... and, on August 3, 1780, the petition was granted and Lodge No. 9 was duly constituted. When Lodge No. 9 commenced its work, there were twenty-nine Lodges working and, according to the date, Lodge No. 9 should have received warrant No. 30. Of the original thirty Masonic Lodges, there are now only seven in existence - No. 2, 3, 9, Montgomery No. 19 in Philadelphia; Perseverance No. 21 in Harrisburg; No. 22 in Sunbury and No. 25 in Bristol. Of the seven, five Lodges have gaps from two to twenty-three years when they ceased labor for some reason. Lodge No. 9 has a continuous record since constituted.
The officers above mentioned were installed by Alexander Rutherford, Grand Master Pro. Tem. at the home of David Copeland, the Innkeeper. The initiation was fixed at sixty dollars and every member was fined one dollar for non-attendance. Due to the assistance of the Grand Secretary's office, valuable records have been brought to light, our By-laws are complete, the names of all Past Masters from 1780 to date are known, and the Secretary's notes show our munificent response to appeals to charity. Children of deceased Brethren were cared for until they were of working age; widows were given special financial attention; firewood and food were given to the needy from the Charity Funds. In the beginning every member of the Lodge was obligated to pay one shilling per month to the Charity Fund. Even Burial expenses were assumed by the Lodge in cases of financial distress. On March 15, 1783 the Provincial Grand Lodge reported that Lodges Numbered 2, 3, 4, 9, and 13 were the first to establish a fund for the relief of indigent and distressed Masons. Through the years this has been an unending cardinal project with No. 9.
On June 27, 1787, our original Warrant from the Grand Lodge of England was surrendered to the new Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania which, on September 25, 1786 had ceased working as a Provincial Grand Lodge. Brother Matthew Hand, Master of Lodge No. 9, received our new Warrant which is always placed in front of the Worshipful Master's Station when the Lodge is open.
In 1797, 1798, 1799 and 1802 the September and October meetings of the Lodge were suspended owing to the great epidemics of Yellow Fever. The meticulously kept 'Minutes' note that, on July 2, 1802, one Archibald Owens was expelled for seventy-seven years for un-Masonic conduct! Our total membership at that time was fifty and the charge for our banquets was twenty-five cents. A debt we owed to the Grand Lodge was cancelled when we turned over to them seven lengths of stove pipe, six chairs, two pine tables, four benches and a mahogany cabinet. At the same time, we had begun our investments by the purchase of two Certificates of United States "Sixes" amounting to two hundred, thirteen pounds, ten shillings and two pence. The records show that our Initiation fee was Twenty-nine dollars, dues were fifty cents, and visitors also paid fifty cents, collected every meeting night. The Tyler's salary was made up from admissions paid each meeting, as well as from new candidates fees. The Secretary's salary was $2.00 for each meeting and $1.50 from each man initiated.
Even in those early years we were a prospering Lodge ever mindful of Charity obligations to the less fortunate. It was noted in our Minutes that a cord of wood was given a widow as charity; Tyler Grey, lacking money to bury his daughter was voted Twenty dollars for the burial. In 181 2, new aprons for the Officers were bought, and jewels and swords were purchased for the Masters of Ceremonies. A new Seal of the Lodge was obtained, the previous one having been lost. An Edict ordered that no Officer's or Past Master's Jewels could be taken home, but must be left in the Lodge room. All members serving in the Armed Forces during the War of 1812 were exonerated from paying dues. In 1818 the Initiation fee was raised to Thirty dollars and, on April 2, 1819, Two Hundred dollars was given out of a loan of Five Hundred dollars to assist in building the Masonic Hall on the north side of Chestnut Street between 7th and 8th Streets to replace the one burned down March 9.
The minutes of 1820 noted the first serious rift in the Lodge. Brother McGuigan,; the Treasurer and Steward, had been suspended for overcharging the Lodge for liquor and paying the bill in violation of the By-laws, Section four. He refused to surrender the papers and monies to his appointed successor, and all bills had been destroyed. On July 7, 1820, the Grand Lodge appointed a Committee to investigate and reported in favor of reinstating Brother McGuigan. His successor, having refused to give up his Station, was removed from the Lodge by the Deacons as ordered by the Worshipful Master. It appears that the Lodge had conducted the election out of regular order without having received permission from the Grand Lodge.
On October 6, 1821, new By-laws were voted upon, among which it is noted that, Officers elected to serve were fined Two dollars if they refused to assume the office: the Secretary's salary was Twenty dollars per annum; the Tyler was to be an expert, attentive to his duties, sober and not a member of the Lodge, for which he was to receive Two dollars per night. At the November 1824 meeting there were thirty-one members and twenty-nine visitors present. The supper cost fifty cents each.
The year 1836 saw the height of anti-Masonic trouble when the unsolved disappearance of one William Morgan, whose enmity upon refusal of the LeRoy Lodge and Chapter to admit him, was the cause of this trouble. John Quincy Adams, President of the United States from 1825 to 1829 - and son of a Mason who was second President - made some strong statements against Freemasonry, which perhaps partly cause his defeat by Andrew Jackson, Past Grand Master of Tennessee. During this excitement, Masons who refused to leave their Lodge were called 'Adhering Masons'. During this period the Lodge suffered the loss of few members by resignation but instead gained a number of Petitions for Admission of new members.
On April 2, 1852, a Communication from the Grand Lodge requested all Officers and Past Masters to wear their jewels and collars in the Grand Lodge Meetings. That year, on August 7th, Fifty dollars was given to Brother William Cundy, whose factory had been destroyed by fire and Five dollars was given to a Brother Mason from Ireland to 'help him get to Pittsburgh'. By now, the Initiation Fee was Fifty Dollars, Admission was Twenty dollars and the dues were Ten dollars, while the Secretary received Fifty dollars for his services.
Five years later the assets of the Lodge equaled $2562.30 and the Secretary was requested to collect all outstanding debts due the Lodge for which he received ten percent of the proceeds. A Motion on March 2, 1860 gave retiring Masters a Past Master's collar and apron to be their property.
From 1861 until 1865 our Nation was racked by Civil War, when Brother Mason fought against Brother Mason. As members volunteered for service they were given a Certificate of Membership for identification and were exempted from payment of dues. On January 1, 1864 all Securities were taken from Brother Peter T. Wright's Deposit Box and deposited in the names of the Trustees. Investments of $5129.27 had been made of which $3000.00 was in United States 5/20 Gold Bonds.
