Welcome to Oceana Lodge No. 69!

The year was 1892. Our honorable brothers had no home of their own. They met on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month in the county of Princess Anne at the Odd Fellows’ Hall on Lynnhaven Street. During this year of 1892, three dedicated men had an honorable intention and a projection for the future.  When these masterminds joined together, Oceana Lodge #69 was born. They petitioned the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Virginia to be chartered and recognized as a Masonic Lodge in the state thereof.

On June 22, 1892, Oceana Lodge was issued its charter in the city of Richmond, Virginia, under the leadership of Most Worshipful Grand Master A. B. Campbell. The following officers were our charter members: Bro. I.S. Robinson, Worshipful Master; Bro. Beverly Brown, Senior Warden; and Bro. William H. Jones, Junior Warden.

In 1954, the old lodge was destroyed by a hurricane. Our present lodge hall was constructed in 1955-56 on property donated by Mr. Dennis Ferebee. By a few dedicated master masons who labored hard and long to secure a loan, material and workman, this building came to exist. However, they experienced difficulties along the way. It was at this time that they turned to Mr. Taylor, the owner of Fuel and Feed Company.  Mr. Taylor interceded on behalf of the brothers, in order for them to secure the loan they so badly needed. Still, the bank wanted more assurance in order to grant the loan.  To this end, six brothers stepped forward and put their homes up as security for the loan. These dedicated master masons were Bro. Lee Northern, PM H.L. Robinson, Bro. George Haynes Jr., PM Aaron Parson, PM Joseph V. Grimstead, Sr. and Bro. Vernon Gary. Brothers Haynes and Gary, assisted by contracted workmen, were instrumental in the construction of the present lodge hall.

Between 1920 and 1943, Oceana Lodge #69 was part of the 9th Masonic District, under the leadership of one of its own, PM Willie Williams, as District Deputy Grand Master. From 1943 to 1966, Oceana Lodge was part of the First Masonic District. From 1943 to 1982, during that time, the District Deputy Grand Masters were PM C. P Robinson, PM Thomas Thornton, PM George Slater, and PM James E. Washington until 1966. From 1966 to 1972, PM Charles C. Crawford was the District Deputy Grand Master. 

In 1982, Oceana Lodge became a part of the 33rd Masonic District with PM Alnorva James of Unity Lodge #93 as its 1st District Deputy Grand Master. In 1986, PM Ronald L. Carter of Ruth Lodge #92 became the District Deputy Grand Master of the 33rd Masonic District and his term continued until he resigned. Since that time, PM Albert Adkins of Ruth Lodge #92 and PM Steven Cuffee of Unity Lodge #93 has also served as District Deputy Grand Masters of the 33rd Masonic District. PM Carter came back and served some more years with his Assistant District Deputy Grand Master, Past Master Burton “Buddy” Staples of Unity Lodge #93 and he resigned in 2009. In 2009, PM Burton “Buddy” Staples became the District Deputy Grand Master of the 33rd Masonic District with his Assistant District Deputy Grand Master, PM. Kelvin D. Murray of Oceana Lodge #69. PM Burton “Buddy” Staples is our Current District Deputy Grand Master & his Assistant District Grand Master is PM Billy Peters of Ruth Lodge #92. 

There are two Grand Inspector Generals in Oceana Lodge #69 that has the 33° and last Degree of The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Prince Hall Affiliation, for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States of America. They are as follows: Grand Inspector General Waverly M. Williams was elevated to the 33rd and last Degree of Masonry in October, 1995 in Orlando Fla. and Grand Inspector General Ernest “Sunny” Harris was elevated to the 33rd and last Degree of Masonry in October, 1999 in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Oceana Lodge #69 has had several Brethren that have attained the distinct honor of serving the MWPHGL OF Virginia. They are PM Willie Williams as District Deputy Grand Master, PM Wallace Drake as Worshipful  Grand Ass’t Chaplain, PM Kelvin D. Murray as  Ass’t District Deputy Grand Master and PM Ernest “Sunny” Harris as Worshipful  Grand Ass’t Tiler.

Other Brethren, who has blazed a trail as distinguished leaders and citizens of the Virginia Beach community are as follows: PM Joseph V. Grimstead, Sr. in which the first public building in Va. Beach, Va. ever to be named by a Black Man was renamed in his honor “The Joseph V. Grimstead, Sr. Community Center. PM Joseph V. Grimstead, Sr. PM Aaron Parson & Brother Lester Shaw organized the first African American Volunteer Fire Department in the United States of America, The Seatack Volunteer Fire Dept. of which Brother  Lester Shaw was the the first Fire Chief of that fire Dept.. PM George Haynes, Jr. PM Wallace Drake & PM Ernest “Sunny” Harris were members of Seatack Volunteer Fire Dept. 

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