Monday, October 4, 2010

‘Old No. 2 at 250’

Independent Royal Arch Lodge No. 2 in New York City will celebrate its 250th anniversary with a Black Tie dinner-dance later this month at a venerable private club in Manhattan. (Another wonderful event I cannot attend.)

From the invitation:

Independent Royal Arch Lodge No. 2, F&AM, stands as one of the oldest fraternal and social institutions in continuous existence in the City of New York. Chartered by Provincial Grand Master George Harrison on December 15, 1760, “Old No. 2,” as it is popularly styled, has, for two-and-a-half centuries, exerted a civilizing and fraternal influence in New York.

While we recognize 1760 as the date of our charter, many think that the lodge is actually older. Old Number 2 precedes the founding of the Grand lodge of New York, which it joined in 1784. However, IRA Lodge retained its Royal Lodge landmarks, such as the red trim on its aprons, and its right to grant the Royal Arch degree. It is generally held that we began as a military lodge during the French and Indian War, whether English, Scottish or Irish. IRA Lodge has a long military history; brothers of this lodge fought and served with valor and distinction in every American conflict from the Revolutionary War to the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Members of the lodge were instrumental in the founding and organization of Ancient Chapter Number One, Royal Arch Masons, which is one of the premier Royal Arch Chapters. In the centuries of its existence, Old No. 2 has either organized or sponsored 19 daughter lodges in the Grand Jurisdiction of New York. Today, Independent Royal Arch Lodge has a diverse membership consisting of prominent attorneys, physicians, writers, architects, educators, and businessmen, as well as professionals in the arts including performers with the Metropolitan Opera. Many brothers of the lodge are active with prominent clubs and societies in New York City, especially those relating to history, including the Society of the Cincinnati, Society of Colonial Wars in the State of New York, the St. Nicholas Society of New York, the St. Andrew’s Society of New York, and the St George’s Society of New York.

We of Independent Royal Arch Lodge No. 2 look back upon an eventful and productive fraternal history of 250 years. We move forward into the future united by the ancient precepts of our Gentle Craft, and strong in the faith of the ancient Masters who preceded us in Freemasonry. Our mission is to continue to breathe spiritual life into the hearts of men in our great city, and to infuse them anew with the bright light of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth.

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