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ALMAS Temple Washington, DC


Ancient and Honourable Order of Turtles.

what or who are the Turtles, you ask?

Quite simply, the Turtles are a drinking fraternity that exists as a fun and honour group usually within the local Lodge, Shrine or other Order. 

It traces its honourable origins back to the Second World War, on January 12, 1943 in an English pub, Captain Hugh P. McGowan, U.S. Army Air Corps and several pilots of the U.S. Army Air Corps 8th Air Force founded the Ancient and Honourable Order of Turtles.

Having no dues nor initiation fee, the Turtles simply ask new members to go out and recruit new members.

Brother Schirra, a U.S. Navy Captain and Naval Aviator who flew 90 combat missions during the Korean War, was asked the famous question if he was a Turtle during Brother Schirra's Mercury flight, when a fellow astronaut and Turtle, Brother Donald Kent "Deke" Slayton a U.S. Air Force Captain who had flown 56 combat missions during World War II, had radioed up to Brother Schirra asking Brother Schirra if he was a Turtle. The entire world would have heard Brother Schirra's response, so he switched off the radio speaker when he replied, in order to avoid the penalty of having to purchase a drink for all Turtles within earshot, and to avoid providing what might have been interpreted as a crude answer.

Singer/Comedian George Goebel's famous "Are You A Turtle?" song can be seen at this link on YouTube:

Brother Deke Slayton's Turtle membership card and pin were auctioned off for $290.00 on April 22, 2006.

Brother John F. Kennedy (May 29, 1917 - November 22, 1963), the thirty-fifth Present of the United States of America, was also a famous Brother Turtle. When asked by a reporter at a press conference if he was a Turtle, Brother Kennedy responded: "I’ll buy you your drink later."

Chapter Officers and their Responsibilities

Master Turtle-Presides over the Pond.

Senior Turtle-Assists in the opening of the Pond in the absence of MT

Junior Turtle-Assist in opening the Pond in the absence of MT and ST.

Senior Conductor Turtle-To conduct the Candidates on their journey.

Junior Conductor Turtle-To conduct and assist in the work of the Pond.

Secretary Turtle  –To keep the minutes of the Pond.

Treasurer Turtle – To keep track of moneys

Marshall Turtle -To keep the peace of the Pond. (Optional)

Sentinel Turtle - To guard within the Pond door. (Optional)

Tyler Turtle -To guard without the Pond door. (Optional)