International Assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses
TO MEET AT YANKEE STADIUM IN NEW YORK CITY JULY 30 TO AUGUST 6 INCLUSIVE
THE attention of Jehovah’s witnesses throughout the world has been focused on this most outstanding event scheduled for 1950. The assembly’s being in New York city does not make it an American assembly, but it is an international gathering of Jehovah’s witnesses, for they are coming from the ends of the earth. At this writing reports are to hand from fifty-five different nations saying they are sending representatives. More than 2,000 delegates will come from other countries to assemble along with their American and Canadian brethren at this great feast, to be held for eight days in the world’s second-largest city.
The place selected for the holding of this great gathering of Jehovah’s witnesses is the famous Yankee Stadium, situated at River avenue and East 161st street in the borough of Bronx, New York city, and it is anticipated that this tremendous stadium will be practically filled from the very opening of the convention on July 30. Not only Jehovah’s witnesses are invited to attend, but all Watchtower readers, as well as the general public in New York who are interested in Bible study. All sessions are open to the public, seats are free, and no collections will be taken at any meeting. If you have not planned to be in New York between the days of July 30 and August 6 but you do have some occasion to come to New York, make it your business to be in the city sometime during this period, for you will receive a rich blessing by attending this gathering of the Lord’s people.
THE OPENING DAY ATTRACTION
The first day of the convention will be known as “Gilead Graduation Day”, and the program opens at 9:30 in the morning with songs. Jehovah’s witnesses will not have to bring their old songbooks with them, because the Society will be releasing a new songbook Sunday morning early. Many new songs have been added, but we will not tell you any more about it until you join with us in singing the songs of praise. The music and words that will be sung at the assembly will not match the old songbook.
The chairman of the convention will give the opening address at 10:30 Sunday morning. The rest of the day will be devoted to the graduation exercises of the 15th class of the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead. That program will begin at 1:30 in the afternoon, and this is something you will want to see and hear. It will be very heart-warming, we believe.
From the first day until the last the program is packed full of interesting things, not one of which you will want to miss. But if some of you Watchtower readers cannot get there for the full eight days, have in mind that on Sunday afternoon, August 6, the president of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, Inc., N. H. Knorr, will give a public address which will be widely advertised. The subject will be, “Can You Live Forever in Happiness on Earth?” If your business or other matters take you anywhere near New York city on this week-end of August 6, 1950, include this meeting at Yankee Stadium in your itinerary.
Those coming to the assembly will want to see the new Bethel home headquarters of the Watch Tower Society, as well as the new printing plant just constructed during the last year. Arrangements will be made for all conventioners to go through these two places, both situated in Brooklyn, on Monday and Tuesday following the assembly. On August 7 and 8, from 8 in the morning to 5 in the evening, tours will be continuous. We expect thousands of persons to be going through both of these buildings because of their keen interest in the work being done in these places. It will be impossible to show persons through the factory or home before or during the convention, as all members of the Bethel family will be so busy with convention matters that it will be necessary to keep both places closed to the public. The running of the convention is the important thing during the convention period, and that will require all of the Bethel family’s time.
Conventioners coming to the assembly or going away from it are welcome to stop at WBBR’s transmitting station at 1111 Woodrow Road, on Staten Island, and the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead at South Lansing, New York. We will not be able to accommodate anyone overnight at these places, nor in the Bethel home, but you will be welcome to stop during the day and see the broadcasting station, the School and the farms the Society operates in connection with both.