'At High Twelve' on June 24, 1868 the cornerstone of the present Masonic Temple at No. 1 North Broad Street was laid by the Right Worshipful Grand Master, Richard Vaux, and on the same day, Lodge No. 9 purchased a sewing machine for the daughter of a deceased member. On November 3, 1869, Fifty dollars was sent to sufferers of flood damage. An interesting note of the Minutes records that 'Swords of the Officers be made blunt to save carpets and furniture!' February 21, 1876 we sent One dollar as requested by a Confederate Lodge in Selma, Alabama to help lift a mortgage on their Hall rebuilt after Federal Troops had burned it down April 2, 1865.
1880 was the Centennial year for Lodge No. 9 and, while its Membership was not large, the character of its Members showed that the foundations laid down by our Brothers a century before were still strictly adhered to. Loyalty and Devotion; Peace and Harmony pervaded the atmosphere of the Lodge and, in the ensuing century it was fortunate to be governed by its Worshipful Masters with Justice and Equity, having the full approval and generous support of all elected and appointed Officers as well as the entire membership. This membership includes the names of men in all the varied walks of life, having enrolled members in National, State and City Governments, Clergymen, Physicians, Lawyers, Teachers and other honorable careers in the community. The Charities of the Lodge through the excellent judgment of its Committees, exemplified the true spirit of Charity, and calls made upon it on behalf of those whose circumstances and afflictions made their necessities urgent, met with generous and hearty responses. During 1883, when the establishment of a Masonic Home was broached, Lodge No. 9 was among the first to become a Member of the Corporation. Every year a Life Membership was taken out, which with the voluntary contributions added earned our Lodge the honored position at the top of the list of contributors.
Our Membership never exceeded sixty-four in the first fifty years. By the time we reached our Centennial, the 'high-water' mark for Membership was in 1874, when we had 202 Members. In the year of our Sesquicentennial, 1930, we reached our zenith in membership with an enrollment of 980. That year, Brother Crosby L. Smith was Worshipful Master and we met in Corinthian Hall of the Masonic Temple. The Right Worshipful Grand Master accompanied by his Officers paid our Lodge a Grand Visitation on October 3rd, to assist in celebrating our One Hundred and Fifty Years of continuous existence.
The preceding year on 'Black Friday', October 24, 1929 had seen the collapse of the Stock Market when millions of people in all walks of life were left penniless. Businesses failed and great unemployment followed. Yet through it all, Lodge No. 9 continued to prosper. Brother Benjamin L. Berry, P.M. and District Deputy Grand Master was appointed by the Worshipful Master to take charge of the Religious Services at the Masonic Home, 3333 N. Broad Street on November 9, 1930. From the will of our late Brother Frederick Jennings, Lodge No. 9 received the sum of $5000.00 to be used for Charity purposes.
In 1931 the Worshipful Master, Brother P. Davey Critchlow, received notice that the 200th Anniversary of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania would be celebrated from October 11th to the 14th and he appointed our Secretary, Brother Samuel Sigler, P.M. as our Representative. On November 6, brother David J. Spangler, P.M. gave a lengthy and instructive History of 200 years of the Provincial Grand Lodge.
By 1932 the Initiation and Membership Fee was increased from $170.00 to $180.00, forty dollars of which went for the Homes of the Grand Lodge. In that year $1542.00 was disbursed for Charity. On March 3rd of the following year, Right Worshipful Past Grand Master Brother J. Willison Smith visited the Lodge and gave us timely and instructive advice. By May 5th, the Fee for Initiation and Membership was reduced to $125.00 and a suggestion from our Secretary that his salary be reduced by 15% was categorically rejected. Membership had dropped this year to 820, a loss from the preceding year of 24 Brethren.
On September 7, 1934, an Edict from the Right Worshipful Grand Master reaffirmed and directed that subordinate Lodges could not meet in Lodge Rooms or in the same building where there were held meetings of the Order of the Eastern Star, the White Shrine of Jerusalem, the Amaranth or any organization whose membership is comprised of both sexes, and which in any way have Masonic affiliation as a prerequisite. An accompanying letter addressed to our Worshipful Master, referred him to Article XVIII, Section 2, of the Ahiman Rezon, admonishing all Lodges to maintain detailed and correct records of all accounts and proceedings. Since our Lodge has always been noted and frequently commended for the excellence of its records, this in no way affected us.
By 1936 our membership had fallen to 756 and the average attendance dropped to 92. Consequently we changed our meeting place from Corinthian Hall to the smaller Norman Hall for the next 36 years. Due to the attempts of some Lodges to raise money, an Edict was received from the Right Worshipful Grand Master on February 5, 1937 reading: - "No member of the Fraternity in this Jurisdiction shall alone, or with others, be a party to any gambling, lottery, or gift enterprise devised or arranged to raise money which shall directly or indirectly inure to the benefit of any Masonic Lodge or Masonic Hall Association in this Jurisdiction." In 1938 the Right Worshipful Grand Secretary died and the Right Worshipful Grand Master, Brother Robert R. Lewis appointed Brother Matthew Galt, Junior to fill the Office of Grand Secretary. On November 30, Brother Samuel Sigler, P.M., who had been our Secretary for many years also passed away, and the Worshipful Master appointed Brother David Spangler, P.M. to be acting Secretary. On motion, his salary was reduced from $1,000.00 to $750.00 per annum.
During all of the years following the crash of the Stock Market in October 1929 and until the outbreak of hostilities on September 1, 1939 that ushered in World War II, our beloved Nation was foundering in the throes of the worst depression to befall us in a century. Then, as a supplier of necessary war material to those nations arrayed against the Central Powers, employment rose to an acceptable level. Yet, in this decade, due to the wise care of our finances by the Trustees, Lodge No. 9 was able to continue its generous charities, disbursing over $16,000.00 for benevolent purposes. In May, 1939 the following Grand Lodge "Declaration of Principles" appeared in our minutes: -
'Freemasonry is a benevolent, educational and religious Society. Its principles are proclaimed as widely as men will hear. Its only secrets are in its methods of recognition and of symbolic instruction.
It is Charitable in that it is not organized for profit and none of its income inures to the benefit of any individual but all is devoted to the promotion of the welfare and happiness of mankind.
It is Benevolent in that it teaches and exemplifies altruism as a duty.
It is Educational in that it teaches by prescribed Ceremonials a System of morality and brotherhood based upon the Sacred Law.
