|Volume LIV||February 2007||Number 1|
Gathering of International Lodges Named St. Albans
The spirit and practice of Masonic ideals were again evident at the 53rd Gathering of International Lodges Named St. Albans, hosted by St. Alban Lodge 5322, Northumberland, England. Seven brethren of St. Alban Lodge No. 529, Philadelphia, and their wives were accompanied by Ronald A. Aungst, Sr., R.W. Grand Master, and his lady, Norma, in attending this example of one of the finest hallmarks of Freemasonry... universal brotherhood and fraternal love. In keeping with Freemasonry's commitment to charity, $5.00 of each attendee's registration fee is donated to the restoration and maintenance fund for the chapel and crypt devoted to our lodges' namesake within the cathedral at St. Albans, England.
Instituted and meeting since 1953, the Gathering is hosted each year by a different lodge from within the group of 31 lodges in seven countries bearing the name, or a relationship to "St. Alban" and was attended this year by about 100 brethren and their ladies. The three-day event was filled with meeting old friends, making new ones and a shared interest in the similarities and differences of Masonic ritual among the various jurisdictions.
Members representing St. Alban Lodge No. 529 have been attending the event regularly since 2001. The Philadelphia lodge hosted the Gathering in 2004, its 130th Anniversary year, and has again committed to hosting Sept. 7-9, 2007. The events included a business meeting; a trip to the host lodge; a conferral of degrees; a Festive Board, which can best be described as fundamentally similar to Pennsylvania's Table Lodge; a semi-formal banquet and dance; and a boat tour up and down the river Tyne. This event embodies the philosophy and intent of Freemasonry and that while our ritual, landmarks and traditions form the skeleton of Freemasonry, the members are the flesh and muscles that hold it together and move it forward.
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