Divan 2023

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 Ken Conrod


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.


I look forward to serving as your Potentate for the remainder of 2023.


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

Illustrious Sir Shawn Buchan

Past Potentate

Noble Aaron Verge

Chief Rabban

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.

Yours in fellowship
Aaron Verge
Chief Rabban
“I am because we are.”

Noble Reno Favretto

Assistant Rabban

To the Nobility for electing me to the Divan of Phillae Shrine, my thanks.
Be assured , I will do my best to fulfill this role. As the prime focus of Shriners is to help children in need, I trust that together we will continue this great work.

Further, as our active membership numbers are depleting, hopefully we can focus on attracting new members. I believe this should be one of our top priorities. We surely need need members with new ideas. We need to welcome them and be open to these new ideas, as they will be our future.

With you and the Divan, I look forward to working to achieve these goals.

My Masonic Journey:
Past Grand Master Grand Lodge Nova Scotia
Past Master St Margrarets Lodge #118
Past Master Virgin Lodge # 3
Past Commander and Chief Halifax Sovereign Consistory
Life Member Moore Consistory Hamilton Ontario
Life Member North Bay Lodge of Perfection
Life Member North Bay Rose Cross
Past High Priest Sircom Chapter NS
Past 2nd Principal Signet Chapter Barrie Ontario
Crossed the hot Sands to the Shrine in 1990 (Rameses Temple)
Past Treasurer of Rorab Shrine Club North Bay Ontario
Founding member of The “Widow’s Sons” Masonic Riders Association


Personal History:

University of Waterloo Philosophy Major
Graduate School Toronto School of Theology
1st Class Power Engineer
Chief Engineer CFB North Bay
Chief Engineer North Bay Hospital
Married to Marjorie Favretto

Noble David Skinner

High Priest and Prophet

My name is David Skinner and I’ve been elected to serve as your High Priest and
Prophet for 2023.
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

Oriental Guide


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.


Illustrious Sir Mike Schmid


Illustrious Sir Ed Corbett

Also elected to the 2023 Executive were:

Illustrious Sir John Phillips
Noble Carson Jackson
Noble Fred Carpenter

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