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HISTORY OF NORRIS WRIGHT CUNEY GRAND CHAPTER

Grand Master Robert E. Connor, Jr. had a vision for the State of Texas that included an adopted Grand Chapter for the Order of Eastern Stars. In October 1996 in Houston, Texas this vision became a reality. The Prince Hall Grand Chapter was organized with 13 Charter Chapters. At this historical event, the first Grand Officers were appointed to include Sister Dorothy M. Young, Grand Worthy Matron, Bro. Robert Calloway Jr., Grand Worthy Patron, Sister Gernell Smart, Grand Associate Matron, Bro. Anthony R. Carr, Grand Associate Patron, Sister Eula W. Bell, Grand Secretary, and Sister Catherine Crawford, Grand Conductress. Several months later the last three Grand Officers were appointed Sister Emma Renfro, Grand Treasurer, Sister Sonja Fields, Grand Associate Conductress and Bro. Franklin DeVore, Grand Board Member. The Charter Chapters were Christopher Delight # 1, Stars of Texas #2, Devine Glory #3, Celestial #4, New Star Light #5, Stars of Pride # 6, Rising Sun # 7, Stars of the Sun # 8, Gladys Wyatt #9, Charlie Wadley #10, Star of The East#11, Oletta B. McCullough #12, and Star of Bethany #13. The First Annual Grand Session was held at the Ramada Inn in Ft. Worth, Texas, June 22 27, 1997. At this Grand Session, Grand Master Connor held the election for the first elected grand officers who included Sister Dorothy Young, Grand Worthy Matron, Bro. Robert Calloway, Jr., Grand Worthy Patron, Sister Gernell Smart, Grand Associate Matron, Bro. Anthony Carr, Grand Associate Patron, Sister Eula Bell, Grand Secretary, Sister Emma Renfro, Grand Treasurer, Sister Kharyn Floyd, Grand Conductress and Sister Martha Wolridge, Grand Associate Conductress, Sister Catherine Crawford, Bro. Franklin DeVore, Bro. Willie Foreman and Sister Evelyn Ware were appointed to the Grand Board. At the Second Grand Session held at the Masonic Temple in Ft. Worth, Texas, Sister Dorothy Young chose not to seek the office of Grand Worthy Matron again. Sister Gernell Smart was elected as the second Grand Worthy Matron and Sister Lillie Calloway Grand Associate Matron. This session included the first Annual Youth Session with five youth fraternities in attendance. Stars of Grace Chapter #48 were organized. The membership had grown to approximately 1500 with 48 chapters. Sister Gernell Smart was elected Grand Worthy Matron in June, 1998 and served in that position until June 2003. In February 1999 the Prince Hall Grand Chapter met at the Coliseum Baptist Church in San Antonio, Texas and the Prince Hall Grand Chapter was dissolved. The Norris Wright Cuney Grand Chapter was established and named after the first Grand Master of Texas. During the period from June 1998 through May 2003 there were new chapters organized, unfortunately there were also several chapters that merged together, closed or stopped functioning. This did not deter the determination of the members to continue working for the good of the Order. In July, 2001 under the leadership of Sister Martha Wolridge, Grand Associate Matron the Youth Fraternities and Heroines of Jericho Youth Palaces held their first Annual Grand Conference in Houston, Texas. The youth have their own Grand Officers and they are in charge of their meetings. In 2002 Sister Martha Wolridge along with other officers, revised the youth ritual

which provides them with meaningful lessons that will prepare them to become Master Masons and Eastern Stars. In June 2003 Sister Martha Wolridge was elected as the third Grand Worthy Matron, Sister Bobbie Foreman Grand Associate Matron and Sister Avis Henry Grand Secretary for this great Grand Chapter. Under Sister Martha Wolridges leadership, the Grand Chapter has begun to move. In her first year three new chapters were organized with a new membership increase of over four hundred. In June 2004 Sister Eula Bell was elected Grand Associate Matron and Sister Tracy Gardner Grand Secretary. During the 2005 Masonic year several new chapters was organized. District Matrons, Patrons and Members Councils were organized. New District Deputy Grand Matrons were appointed with new duties. Workshops were ordered and leadership conferences were taught by the Grand Associate Matron Sister Eula Bell. January 7, 2006 Norris Wright Cuney Grand Chapter held its first Grand Luncheon in Houston, Texas with The Honorable Wilbert M. Curtis, Grand Master of The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas as the keynote speaker. The theme for the luncheon was Working Together Works, When Its All About the Work. During this affair two of the Grand Chapters oldest members became the first two sisters of Norris Wright Cuney Grand Chapter to receive the degree of Honorary Past Worthy Matron, Sister Sara Dorn, 98 years of age, a member of Stars of Texas # 2, San Antonio, Texas and Sister Johnnie Jackson 87 years of age, who grew up as a member of the Youth Fraternity and now a member of McCullough-P Wolridge # 12, Houston, Texas. During the Annual Grand Session June 2006 the Grand Queen of the South Palace was established and Sister Dorothy M. Young was appointed Grand Bathsheba, Bro. Carl E. English Grand King Solomon, Sister Grace T. Banks, Grand Princess Hattipha, Sister Paula West, Grand Princess Oziel, Cardie Marshall, Grand Princess Zorah, Sister Jeanette Bratcher, Grand Princess Leah, Sister Gloria McGill, Grand Princess Myra, Sister Lisa Jones, Grand Princess Hagar, Sister Jacqueline Carter, Grand Princess Orpah, Sister Loretta Bankston, Grand Princess Syene, Sister Kimberly Brown, Grand Princess Tharah, Sister Amanda Smith-McCoy, Grand Princess Ella, Sister Renee Baltimore, Grand Warder, Sister Sharon Matthews, Grand Sentinel, Sister Sharrel A. Banks, Grand Chaplin, Sister Sheryl Ausbrook, Grand Marshal, Bro. Charles L. McCoy, Grand Marshal, and Sister Anastasia Witmire, Grand Assistant Secretary. The Grand Amaranth Court was also established during the 2006 Grand Session Sister Lillie R. Calloway was appointed to serve as Grand Royal Matron, Bro. Archie Cooper, Grand Royal Patron, Sister Cynthia Wheeler, Grand Royal Associate Matron, and Bro. Nathaniel Coleman, Grand Royal Associate Patron, Sister Nannell Taylor, Grand Secretary, Sister Lanelle Curtis, Grand Treasurer, Sister Rhonda Davis, Grand Conductress, Sister Kathleen Kramer, Grand Associate Conductress, Sister Geneva Ledet, Grand Chaplin, Sister Dawn Riley, Grand Truth, Sister Vicki Stonum, Grand Faith, Sister Shontell Pickett-Riley, Grand Wisdom, Sister Velda Petteway, Grand Charity, Sister Angela Tinsley, Grand Herald, Sister Doris Jennings, Grand Marshall (East), Sister Loretta Powell, Grand Marshall (West), Sister Melody Cook-Cato, Grand Warder and Bro. Frederick Baltimore, Grand Sentinel.

