The Brooklyn-headquartered Independent United Order of Mechanics (IUOM) on Saturday hosted its first gala ceremony since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, honoring outstanding Mechanics and a member of the community during its 12th Annual Luncheon at Paradise Caterers Catering Hall on Avenue U in Brooklyn.
The sold-out ceremony – organized by IUOM’s Resource and Finance Commission, chaired by Grenadian-born Commissioner David Williams – honored American-born Sis. Ricci Maggette, a member of Lily of the Morning Chapter #4, under the jurisdiction of Composite District Grand Lodge #2; and the Venerable Maurice F. King, former Executive Grand Secretary.
Other honorees were: Hon. Roger Kirton, District Grand Master of New England District Grand Lodge #1; and Sis., Jamaican-born, Hyacinth Robinson-Goldson, Community Liaison of the Order to the Executive Committee of Grand Council.
IUOM also presented, surprisingly, a Certificate of Appreciation to Caribbean Life’s senior writer, Dr. Nelson A. King, “in grateful recognition and gratitude for your years of excellent, devoted, dedicated and committed support.”
“Love your brothers and sisters, love your friends, treat them good and be kind to each other,” Rt. Hon. Errol G. Collins, The Most Worshipful Grand Master of the worldwide fraternity, told the ceremony before presiding over the awards.
“In Mechanism, we’ve learned, or were taught, that, when you work, you must get pay,” he added. “There are some Mechanics who have been working, working, working. And so, we must say thank you.”
Before introducing Collins, the Rt. Hon Glenver Jones, Grand Deputy Master of the Order, said he could not recall IOUM having “a function, and we had to put out tables (extra).
“From 2019, in Panama, we never had a function,” he said, expressing delight about the massive turn-out in spite of the pandemic.
In introducing Maggette, Grand Counselor Casper Edwards said she did a “marvelous job” and that she was “a quiet leader with a wealth of talent.”
Kirton gave much credence to his membership and immediate past Hon. John Ellis, District Grand Master Emeritus, Rt. Hon. Favian Holness and Rt. Hon. Lennox Miller, both Executive Grand Auditors, who also reside in Hartford, Ct.
“There are 78 of us in this room this evening,” Kirton said. “Thanks to my members for their love and support. I can call on them at any time”.
Before presenting a plaque and portrait to Robinson-Goldson, Jones praised her, to thunderous applause, for her years of services, stating that, despite her health and family challenges, “she still rises to any occasion and will successfully complete any project that is assigned to her.”
In response, Robinson-Goldson said she was very surprised to receive the awards, disclosing that, in 2012, she had “a major heart attack.”
She, however, said she was very grateful for the recognition, using the occasion to call on other sisters of the Order to identify and utilize their talents.
“To sisters of the Order, there are women of good talents,” Robinson-Goldson said. “The Order needs you. Find a mentor. Be a Mary, a Martha, an Elizabeth and other women of the Bible who served, and on whose shoulders we stand today. And, together, let us move this Order forward.
“There are rooms for all of us,” she added.
The Grand Master then introduced all members of the Executive Committee of Grand Council and their spouses, who attended the ceremony.
They included: District Grand Masters Gary Miller of Alpha District Grand Lodge #1; District Grand Master Davidson Vitalis of the Ben Hur District Grand Lodge #1; Joseph Morgan of Composite District Grand Lodge #2; Daniel Roden of Brooklyn District Grand Lodge #1; Roger Kirton of New England District Grand Lodge #; and Kenneth Ponder, District Grand Master (Ad Interim) of King Solomon District Grand Lodge #1.
While patrons dined on sumptuous Caribbean and American cuisine, Grenadian-born saxophonist Brian Hurst serenaded them, to much delight, in all genre of music.
Sis. Orlene Cummings, immediate past illustrative matron of Rachel Chapter #5, a motivational speaker and an ordained bishop, served as Mistress of Ceremonies.
“The motto of The Grand Council of The Independent United Order Of Mechanics Friendly Society is ‘Friendship, Love And Truth’”, Williams told Caribbean Life afterwards. “The Scripture that guides our path is Plasm 133: ‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity…’”
He said Sunday’s gala luncheon “exemplified and amplified all of the above, despite the challenges we all faced by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”
Williams, however, said that the event was “a great and memorable success” by involving six district grand jurisdictions in the New York Metropolitan Area and New England: Alpha District Grand Lodge #1 (New York); Ben Hur District Grand Lodge #1(New York); Brooklyn District Grand Lodge #1 (New York); Composite District Grand Lodge #2 (New York); King Solomon District Grand Lodge #1(New York); and New England District Grand Lodge #1 (Connecticut and Massachusetts).
“The support we received from the Brooklyn New Horizon Lions Club, our families and friends was a tremendous joy,” he said. “Special thanks to our sponsors for supporting the event.”
Williams said he was also “sincerely grateful” for the support from Neal Cummings and his staff of Grenadian Connection for “documenting and preserving the event.”
Additionally, he thanked “Mr. Mike” of Paradise Caterers for “being so accommodating”; Brian Hurst for the dinner time music; and DJ Venerable Stevenson and his team who “kept our guests entertained.”
“A special thanks to the Resource and Finance Committee who worked tirelessly to make it happen,” said Williams, while also extending congratulations to honorees.