It is Religious in that it teaches monotheism, the Holy Bible is open upon its Altars whenever a Lodge is in Session, reverence for God is ever present in its Ceremonial, and to its Brethren are constantly addressed lessons of morality; yet it is not sectarian or theological.
It is a Social Organization only so far as it furnishes additional inducements that men may forgather in numbers, thereby providing more material for its primary work of education, of worship, and of Charity.
Through the improvement and strengthening of the character of the individual man, Freemasonry seeks to improve the Community. Thus it impresses upon its members, the principles of personal righteousness and personal responsibility, enlightens them as to those things which make for human welfare, and inspire them with that feeling of Charity, or Goodwill, toward all mankind which will move them to translate Principle and Conviction into action.
To that end it teaches and stands for the worship of God; Truth and Justice; Fraternity and Philanthropy; enlightenment and orderly liberty, civil, religious and intellectual.
It charges each of its members to be true and loyal to the Government of the Country to which he holds allegiance and to be obedient to the law of any State in which he may be.
It believes that the attainment of these objectives is best accomplished by laying a broad basis of principle upon which men of every race, Country, Sect and opinion may unite rather than by setting a restricted platform upon which only those of certain races, Creeds and opinions can assemble.
Believing these things, this Grand Lodge affirms its continued adherence to that ancient and approved rule of Freemasonry which forbids the discussion in Masonic meetings of Creeds, politics, or other topics likely to excite personal animosities.
It further affirms its Conviction that it is not only Contrary to the fundamental principles of Freemasonry, but dangerous to its unity, strength, usefulness and welfare, for Masonic Bodies to take action or attempt to exercise pressure or influence for or against any legislation, or in any way to attempt to procure the election or appointment of governmental officials, or to influence them, whether or not members of the Fraternity, in the performance of their official duties.
The true Freemason will act in civil life according to his individual judgment and the dictates of his Conscience.'
Brother Allen G. Scott was our Worshipful Master in 1940. During this year the Nine Klub was reorganized to entertain and honor our Ladies. It held banquets and Christmas parties every year and formed a Minstrel show to entertain the guests at the Masonic Home, all at no expense to the Lodge.
In 1941 Brother George H. Wittmer became our Worshipful Master, and he appointed Brother Allen G. Scott, P.M. to be our Representative to the Masonic Home of Pennsylvania at 3333 North Broad Street. Our By-laws were amended, reducing the Fee for Initiation and Membership to $125.00, of which $40.00 was for the Masonic Homes of the Grand Lodge; making the Fee for Admission and Advancement of a Fellow Craft Mason $50.00. Admission of Brethren from Lodges in other Jurisdictions became $40.00, which was to go to the maintenance of the Masonic Homes of the Grand Lodge.
December 7, 1941 was the "Day that will live in infamy!" The Japanese Air Force, without warning or provocation attacked the United States war fleet that was stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Immediately our Brother Franklin Delano Roosevelt, President of the United States, in Congress assembled, declared that a state of war existed between the United States and the Imperial Government of Japan. This was followed by Germany and Italy, allies of Japan, declaring war upon us. Beginning with our stated meeting of March 6, 1942 when Brother Archer P. Crosley was Worshipful Master, pursuant to a Communication from Brother John A. Lathwood, Right Worshipful Grand Master enjoining our Membership to actively participate in the Flag Ceremony, consisting of reciting the 'Oath of Allegiance' to the Flag, followed by singing the first stanza of the 'Star Spangled Banner.' On May 3rd, it was on motion resolved that all members of Lodge No. 9, serving in the armed forces of the United States be exempt of dues for the duration of the War. Resolutions were issued concerning proper Masonic conduct and loyalty to our Country in these times of war; of the proper procedure in case of air-raid alert; of taking proper precautions to guard records and the Lodge Warrant, and emphasized the importance that Candidates of foreign birth give proper proof of their Naturalization as a citizen of our Country.
Within the Lodge in 1943, our Worshipful Master Brother Heywood M. Wiley entertained a motion that the sum of $1 50.00 be applied to a fund for celebrating the 175th Anniversary of our Lodge in 1955. On April 2nd, ten members and twenty sons of members were reported to be in the armed services and the Committee on Masonic Military and Naval Services made a collection of money for their use. A revised Masonic Burial Service was read in open meeting on May 7th. This permitted the Service to be performed at the Funeral Parlor on the night previous to the burial. May 2, Brother Stacey F. Wallace, P.M. and Treasurer passed away. Permission being granted by the Grand Lodge to fill the vacancy, an election was held, when Brother Donald F. Graham, P.M. was elected and installed in Ancient Form.
From 1944 to 1954 membership showed a steady increase. These were joining years throughout the Nation. Peace at long last had come, prosperity encouraged an optimism and fraternal spirit in our midst which, in turn, resulted in rapid Masonic growth. In 1945, during the term when Brother Roy N. Tope was Worshipful Master, Brother Israel Leopold notified the Lodge that his name had been changed legally to Ed. Wynn. He was one of the outstanding comedians of his time and a loyal supporter of Lodge No. 9. In 1946, in March and April alone, there were seventeen petitions submitted for Initiation and Membership and, at the annual Meeting in December, 300 Members - practically half of our entire membership - attended.
April 4, 1947, Brother T. Harrison Gibson, who later was to become a great benefactor to both the Masonic Home of Pennsylvania and to Lodge No. 9, was constituted a Life Member. Year after year, more and more Petitions were being received for Initiation and Membership, wise investments made by our Trustees permitted our Treasury to grow; at the same time we were able to withdraw hundreds of dollars each year for charity purposes. On November 11, 1949, Brother David J. Spangler, P.M. and Secretary of our Lodge, who had been Initiated October 9, 191 1, passed away and Brother George H. Wittmer, P.M. was appointed Acting Secretary for the remainder of the year. It is of interest to note that, whereas in 1939, the cost of the retiring Worshipful Master's jewel was $28.00, in 1951 the cost was $48.00 so long ago had inflation begun!
In 1951 Brother Joel Carver was our Worshipful Master and the average attendance at stated Meetings was 120. Also during this year, Membership had grown to 720. Several Edicts and Communications from the Right Worshipful Grand Master, Brother William E. Yeager, to our Lodge are of interest. One was to the effect that, "a physical disqualification arising after initiation of a Brother will not prevent his advancement provided he is still mentally and morally fit, and has the ability to give the signs properly." The Right Worshipful Grand Master also revoked Decision #783 which permitted Lodge notices to be mailed with open flaps, restoring the former Decision #388 which had required that all Lodge notices, except for funerals, must be mailed in sealed envelopes. Another Communication dated September 28, 1951 from the Right Worshipful Grand Master, Brother William E. Yeager, stated that showing the name of the Candidate on whom a Degree is to be conferred must be discontinued in the Lodge notices.
