Platta Temple No. 15 is privileged to be based in a very old city. Having been under French, Spanish and American possession and influences, its culture has always been diverse. As a major seaport city bustling with activity, many Negroes of early times were free men of color, some never having been enslaved, had acquired property and tangible goods.
Platta Temple No. 15 was incorporated November 8, 1904, here in New Orleans. Dedicated, committed, proud free men of color are carrying on the mission of our order handed down from men with hope, energy, vision and untiring effort; Platta Temple No. 15 survived the difficult challenges that many faced prior to the Supreme Court Decision, June 3, 1929. It has survived the Great Depression, Military Wars and conflicts, the Civil Rights Era, always continuously supporting the cause of equality for all.
As we look over the roster of the Illustrious Potentate and reflect on the leadership provided for Platta Temple No. 15 and its many activities over the years, we are thankful and humbled by the bountiful and divine grace that continues to carry us day to day. We have been truly blessed and continue to acknowledge it everyday.
Over the years Platta Temple No. 15 activities have included distributing toys for the Times-Picayune Doll & Toy Fund, Can Shakes for the annual March of Dimes/ Easter Seal Foundation; Can shake for National Diabetes Association; Can Shakes for the Sickle Cell Anemia Telethons in New Orleans and in Houma LA; and clown performances at the Children’s Hospital, the Prince Hall Legal Fund, and the NAACP.
Shrine clubs include the Bogalusa Shrine Club, first headed by R.O. Lucas, which has now evolved into the Bogalusa/North Shore Shrine Club; the West Side Shrine Club, first headed by Andrew T. Robinson; the Houma Shrine Club, first headed by Clarence Holmes; the Motor Patrol, first headed by Clifford Magee and David Crier; the Dune Buggy Patrol, first headed by William J. Harris; and the Grenadier Club, presently inactive; The World Champion Bicycle Unit first headed by HPP Herbert Dunbar.
In addition to the Illustrious Potentates, we can recall many Nobles’ contributions to Platta Temple No. 15 and the Nobility. Among them, the deceased Noble Richard A. Theodore, Sr. who joined Platta Temple No. 15 in April of 1916 and was very active in the support of litigation leading to the Supreme Court Decision of June 3, 1929. He served this Temple for 66 years and was an Honorary Past Potentate. Robert J. Vanhook, Jr. long time, Recorder and an Honorary Past Imperial Potentate, Marcus Neusadter, Publicity and an Honorary Past Imperial Potentate, Earle L. Bradford, Grandmaster and an Honorary Past Imperial Potentate, Howard J. Turner, Jr., Publicity, Imperial Deputy of the Desert and an Honorary Past Imperial Potentate, Oliver P. Aaron, Imperial Marshall. All of the above have been called home by the Black Camel of Death.
Presently, Frederick Bell, Imperial Convention Director; Richard A. Theodore, Jr., Imperial Deputy of the Oasis Emeritus; Jackie Robinson, Imperial Deputy of the Oasis; Percy Dunbar, Imperial Deputy Motor Patrol; Warren Spears, Imperial Director of Media and Publicity Emeritus; Ben Hanchett, Imperial Deputy Cashier; Herbert Dunbar, Imperial Deputy Bicycle Department; and Patrick Williams, Imperial Deputy Chanter of the Koran.
As a Temple in the Deep South we have steadily increased our level of participation in the Imperial Council activities including becoming a highly favored City (Oasis) to convene the Annual Session.
It is our resolve to move forth for the betterment of Platta Temple No. 15 and to magnify its impact within the greater community.