane Buchan

High Priest & Prophet: Noble Ron Clowes

Oriental Guide: Noble Gino Thibeault

Recorder: Noble David Penney

Treasurer: Illustrious Sir Doug Morton