Officers and members of the Martin Luther King Jr. Consistory No. 86, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Prince Hall Affiliation, Northern Jurisdiction, U.S.A., Inc. held their Annual awards banquet recently. The banquet honored Edward M. Curtis, Councilman, Ambler Borough and five of its members: S.G.I.G. Andrew E. “Jack” Morris; G.I.G. Juan Bacote; G.I.G. Howard E. Dade Sr.; G.I.G. Oscar Vance; and S.P. Elmer Keith Evans. The acronyms referred to are Scottish Rite Masonic titles. S.G.I.G. is Sovereign Grand Inspector General (Purple crown), G.I.G. is Grand Inspector General (Black crown) and S.P. is Sublime Prince (32nd Degree)
The 2014 banquet was held at Williamson’s Restaurant in Horsham, with event proceeds allowing the Martin Luther King Jr. Consistory to continue its charitable endeavors in the community. The organization annually awards two scholarships to deserving students residing in the Montgomery County area, along with other projects that are designed to assist communities in need.
Curtis received a community citizens award based on his service to the citizens of Montgomery County while serving as Ambler Borough Council Chairman of Parks and Recreation and now as chairman of public safety. He is a 23-year veteran of the Riverside, N.J. Police Department where he retired at the rank of corporal. Curtis is a graduate of Montgomery County Community College where he earned an associate’s degree in criminal justice.
The Scottish Rite honorees were selected for this recognition based on their contributions to the Ambler-based affiliate of the time-honored international fraternal organization. Two of the honorees, S.G.I.G. Andrew E. “Jack” Morris and S. P. Elmer K. Evans, who are 90 and 92 years of age respectively, are still active in the fraternity. According to S.G.I.G. Elmer M. Evans, son of Elmer K. Evans, “These men are very engaged in the Masonic order and show no signs of slowing down.”
The first Scottish Rite organization among African Americans was the African Grand Council of 1820 in Philadelphia. Four additional Supreme Councils were later established. In 1881, these five merged into two United Supreme Councils of the 33rd Degree: one for the Northern Jurisdiction and one for the Southern Jurisdiction. The governing authority is vested in the Supreme Council 33rd Degree, made up of active members of this degree. The 33rd Degree is conferred upon Scottish Rite Masons for distinguished services, Masonic or civic.
Among those attending the banquet were: Dr. Solomon Wallace, Sovereign Grand Commander, United Supreme Council, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Prince Hall Affiliation, Northern Jurisdiction, U.S.A.; S.G.I.G. George M. Calloway, Illustrious Deputy for the Orient of Pennsylvania; S.G.I.G. Raynard W. Hughes, Cathedral Secretary, United Supreme Council; S.G.I.G. Otis L. Hightower Jr., Assistant to the Deputy for Pennsylvania; G.I.G. Nelson M. Polite, President of the Pennsylvania Commanders of the Rite; S.G.I.G. Brian I. Austin; S.G.I.G. Dr. Clifford E. DeBaptiste; Illustrious Commander-In-Chief, G.I.G. Sean R. Snead and his officers, S.P. Abraham Shaw and S.P. Charles E. White III. S.P. Quinton O. Mason served as banquet chairman; G.I.G. Aaron E. Ervin Sr. served as ticket chairman and G.I.G. Otis J. Guinyard was this year’s master of ceremonies.
Congratulations and best wishes are to all distinguished individuals involved.
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