In 1952, when Brother John W. Loxley was Worshipful Master, Lodge No. 9 was the recipient of two bequests. Brother Theodore A. Finkenauer who had been Initiated October 6, 1894 passed away, bequeathing our Lodge the sum of $3,000.00 absolutely. From the Estate of Mrs. Edna E. Spangler, deceased wife and widow of Brother David J. Spangler, P.M. and former Secretary, Lodge No. 9 received a bequest of $2,000.00 to be used for the maintenance and support of the Lodge.
On June 6, 1953, our Worshipful Master, Brother Edwin H. Mabry, appointed a Committee of eight Past Masters: - Brothers Benjamin L. Berry, Isaac F. Benner, Robert J. Thompson, Crosby L. Smith, P. Davey Critchlow, Raymond S. Henning, Robert Richards and Edward L. McElroy, Ch'mn, to formulate a written History of Lodge No. 9 from its inception, as complete as possible, with cuts of Officers, Committees, etc., to be completed and printed by September 1, 1955, for distribution on the 1 75th Anniversary of Lodge No. 9. In the Minutes of October 2, there appears the first mention of a 'Past Masters' Night.' All the chairs were occupied by Past Masters and Brother Joel Carver, P.M. conferred the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason on Brother Thomas Huffington. The Secretary received a letter from the Masonic Home of Pennsylvania, 3333 N. Broad Street, thanking the Lodge for the donation with which they refurbished a room originally furnished by our Lodge thirty years previously. On November 8, our Lodge conducted the religious services at the above Home, following which a Plaque was unveiled in honor of Brother T. Harrison Gibson, a deceased member of our Lodge and a most generous benefactor both to the Masonic Home of Pennsylvania and to Lodge No. 9.
Neither the Korean conflict had, nor was our forthcoming embroilment in Vietnam to have any appreciable effect upon the good fortunes of Lodge No. 9. In 1954 when Brother Harry S. Nitterauer was our Worshipful Master, the average attendance at stated meetings was 11 7 and our membership was 730. The first Member ever to receive the 50 Year Masonic Service Emblem was Brother John Schaack who had been initiated April 7, 1904. A Communication from the Right Worshipful Grand Master was received relative to the establishment of a Masonic Blood Bank. On September 11th, at an extra Meeting, held in the George Washington Memorial, Alexandria, Va., our Lodge was honored by the presence of Brother Lewis A. Major, Worshipful Master of Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22, A. F. & A. M.
In 1955, while Brother Joseph J. Higgins was our Worshipful Master, Lodge No. 9 celebrated 175 years of continuous existence. Brother Higgins appointed Brother Benjamin L. Berry, P.M. Chairman Emeritus, and Brother Joel Carver, P.M. General Chairman, and all the Elected Officers as an Executive Committee in order that the entire Lodge might celebrate this remarkable occasion. One of the features was that each Member received a plastic coated Card on which his name and a record of the dates of his Initiation and Advancement were printed. On October 29, at an Extra Meeting held in Corinthian Hall of the Masonic Temple, the Worshipful Masters of District 'H' were presented and welcomed by the Worshipful Master of our Lodge, his Elected Officers and the 323 Members and 24 Guests who were in attendance. Then the Right Worshipful Grand Master, Brother Ralph M. Lehr, was admitted to the Lodge and he announced the presence of the Officers of the Grand Lodge on their Grand Visitation to Lodge No. 9 on the occasion of the 175th Anniversary of its existence. Thereupon the Right Worshipful Grand Master and the other Grand Elected and Appointed Officers were formally admitted. The Worshipful Master gave the Lodge the Sign to greet the Right Worshipful Grand Master and, after greeting him in the East, turned the Lodge over to him. The Right Worshipful Grand Master instructed the Grand Lodge Officers to relieve the Officers of Lodge No. 9 and take their places. He then called upon the Officers to make a few remarks. Then Brother James H. Sims, Chairman of the Trustees of our Lodge, presented the Right Worshipful Grand Master with a check in the amount of $5,000.00 and stated that the Trustees had set aside another $5,000.00 to be presented to the 'Hospital Extension Fund of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania' at the unveiling of a Plaque in the Dispensary in memory of Brother T. Harrison Gibson, a deceased Member whose generosity had made these presentations possible. Brother Sims then added that, so long as it is financially possible, Lodge No. 9 has agreed to make an Annual Donation to the Dispensary of $2,000.00. The Right Worshipful Grand Master accepted these munificent donations with thanks and stated that, on completion of the Hospital Dispensary, he would arrange with our Lodge to make the presentations to take place in Elizabethtown at the unveiling of the Plaque in honor of Brother T. Harrison Gibson and Lodge No. 9. The Grand Lodge Officers then retired to the Banquet room and our Worshipful Master proceeded to close the Lodge.
In January 1956, our Worshipful Master, Brother Allen G. Schultz, caused the Amendments to our By-Laws, which had been passed the previous November, again to be read. By these Amendments, the annual Dues of Members were raised from $8.00 to $12.00; the Fee for Initiation and Membership was raised from $150.00 to $200.00, of which a sum of $60.00 would accrue to the Masonic Homes of the Grand Lodge; the Treasurer would receive annually $100.00 and be exempt from paying Dues; the salary of our Secretary would remain at $1,000.00 per annum and, by Article 6, Section 3, any Member who has paid full Dues to the Lodgefor3Oyears or more may, by a vote of the Lodge, be made an Honorary Member and, thereafter, only be required to pay his Grand Lodge Dues. All of these changes in our By-Laws were approved by the Grand Lodge with the exception that they deleted the figure '30' and inserted the figure '35' to be the length of time that a Member must have been in our Lodge before he may be deemed an Honorary Member and be eligible for the remittance of his Dues. On Motion, it was approved that $200.00 be withdrawn from the treasury and placed in the fund for the celebration of our on-coming 200th Anniversary in 1980. Our Membership during this year was 725 while, at the end of 1957, when Brother John A. Staufenberg was our Worshipful Master, the Membership was 709, twenty-two of our Members having passed away during the year, two others having been suspended and eight new applicants having been Initiated. During that year, the average attendance during Stated Meetings was 99. Since that year, there has been a modest though steady decline both in attendance at Stated Meetings and also in total Membership.
