The 142nd annual session of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge and the 129th annual session of the Royal Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, Arkansas Jurisdiction was held recently at 2906 E. Harding Ave.
The Most Worshipful Grand Master Cleveland K. Wilson of Hamburg and the Grand Worthy Matron Flora J. Simon of Dumas presided over the conference. Officiating with them was Walter May as deputy grand master and Johnny H. Carolina as grand patron.
This grand session included a memorial service, mini workshops, reports, the annual CN Toney Banquet and Gala Heritage Fiesta.
Visiting grand masters and grand matrons and other guest were from Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois, Maryland, Tennessee, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Washington, D.C., Alaska, Georgia, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Michigan and Arizona.
Sibyl Moses, a reference specialist in the humanities and social science division of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., presented a lecture to both Masons and Eastern Stars on historical research and documentation. Moses has studied abroad and is the author of several books. For four years she was the editor of The Phyllis Magazine, a national publication devoted to the history of the Order of the Eastern Star (PHA) and other Prince Hall women’s organizations.
Order of the Eastern Star awards were presented during the CN Toney Trustee Banquet. Awards were presented to Past Grand Matron Winnie Ruth Johnson, St. Matthews No. 351 of Marked Tree for 15 years of service; Ida Harris, Sr District deputy grand matron, No. 5 of Arkadelphia as Deputy of the Year; and to Ada Fuller, grand associate matron of Little Rock as Grand Chapter Officer of the Year.
Community Service awards went to three chapters for continual projects throughout the year. These awards were first place, Bethlehem-Fidelity No. 151, Frenchman Bayou; second place, Silver Star-Roseola No. 362, North Little Rock; and third place to Morning View No. 155, West Helena.
Masonic Recognition Awards were presented to William Bryant of Pine Bluff as Mason of the Year; Tom Brown Sr. of Elaine as Grand Lodge Officer of the Year; David Johnson of Marked Tree as Secretary of the Year; James Ambrose of Monticello and Kelvin Johnson of Fort Smith as Master of Year; and Marion Butler of Sherwood as Deputy of the Year.
During the Gala, special recognition and awards were given to the Poston-Sears Queen and her court: Priscilla McMurrain, queen representing District 3; Anita Anderson, first runner-up, District 7N and Candice Williams, second runner-up representing District 4.
The emcees for the night were Evelyn Murphy of Dumas and Lloyd Huskey of Little rock. Special entertainment came from the Holley Sisters of Dumas, Sweet Melody of Althemier and the Junior Temptations of Little Rock.
Shirley W. Inghram Scholarship Drive was conducted by each district and the award winners were: first place, District 6; second place, District 7N; and third place, District 4. The Membership Award for the greatest increase in membership went to Naomi No 411, Wilmot. Volunteer of the Year for special services rendered was presented to Patricia Jones of Pine Bluff. Other awards were presented to retiring star points and other officers.