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Hudson Valley Press


December 11th, 2013

Masada Lodge Celebrates 30th Anniversary



NEW WINDSOR - Masada Lodge No. 115 celebrated its 30th year anniversary on November 30th, 2013 at Anthony’s Pier-Nine with a dinner dance. Worshipful Master Philip F. Howard 33Âş stated: “it is with great pride and humility that I extend a warm greeting to all within the sound of my voice!  Welcome to Masada Lodge # 115’s 30th anniversary black tie affair.  This is the night that we will celebrate our community! ...  To the honorees for the evening, I say congratulations to you all!  The work that each of you have done in your community, is to be lauded!  It is because of individuals like yourselves, that we as a people are able to look at your greatness, and say ‘there goes a person of purpose.’…  A very special congratulations to my mother Lillie Howard, whose acknowledgement I personally feel is long overdue!”

On April 8, 1983, the Most Worshipful Eli J. Allen III, Grand master of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of New York and Jurisdiction, presented Brother William picket with a warrant, granting the Club Masada, the authority to operate under the name of Masada Lodge No. 115 F. & A.M. (PHA).  In the early stages of the lodge, meetings were held for ten years on the second floor of the New Hope Baptist Church at the behest of its then Pastor Rev. Coleman Briggs.

The Honorees for the evening were Lillie Howard, Runston Lewis and Chuck Stewart Sr.  Lillie Howard was the Recipient of the Entertainment Award for her international singing and recording accomplishments.  Her million seller recording “La Dee Dah” by the duo named Billy and Lillie gave several appearances on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand.  Billie and Lillie went on to perform with some of the world’s greatest acts such as; Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, Chuck Berry, and the Big Bopper to name a few.  Lillie’s golden voice is still in demand.

Runston T. “Pop” Lewis was the recipient of the education award for his 22 years as a member of the Newburgh Enlarged City School District’s Board of Education, serving for 12 years as the Board’s President.  Lewis earned his Associates Degree, a Bachelor of Science Degree from SUNY New Paltz and Master in Social Work from Fordham University.  Lewis was a member of the Newburgh Police Department for five years as a police officer; and 25 years upper management with the New York State Department of Social Welfare in Westchester County.

Chuck Stewart Sr. was the recipient of the Humanitarian Award.  Before Stewart launched a career in media, he co-produced major concerts that featured George Benson, Natalie Cole, Tom Jones, Gladys Knight, and Frank Sinatra, to name a few.  Stewart later accepted employment at Wappinger’s School District.  During his short stint at Wappinger’s he fought and won a battle to make Dr. King’s birthday as a paid holiday before it became a federal holiday.  Stewart later joined WSPK radio’s advertising department.  One year later he became the station manager and named it K-104 and helped it to grow into a multi-million dollar operation.  He left K-104 after six years and became V.P. and General Manager at Fox WGNY for four years.  He founded the Hudson Valley Black Press, worked as a consultant for billionaire Reginald Lewis, consulted with Vice-President Al Gore on FCC matters, published weekly articles for then First Lady Hilary Clinton, and worked with Newburgh’s youth on newspaper and radio matters.  He earned an Associates Degree, a Bachelors Degree in Journalism and a law Degree from Duke University.

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