Our Worshipful Master in 1958 was Brother Eber B. Wenger. On June 6, the Right Worshipful Past Grand Master, Brother Charles F. Nitsch visited our Lodge and gave a very interesting talk on Free Masonry and the Masonic Homes at Elizabethtown. The Right Worshipful Grand Secretary, Brother George A. Avery, having passed away, the Right Worshipful Grand Master, Brother Sanford M. Chilcote announced the appointment of Brother Ashby P. Paul to fill the vacancy.
In 1959, when Brother Gustave Scheerbaum was our Worshipful Master, at an extra Meeting on June 13 with 51 Members and 60 Visitors present, our District Deputy Grand Master, Brother Charles E. Kauffman, conferred upon Brother Thomas Reichhardt the Sublime Degree of Master Mason. On October 3, Brother Benjamin L. Berry, P.M. and Past Deputy Grand Master, District 'H', was presented with a Plaque honoring him for 52 years of active service in Lodge No. 9.
Brother Henry Schleyer, who was our Worshipful Master in 1960, entertained a Motion to draw $500.00 from our Treasury to be placed in the Fund for the purpose of celebrating the 200th Anniversary of our Lodge. The last time that any money had been 'ear-marked' for this purpose had been 1956. On Motion approved, the salary of the Tyler was increased to $12.00 per meeting. On December 4 our Treasurer, Brother Ellwood G. Schmidt announced his resignation from that position and that he was a candidate for the station of Junior Warden. In the subsequent election that evening, he was elected. In the twenty year period between 1941 and 1960, Lodge No. 9 had withdrawn from its treasury approximately $18,000.00 to be used for Charitable purposes.
During the year 1961, while Brother William J. Peters, Jr. was our Worshipful Master, Lodge No. 9 suffered the loss of Brother Benjamin L. Berry, a Past Master of our Lodge, a 33, Mason, and a former District Deputy Grand Master. He was born March 29, 1864, initiated November 4, 1898, was Worshipful Master in 1907 and was, at one time, Director of Docks, Wharves and Ferries in the City of Philadelphia. Until his death at the age of 97 years, Brother Benjamin L. Berry was a very active member of Lodge No. 9. On April 7, at an election held for a successor to Brother Berry as Representative in the Grand Lodge, Brother Gustave Scheerbaum, our Worshipful Master in 1959 was elected. On November 3, Right Worshipful Past Grand Master, Brother Charles H. Nitsch, presented Brother Crosby L. Smith, our Worshipful Master in 1930, with the 50 year Service Emblem of the Grand Lodge.
In 1962, Brother Robert J. Wood was Worshipful Master of Lodge No. 9. A communication from the Right Worshipful Grand Lodge, referring to Masons attending meetings of the Order of the Rainbow Girls and/or Job's Daughters, forbade them to take any active part in, or to serve on their Advisory Boards. The Right Worshipful Grand Master, Brother Max F. Balcom, issued the following decision: The solicitation of a petitioner for initiation and membership in an Organization which has as a prerequisite, membership in the Masonic Fraternity, is forbidden before he has received the degree of a Master Mason, or upon the same night. Such solicitation is forbidden as conduct unbecoming to a Mason and any violation is fraught with Masonic discipline. March 2 was designated District 'H' Night and the District Deputy Grand Master, Brother Charles E. Kauffman was present. The Officers of District 'H' filled all the chairs and Brother Ellwood G. Schmidt, Senior Warden of Lodge No. 9 conferred the Master Mason Degree on Brother Marvin W. Kirkland. On April 6, the Worshipful Master welcomed a visitation of Brethren from Riverside Lodge No. 187 and Ionic Lodge No. 94 of New Jersey. On May 4, Brother Harry S. Nitterauer, P.M. and Secretary of the Trustees of Lodge No. 9, reported that the Trustees were preparing a presentation of a Program for an Educational Fund to be used by the Brethren to advance the education of their children.
In 1963, when Brother Ellwood G. Schmidt was Worshipful Master, the Trustees advised the Brethren that the Educational Fund Program was prepared and funds were available for that purpose. This is the "T. Harrison Gibson Educational and Charitable Fund" from which interest-free loans have been made to students.
In 1964 Brother William J. Fickenscher, Jr. was our Worshipful Master and an invitation was received and accepted that our Lodge would repay a visit by Ionic Lodge No. 94 of New Jersey to our Lodge on April 6 of last year. On April 20 our Lodge was well represented when they celebrated 'Pennsylvania Night. On May 1, Right Worshipful Past Grand Master Brother Charles H. Nitsch and Brother Albert H. Bauer, District Deputy Grand Master, District 'D' were received with honors. A Table Lodge was held with Brothers Charles H. Nitsch, Right Worshipful Past Grand Master, Albert H. Bauer, District Deputy Grand Master and Clarence L. Walker, P.M. Lodge No. 380 being the principal speakers. On June 5, members of Ionic Lodge, No. 94 of New Jersey, returned our visit of April 20.
In 1965, Brother G. William Schmidt, Jr. was Worshipful Master of our Lodge. On March 5, a moment of silent prayer was held for Brothers and Past Masters Ellwood G. Schmidt and Gustave Scheerbaum, both of whom had passed away since our meeting in February. On April 2 a special election was held to fill the vacancy for a Representative in the Grand Lodge left by the death of Brother Gustave Scheerbaum, P.M. and Brother Heywood M. Wiley, P.M. was elected. On May 7, a visitation of members of Ionic Lodge No. 94 of New Jersey was received, and on June 12, members of our Lodge visited the Masonic Homes in Elizabethtown.
In 1966 the Worshipful Master of our Lodge was Brother Don H. Stadler. On January 7, the retiring Worshipful Master, Brother G. William Schmidt, Jr. was presented with his Past Master's Jewel and Apron and, during the year, $1120.00 was withdrawn from the Treasury for Charitable purposes. The Membership of the Lodge was 591 and average monthly attendance was 67.
In 1967, Brother Gerald A. Horn was Worshipful Master of Lodge No. 9. On May 5, he welcomed a visitation by members of Ionic Lodge No. 94 of New Jersey. On September 1, a Communication was received from the Office of the Right Worshipful Grand Master stating that the Masonic Employment Bureau had been closed. Brother P. Davey Critchlow, P.M. reported to the Grand Lodge that, for Insurance purposes, the value of the property belonging to our Lodge was $3,361.24. During the year, $1,006.10 had been withdrawn from the Treasury for Charity purposes. Membership at year's end was 568 and average attendance at stated meetings was 69.
