April 28, 2017
Floor Statements

Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to call attention and recognize the Eastern Star Lodge No. 13 in Hampton, Virginia. Eastern Star Lodge No. 13 is celebrating its 150th Anniversary tomorrow and has worked in continuous and faithful service to the Commonwealth of Virginia over this time.

Prince Hall Masonic lodges have a long history in the Commonwealth, tracing their history to 1775 when Prince Hall and fourteen other free blacks joined a British army lodge of Masons stationed in Boston, Massachusetts and, following their departure, formed their own lodge: African American Lodge No. 1. Prince Hall became the lodge's first Grand Master.

By establishing this organization, Prince Hall and his compatriots were, in 1775, taking some of the first steps to form one of America's first formal African-American institutions.

Organized in 1866 and charted a year later in 1867, Eastern Star Lodge No. 13 was placed at the forefront of growth and development of Prince Hall Masonry in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and in our nation. For 24 years, Eastern Star Lodge No. 13 was one of the only Prince Hall Masonic lodges in Hampton Roads, before helping to expand Prince Hall Masonry throughout the Tidewater region. More recently, resulting from a number of lodge mergers, Eastern Star Lodge No. 13 is one of the largest Subordinate Prince Hall Lodges in Virginia.

I have heard the question asked: ``when is a man a Mason?'' According to Joseph Fort Newton's ``The Builders,'' a man becomes a Mason when he has sympathy for others, the ability to empathize, when he looks for the upside in things, and when he keeps faith in himself, in his fellow men, and with his God. The real secret to Masonry, Newton writes, is the ability to give all to the world.

In this spirit, countless members of Eastern Star Lodge No. 13 have served in their community and in leadership positions. Through their service and through their commitment to their community, members of Eastern Star Lodge No. 13 have done their part to provide mentorship, dispense charity, and ``aid in the uplifting of humanity'' through their charitable endeavors.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to extend my enthusiastic congratulations to Mr. Antonio Hinton, Sr., who currently serves as the leader of Eastern Star Lodge No. 13 and all the members of this historic lodge on the celebration of 150 years of continuous service to Hampton and the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is my profound hope that through their work, members of Eastern Star Lodge No. 13 continue to provide support and service to their community.