Claverism: Empowering Membership through Committed Service
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ORDER
The Order was founded November 7, 1909 at Mobile Alabama; by four priests of the St. Joseph’s Society of the Sacred Heart (The Josephite Fathers) of Baltimore, Maryland – Fathers: Conrad F. Rebesher, John H. Dorsey, Samuel J. Kelly, and Joseph P. Van Baast, S.S.J.’s and the three layment of the Diocese of Mobile – Birmingham, Alabama. Messrs.: Gilbert Faustina, Frank Collins and Frank Trenier, all now passed to their eternal rewards; Incor-porated July 12, 1911; the Fourth Degree was authorized in 1917; the Constitution for Junior Knights was compiled by the Reverend Joseph P. Van Baast, S.S.J. and his committee. The Ladies Auxiliary was authorized and their constitution adopted at Opelousas, Louisiana, August, 1922; the constitution of the National Council was revised by committee August, 1925; August, 1929; October, 1936; August, 1948; August, 1951; August, 1971 and August, 1979 August, 1989 and August, 1999.The Ladies Auxiliary was recognized as a Division of the National Council at Galveston, Texas, August, 1926; and the Junior Daughters was established in 1930; the Constitution of the Junior Knights was revised establishing the Junior Knights as a Division of the National Council, effective October 1, 1935.The first official organ of the Order was “The Shield” published for the first time at Mobile, Alabama, November 1910, with Frank Trenier, Charter Member and National Secretary, as Editor.The successor to “The Shield” is “The Claverite”, authorized in 1922 as a monthly publication, and its first Editor was Joseph H. Rieras who served until 1928.“The Claverite” changed to a Quarterly Publication in 1948 at which time it was edited by the National Secretary.Presently, the Claverite is published by the Executive Director.
To date, the Order has had thirteen Supreme Knights namely:Gilbert Faustina, Charter Member and Supreme Knight up to 1926; Louis Israel, 1926 to 1940; Alphonse Pierre August 1941; John H. Clouser, 1941 to 1946; J. Roland Prejean, 1946 to 1952; Beverly V. Baranco, Jr., K.S.G., 1952 to 1958; Eugene B. Perry, M.D., 1958to 1964; Shields G. Gilmore, Jr., 1964 to 1970; Ernest Granger, Sr., K.S.G., 1970 to 1976, Murry J. Frank 1976 to 1982, Chester J. Jones, K.S.G., 1982 to 1988 and Paul C. Condoll, 1988 to 1994 and A. Jackie Elly, 1994 to the present.
In the Ladies Auxiliary, there have been ten Supreme Ladies: Mrs. M.L. Lunnon, 1926 to 1928; Mrs. A.R. Aubry, 1928 to 1952; Mrs. E.B. Jones, 1952 to 1958; Mrs. Inez Y. Bowman, 1958 to 1964; Mrs. Thelma P. Lombard, 1964 to 1970; Mrs. Florence W. Lee, 1970 to 1976; Mrs. Elise LeNoir Morris, 1976 to 1982; Mrs. Consuella M. Broussard, 1982 to 1988 and Mrs. Dorothy B. Henderson, 1988 to 1994 and Ms. Leodia Gooch, 1994 to the present.
In the Meritorious Fourth Degree Division there have been twelve Supreme Navigators:Gilbert Faustina, from 1926 to 1940; Oscar Figaro, 1940 to 1943; Edward E. Cross, Sr., August 1943 to November, 1943; Peter Chenier, November 1943 to August 1946; Ernest E. Delpit, 1946 to 1956; Thomas R. Lee, Jr., 1950 to 1958; Felton Lawrence, 1958 to 1970; Reginald Rouzan, 1970 to 1982; James M. Seals, Jr., 1982 to 1988 and Dr. Charles D. Proctor, 1988 to 1990; Sylvester Davis, 1990 to 1995 and Dwight Alexander, 1995 to the present.
In the Meritorious Degree, Ladies of Grace Division there have been five Supreme Navigators: Mrs. Mattie Lampkins, from 1981-1982; Mrs. Rose A. Labostrie, 1982-1986; Mrs. Henrietta R. Porter, 1986-1992, Ms. Irene T. Green, 1992-1998 and Mrs. Juanita Burden, 1998 to the present.
The office of Executive Secretary for the Knights of Peter Claver, Incorporated was created as of August 3, 1960 by the National Convention whose duties shall be to direct or administer the business pertaining to the National Office.There have been four Executive Secretaries:Thomas R. Lee, Jr., 1960 to 1962; Huntington H. Dusuau, 1962 to 1964; Wallace L. Young, Jr., 1964 to 1972 and W. Charles Keyes, Jr., K.M. 1972 to the present.