Brother Charles A. Fricke was Worshipful Master of our Lodge in 1968. On January 5, it was announced that the Right Worshipful Grand Master would formally present Brother Alfred K. Mills, District Deputy Grand Master, District 'H' in Corinthian Hall, Saturday, February 5, at 2:00 p.m. On May 3, a 'Father and Son' ceremony was held when Brother David Uhlman, Jr. gave a stirring talk on how Freemasonry could bridge the communication gap between generations. On September 6, Brother Joel Carver, P.M. gave an interesting account of the History of Lodge No. 9 from 1780 to the present time. During the year $1,025.15 was withdrawn for Charity purposes. Membership as of December 27, 1968 was 556 and average attendance at Stated Meetings was 61.
In 1969, Brother William M. Norris was our Worshipful Master. On March 7, Brother George H. Wittmer, P.M. and our Lodge Secretary passed away and Brother Robert J. Wood, P.M. was appointed Acting Secretary - a post to which he has been re-elected every year to date. On Motion approved, a Committee was appointed to institute action for procuring a suitable memorial for our late Brother George H. Wittmer. A Communication was received from the Right Worshipful Grand Master on September 5 to the effect that Members must be informed regarding approval, disapproval or modification of the By-Laws or Amendments thereto. During the year, $1,137.60 had been withdrawn from the Treasury for Charity purposes. The Membership as of December 27, 1969 was 561 and average attendance at stated meetings was 61.
In 1970, Brother Dale T. Keddie was Worshipful Master of our Lodge. On February 6, a 'Table Lodge' was opened at 8:00 PM; and, on March 6, the Chester Chapter of the Order of DeMolay exemplified their second degree. Twelve members of our Lodge were given the 50-year Service Emblem of the Grand Lodge. On May 1, Brother Joel Carver, P.M. and Chairman of the Lodge Trustees, announced that each graduate of the Patton Masonic Institution for Boys at Elizabethtown, upon graduation, would receive $25.00 in the name of Lodge No. 9. On September 4, the Trustees reported that six student loans, totaling $3,000.00 had been made. In a letter, the Right Worshipful Grand Master thanked the Lodge for their donation of $3,700.00 which was used to pay for the carpeting of the dormitories and dining room in the Patton School for Boys at Elizabethtown. On October 2, a motion that the Dues of sixty-four 50-year Members be remitted, was declared Void by the Grand Lodge. During the year, the sum of $3,265.22 was withdrawn for Charity purposes. Membership as of December 27, 1970 was 541 and average attendance at stated meetings was 66.
Brother William F. Ault was our Worshipful Master in 1971. On February 5, at the close of our Stated Meeting, the members visited Perkins Lodge No. 402 to witness the presentation of Brother C. Edward Weaver as our new District Deputy Grand Master. On May 7, we received a Communication from the Right Worshipful Grand Master stating that the Grand Lodge Committee on Finance had approved a 116 Bed Extended Care Building adjacent to and connected with the Freemason's Memorial Hospital at Elizabethtown be built at a cost of $3,500,000.00, and on June 4, a letter of thanks from the Right Worshipful Grand Secretary for the Lodge's $2,000.00 contribution to the Hospital Dispensary in the Masonic Homes at Elizabethtown, was received. Attention was called to Decision LXXIV-46 refusing permission of a Lodge to make a retiring Worshipful Master an Honorary Member or to reduce the Dues of a Past Master because of his Service as a Worshipful Master. On November 5, Worshipful Master William F. Ault, presented the Lodge with a large Bible in Honor of his Father, our late Brother William L. Ault, which was placed upon the Altar. The Trustees of the Lodge made a contribution of $2,500.00 from the T. Harrison Gibson Fund to the Masonic Homes at Elizabethtown and a gift of $500.00 to the Philadelphia Shiners' Hospital for crippled children. During. the year, $2,265.72 was withdrawn for Charity purposes. As of December 27, 1971, our Membership was 521 and average attendance at the Stated Meetings was 56.
In 1972, Brother Harry E. Stowman was our Worshipful Master. On February 4, a Communication from the Right Worshipful Grand Master was received which revoked Paragraph 7 of Decision XXXVI, and encouraged Lodges to sponsor activities to which Ladies and Families of Masons are invited, which activity may be held before or after Stated, Extra or Special meetings. On March 3, Brother Joel Carver, P.M. and Chairman of the Trustees, presented a check for $15,000.00 from the T. Harrison Gibson Fund to the District Deputy Grand Master to be used at the discretion of the Right Worshipful Grand Master for the Masonic Homes at Elizabethtown. On May 5, Lodge No. 9 was about to make a momentous decision. After meeting for ninety-nine consecutive years in the Masonic Temple, the Worshipful Master appointed a Planning Committee which unanimously recommended that our Lodge seek another place of Meeting. While in 1951 our average attendance had been 120and our Membership 720. Twenty years later, attendance at Stated Meetings had declined to 56 and our total Membership was 521 - a drop of 200 in Membership. The drop in average attendance was ascertained to be due to reluctance of members to come into centre city from outlying areas. Membership was also declining due to deaths, resignations and a paucity of new applicants.
Numerous Lodge Halls within the city's perimeter were visited by the Committee, after which Brothers Harry S. Nitterauer and Eber Wenger, Past Masters and Brother John Creely presented a resolution that our place of Meeting be changed to the Tacony Masonic Temple located at 4400 Magee Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa., 19135. At an Extra Meeting held May 30, with 102 Members present, the Planning Committee explained at length the reasons prompting the change and, after open debate, a Motion by the Planning Committee to change our Meeting place to the Tacony Masonic Temple was made, seconded and approved by a vote of 97 for and 5 against, and it was so ordered. On May 19, the Right Worshipful Grand Master revised Paragraph 5 of Decision XXXI II so that with approval of the District Deputy Grand Master, a relative or friend could participate in Installation ceremonies of the Order of the Rainbow for Girls and the International Order of Job's Daughters. Also Paragraph 2, Decision XI I was altered to permit non-Masons to address banquets and other festivities of a Masonic Lodge except at an Anniversary or Annual banquet which are restricted to Masons.
