James "Rocky" Dallas
The Masonic order is much like a beautifully crafted diamond, laced with many facets—one of which is said to be the ability of bringing together men of every country, sect and opinion, without which might otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance.
Without the Phylaxis Society, the research society founded in 1973 by our late Brother Joseph A. Walkes, Jr., which is wholly devoted to the research of Prince Hall Masonry and the unselfish impartation of Masonic light, I personally, probably along with others here this evening, may never have crossed paths with our worthy brother whom we honor here tonight.
James “Rocky” Dallas, who could well be termed, Mr. Humility, instead of Brother Dallas or even Doctor Dallas, for he has an earned doctorate degree in philosophy from the University of Northern Colorado, unceremoniously goes about his day, willingly assisting others, in any manner possible, whenever and wherever he can.
His complete biography is far too extensive for me to even attempt to share with you in detail, but it is however my proud pleasure, to touch upon a few of his many achievements, which more than justify his recognition here this evening.
Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, the fifth of seven siblings, after completing high school, joined the navy, later transferring to the United States Air Force, where he served with distinguished valor, earning for himself the coveted air medal, along with the bronze star, which incidentally is the third highest military award that can be awarded by the United States government, for bravery and meritorious service.
He joined Masonry in 1951 while still on active duty, and after having affiliated with several jurisdictions, he ultimately came to rest in the jurisdiction of Washington where he has carved out an impressive and memorable Masonic mark.
In 1951 he married Alender Hadley, and from that union were born three children, ultimately blessing their parents with four grand children. After concluding his military career, he was employed by and retired from the State of Washington’s Child Protective Services, and even though he has always placed in the forefront of his life his family and service to Miles Memorial CME Church, where he serves as a trustee as well as Sunday school superintendent and teacher, he has still found time to make the following contribution to the Masonic order:
- Past Master of his lodge
- Past Patron of his Eastern Star Chapter
- Past Grand Worthy Patron of the jurisdiction
- Past Worthy Joshua
- Past Grand High Priest, HRAM
- Past Grand Eminent Commander, Knights Templar
- Honorary Past Grand Master of Oklahoma
- Past Eminent Prior
- Grand Inspector General, 33?
- President, Northwest Chapter – Phylaxis Society
- Recipient – Jno G. Lewis Medal Of Excellence
- Past Commander – American Legion Post #222
- Life member NAACP, and a
- Life member of Blacks in Government
Again, I place emphasis on the fact, that I have merely touched upon a portion of his worthy achievements, but the one which I was probably most intrigued, was the fact that he was quite a boxer in his day, and after repeatedly serving up knockout blows to his opponents, he was soon dubbed “Rocky,” after the heavyweight champion, “Rocky” Marciano.
It is important to emphasize, that in 1980, when Joe Walkes was searching for something—beyond the Jno. G. Lewis Medal Of Excellence—that would speak to an individual’s exemplary dedication of self to service of family, church, community, country, fraternity and beyond, in spite of his most vocal protest, it was the unanimous decision of the Society, that Joe himself, should and must be the first recipient, with his picture appearing on the cover of the next issue of the magazine. Thus, as history would have it, the award was born. Now, in an effort to place the significance of this honor in its proper perspective, it becomes further noteworthy to mention that in the last thirty years, only eighteen awardees have been selected, which makes this honor, in my mind, even that much more prestigious.
With this having been said, please join in the recognition of the 2010 selection/awardee by the Phylaxis Society for their Man of the Year in the person of James “Rocky” Dallas.
Presentation made at Session in Pine Bluff, Arkansas by:
Edward B. Darnell, FPS-H (Life)
March 6, 2010