Dr. Solomon Wallace, 33o

Dr. Solomon Wallace was born on October 8th, 1928 in Raleigh, NC to Aycue and Eliza Wallace, and was one of eight children, and the last surviving sibling until his passing on March 30th, 2016 at Jamaica Medical Center.   Dr. Wallace was 87 years young and continued his mission of faith and family up until his passing to that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

As a native to the South and a true Carolinian, Dr. Wallace attended Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina.  While attending he became a member of one of the oldest African American Greek organizations; Omega Psi Phi Fraternity; and after graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree, he moved to New York to continue his studies at the City College of New York.

Shortly thereafter, he met and married the love of his life, Gloria Brown Wallace, and for more than 56 years they enjoyed an incredible life together, until her untimely passing. To this union was born one daughter, Mrs. Winnie Wallace-Morgan.

As a man of service, Dr. Wallace fought in the Korean conflict as a soldier in the US Army, and received an honorable discharge.  He continued the culture of service, most notably, through his superior performance as an Engineer with Mayer Malbin Company of Long Island, New York. He retired from the company after 28 years of service and was viewed as a beacon of light by the company.

Dr. Solomon Wallace is as important to Masonry as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was to the Civil Rights movement.

Dr. Wallace joined Samson Lodge No. 65 Prince Hall Affiliation, Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York in 1964, and was elected Worshipful Master in 1968. He is also a member and Past Patron of Gardenia Chapter No. 41, and an Honorary Past Grand Patron of Eureka Grand Chapter, Prince Hall Order Eastern Star, Incorporated (State of New York). In 1967, he was one of seven Prince Hall Masons who founded the Prince Hall Colonial Park Day Care Center, for children between the ages of two and five years old.

Between, 1983 to 1995, he was elected and served as the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge, State of New York. Under his dynamic leadership, he maintained a focus on improvement in the Masonic Order and for the youth.  During his tenure, he computerized the Grand Lodge, erected a 97-unit apartment complex for senior citizens and renovated what is known today as Camp Eureka into a Class “A” Camp for underprivileged children.  Additionally, Dr. Wallace was instrumental in attaining recognition of the “Two Grand Lodges” of the State of New York.

In August of 2006, Dr. Solomon Wallace became the Sovereign Grand Commander of the United Supreme Council, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Prince Hall Affiliation, Northern Jurisdiction United States of America, Incorporated, making him the first Sovereign Grand Commander to serve from New York in more than 100 years; in May 2007, he was elected to his first full term.

In 2012, Sovereign Grand Commander Wallace received the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, from Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, Ohio.  This honor typified the life of a humble man doing work to promote the Craft, his community, and most importantly his calling.

In November of 2013, Dr. Wallace was enshrined in the Halls of the Grand East with the unveiling of a Bronze plaque dedicated to his 13 years of service as The Most Worshipful Grand Master of the State of New York, and his tireless service to the Craft.  The plaque was erected from donations received throughout the State of New York and as part of an endeavor led by Charles Pryor and the Brothers of Samson Lodge No. 65.

On November 2014, Dr. Wallace, had the distinct honor of having a masonic lodge named, chartered, and dedicated in his namesake;Solomon Wallace Lodge No. 125, chartered under the administration of Most Worshipful Grand Master Dorian R. Glover in Syracuse, New York, to operate in the city of Watertown, NY.

May of 2015, a three-quarter bronze bust of Sovereign Grand Commander Wallace was unveiled in Chicago, IL, during the Annual Session. This memorial so emblematical of his work within the Northern Hemisphere and throughout the world is on permanent display at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The accomplishments of our Beloved Dr. Solomon Wallace are truly outstanding, numerous, and exemplary; serving as the basis for an iconic life. His life serves as a reminder of the need for both faith and work, and how the hand of God provides his blessings to a life full of accomplishments.  Below is an abridged list of some of those accomplishments, awards and acknowledgements.

