PRINCESS YORK CROSS OF HONOUR HISTORY
Levi L. Rose Priorate #1 was the first PYCH Priorate established in the United States and abroad. On September 7, 1999, Sister Yvonne G. German submitted a letter of petition to then Eminent Prior Charles M. Jones, Jr., and then Grand Master MW Bro. Willie B. Evans, Sr., requesting to form the Princesses York Cross of Honour. The Grand Master and Knights, requested research pertaining to the women of these Houses. The request was complied with. History of the Heroines of the Bible along with biblical references and computer research, which included that no other Priory had a female counterpart, was submitted to the Eminent Prior and Grand Master of Illinois. Also, the names of Sisters who were elected to the highest position in all York Rite Houses were submitted.
On March 9, 2000, Levi L. Rose Priorate #1 was officially formed, and the following Sisters were appointed Offices and obligated: Ethel M. Jones, Eminent Prioress, Yvonne G. German, Deputy Prioress, Dorothy J. Wood, Herald, Emily R. McClendon, Treasurer, and Shirleyan Walker, Registrar. The following Sisters were also Inducted that evening and given the following appointments: Sisters: Doretha Tarleton, 1st Grand Lecturer, Norma C. Reid, 2nd Grand Lecturer. These Sisters became the first members of the Princesses of the York Cross of Honour. Together, with the assistance of Eminent Charles M. Jones, Jr., 33*, Knight Elmer S. Redd, 33*, Deputy Prior, and MW Bro. Willie B. Evans, Sr., these Sisters formulated the Constitution and By-Laws, along with the Ritual for this Order.
The Priorate was named after the 33rd Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Illinois, Most Worshipful Brother Levi L. Rose, 33*. Brother Rose was a very influential Mason within the Illinois Jurisdiction who thoroughly supported the progress of Masonic ideals across the various Masonic bodies within the state.
The PYCH or “Princesses York Cross of Honour”, known as the Priorate, is held in the same esteem as the Priory. Only those who have been elected and served Most Ancient Matron (Heroines of Jericho), as Worthy Matron (Order of the Eastern Star), Royal Perfect Matron (Ladies of the Circle of Perfection) and Princess Captain / Princess Commandress (Heroines Templar Crusades / Cyrene’s) were able to petition and become a member of the Princesses of the York Cross of Honour.
On Friday, April 28, 2000, at 7:00 pm, at the Grand Lodge, 809 E. 42nd Place, Chicago, IL, a formal Constitution Ceremony was held, and the beginning of Levi L. Rose, Priorate #1, Princesses of the York Cross of Honour, State of Illinois, an affiliate of John W. Thompson, Jr., Priory #3, Knights of the York Cross of Honour, State of Illinois, and the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, State of Illinois and It’s Jurisdiction went from a dream to reality. At the time of the PYCH conception, the Convent General, USA, PHA, was not formed. Levi L. Rose Priorate #1, PYCH, was under the umbrella of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge, F.&A.M., State of Illinois and It’s Jurisdiction, and John W. Thompson, Jr., Priory #3, Illinois Jurisdiction.
As PYCH became more known throughout the Jurisdictions, many Sisters became members of Levi L. Rose Priorate #1. In July 2006, Sisters from the New York Jurisdiction became members. In July 2007, Sisters from the Tennessee Jurisdiction became members. In July 2008, Sisters from North Carolina Jurisdiction became members of Levi L. Rose Court #1. While members of Levi L. Rose Court #1, Princesses Rubye Meeks of TN, and Kim Peterson of NC, worked hard to develop the membership in their Jurisdictions in order to form PYCH Courts.