The New York company of Jehovah’s witnesses is happy to have the opportunity of being host to Jehovah’s witnesses from all parts of the world and they are working diligently in harmony with the Society’s convention committee to take care of the preliminary arrangements. On Saturday night, May 13, a special meeting was held, which aroused much enthusiasm, and with joy Jehovah’s witnesses in the vicinity of 25 miles of New York willingly assumed the responsibility of trying to find sufficient rooming accommodations for all persons coming to the assembly. The Convention Bureau and hotels are cooperating splendidly, and up to this time we have more than 9,000 rooms set aside in hotels alone. Our big problem will be to find housing accommodations. On Sunday morning, May 14, approximately 4,000 publishers started out in the field looking for rooms in private homes and apartments, all publishers having proper identification cards showing that they are authorized to represent the Society in getting these rooms. Whether you want hotel rooms or prefer to stay in a private home, the Watchtower Convention Committee is still in position to reserve accommodations for every person attending the convention. Room request forms have been sent to all companies of Jehovah’s witnesses, but if a reader of The Watchtower is not yet associated with a company of Jehovah’s witnesses he may just write to the Committee for a rooming form and we will give his request immediate attention. Read this room request form over carefully before filling it out. You will note that hotel prices are a little higher in New York than in most cities. An additional cot may be provided in most rooms to take care of a third person at an additional cost of about two dollars a day. We hope that no delegate will request more accommodations than he actually needs, because we will require all the accommodations we can obtain for the large crowd of persons attending this great assembly.
Persons not acquainted with New York will want to know a few things about the city. We would like to state that overnight parking of cars in streets in the hotel sections is prohibited. Therefore it will be necessary to garage your car or put it in a parking lot. Garage parking in New York city runs about $1.50 to $2.00 a night. Parking lots are a little lower and you may find one convenient to your location. Parking of cars near Yankee Stadium will be extremely limited, so it will be best for you to plan to travel to and from the stadium by bus or subway. The subway system furnishes excellent transportation in New York and this is the fastest way to get around. The fare is 10 cents a ride.
If you have never been to New York city during July and August you will not be familiar with the weather conditions. Generally the weather is very warm and humidity is high. We suggest that you bring cool summer clothing, for even the nights are quite warm.
It appears that there will be no trailer camp at this convention. The Convention Committee and others specially assigned have searched diligently for a plot of land in or out of the city for the camp, but it has been impossible to find anything. We have covered an area of twenty-five miles radius from the center of New York. Most townships and communities have prohibited trailer camps and trailer accommodations. It appears then that all attending the convention will have to make plans to stay in rooming houses or hotels within the city of New York itself, or make your own arrangements for camping some distance from the city and commute daily. This latter we do not advise, because New York city traffic is extremely heavy in the morning. The Society is very sorry to make this announcement, because at most conventions we have always had excellent trailer camps. But these have been in the West or Midwest, where we have had plenty of space. Within New York there is little space, and, while communities outside may have lots and adequate space, these are not available because of city restrictions or property being owned by private persons who do not desire to rent it out for a trailer camp for eight to ten days. We announce this now so that you can plan accordingly. We know many will be disappointed because of this, but as yet we have not been able to locate a suitable place after months of hard work.
There will be no free rooms for pioneers at the convention, as these will be used to accommodate European brethren. In some countries it is impossible, due to currency restrictions, to get enough money to pay for rooms, so the free rooms will be assigned to brethren from countries where currency controls forbid them to take sufficient money for rooms but only allow funds for their transportation in local currency.
The Society has set up a headquarters in New York city to take care of convention matters, particularly rooming accommodations. All communications relative to the convention should be addressed to Watchtower Convention Committee, 557 W. 157th street, New York 32, New York.
Jehovah’s witnesses throughout the United States, Canada and the world have for more than a year been making plans to come to New York. Now the time is drawing close and you have to make your final arrangements, obtain a room and decide how you will travel. We hope you have made up your mind to have a full share in the assembly and will be at all sessions. As true students of the Bible, we know, by the Lord’s grace, you will be desirous of attending all sessions, for they will be instructive and will better prepare us to preach the Word in all the world for a witness. We sincerely hope that everyone will have a very pleasant journey to New York city and that Jehovah will bless all of us richly in attending this international assembly of Jehovah’s witnesses at Yankee Stadium. All people who love truth and righteousness and who are anxious to know of Jehovah and to better understand his Word are certainly welcome to attend.
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