Volume LVIFebruary 2009Number 1

One Great International Landmark Helps Another

Left-right: Rosslyn Chapel Trust Director Colin Glynne-Percy; Union League Niels Haun, Chairman, Program Committee of the Library and Foundations Committee, and Helen, Countess of Rosslyn; Masonic Library and Museum Senior Librarian Glenys Waldman (holding Lady Helen's presented book), Curator Dennis Buttleman; and Executive Director Andrew Zellers-Frederick.

If anyone had not previously heard of Scotland's Rosslyn Chapel, the publication of Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code," and other significant books and films thrust this beautiful 15th century building into the international spotlight, bringing with it great acclaim and literally thousands upon thousands of visitors. In addition to being architecturally and artistically unique, as is the much younger 1873 National Historic Landmark Masonic Temple in Philadelphia, Rosslyn has legendary ties with Freemasonry and the Knights Templar. Last October, the paths of these two historically significant structures converged. The two nonprofit organizations charged with their preservation, the Rosslyn Chapel Trust and the Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania, joined for a special one-evening Oct. 27th lecture program entitled, "Rosslyn Chapel: Fact and Fiction," held at Philadelphia's Union League. This lecture was part of an on-going series sponsored and coordinated by the Library Committee of the Union League and the Royal Oak Society (the American membership affiliate of the National Trust of England, Wales and Northern Ireland).

Lady Helen, Countess of Rosslyn, a well-respected historian, curator and a member of the family which has owned Rosslyn for centuries, with Colin Glynne-Percy, the Director of the Rosslyn Chapel Trust, delivered a memorable talk on the history of the historic edifice and the international fund raising efforts to return it to its former glory. The Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania was pleased to play a small role in this program as a co-sponsor for this event by assisting with the promotion of the lecture in the local media and to Pennsylvania's Masonic community. The lecture was a total success as it was completely sold out with approximately 40 percent of the 130 attendees having connections with Pennsylvania Freemasonry.

The next day, Masonic Library and Museum Executive Director Andrew Zellers-Frederick, with Curator Bro. Dennis P. Buttleman and Senior Librarian Glenys Waldman, had the honor of taking Lady Helen, Colin Glynne-Percy and members of their party on a special guided tour of the Masonic Temple. A highlight for these important guests was viewing the painting of Rosslyn Chapel and Gothic Hall. At the end of the tour, Lady Helen graciously presented the library with a signed copy of her book, "Rosslyn: Country of Painter & Poet." Since learning about Rosslyn Chapel's renowned architecture and its ties with the Masonic fraternity, and following a heartfelt invitation from the Countess of Rosslyn, many of the lecture's attendees have now communicated their desire to visit this Scottish historic site.


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