Rena B. Clemons-Taylor
Worthy Matron

James L. Taylor
Worthy Patron

Prince Hall Chapter No. 5


Meeting: 1st Monday
Main Activity: Jamming in Jeans
Date: March 17, 2018
Time: 8 pm to Midnight
Location: Knights of Columbus, 3611 Stewart Rd., District Heights, MD 20747

Elected Chapter Officers

Associate Matron Lachelle L. Gadson

Conductress Christine Vaughn

Associate Patron John Brevard, IV

Associate Conductress Patricia M. Winder

Prince Hall Chapter No. 5
Order of the Eastern Star, Prince Hall Affiliation
(Historical Excerpts)

On Thursday evening, December 1, 1898, Mrs. Anna Johnson invited a number of ladies to her residence, 1739 K Street, N.W., to meet Mr. and Mrs. Thornton A. Jackson to discuss the organization of a Chapter of The Order of The Eastern Star. These ladies were relatives of Master Masons, members of the newly made Prince Hall Lodge No. 14. At initial meeting temporary officers were elected.

Grand Worthy Matron Nellie Morgan (1898-1899) was present at the second meeting which was held on December 15, 1898, for the purpose of organizing a Chapter and permanent officers. In attendance were – Worthy Matron, Anna M. Johnson; Worthy Patron, Jerome A. Johnson; Associate Matron, Emma J. Muse; Treasurer, Oceana Brooks; Secretary, Lillian Waller; Conductress, Hattie E. Lee; Warder, Malvina T. Bush. All Officers were unanimously elected and Prince Hall Chapter No. 12 was permanently organized and ready to be presented to the Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star of the District of Columbia.

The first regular meeting of Prince Hall Chapter No. 12 (now Prince Hall Chapter No. 5) was held at the residence of Worthy Matron Anna M. Johnson and Worthy Patron Jerome A. Johnson on February 2, 1899.

The first meeting in the Masonic Temple was held at 5th & Virginia Avenue, SE, on April 26, 1899. The regalia was loaned to the chapter by then Gethsemane Chapter No. 4 (now Gethsemane Chapter No. 3) but each member was required to have her own badge and white gloves.

May 21, 1899, a regular meeting was held and those present were informed by the Grand Secretary that the By-Laws had been approved and the prayer for a Charter had been granted–constituting approval of the Prince Hall Chapter No. 12, attested by the Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star of the Jurisdiction of Washington, DC, on May 22, 1899 at its Annual Session.

In 1928 a perpetual fund was established to carry cheer to the aged and shut-in members. This fund was named “The Josephine Dandridge Sunshine Fund,” for the 1st Worthy Matron to die in office (1924). In 1972, the name of Past Grand Matron Eva Lucas Brown was added because of her untiring work on behalf of the sick and shut-ins of our Chapter. Under a competent committee appointed each year since 1928, these funds have enabled us to increase the happiness we extend to our members.

Since 1921, it has been the custom of the Chapter to celebrate its Birthday in February of each year. Eventually, the Chapter’s name was changed from Prince Hall Chapter No. 12 to Prince Hall Chapter No. 5. Members and friends of the craft have gathered to pay homage to those who organized and who have strived to keep the Chapter on the road of progress. Each year the presiding officers have graciously upheld the banner of dignity and the standard of the Order of the Eastern Star with the determination to guard its honor and to intensify its fraternity.

Arthur E. Brooks who lived to become a Centenarian has been our only Past Most Worshipful Grand Master of record to have come out of Prince hall Chapter #5. We are honored to have had eight Past Grand Worthy Matrons and Grand Worthy Patrons. Our last Grand Worthy Matron was Bertha M. Bragg in 1972 and Daniel B. Waller, Sr. was the Grand Worthy Patron from our Chapters in 1994.

The Tolbert-Eure Eastern Star Visitation was established in 1972, between PAGL Dollie M. Tolbert, then WM of Prince Hall Chapter No. 5 and Willie S. Eure, then WM of Annie S. Banks Chapter #42 in Baltimore, MD. This great sisterhood visitation and fellowship has lasted over 30 years. PAGL Dollie Tolbert and WM Eure have gone to their reward, but the visitation continues.

In 2002 WM Venecia C. Bessellieu started a visitation with WM Liz R. Cummings of Frances E. Edwards #20 Chapter, jurisdiction of Pennsylvania.

In the Georgiana Thomas Grand Chapter’s Annual Session in December 2008 our PM Venecia C. Bessellieu was elected Associated Grand Conductress of The Georgiana Thomas Grand Chapter, she currently serves as Associate Grand Worthy Matron. We have had many of our Past Matrons to be elected to offices in the Georgiana Thomas Grand Chapter. To mention a few PM Martha L. Beasley and PM Delores Graves were elected Grand Trustees. Our Past Matrons are diligently working in and heading other Allied, Appendant, and Concordant Bodies in this jurisdiction. Currently Sister Sadie M. Michell serves as Deputy Imperial Commandress of the Imperial Court Daughters of Isis.

Sadly, on January 5, 2010, we must record in our history the passing of our newest Worthy Matron Prequita R. Collier one day after she gave her Inaugural Address. Her theme for this year was Unity, Love and Harmony. In her memory the Chapter is planning to establish the Prequita Chesley Collier Scholarship.

After the passing of PM Prequita Collier then Associate Matron Barbara D. Jackson served in the capacity as Worthy Matron in 2010. She was elevated to Worthy Matron for the ensuring year of 2011. WM Barbara D. Jackson served in 1997, 2010 and 2011 and is the only Matron of Prince Hall Chapter No. 5 to serve more than two years.