By Tricia Hall
The Truth Reporter
The community celebrated at the 56th annual Commandress Ball of the Daughters of Mecca Court No. 73 on Saturday, October 21.
In annual ball tradition honors the current and past Commandress. The 2023 Illustrious Commandress is Dt. Dianna Johnson and past honorees were: Past Illustrious Commandress Dt. Wanda Terrell-Galloway of 2022, Dt. Rita Brown of 2021, Dt. Teronica Betts of 2020, and Dt. Barbara Brown of 2021.
The Commandress Ball opened with comments from the Mistress of Ceremonies Dt. Debbie Dean Mitchell and Past Commandress 2010, procession of honorees and dignitaries, singing of the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance, welcome and presentation of Temples, Courts and dignitaries was completed by Deputy for the Oasis and Past Commandress Dt. Lena Davis, singing of Lift Every Voice and Sing, and also the invocation and conclusion benediction was completed by High Priestess Dt. Clerissa Criswell.
“Good evening everyone. I am grateful to see all of you and to serve as your mistress of ceremonies,” shared Dt. Mitchell.
“I hope all of you enjoy your stay thus far and enjoy yourselves this evening. Thank you,” shared Dt. Davis.
The celebration concluded with the reception and introduction of Past Commandresses Dt. Barbara Brown who was escorted by Noble Eric Summers, Dt. G. Rita Brown who was escorted by her son Adrian Brown, and Dt. Wanda Galloway who was escorted by her husband Steve Galloway. The crowd then received and celebrated the 2023 Illustrious Commandress Dt. Diana Johnson.
Dt. Johnson became a member of Mecca Court #73 in 2013, has chaired several community-service projects, associate member of Palestine Court #49 the Oasis of Mobile the desert of Alabama. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Lourdes University, another Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Toledo and associate degree in law enforcement from Owens College. She is a certified Physical Fitness Instructor and Defense Driving Instructor with the Ohio Peace Training Academy in London. She has an extensive criminal justice career and in her spare time volunteers at the Zablocki Senior enter, member of the Refreshing Place and member of the Democratic Women in Action Club.
“This is our annual ball of Mecca Court and I am honored to serve as Commandress. The ball celebrates the current Commandress and past Commandress as well. People should understand that Mecca Court is all about charity. We donate to shelters, schools, senior programs and our community at large. In that same spirit of charity, giving and helping others is very important to me. I’ve volunteer at Zablocki Senior Center and served the community throughout my career by acting as a Liaison for the victims and witness program, assisting victims of violent crimes with filing reparation applications and preparing them for court proceedings and just helping my community with public assistance applications. Mecca Court has been and will continued to be involved in our local Toledo community by promoting charity and benevolence within the community and within our state,” shared Commandress Dt. Johnson.
The occasion concluded with remarks presented by Illustrious Potentate of Mecca Temple No. 43 Noble Darryl Blair, Imperial Deputy for the Desert of Ohio and Past Commandress Dt. Stephanie Strawbridge, Imperial Court 2nd Ceremonial Daughter and Past Commandress Dt. Lisa Bonds.
Mecca Court No. 73 has served from the Toledo, Ohio for decades. The organization stresses and focuses on the development of powerful leaders, encourages health awareness and career planning among youth and adults, provides services to help disabled and senior citizens, provides for effective networking among its members and other organizations, recognizes and celebrates the historic and current achievements of African American women, exerts positive influence, and utilizes role models for youth, teenage mothers, high school and college students. The organization of 12 Courts in its inception has grown to over 200 Courts located in the United States, Canada, The Bahamas, Germany, Italy and Japan. Mecca Court No 73 has 64 members and has been instrumental in community involvement over the years.