HISTORY OF PRINCE HALL GRAND CHAPTER ORDER OF EASTERN STAR STATE OF RHODE ISLAND
QUEEN OF SHEBA Chapter No.6 OES of Providence, Rhode Island was instituted on November 27,1893 under the GRAND CHAPTER OES, Jurisdiction of North Carolina. With the forming of the GRAND CHAPTER OF NEW ENGLAND, QUEEN of SHEBA was the second Chapter to unite on May 3,1894. Grand Worthy Matrons from this Chapter were Sisters, Annabelle Cooper, Annie O. Mason, Margaret V. Gross and Grand Worthy Patron George E. HoJlvey. Queen Esther Chapter No. 11 OES of Newport, Rhode Island was instituted on July 21, 1918 under the GRAND CHAPTER of NEW ENGLAND OES.
The new England Grand Chapter OES consisted of Chapters from Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts until 1944, at which time the Grand Chapter of Massachusetts was formed, pulling by demit all Massachusetts Chapters into their Jurisdiction except for four. In 1966 these four were demitted to Massachusetts by order of the Grand Master. The New England Grand Chapter OES then consisted of just Connecticut and Rhode Island until 1980.
On September 12,1980, Rhode Island through the acquiescence of the Honorable Thee Atris Carpenter, Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Rhode Island, acquired a Grand Chapter Order of Eastern Star.
At its 86th Annual Session held at the Marriot Inn, Providence, Rhode Island, September 11 through 14,1980, Prince Hall Grand Chapter, Order of Eastern Star, New England and Its Jurisdiction, Inc., having granted Areme Chapter a Charter, at the same time agreed to set the three Rhode Island Chapters, Queen of Sheba, Queen Esther and Areme apart from its Jurisdiction and in obedience consented with the approval of Most Worshipful Preston L. Pope, Grand Master of Masons in Connecticut, to organize, form and install selected members from the afore mentioned Chapters into a Grand Chapter with all sovereign powers and rights and exclusive jurisdiction in the State of Rhode Island.
Thus, to that end, a permanent union was formed under Dispensation from Grand Worthy Matron Cleo B. Matchen of Prince Hall Grand Chapter, Order of Eastern, New England and its Jurisdiction, Inc.
Queen of Sheba chapter #6, Order of Eastern Star of Providence, Rhode Island opened an occasional Chapter to receive the Grand Chapter Officers, who proceeded to constitute a new Grand Chapter for Rhode Island, namely Prince Hall Grand Chapter Order of Eastern Star, State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, PHA and to Install its first officers in ancient and ample form.
Sitting for the New England Grand Chapter were the following:
Grand Worthy Matron Cleo B. Matchen
Grand Worthy Patron William Randolph 33
Grand Asso. Matron Hortense Wilson
Grand Asso. Patron Theodore Wilson
Grand Conductress Laura Gilliam
Grand Asso. Conductress Fredricka Creighton
Grand Proclaimist Clifton Green
Grand Marshall Garland Creighton
Grand Sentinel John Murphy
Officers elected and installed, becoming the first officers of the new Rhode Island
Grand Chapter OES, PHA were:
Grand Worthy Matron Sis. Evelyn Smith
Grand Worthy Patron Bro. Walter L. Riddick 33
Grand Asso. Matron Sis. Carrie Husband
Grand Asso, Patron Bro. Henry Young 33
Grand Treasurer Sis. Ruby Gray
Grand Secretary Sis. Joan Minor
Grand Conductress Sis. Ruth Isom
Grand Asso. Conductress Sis. Agnes Riddick
Grand Trustee 3 Years Bro. Conrad Luster 33
2 Years Sis. Bernice Gaines
1 Year Sis. Thelma Maxie
Grand Chaplain Bro. Horace Brannon
Grand Marshall (East) Sis. Gertrude Simmons
Grand Marshall (West) Sis. Mildred Lord
Grand Sentinel Bro. Levert Babbs
Grand Adah Sis. Lillian Oliver
Grand Ruth Sis. Ruth Brannon
Grand Esther Sis. Marion Mason
Grand Martha Sis. Alice Bassette
Grand Electa Sis. Regina Parker
Grand Christian Flag Bearer Sis. Josephine Cardoza
Grand United States Flag Bearer Sis. Rachel Babbs
Grand Eastern Star Flag Bearer Sis. Alfreida Hill
Grand Lecturer Sis. Alma Rollins
Grand CCFC Sis. Madeline Riley
Grand Organist Sis. Julia Ann James
The Chapters were renumbered under obedience to the Prince Hall Grand Chapter of Rhode Island as follows:
Queen of Sheba Chapter No. 1 of Providence
Queen Esther Chapter No.2 of Newport
Areme Chapter No.3 of Providence
In conjunction with this historic event, the Honorable Thee Atris Carpenter, Most Worshipful Grand Master had cause to be prepared an Official Charter in recognition of the new Grand Chapter.
A petition from a sufficient number of Sisters and Brothers of Queen of Sheba Chapter No. 1 and Areme Chapter No. 3 was recommended and vouched for by Worshipful Master Douglas Jessie of Corinthian Lodge #6 of Woonsocket, for the purpose of obtaining a "charter under Dispensation".
The names submitted were members of the Order of the Eastern Star in good standing in their chapters. Based on the creditation of the above, a warrant under dispensation was given under the hand of Grand Worthy Patron L. David Shavers and the Seal of the Prince Hall Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, State of RI and Providence Plantations on the twenty-first day of October 1989. The Warrant was signed by Grand Worthy Patron L. David Shavers and attested by Grand Secretary Joan Minor.
Grand Worthy Matron Thelma Maxie appointed:
Sister Joyce Weston Worthy Matron
Brother Roosevelt Harris Worthy Patron
Sister Lelia Harris Associate Matron
Brother Raymond Gray Associate Patron
The name of this Chapter is Electa Chapter No. 4 (UD) of Woonsocket, RI.
Willa L. Johnson, PGWM GRAND HISTORIAN