November Newsletter- Updated
On any given Saturday between 10 a.m. and noon, weather permitting, a quiet spoken, history enthusiast will be seen guiding tourists through the graveyard at Old Pine Street Church. Albert Meinster has been a volunteer docent for the Old Pine Conservancy for more than three years. A Philadelphia native, Albert has lived in the Society Hill community for all his adult life. Albert has a varied work background, as an A.S.E. certified master auto technician, a F.C.C. licensed broadcast transmitter engineer, and as a teacher at all levels of education.
His passion for history led him to answer an ad in the Society Hill Civic Association Reporter. The Friends of Old Pine/Old Pine Conservancy were seeking volunteers to provide guided tours. Albert had met the late Ronn Shaffer, previous Old Pine Conservancy president, in the neighborhood so when he approached Ronn about volunteering as a tour guide his offer was met with open arms.
In addition to the scope of information he received from Ronn, Albert dove into the history of colonial Philadelphia, especially the role various faiths had on the American Revolution. As he guides visitors, Albert is mindful to cater his tour to his audience, whether they are from New England, the South, the Appalachians, or even foreign countries. His interaction with folks from various parts of the United States as well as from abroad is near and dear to Albert’s heart.
Albert is passionate about giving to his neighborhood. He is most proud of his involvement with the Society Hill Civic Association whose board he currently serves on. Ever the educator, Albert is actively involved with the McCall Elementary School Home & School Association, the school where he himself was a student!
The stories he retells of the patriots buried at Old Pine Street Presbyterian Church have deepened Albert’s appreciation for what independence really means. He is grateful for this evolving understanding of the meaning of independence. We at the Old Pine Conservancy are grateful for his commitment and selflessness as he guides our visitors in their own exploration of our colonial history.