Compiled and written by HPIP Charles E.
Martin #26, updated by HPIP William F. Milton #3
History of Award
Imperial Potentate John “Champ” Edghill,
Abu- Bekr #91, 1972-74, whose creative idea gave the LOH birth in
1973, instituted the Imperial Legion of Honor (LOH). He presented
the LOH award during his administration as a way of recognizing the
outstanding Nobles who had served the A.E.A.O.N.M.S. and their
fellow man above self. Imperial Potentate Edghill and Noble Kermit
E. Bruner, Jr., Zamora #73 were instrumental in the design and
creation of our unique lapel pin. Records list charter members as
Nobles: James Thomas, Mecca #10; Ivory Buck, Zamora #73; Julian
Bell, Keblah #78; Willie Forte, Persian #46; Joseph B. Nichols,
Syrian #49; Roy Teague, Hira #116; Douglas Parsons, Alcazar#179;
Charles F. Robinson, Medina #19; Samuel J. Perry, Mecca#10; Robert
Wilcox, Kazah #149; Charles E. Martin, Fezzan #26; Oscar Roberts,
Koran #33; Clarence A. Armour, Egyptian#5; William T. Greene,
Aleikum #96; Darrow E. Hill #38. There were only two (2) awards
given per Region in the early years.
Imperial Potentate Marshall S. Johnson, Sahara #2, 1974-76, gave us
encouragement and direction to establish an Imperial Council
program, complete with Eisenhower type jacket uniforms. His desire
for uniforms however was not fulfilled at that time. In 1976, PP
Charles E. Martin, Fezzan #26 was the first appointed Imperial
Commander of the LOH. The criteria for establishing a LOH program
was at that time readily accepted by the Imperial Divan, but as an
honorary program only. During the years of honorary status, the
following officers were elected and worked diligently without any
financial compensation for the program’s survival and recognition as
a viable body: 1st Vice Commander Kermit E. Bruner, Jr., Zamora #73,
2nd Vice Commander Eugene Taylor, Medinah #39, Scribe Lloyd Kennedy,
Zem #122, Asst. Scribe/Publicity Donald C. Wharry, Fezzan #26,
Treasurer Louis N. Washington, Moolah #54, Chaplain Rev. Henry
Whittle, Mocha #7, Medic George H. Garlington, Jr., Alooma #212,
Sentinel Junius U. Parker, Kadesia #135.
The LOH annually donated money to its adopted charity, the Roscoe C.
Washington Student Aid Fund. “Lean on Me” and “If I can Help
Somebody” was accepted as the LOH theme songs and were sung at each
induction ceremony. A traveling trophy was established in 1983 to
honor a Legionnaire for outstanding service to Prince Hall Shrinedom
and his community. Noble Kermit E. Bruner Jr. #73 was the first
recipient. Imperial Commander Martin was instructed by the Imperial
Council to prepare and present operational guidelines for the LOH. A
By-laws committee was headed by 1st Vice Commander Kermit E. Bruner
Jr. #73. 2nd Vice Commander Eugene Taylor #39 assisted him. After
many hours of this labor, the proposed by-laws that were submitted
to the Imperial Council on June 4, 1985 were rejected and the LOH
remained on honorary status.
The LOH program was officially renamed the Legion of Honor Hall of
Fame on April 17, 1986 under the administration of Imperial
Potentate Carl Wilson (1984-1986). All proceedings and customs
previously established were declared invalid and all officers were
eliminated except the Administrator, who was appointed by the
Imperial Potentate. Noble Charles E. Martin was appointed to that
From January 1987 until August 1988 Imperial Administrator Martin
requested and received a leave of absence from directorship of the
LOH program. The LOH office has no record of any proceedings for
Under Imperial Potentate David L. Holliman’s, #49, (1988-90)
administration, the LOH program became an official, active arm of
the Imperial Council. In October 1988, Imperial Potentate Holliman
requested that all criteria be sent to his office for approval. New
guidelines were drawn up and forwarded to his office. We were
informed immediately after, that they were accepted and we were
activated with permission granted to organize LOH Clubs in each
Temple. The title of Imperial Administrator was changed to Imperial
Director with Charles E. Martin remaining in office. Nobles Kermit
E. Bruner Jr., and Eugene (Sausage) Taylor were appointed Deputy
Directors. Our first meeting as an active body was in August 1989 at
the Imperial Sessions in Miami, FL. Imperial Outer Guard Oliver
Washington, Jr. #165 was appointed our first administrator.
