Volume LIIIMay 2006Number 2

Struttin' our Stuff

Over 100 Pennsylvania
Freemasons and their Ladies
joined the Philadelphia community
in commemorating the 300th
Anniversary of the Birth
of Bro. Benjamin Franklin.

It was a perfect winter day: mild, mostly sunny, with just enough breeze to keep the flags waving merrily. The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, among other organizations either founded by or closely related to Bro. Benjamin Franklin, assembled for a parade outside his American Philosophical Society (still at its original site at 5th and Library Streets, across from Independence Hall).

With R.W. Grand Master Ronald A. Aungst, Sr., and First Lady Norma leading, just behind the Grand Lodge banner, the procession moved north on 5th Street past the east end of Independence Hall (completed 1756, originally called the State House) and the Free Quaker Meeting House (built 1783) - two of the former meeting places of Grand Lodge still standing. The parade rounded the corner from 5th onto Arch Street, because at that intersection is Christ Church burial ground, where Bro. Franklin rests. Once there, B. Franklin Reinauer II, an entrepreneur and an originator of "Celebration! Benjamin Franklin, Founder," gave a brief speech as a wreath was laid on the grave. The Masonic marchers returned to the Masonic Temple for lunch; Bro.Benjamin Franklin (played by Ralph Archbold) and the Grand Master's party joined other Franklin-related organizations (among them Fireman's Hall, Franklin Institute, Independence National Historical Park, Friends of Franklin, Library Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania) for a Birthday luncheon. Bro. and Governor Edward G. Rendell made brief remarks, and Grand Master Aungst read Philadelphia Mayor John Street's Proclamation of Benjamin Franklin Day.

Grand Master Aungst seemingly goes back in time to enjoy some fellowship with an 18th century gentleman, played by Christian Johnson. Grand Master Aungst is interviewed by Karin Phillips, KYW Newsradio's community affairs reporter. The parade also was covered by KYW TV Channel 3. Grand Master Aungst presents Bro. and Governor Ed Rendell with the Grand Master's pin.

Brethren joined together to demonstrate their pride in Freemasonry and respect for the late Bro. Ben Franklin and his multitude of accomplishments.

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