The Brooklyn District Grand Lodge No. 1, of the Independent United Order of Mechanics (IUOM), on Sunday honored six outstanding members at its 85th Anniversary Luncheon and Awards Ceremony at Antun’s Catering House on Springfield Boulevard in Queen’s Village.
The gala event also marked the Lodge’s Pre-Mother’s Day ceremony.
Derek Ventour, a pre-eminent Grenadian-born entertainment promoter in Brooklyn, also presented citations to the honorees on behalf of Brooklyn’s Caribbean American Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, Democratic representative for the Ninth Congressional District.
The honorees were: Guyanese Myrthland Ince and the Rev. Hazel Barbara Barker; Barbadian Jeffrey Smith; Grenadian Daniel Roden; and Vincentians Elizabeth Chambers and Judith Cyril.
David Williams, the Grenadian-born Rt. Worshipful District Grand Master of the Bedford-Stuyvesant-based Brooklyn District Grand Lodge No.1, told Caribbean Life afterwards that the honorees were “duly qualified to be recognized for the hard work and commitment to our jurisdiction.
“With great enthusiasm and responsibility, they carry a heavy load for the survivability of our district,” he said. “They serve as a beacon in the physical and spiritual growth in the mystic art of our fraternal order.
“With love and gratitude, I was happy to be a part in making those presentations, keeping our chain strong in the bond of friendship, truth and love,” Williams added.
Ince, who was born in Georgetown, the Guyanese capital, was initiated in the noble order in March 26, 2002 as a member of King Solomon Lodge No. 5 under Brooklyn District Grand Lodge No. 1.
As a member of King Solomon Lodge No. 5, he was elevated to the rank of master mechanic, where he served as trustee, sr. deacon, deputy master and illustrative grand.
After serving two terms as illustrative grand, in 2006, Ince was appointed to the Brooklyn District Grand Lodge No. 1 as a District Grand Steward, where he served two terms.
He then went on to hold the offices of District Grand Trustee and District Grand Treasurer, the office he currently holds.
After completing her secondary school in Guyana, Rev. Barker migrated to London, England, studying nursing at the Old Church Hospital in Romford, Essex and later at Frien Barnett Mental Hospital.
From the latter, Rev. Barker was recruited by the Montreal Neurological Hospital and moved to Canada ending her years there at the Jewish Hospital Psychiatric Unit.
In 1983, Rev. Barker migrated to the US, where she Edgar Craigg and became an initiated foundation member of Rachel Chapter No. 5 under the jurisdiction of Brooklyn District Grand Lodge No. 1.
Throughout the course of 22 years, Rev. Barker has served in various offices, including first senior deacon of Rachel Chapter, first prelate of Saint Theresa Grand Christian Encampment, illustrative matron of Rachel Chapter No. 5 for two consecutive terms, secretary for two consecutive terms and deputy for two consecutive terms.
She is currently serving as the prelate of the Past Illustrative Matron’s Conclave, deputy eminent commander of Saint Theresa’s Grand Christian Encampment and treasurer for Rachel Chapter No. 5.
Smith was initiated into the Independent United Order of Mechanics, Friendly Society, Western Hemisphere Inc. in April 1990 as a member of Brooklyn Pride Lodge No. 8, under the jurisdiction of the Brooklyn District Grand Lodge No. 1.
While working in the Fellow Craft, Smith was appointed to act as assistant secretary and, thereafter, as financial secretary, an office he held n his lodge until 2000, when he was appointed as a District Grand Steward.
Smith has held various offices within the Brooklyn District Grand Lodge No. 1, such as inner guard, trustee and treasurer.
Roden was initiated into the order in 2001 by members of Brooklyn Pride Lodge No. 8 under the jurisdiction of Brooklyn District Grand Lodge No. 1.
He quickly moved through the ranks, while serving in almost every office within the lodge.
Roden was Illustrative Grand of Brooklyn Pride Lodge No. 8, and was extremely instrumental in the growth of the lodge during his tenure. For services to the lodge and the district, he was rewarded with the Past Illustrative Grand Degree.
While serving the lodge, Roden also served as Eminent Commander of St. Peter’s Grand Christian Encampment for two consecutive terms, and received the Past Eminent Commander’s degree.
During that time, he also served the Brooklyn District Grand Lodge on various committees including: chairman of the Thanksgiving Day Committee for six consecutive years; chairman of the Christmas Party for four consecutive years; chairman of the Inter-Unit Ways and Means Committee; and member of the Brooklyn District Scholarship Committee.
Serving as the second in command of the District Grand Lodge No 1, Roden was forced to take up the reign as District Grand Master Pro-Temp the day after Thanksgiving 2018 when the sitting District Grand Master Williams suddenly took ill.
Since the return of Williams, Roden has returned to his elected office of deputy district grand master of the Brooklyn District Grand Lodge No. 1.
Chambers was initiated a member of the Independent United Order of Mechanics, Friendly Society, Western Hemisphere Inc., in 1966 in St Vincent and the Grenadines, at Mt. Moriah Chapter No. 1, under the Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Dominica District Grand Lodge No. 1.
She graduated through the various degree ranks of the order to hold office within a chapter and served in many offices in her unit, before migrating to the United States.
Chambers was one of the founding members of the Star of Bethlehem Chapter No. 7, under the grand jurisdiction of Brooklyn District Grand Lodge No. 1, and was installed as the first auditor of the chapter at its inauguration in august 1983.
For over 36 years of her unit’s existence, Chambers remained an active participant in the affairs of her chapter, serving in various positions, including two terms as illustrative matron, and five terms as tyler, according to the souvenir journal. She is currently the deputy matron of her chapter.
“Sis. Chambers’ 53 years of continuous contributions to the survivability and longevity of Independent United Order of Mechanics, Friendly Society, Western Hemisphere, Inc., the two district grand jurisdictions in which she served and her units, past and present, distinguish her and cite her as one well-deserving of this honor,” the journal says.
Cyril joined the Order of Mechanics, where she was initiated into the Glen of Brooklyn Chapter No. 3, in June 1998.
She steadily rose through the ranks attaining all degrees.
Cyril served in various offices: auditor; junior deacon; secretariat; illustrative matron, an office she presently occupies for a second time; prelate, deputy past matron illustrative matron and worthy past illustrative matron of the Brooklyn District Past Matron Conclave.
Cyril is also a Sir Knight in St. Theresa’s Grand Christian Encampment.
She served as secretary and eminent commander, which she received the degree of past eminent commander (PEC).
Cyril has served on all committees of the district and is the co-chairperson on the Christmas Committee and the Ways and Means Committee.
“Because of her commitment, hard work, respect and love for the Mechanics Order, she was chosen as one of the first sets of honorees at the 2017 IUOM International Awards Gala,” the journal says;
“She continues to show great strength and take great pride in her duties in every way,” it adds.