Volume LIVNovember 2007Number 4

Datestone Ceremonies at Two Masonic Villages

Masonic Village at Dallas Celebrates First Phase

The Masonic Village at Dallas celebrated the construction of the first phase of its retirement community on July 29 when Ronald A. Aungst, Sr., R.W. Grand Master, and the Grand Lodge Officers performed a datestone ceremony at the site of the Walther Apartments, named in memory of Capt. F. W. Walther, USN-Ret.

The late Frederick W. Walther was a well-traveled, career Navy officer and a 58-year member of Mitchell Lodge No. 296, Jenkintown. He had planned to move to the Masonic Village at Dallas, and gifted a charitable bequest through his will to benefit the retirement community. His son, Attorney Bro. Bernard Walter, George M. Dallas Lodge No. 532, unveiled a naming plaque for the building following the datestone ceremony. Dignitaries from Luzerne County and Dallas Township, Irem Shrine members, representatives from local Masonic lodges and other community leaders also attended the ceremony.

"My father treasured the traditional values of the founding fathers of our country, many whom were Masons," Bro. Walter said. "He wanted to surround himself with a like-minded fellowship. When we learned about the coming Masonic Village at] Dallas, we were overjoyed. It offered everything he wanted, including a comfortable and attractive living environment, compatible companionship, access to medical facilities, proximity to family and substantial personal independence."

A tour of the apartment building followed the ceremony. The first residents of the new apartment building are expected to move into their new homes in November.
The datestone ceremony is an ancient and symbolic ceremony performed by Freemasons during the construction of a building. The rituals of the ceremony have remained the same since President George Washington laid the cornerstone of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 18, 1793.
Sycamore Square Datestone

A Datestone Ceremony was held for the Sycamore Apartments at the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown on Friday, Sept. 14. Music was provided by the Masonic Villages' Men's Chorus and Bro. John E. Goodman, Grand Lodge Organist. Special recognition was given to the future residents of the apartments in attendance. The Sycamore Apartments have been provided in memory of Bro. Arthur T. Ibbotson, Pennsylvania Meridian Sun Lodge No. 2, Philadelphia. Move-ins are scheduled for the beginning of 2008.

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