Three Bahamian Freemasons Honoured
NASSAU, The Bahamas -- The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge Incorporated, Jurisdiction of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, will honour three of the country's "stalwarts" for their contributions to nation building at a Gala Ball scheduled for Friday, April 30.
The White Tie Ball will be held under the patronage of the Rt Hon Hubert A Ingraham, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, at the Wyndham Nassau Resort and Casino, Cable Beach. Prime Minister Ingraham will deliver the keynote address.
The three, Governor General His Excellency the Hon Arthur Dion Hanna; former Governor General and Speaker of the House of Assembly His Excellency the Hon Sir Clifford Darling, and former Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Tourism, Minister of Labour and Home Affairs and Minister of Foreign Affairs the Hon Sir Clement T Maynard - who will be awarded posthumously - all share the distinction of being Freemasons.
His Excellency the Hon Arthur Dion Hanna (a member of Royal Eagle Lodge No I) and Sir Clement Maynard (St James Masonic Lodge No 3) both received the highest individual award that can be bestowed upon a Mason by the Prince Hall Grand Lodge when they were made Honorary Past Grand Masters for their selfless service to The Bahamas and their Lodges.
Sir Clifford Darling, a member of St James Masonic Lodge No 3, received the Honorary Past Master's degree for his selfless service to his country and his Lodge.
"These three Brothers have contributed to the socio-economic development of The Bahamas through their dedicated service, self-sacrifice and devotion to the advancement of Bahamians at all levels, thereby exhibiting all that is good in life, and indeed Freemasonry," Grand Master of Masons, Prince Hall Affiliation, Carl R Culmer said.
"They have embodied the three Principle Tenets of Freemasonry which are Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth through their commitment to helping the downtrodden, the unfortunate and the needy, not only in they constituencies they served, but indeed throughout the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
"They were zealous servants of the people who used their high-office to effect positive change throughout the country," Grand Master Culmer added.
Grand Master Culmer said Members of the Prince Hall Affiliation family of Masons have worked "tirelessly" to aid the nation-building efforts in The Bahamas.
He said the author of the Bahamian National Anthem and the designers of the Bahamian Flag and Coat-of-Arms were all members of the Prince Hall Affiliation Family of Masons, as was the first Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, the late, Rt Hon Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling.
A number of Governors General, Cabinet Ministers and Parliamentarians have also belonged to the Prince Hall Affiliation Family of Masons.
"From church and state, to the political arena, community service and outreach, education, the arts and sciences, sports, health and medicine, law enforcement and the legal profession, the labour movement, banking, finance and industry and on and on, members of the Prince Hall Family have played leading roles in the development of this country," Grand Master Culmer said.
"May we never forget that it was Members of this Order who, along with others, recognized the value Bahamian women could make to the socio-economic development of this country, played leading roles in advocating for equal rights for women that led to the Women's Suffrage Movement.
"May we also never forget, that it was Members of this Order whose vision and foresight, led to an independent Bahamas and the end of British Rule and under whose guidance, the policy of Bahamianization was instituted which resulted in qualified Bahamians being promoted to leadership positions in all spheres of society, but particularly the national economy and the Public Service, which was hitherto unheard of.
"Our members have fought valiantly, and are still valiantly fighting, to ensure that cancer education and awareness remains at the forefront of the fight against this dreaded disease through the Us Too Men's Prostate Cancer group," Grand Master Culmer added.
Grand Master Culmer said the Ball will allow Bahamians from all walks of life to pay tribute to the three honourees for their contributions to The Bahamas.
"It will also allow us to give at least two of the three men their roses while they are alive," he added.
Source: Bahamas Information Services