Clubs were immediately organized with Minaret No. 174 LOH Club being
the first. They instituted the “Back to Minaret” program under the
leadership of Legion Club President PP Nathaniel Blackmore and
Recruit, Reclaim and Retain Chairman PP Cornelius Brown. A total of
forty-seven (47) Nobles were reclaimed and $3,525.00 was generated.
A portion of the proceeds was used to pay dues, taxes and
assessments for Nobles who were financially unable to do so and
$200.00 was donated to the Roscoe C. Washington Student Aid Fund.
The traveling trophy was changed to a Club trophy in 1990 with
Minaret #174 being the first recipient. They also received a
congratulatory letter from Imperial Potentate David L. Holliman. El
Hasa #28 LOH Club was the first to obtain complete dress uniforms
under the leadership of PP Charles Ramsey, President. They attended
the annual 1990 meeting as a Club, resplendent in their full dress
uniforms, complete with logo, and received special recognition from
the body. An autographed picture of their club was presented to the
Imperial Director Charles E. Martin retired in 1991 with sincere
appreciation extended by IP Roy Moore #5, who recommended he receive
the esteemed Honorary Past Imperial Potentate honors. He was
presented an engraved Sphinx by the Legion members and further
bestowed the honor of Imperial Director Emeritus by IP Roy M. Moore.
In 1991, under the administration of Imperial Potentate Roy M. Moore
#5, the directorship was passed to PP William F. Milton, Magnus #3.
His extraordinary ability to lead and manage combined with his
dedication, youth and energy was a tremendous asset to the Imperial
Legion of Honor. PP’s Kermit E. Bruner Jr., and Eugene Taylor
continued on as dedicated Deputy Directors along with PP’s Floyd
Washington #182, PP James D. McClain #174, PP Alvin Mitchell #20,
and PP James Jones #36 as area coordinators.
During the 1992 session, the Legion adopted an official “watchword”
that is expressed in Arabic. The words are pronounced “Khodetan
Nekonead” and they express our motto” “Service, above self.” That
same year, the members at the behest of the Imperial Director
adopted a moniker that expresses our persona and self esteem; The
“Crème de La Crème” of Shrinedom. The group is continuing to
recruit, reclaim, and retain members in the local temples while
advancing the proposition of contributing financially to the
education of our youngsters through the Roscoe C. Washington
scholarship fund. The first “meet and greet” social affair including
wives and/or significant others, was instituted at the 1993 session
and was a resounding success.
In 1995, Imperial Potentate William T. Pratt appointed a new
Imperial Director. PP Claude Bayard, Kindah #62, will take the LOH
into the new millennium. PP’s Ernest W. Chester, Sr., Khufu #120,
and Danny A. West, Sr., Kindah #62, were appointed as the Imperial
Deputies. In 1995 the Imperial Potentate William T. Pratt, #62
announced new procedures for the LOH clubs as follows:
(1) A motion to reinstate or establish a LOH club must be presented
at a regular Temple meeting. A majority vote of the members present
at the meeting is required for approval.
(2) Upon approval, the Illustrious Potentate will forward a letter
of the Temple’s action to the Imperial Director. The Illustrious
Potentate will sign the letter and the seal of the Temple will be
(3) Membership in Temple LOH clubs is restricted to Nobles who have
been awarded the LOH by the Imperial Council. Participation in the
club is strictly voluntary, however a Noble awarded the LOH cannot
be denied membership.
(4) Members of such clubs shall not engage in the pre-selection of a
Noble (s) to be nominated to receive the LOH. The right to nominate
a Noble (s) to receive the LOH is inherent to the members of the
Temple, therefore, any pre-selection on pre-screening process is
(5) There shall be no annual club dues structured in LOH clubs.
However, voluntary contributions for administration cost shall be
permissible, not to exceed $10.00 per member annually.
(6) The Illustrious Potentate, by virtue of his office, can attend
his Temple’s LOH club meetings.
These procedures are to be strictly adhered to.
In 2002, under the administration of the 36th Imperial Potentate
Reverend William F. Crockett #28, HPIP William F. Milton #3 was
again appointed to the Directorship. The current goal is to build
upon the successes of the previous administrations and to exceed the
LOH’s past performance while striving to be men of courage, sound
judgment and integrity.
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Application for Legion of Honor Award