Recap of the 250th Anniversary Celebration

Bro. James Best provides the following dispatch from this past spring's major event...

Anniversaries are milestones that we celebrate in life as we reach what are truly significant terms in length of time.  One rarely has the opportunity to experience such a grand occasion as we did, when the Brothers of The Ineffable and Sublime Grand Lodge of Perfection of Albany, NY and Masters Lodge No. 5 came together to celebrate a joint 250th Anniversary.  These lodges are linked in history as the Lodge of Perfection was established in Albany, NY on December 20, 1767 as the first Scottish Rite Masonic Lodge in Northern America, shortly thereafter a number of the same group of Brothers, in wanting to create their own Blue Lodge established Masters Lodge No. 2 (now No. 5) on March 5, 1768.
 
These two lodges came together to celebrate this momentous occasion on April 14, 2018.  The Albany Masonic Temple doors were opened at one o'clock in the afternoon as Brothers, ladies, and guests were welcomed with drinks and hors d’oeuvre.
 
At two o'clock, we invited guests to join us in the Ten Eyck Room for a historical presentation by W. Michael Hernandez of Mt. Vernon Lodge No. 3.  His presentation discussed the founding of the Lodge of Perfection and its connections to Masters Lodge No. 5 (2) as well as the vast amount of historical figures connected to both lodges. 
 
Following the historical presentation we convened in the 4th floor Scottish Rite Auditorium for the presentation of the historical Prince of Mercy Degree by the Valley of Albany.   This degree was at one time part of ritual and had been replaced by a more historically accurate degree.   The Valley chose to present this to the audience as it discusses an observation of Masonry by Abraham Lincoln, a non-Mason, in conclusion of the Civil War.  In his observance he was able to see the importance to the meaning of a “brother Mason” regardless of which side of the war a man was on.  This was a great way to give exposure to Masonry to an audience that included non-Masons without revealing any of the secrets held within the fraternity.
 
The degree was followed by a series of guest speakers.  The Ill. David A. Glattly, 33°, Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction spoke on Scottish Rite Masonry and the importance of the founding of the Lodge of Perfection in Albany as the first North American Scottish Rite lodge.  We were then joined by Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy who presented a joint legislative resolution to both lodges.  Next, the Mayor of the City of Albany Kathy Sheehan, who presented a Proclamation declaring  April 14th a celebration of both the Lodge of Perfection and Masters Lodge.  We moved back down to the Ten Eyck Room where we were joined by Congressman Paul Tonko who also presented a resolution to both lodges. 
 
At about four o'clock, the Most Worshipful Jeffrey M. Williamson, Grand Master of Masons in the State of New York as well as the Grand Lodge Officers of the State of New York honored Masters Lodge No. 5 with a Rededication Ceremony.    The importance of this ceremony again displayed how great of an achievement it is for a lodge to reach such a historical age in North America of 250 years.  
 
A banquet was held across the street at the Albany Hilton and the day’s events concluded as the guests were invited back to the Masonic Temple for Brotherhood and drinks. 
 
On behalf of all the Ineffable and Sublime Grand Lodge or Perfection and Masters Lodge No. 5  I would like to thank all who helped make this historical day an event to remember.
 
S & F,

James E. Best III