January 5 7, 2007 the Grand Chapter celebrated its 10th year of existence in Houston, Texas with Sister Jackie Levingston, Grand Most Ancient Matron of The Grand High Court heroines of Jericho as the keynote speaker of the Banquet. The guest jurisdictions list included Sister Elvera Shannon, Grand Worthy Matron, Louisiana and President of the Conference of Grand Chapters, Sister Winnie Ruth Johnson, Grand Worthy Matron, Arkansas and Vice President of the Conference of Grand Chapters, Sister Mary Nightingale, Past Grand Worthy Matron, New Jersey, Brother Booker T. McGee, Grand Worthy Patron, Arkansas and Sister Iris Moore, Deputy Imperial Commandress, Daughters of Isis. Sunday, April 1, 2007 the Order of Eastern Stars, The Heroines of Jericho joined by the Master Masons and all Masonic Bodies of District 15 in Houston revived the old tradition of parading from a given point to the Church of choice for the Palm Sunday Service. It is our pray that other districts will began this tradition. Norris Wright Cuney Grand Chapter made history May 2007, when Grand Worthy Patron Robert B. Calloway, Jr. was elected Grand Associate Patron of the Conference of Grand Chapters. The Conference of Grand Chapters consists of Prince Hall Grand Chapters throughout the world. November 9 10, 2007 the Order of Eastern Stars held their first Mid-Winter Workshop with the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge in Fort Worth, Texas at the Masonic Temple. It is our plans to hold this Workshop each year. March 5-8, 2008 Norris Wright Cuney Grand Chapter entertained The 25th Phyllis Chapter Annual Session in Forth Worth Texas, at the Radisson Froth Worth North Hotel. On March 7, 2008 The Beatrice Coleman Auxiliary of The Phyllis Chapter, for the state of Texas was formed. The officers installed were Sister Eula W. Bell, Grand Associate Matron as President, Sister Bobbie Henry Vice President, Sister Vicki Stonum Secretary and Sister Emma Renfro Treasurer. January 10, 2009 The Second Annual Grand Chapter Luncheon was held at Bradys Landing in Houston, Texas. Grand Master Wilbert M. Curtis was again the guest speaker. The theme for the luncheon was Living Our Vision and Celebrating Our Future. During the luncheon two of our oldest Sisters were honored and their families presented with plaques. They are Sister Lucinda Sanders, Past Matron, 106 years of age and Sister Nancy woods, Past Matron, 100 years of age. Both are members of Maple Leaf Chapter #59 located in Houston, Texas. Throughout our years of existence Norris Wright Cuney Grand Chapter has contributed to many charitable organizations to include Breast Cancer Research, Battered Women Shelters, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Camp Care A Lot Summer Camp for Children with Special Needs, Union Gospel Church Homeless Shelter, Habitat for Humanity, The Robert E. Connor Youth Camp, Bethel Heavenly Hand, UNCF, Community in School Eastward Elementary of Killeen, and St. Jude Children Hospital. Each year scholarships are granted to graduating students entering college to assist with their continuing education, a monetary donation is given to each graduating member of the youth fraternity. For the first time we are also planning to give a scholarship to an Eastern Star Sister to assist with their continuing education. In all our efforts we always support the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas and Jurisdiction. It is the practice of Norris Wright Cuney Grand Chapter where ever there is a major meeting of the Grand Chapter to leave a charitable donation within that city. Norris Wright Cuney Grand Chapter is very proud of its heritage and will continue with its current motto of Working Together Works, When Its All About The Work.