In February 1973, a group of Nobles met in Greensboro, North Carolina, with the idea of forming a new Shrine Association. These Nobles represented the nine Temples of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.
The first meeting was held at the Holiday Inn on Interstate 40 in Greensboro with the following Nobles attending: Oasis Temple: Julian W. Helms; Omar Temple: Bill Seals and Hugo A. Pearce; Hejaz Temple: Walter L. Miller and Joe Medlock; Jamil Temple: E. L. Stoudenmire, John M. Terry, and J. W. Clamp; Acca Temple: Russell Craig and Aubrey L. Stratton, Jr.; Khedive Temple: James Boyles and Charles O. Philpotts; Kazim: John Montgomery and C. Jack Clements; Kena Temple: William L. Peele and Harold F. Elsberg; Sudan: Bruce Boyette and W. R. Redding. These Nobles were later made representatives for life in the newly formed South Atlantic Shrine Association.
William L. “Bill” Peele was chairman of the meeting, several discussions were held and appointments were made. Bruce Boyette was appointed the develop the bylaws.
The next meeting was held in Charlotte, North Carolina at the Oasis Temple. Again Bill Peele acted as chairman and J. W. “Jake” Clamp as secretary. After several more meetings during the year and much discussion and hard work the bylaws were completed for the Association. The bylaws were submitted to the International Shriners and approved at the Imperial Session in Atlantic City, N. J. in July of 1974. The Imperial representatives approved the charter for the South Atlantic Shrine Association.
Philip Gray, Past Potentate of Omar Temple was selected at the first Director General; Richard Hussey as Parade Marshal, Hoyt Graham as Director of Transportation, Herman Jones as Housing Chairman, Tom Roberts as Banquet Chairman, and William L. “Bill” Peele as General Chairman. General Motors furnished twenty-two Oldsmobile convertibles for the parade.
The first convention was held in Myrtle Beach, S. C. September 21,22,23, 1974. SASA headquarters was the Landmark Hotel. On Saturday, September 22, 1974, at the President’s Banquet, the first elected officers were installed: President, Philip Gray, PP, Omar; First Vice President, Harry M. Bryant, PP, Oasis; Second Vice President, Louis E. McAllister, Chief Rabban, Acca Temple; Third Vice President, Ronald K. Terrell, Potentate, Hejaz Temple; Fourth Vice President, Luther M. Cromartie, PP, Sudan Temple; Fifth Vice President, Robert H. Foxwell, Jr., Potentate, Khedive Temple; Secretary/Treasurer, James W. “Jake” Clamp, Recorder, Jamil Temple.
Attending the convention was Past Imperial Potentate Aubrey Graham; Past Imperial Chaplain Rev. Doctor Woodrow Wilson Hayzlett and Chairman of the Board of the Greenville Hospital, George Weathers.
William L. “Bill” Peele acted as chairman of the fist convention and at the first business session the representatives elected Peele and the first S.A.S.A. President. The first convention was a big success with 5,338 individuals registered.
Since the beginning the following Temples have been approved and added to the membership of S.A.S.A.: Tennessee: Kerbela and Jericho; North Carolina: Amran; West Virginia: Beni Kedem and Nemesis; Kentucky: El Hasa; Kosair, Oleika and Rizpah.