On September 1, our first Stated Meeting in the Tacony Masonic Temple was held. As a result of this change in our meeting place, the Lodge was transferred from District "H" to District "D" and Brother Glen T. Renegar became our District Deputy Grand Master. The Planning Committee was also given the task of designing a new cover for our Lodge Meeting notices. A Motion, made by Brother G. William Schmidt, P.M. that the nineteen books comprising the 'Minutes of the meetings of Lodge No. 9 since 1789 be micro-filmed and that the film be stored in the Trustees Safety Deposit Box was seconded and approved. On October 6, Brother Glen T. Renegar, District Deputy Grand Master presented the 50-year Masonic Service Emblem to Brother Heywood M. Wiley, P.M., who had been initiated September 1, 1922. On October 6, a Communication was received from the Right Worshipful Grand Secretary acknowledging receipt of a check in the amount of $22,088.61 from the Estate of Helen R. Pariett, widow of the late Brother Harold R. Parlett of Lodge No. 9 to the use of the Masonic Homes of Pennsylvania.
In 1973, our Worshipful Master was Brother Robert L. Brooke, who on March 2, welcomed visitations of fifty-two Members from Lodge No. 161 of Palmyra, New Jersey and also the Officers from District 'D'. Past Master, Brother Edgar N. Peppler, of the Palmyra Lodge, gave a most interesting and informative talk on the, "Entered Apprentice Mason." On April 6, Brother Glen T. Renegar, District Deputy Grand Master, District 'D', announced that the Dedication of the Mason's Health Care Building at Elizabethtown would take place on July 28 and also that an Open House would be held at the Masonic Temple, No. 1 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia on the occasion of its 100th Anniversary celebration, September 15-16, 1973. Brother Robert H. Hamilton, deceased member of our Lodge, bequeathed $2,297.54 to the William L. Elkins Masonic Orphanage for Girls and the Masonic Home of Pennsylvania and he requested in his Will that they obtain a suitable memorial in his name. September 5, the Right Worshipful Grand Master, Brother W. Orville Kimmel, informed the Lodge of the Appointment of Brother William A. Carpenter, P.M. of Chester Lodge No. 236 as the Right Worshipful Grand Secretary to fill the vacancy resulting from the resignation of Brother Ashby B. Paul for reasons of health. The Board of Governors of the Philadelphia Masonic Schools of Instruction are financing their operation through a 'per capita' tax of ten cents per member of the Lodges in Districts 'A' to 'J' inclusive. For this year, the assessment of Lodge No. 9 was $49.70. The average attendance at Stated meetings was 74.
In 1974, Brother Helmut M. Boehm was our Worshipful Master and, on February 1, he welcomed a visitation of thirty-three Members of Kensington Lodge No. 21 1. Brother Dr. Arturo P. LeFebre, who was made a Mason in Cuba, addressed our Lodge on "Masonry as a Universal Fraternity" and answered questions concerning Masonry in Cuba. On March 1, an Edict was read from the Right Worshipful Grand Master against, "The Universal League of the Most Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons", which has circulated applications for membership throughout this Jurisdiction, stating therein that "no member of a Lodge in this Jurisdiction can hold a membership." The Trustees of Lodge No. 9 made contributions of $3,000.00 to the Dispensary and $500.00 to the Guest and Building Fund of the Masonic Homes of Elizabethtown. Following the closing of our Lodge on April 5, all the members retired to the Banquet room and joined with their wives to enjoy 'Ladies Night.' Brother Joel Carver, P.M. gave a talk on the History of Lodge No. 9 and Brother Heywood M. Wiley, P.M. talked on Freemasonry in general. On May 3, on motion, it was approved that a bequest of $45,995.02 from the Estate of Mrs. Matilda E. Neill be deposited in a Federally Insured Savings Account until further action may be taken by the Trustees of the Lodge, who subsequently put it for Investment in the Memorial Fund. On September 6, the Officers of District 'D' visited our Lodge. The monthly rental for use of the Lodge Room in the Tacony Masonic Temple was raised from $150.00 to $175.00. On November 1, a Memorial Service was held to honor our deceased Brethren. On December 6, our Representative in the Grand Lodge reported that Article X, Sec. 5 of the Ahiman Rezon had been amended, increasing mileage allowance to Representatives attending the Grand Lodge, but that the proposed amendment to create open territory among Symbolic Lodges was defeated. The average attendance of members at stated meetings was 63.
In 1975 Brother George B. Scheerbaum served as Worshipful Master. On December 30, 1974, Brother George H. Earle, III, a member of our Lodge and a former Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania passed away. On February 7, our Lodge purchased fifty master reference Editions of the Heirloom Masonic Bible to be used in the Initiation of Candidates for the Sublime Degree of Master Mason, which at the close was to be presented to the Candidate. On June 6, a request was made to the District Deputy Grand Master, which was subsequently granted, to hold an extra meeting in the George Washington National Memorial Building in Alexandria, Virginia on Saturday, June 19, 1976 at which Brother Leon A. Soltysiak was raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason. On September 5, Brother Glen T. Renegar, District Deputy Grand Master, after a very interesting speech on the History of Lodge No. 9, accepted a check for $15,000.00 from the Trustees of our Lodge as a contribution to the Building Program of the Masonic Homes of Elizabethtown. Brother and Mrs. William M. Norris received a special vote of Thanks in appreciation for the many hours they spent in arranging the Bulletin Board in the Tacony Masonic Temple lobby that contains a complete list of the Past Masters and their year of service to Lodge No. 9. On November 7, a Committee consisting of Past Masters, Brothers Heywood M. Wiley, Robert L. Brooke and Helmut M. Boehm was appointed to study a possible revision of the Lodge's By-Laws. On December 5, our Lodge received a Communication from the Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master to the effect that, since Brother Glen T. Renegar, District Deputy Grand Master had completed ten years in that office, it was his intention to replace him by Brother Arthur Watley Buzzard, P.M., Meriden Sun Lodge No. 158. The average attendance at stated meetings in 1975 was 66.
