High Desert Prince Hall Masons #107, and Flower Chapter #93, Order of the Eastern Star, recently held their 19th annual Master/Matron Banquet at the Ambassador Hotel in Victorville. The opening ceremonies were performed by
members DeLois Jarvis, welcome; Christopher Stewart, Invocation; John Howard, Pledge of Allegiance, and the introduction of civic leader Kevin Malone. Master and mistress of ceremonies were Michael Yancy and Apryle Roberts.
Officers from the Golden State Grand Chapter included Grand Worthy Matron Bernita R. Walker; Lavell Morgan, Deputy Grand Master, Prince Hall Masons, States of California and Hawaii, and the late Ollie Mae Titsworth, Grand District Youth Supervisor. The Worthy Matrons from Los Angeles and Pasadena and their units were represented.
Musical selections were provided by Jennifer Lewis and Claudia Douge, Miss Junior Teen of San Bernardino County. Douge is a senior at Apple Valley High School. Her plans are to continue academic studies at California Baptist University in Riverside.
The keynote speaker was introduced by Garner Morris, Community Service Liaison to First District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt. Phyllis Kay Morris-Green is interim public defender for the County of San Bernardino. Morris-Green graduated from Victor Valley Union High School as the first Black valedictorian; her entire career as an attorney has been with the Public Defender’s office.
Her speech was based on the event theme: “United We Stand, We Will Not Fall.” Morris-Green began with some of the tragedies in the news, the assassination of Trayvon Martin, the officer-involved killing in Pasadena; an Hispanic youth beaten to death in Palmdale, and the Tulsa, Oklahoma attack on five African Americans, three of whom succumbed from their injuries. She shared statistics from hate crimes data in California: according to collected data at least 60% of hate crimes were because of race, ethnicity, or gender-preference. However, black on black crime accounted for 42% of violent crimes in the years 2009-2010. Stating these actions are indicators that we are not unified, that there is a great amount of anger that has a very short release valve attached to it. It can be ignited with the slightest provocation. Survival is predicated upon our realization that we are all together on this planet and taking steps for our survival.
The Golden Rule is used often in speeches, especially motivational discourses, but few people have heard of or practice the platinum rule which states: “Treat people as they would like to be treated.” She reached back to her college days when she was studying the U. S. Constitution, and said the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s was based upon the platinum rule. People wanted to be treated with decency and respect.
Worshipful Master Donny Jones, High Desert Lodge #107, and LaKeisha Kidd-Roberson, Worthy Matron, Flower Chapter #93, made presentations to their members and thanked the committee members for another well-planned event.
The Grand Worthy Matron of California, Bernita Walker, and the Deputy Grand Master, Lavell Morgan, gave closing remarks.