Amid overcast skies and sporadic showers, members of the Independent United Order of Mechanics, Friendly Society, Western Hemisphere, Inc., in the New York Metropolitan area, recently celebrated their 261st Anniversary Service of Thanksgiving at the Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew (Episcopal) in Brooklyn.
The Order of Mechanics is a worldwide fraternal organization, founded in 1757 with branches throughout Europe, Canada, America and the Caribbean.
According to Hyacinth Robinson, a Jamaican-born official in the Brooklyn Order, the second Sunday of September is set aside for a worldwide annual celebration in a Service of Thanksgiving and Fellowship. ‘
She said members of the United Veteran’s Band and the New York Police Department (NYPD) were on hand at the Order’s Headquarters at 65 Putnam Avenue, Brooklyn, “to accommodate and assist with the traditional march to and from the church.”
“However, the march had to be cancelled due to the heavy downpour of rain,” Robinson said. “This did not deter or dampen the spirits of members, families and friends who packed into the church.”
Robinson said the Rev. Julie Hoplamazian, rector and first female priest in the history of the church, presided. The church, located at 520 Clinton Avenue, between Atlantic Avenue and Fulton Street in Brooklyn, was built from 888-1891, and has been a New York City landmark since 1981.
Walter L. Benjamin, grand master of the Mechanics Order also attended the event, Robinson said.
In his message to the worldwide membership, under the theme, “Members Matter Most”, he referred to Dr. Howard Samuel, renowned clinical psychologist, in his “12 Spiritual Principles to Live By.”
Benjamin, according to Robinson spoke about “the elevating influences when aligned to the Order’s motto of ‘Friendship, Truth and Love.’”
Benjamin also urged members to be “good messengers” and to continue to serve so that “love will flow over in our communities that we live and work.”
A special 911 tribute was paid during the service for victims and surviving families, with special selections from the Mechanics Choir and Praise Dance group, Robinson said.
“With the constant changes and challenges in the world and in life, each of us as individuals and members in our respective units can relate and find comfort in the ‘Spiritual Principles of Change’, and, when applied, they can make a great difference in our own lives, the Order and the world at large,” Benjamin said.
“Be good messengers and continue to serve so that love will flow over in our communities that we live and work,” he added.
Gary Miller, District Grand Master, Alpha District Grand Lodge No. 1 (NY), said: “We must strive to make a difference.”
Kenneth Ponder, District Grand Master, King Solomon District Grand Lodge No.1, said: “On this day, we are reminded of the standards that our revered leaders so willingly taught us in discipline and nobility, upholding the fundamental tenets of the Order.
“It is this reason why we care and pray for our sick, our communities and our leaders,” he said.
For more information on the Mechanics Order, visit www.ioumw