In a little village in the Department of the Nord (France) there exists a curious brotherhood. It is called the 'Broken Plate Club.' This is its history.
A few years ago some merchants and manufacturers were dining together when a plate rolled from the table, and, falling into the fireplace, broke. As it happened, the number of fragments exactly corresponded with that of the guests. The coincidence was regards as a good augury, and then and there a society was formed which imposed upon its members the bonds of brotherhood.
Each man as he left carried away with him his fragment of the plate. According to the rules, no new member was to be introduced, and at each death the bit of porcelain which was in the possession of the deceased is restored to the president, who glues the fragments together. The last surviving member of the club is charged with the duty of cementing his piece to the rest, and when the plate has thus been re-formed is to be buried.