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Monday, August 15, 2016

St. Patrick's Lodge #4 in Johnstown, NY Celebrates 250th This Weekend

This weekend, St. Patrick's Lodge No. 4 in Johnstown, New York will celebrate its historic 250th anniversary of receiving their charter. 

This year is the 250th anniversary of one of the oldest Masonic lodges in New York state, and it stands in the heart of the city.
St. Patrick's Lodge No. 4 - the stately structure at 22 N. Perry St. [in Johnstown, NY] - has been a fraternal meeting place for countless area Masons. The lodge was chartered on May 23, 1766.
"We're unique in that we have the original jewels, the original charter and the original minutes from 1766 to the present," Schermerhorn said.
St. Patrick's Lodge Secretary Sean Gittens said St. Patrick's Lodge No. 4 is the fourth oldest lodge in New York state. He said each state has what is considered a Grand Lodge, and the Johnstown lodge is even older than New York state's Grand Lodge, which is located in New York City.
Gittens said the local lodge has a current roster of 133 members.
"It was going down," Schermerhorn said of membership. "We've had a resurgence the last few years."
Traditionally, Masonic lodges don't actively recruit new members, but men who hear about Masonry through word of mouth and express an interest are welcome to inquire about joining.
The three original officers named in St. Patrick's Lodge charter included Sir William Johnson as master; Guy Johnson as senior warden; Daniel Claus as junior warden; and John Butler as secretary.
The first recorded meeting of the lodge was held on Aug. 23, 1766. Except for a period of time during the Revolutionary War - May 5, 1774, to Feb. 2, 1786 - the lodge has met continuously ever since. There was a lull in its activities during the anti-Masonic period. The lodge met but once a year to elect officers, and no new candidates were initiated from 1831 to 1843.
The local lodge plans to celebrate its history.
"We've got a busy weekend planned," Gittens said.
From 6:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, Friends of Johnson Hall will host a reception and tours of the Johnson Hall State Historic Site for Masonic brethren.
Members will assemble at the lodge at 8:30 a.m. Saturday for a 9 a.m.parade in the city. The parade will be around one block from the lodge, and members will stop at St. John's Episcopal Church's Courtyard for a memorial service for Sir William Johnson at his gravesite.
"He created St. Patrick's Lodge," Gittens noted.
After that, the parade marches back to the lodge.
A ceremonial event will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday at the original lodge and original rooms where it was formed at Johnson Hall in 1766. Grand Lodge officers will preside. It is anticipated only Grand Lodge and St. Patrick's Lodge officers and special guests will be admitted as there is only room for a maximum of 40 to 50 people.
At 2 p.m. Saturday, there will be a rededication of St. Patrick's Lodge by the grand master and grand line officers of the Grand Lodge of New York. The charter will be read. A historical lecture will also be presented by two guest speakers from Hamilton College.
The lodge will conduct a banquet for members at 5 p.m. in the lodge dining room.
A breakfast at the dining room will be conducted from 6:30 to 10 a.m. Aug. 21.
A lecture by Joscelyn Godwin and Christian Goodwillie will be given at 1 p.m. Aug. 21 at Johnson Hall. They will discuss early New York Freemasonry and examples of Masonic architecture and symbolic artwork. An open house featuring an exhibit of the original jewels, minutes book and charter of St. Patrick's Lodge, a book signing by the authors of "Symbols in the Wilderness: Early Masonic Survivals in Upstate New York" and light refreshments will follow the lecture.
For the rest of the article, CLICK HERE. 

The event page on Facebook is HERE. Reservations for Friday's Johnson Hall event and Saturday evening's banquet are needed BY TODAY, August 15th (my apologies, I just found out about it). Contact Michael Millias or Sean Gittens directly. Sean's email is HERE.

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