by Myles W. Jackson, Secretary, AD#109
The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Virginia Free and Accepted Masons, Inc., held its 145th Annual Grand Lodge Communication at the Doubletree By Hilton Hotel in Richmond, VA from September 16 through 18, 2021.
Because of COVID-19 pandemic, the Grand Lodge was unable to hold a session in 2020. With the lifting of restrictions by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia and proper safety precautions put in-place (all attendee had been vaccinated, temperatures taken, and the wearing of masks) the attendee conducted business.
At this session over 500 Prince Hall Master Masons from throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia gathered to discuss the accomplishments and future of this grand organization.
In March 2020, the Most Worshipful Grand Master Richard Townes suspended all masonic activities in the jurisdiction of Virginia for the safety and well-being of the craft. During this time, no in-person meeting were held. Numerous lodges took it upon themselves and decided to hold “Zoom” meeting to discuss their business and were able to continue their community activities.
During the “pandemic lock-down,” Alleghany-Dunbar #109 (AD #109) monthly zoom meetings were able to conduct business meetings and plan community activities. They were able to hold a clothing drive and made donations to the Roanoke Area ministry (RAM) House. AD #109 collected school supplies for Hurt Park Elementary School and collected and donated Thanksgiving and Christmas food items for families at Hurt Park Elementary School in 2020. Christmas toys were also donated to the Rescue Mission.
In April 2021 the Grand Master modified the restrictions allowing lodges to meet with 25 or less members and ensuring they were in compliance with Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for meetings mask wearing and social distancing). With this action, AD #109 was able to hold meetings and fellowship with each other.
Some of their recent community activities were to again continued to collect school supplies for Hurt Park Elementary School, providing back-to-school supplies to the House of Prayer #7 and provide breakfast for the barbers and hair stylists at Impressions Barber Shop and Hair Salon that were giving free hairdos haircuts to students going back to school and also donating school supplies. Members of AD #109 took food to the family of a child that was killed due to a gunshot wound. Members supported “FEDUP” – Families Expecting Deliverance Using Prayer.
In 2020, the Grand Lodge was able to provide over $200,000 scholarships with funds raised Grand Lodge programs/activities, and donation from Lodge and community members.
During the awards banquet, AD # 109 was recognized for its accomplishments in the Commonwealth. Worshipful Past Master Myles Jackson was presented with the “Secretary of the Year Award” for a Large Lodge; Alleghany-Dunbar #109 was presented with the “Lodge of the Year (small District); and 20th Masonic District Deputy Grand Master Jerome “Felix” Morgan was presented with the “District Deputy of the Year Award.”
Under the current leadership of Worshipful Master Eric Wiley, the Brothers of Alleghany-Dunbar #109 pledge to continue to support community programs in the Roanoke Valley.