Kent L. Gilmore
PM David D. Baker
The illustrious history of Doric Lodge #19, F. & A.M., P.H.A., began on December 21 st , 1917, when a charter established its existence under the guiding light of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia. Warranted at the time, as the Union Grand Lodge for the District of Columbia, by the Grand Lodge of the State of Pennsylvania, chartered and set apart on December 21, 1917 a newly formed Lodge to be known thereafter as Doric Lodge No. 19, F&AM. As evidenced in the Charter, Most Worshipful Grand Master William Henry Jackson (10) bestowed the honors and installed Oscar L. Hayes as Worshipful Master (1917 – 19); Levi M. Collins, Senior Warden and James H. Wells, Junior Warden.
The sacred band of friends and Brothers grew and contributed to the greater good of the grand Lodge, with the elevation of PM Rev. Melvin Jefferson Key, a charter member, to the exalted position of Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Jurisdiction of the District of Columbia in the years 1947 – 49. While faithfully serving in this office, he applied the philosophy of fomenting, and encouraging Brotherly harmony and collective pride by making the dream of reclaiming the edifice that was once the Masonic Temple, back into the reality of being the property of Prince Hall Masons.
At the 1948 Centennial Grand Lodge Session, on July 31 st , the Temple was reclaimed due to the fundraising efforts of the Prince Hall Family and MWPGM Key’s vision.
The Past Masters and Brethren of Doric Lodge #19 continue the fraternal, charitable and community efforts so supremely epitomized by MWPGM Key and other Past Masters and Brethren. Today our Lodge stands as proud and on an equal par with any other Lodge, as it has and always will. We meet faithfully and promptly on every third Friday of the month, commencing at 7:30 pm. May I close with MWPGM Key’s favorite quotation as a potent reminder that history has instructive lessons for all Brethren:
“We cannot stand still,
We refuse to go backwards,
Therefore, we must go forward.”