“We’re the best in Texas, yes we are.” “They come to watch us from afar.” (or something like that)
Left, left, left, right, left…to the right – MARCH…Halt, one, two…Right face…about face…forward march… to the rear march…
Such was a tiny micro example of the precision marching of the Lone Star Guild Drill Teams that I witnessed at Prince Hall Texas’ recent York Rite Conclave. Now I know of men’s Knight Templar drill teams but I have never heard of or seen women within Freemasonry performing within drill teams. Then again I haven’t been a York Rite member or a Prince Hall Mason for a long time either.
I don’t know for sure but I’m going to bet that my Mainstream Brethren have never heard of this. But it does go to show what a Masonic family is all about. In Prince Hall’s it means meeting with the female Bodies in the same building at the same time and coming together for some common functions and some good times. Luncheons, banquets, social mixers, yearly allocutions, awards ceremonies and installations are gender mixed. This builds a strong bond between the men’s side and the women’s side. And it provides strong cross support going both ways.
The Lone Star Guild Drill Teams Performances was one more thing that brought the
Prince Hall Family together. And it was a real morale booster. I left feeling really inspired and confident that my fraternity was going to do great things in the future. This sense of solidarity is a vital component of a healthy, growing, motivational Freemasonry and one that should be emulated elsewhere.
Grand Princess Captain R. Lucille Samuel was responsible for the creation of the Texas Guild’s drill teams and she will further educate us on how they came about and what they do.
LONE STAR GRAND GUILD
R. LUCILLE SAMUEL
GRAND PRINCESS CAPTAIN
In February of 2006 I was elected as the Grand Princess Captain of the Lone Star Grand Guild of Texas. It was not until 2008 when I traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina that I came up with an idea. At the Annual International Grand Encampment and International Grand Court of Cyrene Crusaders Session I saw men and women Drill Team competitions. At the time the Right Eminent Grand Commander of Texas, Tony M. Moore had a men’s drill team. There were only two members at this time but they stole the show.
Being a Retired Army Veteran I thought this could be a piece of cake as well as so much fun for the Guilds to compete in Texas. Little did I know we would go on to the International Session and bring home 1st Place 2 years continuously.
When I returned to Texas, I sent out an email with the Drill Guidelines to all the Princess Captains and Special Deputies. Each Guild Drill Team was to perform at the 2009 Grand Conclave in Killeen, Texas. The Drill Team that competed was South Central Guild #39 of Killeen, Texas. We were the host for the International Grand Encampment that year in Ft Worth, Texas. South Central Guild placed first and became the 2009 International Grand Champions.
In 2010 we had two more Drill Teams to emerge at the Texas Grand Conclave in Houston giving us a total of 3. They were Heart of Texas #38 of Temple Texas, South Central Guild #39 of Killeen, Texas, R. Lucille Samuel Guild #41 of Waxahachie, Texas. At the International Session in Memphis, Tennessee all 3 Guilds placed. 4th Place R. Lucille Guild #41, 3rd Place South Central Guild #39 of Killeen, Texas and the 2010 International Grand Drill Team Champions Heart of Texas Guild #38!
In 2011 because there were no Teams Registered for competition in Baton Rouge, Heart of Texas Guild #38 remain the reigning International Grand Champions.
In February 2012 these 3 Drill Teams met again at our Texas Annual Grand Conclave in Dallas. South Central Guild #39 (Valiant Ladies) are the Texas State Champs once again!
As you can see each Drill Team is unique in their own uniforms and styles of Drill and Entertainment. It takes a lot of hard work, practice and dedication to ensure each member of the Drill Team is on the same step and beat as the others. The Drill Teams have been watched and evaluated by myself and other Veterans or Sir Knights. It is a competition but the most important thing is that they perform together as “ONE”.
The Drill Team Competition not only brings notoriety throughout the State and Nation but it gives these ladies a sense of pride and builds their self-esteem to compete in public. It builds camaraderie among the Guild members and hopefully will encourage other members to form Drill Teams for their Guilds. We have 12 Guilds in the state of Texas. I am very proud of each and every member. It is my dream that one day each Guild will have their own Drill Team. “DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS!”
Please do not hesitate to contact Grand Princess Captain Samuel at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell her what you think.