Prince Hall Masonic Lodge Diversity No. 330

P.O. Box 8068 - Alexandria, VA 22306-8068

The History of Diversity Lodge

On January 21, 1995 a worthy brother by the name of Willie Fleming who had just reported to NAVCOMTELSTA Roosevelt Road Puerto Rico was at the N.E.X. photo lab. A man by the name of Jose Ortiz waited on him wearing a Masonic ring. Brother Fleming said " that is a very expensive ring you have on. Jose replied "it cost me my life." After checking each other’s meal ticket, they got together one night and discussed the possibility of starting a lodge on base.

The word was passed, at a low breath, for all active Master Masons to attend a picnic at the beach to see if this was possible. The following Master Masons attended Roberts Marks, Ray Jones, John Toomer, Terry Anderson, Melvin Walton, Reggie Tolbert, Ralph Peters, Willie Fleming and Jose Ortiz. They all decided that it was a great idea. Each person decided to pay $20.00 a payday in order to start raising money in case this came to be. They also had several car washes to help with the monies. Reggie Tolbert, of Virginia jurisdiction, went to the Grand session for the State of Virginia and asked to start a lodge in Puerto Rico. The name DIVERSITY was chosen by Jose Ortiz because all the founding brothers were from different jurisdictions.

On March 30, 1996 M.W. Grand Master Lionel Spruill Sr. and his constituents arrived in Puerto Rico to open the lodge under dispensation. After a lot of hard work by the founding brothers, DIVERSITY LODGE #328 received its charter on 14 September 1996 empowering them to work. Robert Marks and Jose Ortiz transferred before they could see their dream come to light.

Due to the base closure of Naval Station Roosevelt Roads in Puerto Rico, WM Donald McMichael met with Grand Master Franklin D.R.Lyons, Sr. and petitioned to move the lodge to Virginia. Grand Master Lyons approved the relocation and a special election was held in January 2004 to determine the officers of the newly relocated lodge. Bro. Scott Robinson was elected Worshipful Master for the remaining term of 2003-2004 and on March 5th, 2004 Diversity opened it's doors in Alexandria, Virginia. The 34th Masonic jurisdiction of Virginia was disbanded and Diversity joined the lodges that make up the 31st Masonic District of Northern Virginia.

On September 16th 2006, at the 130th Communication of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Virginia, F&AM, it was decreed by M.W. Grand Master Kenneth Hill that Diversity Lodge No. 328 was to receive a new charter because of the move from Puerto Rico to Springfield Virginia. As a result the lodge was issued a new charter as the 330th lodge of Virginia. From this point on we will be known as Diversity Lodge No. 330 and have adjusted all of our references to the same. The members of Diversity are determined no less to continue the legacy of Diversity Lodge No. 328 as all brethren and fellows have done who have gone this way before them.

On October 10th 2013, almost ten years after Diversity No 330 left Puerto Rico, three worthy brothers who remained in Puerto Rico, successfully petitioned the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the Caribbean for a charter and were adorned with their reward. On this date in Fajardo Puerto Rico, Destiny No. 16 was issued a charter by the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Bro. C. O'Brien Brandford. Worshipful Master Ulysses (Dixie) Rodriguez, Senior Warden Efren Alvarez and Junior Warden Hector Camacho were named as the first principal officers. Also in attendance were PGM Bertram Carter (who issued the charter under dispensation) and members of the MWPHGL of the Caribbean, MWGM Dorian R. Glover of the MWPHGL of New York and his entourage, members from Caribbean Tradewinds No. 586 in St. Thomas U.S. Virgin Islands, members from the Tortola Prince Hall lodge in the British Virgin Islands and members from Diversity Lodge No. 330 of the MWPGHL of Virginia. It was truly a remarkable event to have so many brothers from so many different jurisdictions in attendance. The name "Destiny" was chosen because they knew that Puerto Rico was destined to have a Prince Hall lodge and you can rest assured that they did everything in their power to make it happen. Past Master Donald McMichael of Diversity No. 330 formally demitted to Destiny Lodge No. 16 to work with his cable-tow in building the lodge. We wish the members of Destiny No. 16 well in their future endeavors and look forward to a fruitful partnership.

- Fraternally submitted by PM Fleming #328 and PM Robinson #328

 

 

 

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