Masonic Accomplishments

• Samson Lodge No. 65 – Raised 1964; Worshipful Master 1968
• Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Prince Hall Masons of the State of New York and its Jurisdictions from 1983 – 1995
• Sovereign Grand Commander 2007 – 2016
• Established the Grand Lodge of the Caribbean
• Computerized the Grand Lodge Office
• Erected a Senior Center, including a 97-unit apartment complex (the Solomon Wallace Building - Prince Hall Plaza) located adjacent to the Grand East of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge, 454 W. 155th Street, New York City.

• Founding member of the Prince Hall Colonial Park Day Care Center – 1967
• Erected a Class “A" Coed Sleep Away Camp (Camp Eureka) for underprivileged children (the only black owned and operated camp in New York State (at that time)) within the 965 acres of the Catskill Mountains in Roscoe, NY.
•  Instrumental in attaining recognition of the Grand Lodge of New York and MW Prince Hall Grand Lodge
•  Included sisters of the Prince Hall Order Eastern Star (State of New York) in the Benevolent Fund
• Purchased fleet of vans for transportation of Seniors and children served by the Day Care Center

•  Instituted the practice of serving dinners to the community on Thanksgiving and Christmas
• Initiated the Prince Hall scholarship program for college freshman and returning students
• Initiated the Grand Lodge Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration
• Fostered an unprecedented working relationship between the Grand Lodge of New York and the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of New York
• Was influential in expanding the profile of Prince Hall Masonry in bringing numerous men into the Craft, including but not limited to, the following well known brothers:

- Rev. Dr. Calvin Butts (Pastor-Abyssinian Baptist Church & President of Old Westbury College)

- Congressman Charles Rangel (Congressional Black Caucus & Chair, House Ways and Means Committee)

- Rev. AI Sharpton (National Action Network and MSNBC)

- The Honorable David Dinkins, first black Mayor of New York City

- Rev. Jesse Jackson (Rainbow/PUSH Coalition)

-  Dr. Louis Sullivan (Presidential Cabinet Member and Secretary of Health and Human Services).


Awards and Acknowledgements

•  Humanitarian Award - American Red Cross, Harlem Service Center, New York Chapter
• National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
• Recognized by Ebony Magazine as one of "America's 150 most influential Leaders"
• The Neighborhood Artist Program
• The National Assault on Illiteracy Program
• Man of the Year Award New York City Chamber of Commerce
• Life Membership Award- Improved Benevolent Protective Order of Elks of the World
• Citizen Service Award- Jamaica Service Program for Older Adults
• Recipient of the Paul Robeson Humanitarian Award from Mother Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church of Harlem
• Cited as “A Man among Men” by Western Consistory #28 when elected as Grand Minister of State for the United Supreme Council
• Featured by the PHYLAXIS Society Magazine (1986 and 2006)
• Selected in 1987 as the PHYLAXIS Society’s “Man of the Year”
• Recipient of the “Distinguished Achievement Award” from the Grand Lodge of New York (The highest honor the Grand Lodge confers)
• Friends of Harlem Hospital - During his tenure, he helped this charity successfully obtain a $100,000.00 gift for their Pediatric Wing from philanthropist, Dr. Camille H. Crosby.
• Gold Medal Award - Top Honor of the United Supreme Council (Prince Hall Affiliation)
• Mentoring program that serves young people in 8 states and charitable acts exceeding a value of $90K a year benefiting the United Negro College Fund and other non-profits in New York and across the nation

Dr. Wallace lived a life of service, to his God, to his country, to his family, to his work, to the community, and to the body of Masonry. A devout Christian and ordained deacon for the New Jerusalem Baptist Church, Dr. Wallace credited all his successes to our Heavenly Father, to whom he dedicated his life.  He was truly a man who throughout his life walked by faith and not by sight.

Dr. Wallace is survived by his devoted nephew, Wilton Larry Wallace, daughter Winnie (Phillip) Morgan; nephews Michael L. (Donna) Ransdell, Albert L. Wallace, Jr., Arthur Wallace, and Reginald E. Wallace; nieces Tracy Hicks (Dwane) Branch and Vanessa Roberson-Powell; cousins Odesa Wilbon Williams, and a host of other relatives, friends, and the masonic family throughout the world. We will truly miss such an iconic man among men, but we will never forget his contributions and dedication to the service of God and community.

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