Article II of the Constitution and Bylaws of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated describes the Fraternity’s purpose, as follows:
- Stimulate the attainment of ideals and ambitions of its members;
- Disseminate and inculcate those ideals among those with whom its member come in contact;
- Cooperate with the schools where its chapters may be located in fostering these ideals;
- Occupy a progressive, helpful and constructive place in the civic and political life, domestically, and internationally;
- Prepare its members for greater usefulness in causes of humanity, freedom, and dignity of the individual; and,
- Aid down-trodden humanity in its effort to achieve higher social, economic, and intellectual status.
Exemplary in the execution of the Fraternity’s purpose was our 5th Third District Representative, Brother Hillary H. Jones, Jr., who served from 1956-1958. Brother Jones was a long time member of Lambda Omega chapter and pillar in Norfolk, VA community. He was a consequential advocate for civil rights and public education throughout the State of Virginia who made history as the first African American member of the Norfolk School Board (1963) and first African American member of the Virginia State Board of Education (1969).
What is in a name? Hilary is derived from the Latin word “hilarius,” meaning propitious, gracious, joyful, and funny. Upon Jones’s passing in 1975, Frances N. Crenshaw, chairman of the Norfolk School Board at the time Brother Jones became the first African American member, said Jones “had a warm personality and a sense of humor that helped bridge some gaps in attitude that existed when he joined.” Vincent J. Thomas, then chairman of the State Board of Education, described Brother Jones as an outstanding state board member. “His judgment was very good and he represented the black position very responsibly and very forthrightly.”
Although Brother Jones entered Omega chapter after only 52 years of love, leadership, and service, his legacy was increased and sweetened by his wife, Corrine Davis Jones, and honored in the labors of his three sons, Hilary H. Jones III (Gamma Epsilon 1971), Jerrauld C. Jones, and Darryl C. Jones. The Jones family continues to be a force in Norfolk and throughout the state. Perhaps most notable is the current campaign by Jay Jones for Virginia Attorney General in 2021 (see link 8 below). Jay Jones is Brother Hilary H. Jones, Jr.’s grandson.
In addition to the attached article that appeared in the Fall 1975 Oracle, please make time to visit these uplifting online resources:
Also check out this recent petition to rename three Norfolk schools previously named with confederate names (https://www.boarddocs.com/vsba/nps/Board.nsf/files/BRR2W904216B/$file/Historic%20Name%20Changes%20to%20our%20Norfolk%20Schools.pdf). The petition proposes renaming one of the three schools after Brother Hilary H. Jones, Jr.
A quick note about last week’s Monday Pearl featuring Brother James “Beanie” Butcher’s nine days at sea. The committee has since learned that Brother Butcher was the husband of Margaret Just Butcher, daughter of Founder Ernest Everet Just. The two were married for 10 years (1949-1959).
Make it a great week Brothers. Be noble!
3rd District History and Archives Committee
The Monday Pearl is provided by the Third District History and Archives Committee and is a weekly sharing of fraternity content, commentary, and research of historical value we hope Brothers will enjoy and from which Brothers will draw inspiration. Previous “Pearls” can be found at https://3rddistrictques.org/about-us/overview/monday-pearl/. The Committee encourages your feedback. Should you have reactions, comments, information, anecdotes, documents, and the like, related to any of the content we share, we’d very much like to hear from you. Please send all communication to email@example.com.