GARY | On his way to California in 1956, Dr. David D. Chube Sr., stopped in the Steel City to help out in Dr. Kenneth Washington’s medical practice. His visit turned into a nearly 60-year stay.
Chube, who has tended to thousands of patients in Gary’s central district since that time, received the prestigious Drum Major Award from the Gary Frontiers Service Club Inc. during Saturday’s 34th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast at the Genesis Convention Center.
Five other men and women who also set examples for community service and lead by example were honored as 2013 Marchers on Saturday for decades of improving the human condition.
Marcher Awards were presented to Rozelle Hammonds, pastor emeritus of Saints Home Church of God In Christ and owner of Esquire Men’s Shop; Dr. Marion J. Johnson Jr., pastor of Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church; veteran retired Gary police Officer Joseph Slay Jr.; Ann West-Walker, a teacher at Daniel Hale Williams Elementary School; and nurse and teacher Patricia Diana DeNeal.
The Marcher and Drum Major awards are named for the "Drum Major Instinct" sermon King gave on Feb. 4, 1968, at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church two months before he was assassinated. King talked about his funeral and the eulogy that might be given, and asked that he be remembered as a "drum major" for justice, peace and righteousness.
The Gary Frontiers Service Club is part of Frontiers International, a community service organization founded in 1936 by black professionals and businessmen in Columbus, Ohio. The Gary chapter was started in 1953 and today includes male and female business leaders, educators, social leaders and civic leaders.
Members are called Yokefellows “because we pull together, pull in the same direction. Service is what we do. Service is what we are,” said Oliver Gilliam, president of the Gary Frontiers Service Club.
“This is not just a casual attendance. We honor people involved in the struggle for human rights,” Gilliam said of those honored for more than 30 years of community service.
A number of representatives from the political and educational arenas spoke during the event, which celebrates the life and work of King.
In Washington, D.C., for President Barack Obama’s second inauguration, Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson delivered a recorded message to the hundreds gathered for the breakfast.
“Dr. King and President Obama encourage us to live up to our best as citizens,” said Freeman-Wilson, who received a Marcher award in 2011.
“Are we better off today than we were when Dr. King was alive?” asked Judge Calvin D. Hawkins of Lake County Superior Court Division 2 in East Chicago. “Dr. King had a vision, a purpose. I hope it will be our purpose, our life’s journey.”
Mary Brown substituted for Sheila Baker, president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc, Gary Alumnae Chapter, and told those gathered, “Dr. King reminded us that anybody can be important because anybody can serve.”