In 1976 Brother Kenneth D. Guinther became our Worshipful Master. On January 2, the Right Worshipful Grand Master confirmed the appointment of Brother Arthur W. Buzzard as District Deputy Grand Master, and in a letter to our Secretary, Brother Robert J. Wood, thanked our Lodge for the contribution the Trustees had made of $4,500.00 to the Masonic Care Center at Elizabethtown. The Committee of Past Masters that, on November 7, 1975 had been appointed to revise our By-Laws, made the following recommendations: - (1) For the Admission of a Brother from another Jurisdiction, a Fee of Ten dollars be charged, plus Sixty dollars which would be for the Masonic Homes at Elizabethtown; (2) That Article VII, Section I be amended to read: "Any Member who has paid full Dues for 35 years or more, may, by a vote of the Lodge, be made an 'Honorary Member' with payment of Dues of $8.00 per annum; (3) Article Xi was changed so that the Committee on Charity could distribute $200.00 instead of $100.00 in maximum emergency allowances; (4) That annual Dues for Members would be increased from $12.00 to $16.00. On March 5, the above proposed amendments were again read, separately acted upon and approved, except that, after December 3, 1976, the annual Dues of Members were raised from $12.00 to $18.00. On June 19, the extra meeting of our Lodge in the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Building at Alexandria, Virginia, was held at which 33 of our Members and 39 Visitors were present. On September 3, the Right Worshipful Grand Master informed us that our proposed amendments to our By-Laws had been approved. We were informed on December 3 that the Right Worshipful Grand Master had caused a change to be made in the Digest of Decisions, XXXVII concerning entertainment so that Paragraph 2, Sub-paragraph 8 should read: - "Picnics and other social activities conducted by a Lodge with Masons and/or non-Masons present may be held on Sunday after 2:00 p.m., provided a Masonic Temple, Hall or Lodge Room is not used and further provided that no alcoholic beverages are served at or in conjunction with such a picnic or social event.
In 1977 the Worshipful Master of Lodge No. 9 was Brother William M. Wallace. A letter from the Right Worshipful Grand Master, Brother John L. McCain, that we received January 7, thanked our Lodge for the donations of $4,000.00 for maintenance of the Dispensary and $500.00 for the General Fund at the Masonic Homes at Elizabethtown. On March 4, a Ladies Night was fully enjoyed by all following the closing of the stated meeting. On April 1, Brother Clarence Walker of Lodge No. 280 gave us a most interesting talk on 'King David and his Son.' A letter from the Right Worshipful Grand Master received May 6 reiterated his Decision whereby a period of six months must elapse between the time a newly-made Mason has the Master Mason degree conferred upon him, and the date on which he may sign a petition for admission to another Organization that requires, as a requisite, membership as a Master Mason. Likewise, the official dues card issued by a Lodge must be withheld until the newly made Master Mason has produced a Certificate of Proficiency. On June 3, our Worshipful Master appointed Past Masters Brothers William M. Norris, Harry E. Stowman, Jr. and Kenneth D. Guinther to be our Lodge Committee on Examinations in accordance with instructions of the Right Worshipful Grand Master. On September 2, we welcomed a visitation of the Officers of District D'. A Communication from the Right Worshipful Grand Master informed us that the Mother of a living Master Mason may be admitted to the Masonic Home at Elizabethtown provided that the Mason has been in good standing for ten or more years. Likewise non-ambulatory sisters and daughters of a deceased or living Master Mason may be admitted provided he has been in good standing for ten or more years. At year's end, the Trustees of our Lodge contributed $500.00 to the Masonic Services Fund.
Brother Carl W. Jackle was our Worshipful Master in 1978. January 8 we received a letter from the Right Worshipful Grand Master in which he thanked us for our gift of $4,000.00 to the Hospital Dispensary and of $500.00 to the Guest and Building Fund of the Masonic Homes at Elizabethtown. A notification of a change in the Digest of Decisions was received by our Lodge March 3rd, stating that the Ancient Charges are not a part of the Esoteric work - however, they must be recited from memory by the Worshipful Master or a Brother designated by him. May 5th was again 'Ladies Night' and while our meeting was in progress, they were entertained by music and an illustrated Travelogue. Acting upon an appeal from the Grand Master, the Trustees donated the sum of $1,000.00 to the Hospital Visitation Program of the Masonic Veterans Fund. Two unusual Petitions for Initiation and Membership were received and favorably processed - unusual in that they represented simultaneous applications from a father and a son, Donald Carl Snyder and Donald Carl Snyder, Jr. On December 1, the Lodge authorized charitable contributions totaling $1,334.61.
In 1979, Brother George K. Gordon, Jr. became our Worshipful Master. January 5th saw us thanked by the Right Worshipful Grand Master for our contribution of $5,149.61 to the Masonic Homes at Elizabethtown. Letters of thanks came from the Shiners' Hospital for Crippled Children for the donation of $1,000.00 as well as from the Northeast Chapter of the Order of DeMolay for our support. $1 00.00 was donated to the Northeast First Aid corps to cover services to our members attending Lodge meetings in Tacony Temple. On May 4th, sums of $15,000.00 for a double room and $2,500.00 for its furnishing were given to the Masonic Homes at Elizabethtown in memory of Members of Lodge No. 9 and T. Harrison Gibson. On Ladies Night following the close of our stated meeting, Brother Eugene Kelchner, Grand Historian of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, spoke on 'Famous Masons in the American Revolution,' and we were further entertained by Brother Henry Shuttleworth, in colonial costume, the Official Bell Ringer at Independence Hall. On June 1, Friendship-Bray Chapter exemplified the second degree of the Order of DeMolay, when as the result of a well kept secret, Brother Allen G. Scott, P.M. and Treasurer of Lodge No. 9, was presented with a 50 year Membership Award of the Order of DeMolay. Our Worshipful Master, Brother George K. Gordon, Jr., possessor of the Brown Belt in Karate, gave a very interesting demonstration of that difficult art.
Brother William M. Patrick, Jr. was elected Worshipful Master for 1980, and under his leadership many events were planned to commemorate our Two Hundred Anniversary Year. It was started with a Rededication Ceremony, in which all the members present took part, followed later by a precedent setting event - a visit to a Subordinate Lodge in Pennsylvania by Brother Edward N. Peppier, Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in New Jersey and his entourage of Grand Lodge Officers. 215 Brethren attended this meeting. On April 30th we celebrated by holding a meeting in Congress Hall, part of the historic Independence Hall Shrine where we had met years ago. Many Brethren came from long distances to attend this meeting, including a delegation from Commerce Lodge No. 215, Haslingden, England led by Most Worshipful Brother John Dearden, Past Provincial Grand Standard Bearer. Many other events highlighted by a Formal Visitation of Brother Joseph E. Trate, Right Worshipful Grand Master of Pennsylvania and his Grand Lodge Officers were planned.