The Order has received the Apostolic Benediction of the Most Holy Father in Rome on many occasions.The Order also has the Approbation of Their Eminences and of Their Excellencies, The Cardinals and The Most Reverend Archbishops and Bishops, throughout the Archdioceses and Dioceses in which the Order has Councils and Courts.
In the United States of America the Order operates in over 56 Archdioceses and Dioceses.
The following members of the Order have received Papal Recognition:
Recipients of the Papal Honor: Knights of the Holy Sepulcher are:
Sidney H. Cates, III, New Orleans, Louisiana; Dr. Levi V. Perry, Edmund C. Broussard and Mrs. Consuella M. Broussard, Houston, Texas; Chester J. Jones, K.S.G., Truman Stacey, K.M., and Bernard R. Beaco, Lake Charles, Louisiana, Leo K. Edwards, Jr., San Antonio, Texas and Mrs. Vera Abraham, Jennings, Louisiana.
Recipients of the Papal Honor; Knights of St. Gregory the Great are:
Harrison T. Chastang, James M. Seals, Jr., Mobile, Alabama; Dr. Murray Joseph Martin, Ernest Granger, Sr., K.S.G., Chester Jones, K.S.G., Truman Stacey, K.M., Dr. Carl W. Ross of Lake Charles, Louisiana; Haidel J. Christophe, Carl V. Duvigneaud, Clarence J. Jupiter, Victor N. Labat, Numa J. Rousseve, Norey J. Smith, Jr., and W. Charles Keyes, Jr., of New Orleans, Louisiana; Dr. Beverly V. Baranco, Jr. of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Louise E. Jones of Natchez, Mississippi; John H. Clouser, Douglas Matthews, Galveston, Texas; Charles Broussard and Dennis Armelin of Houston, Texas; Ezekiel Major, Joseph Lee Welch, John O. Mosby, Alfred E. Lewis and Walter J. Duncan of San Antonio, Texas; Dr. Earl Belle Smith of Pittsurgh, Pennsylvania; Herman J. Faulk of Los Angeles, California; and Oliver S. Lanaux, Sr. of Oakland, Cal-ifornia and Donald Baker of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta are:Truman Stacey, K.M., Lake Charles, Louisiana and W. Charles Keyes, Jr., K.M., New Orleans, Louisiana.
Recipients of the Papal Decoration; Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Medal are:
Mrs. Clothide T. Williams, Mrs. Agnes T. Brown and Mrs. Maybelle P. Braziel of Mobile, Alabama; Mrs. Sophie W. Aramburo,Miss Iona E. Berteaux, Victor N. Labat, Mrs. Florence W. Lee, Mrs. Thelma P. Lombard, Clarence P. Thomas, Elliott C. Willard, CharlesC. Smith, Frank Bivens of New Orleans, Louisiana; James L. Oliver, Mrs. Ethel Josie Sutton of Lake Charles, Louisiana; Mrs. Mary K. Henry of Grand Coteau, Louisiana; Dennis Armelin, Charles Broussard, Edmund C. Broussard, Maurice J. Curtis, Lonnie Fyles, Walter Hardy and Mrs. Elise LeNoir Morris of Houston, Texas; O.B. Hebert of Beaumont, Texas; James B. Smith of Galveston, Texas; William E. Jones of San Antonio, Texas; and Dr. Charles D. Proctor of Macon, Georgia; Mrs. Margaret M. Elmore, Mrs. Anne McGruder and Mrs. Mary L. Briers of Montgomery, Alabama and Mrs. Mary V. Murray of Sunset, Louisiana.
Recipients of the Papal Decoration; Benemerenti Medal are John Carlton James of Lafayette, Louisiana; Edward James Ray of Sunset Louisiana; James B. Johnson of Birmingham, Alabama and Lou McRoyal, Los Angeles, California.
The Order has participated in the charitable appeals of many Catholic Institutions, Churches and made many noteworthy contributions to various Local, State and National Organizations including, but not limited to, The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Urban League, Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation, Xavier University Development and Expansion Fund, The Sister Thea Bowman Black Catholic Edu-cational Foundation and the International Alliance of Catholic Knights, The National Black Catholic Congress, National Black Clergy and National Black Sisters Conferences and the National Council of Negro Women.
National Conventions and Board Meetings have been held in the following places: