The Society of The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, the oldest benevolent Irish fraternal organization founded on March 17, 1771 in Philadelphia, is celebrating its significant history in America at a luncheon to be held at The Union League of Philadelphia.
On Friday, September 13, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. members of visiting Friendly Sons organizations from across the nation will present a Commemorative Obelisk to honor the original founders of the Society to the current President and Vice President of Philadelphia Friendly Sons. The luncheon will be held in the Lincoln Memorial Room, which features a life-size bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln positioned next to a large bronze plaque of the Gettysburg Address. The Union League of Philadelphia, founded in 1862 as a patriotic society to support the policies of President Abraham Lincoln, has hosted U.S. presidents, heads of state, industrialists, entertainers and visiting dignitaries from around the globe, and is recognized as the Best City Club in the country.
The original founders of The Society of The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick represented members of both Protestant and Catholic faiths. Stephen Moylan, the first President of the Society, was Catholic and subsequent presidents followed a tradition of alternately representing these two major faiths. Founding Society members who became leaders of the American Revolution include Stephen Moylan, who served as aide to General George Washington and Commander of the Cavalry of the Continental Army; Thomas Fitzsimons who was a signer of the United States Constitution; and, George Meade who helped finance George Washington’s Army and was the grandfather of Major General George G. Meade, heroic Union commander of the Battle of Gettysburg in the Civil War. Early members of the Society include Captain John Barry, who served valiantly in the Continental Navy and was later appointed by President Washington as the first commissioned naval officer of the United States Navy. General George Washington became an honorary member of the Society in 1781.
The Commemorative Obelisk is a gift from the Friendly Sons organizations in Baltimore, Maryland; Honolulu, Hawaii; Morris County, New Jersey; and, San Diego, California. Presidents of these Friendly Sons organizations will be attending the luncheon to present this commemorative gift to Frank Moran, President, and Bernard Buckley, Vice President of the Philadelphia Friendly Sons. A lecture by James Mundy, Director of Library & Historical Collections at The Union League of Philadelphia, will follow the presentation ceremony.