Alamo City Ques at 80: Our Story
Written By: Jeremy Neal & Scott L. Earle, Sr.
November 1, 2020, will mark 80 years of service to the Alamo City by Psi Alpha Chapter. In 1940, eight professional men from varied careers ranging from four educators, a dentist, a civil servant, a physician, and a businessman who had become members of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated during their college years, decided that the time was right to form a Graduate Chapter here in the City of San Antonio. They were as young as 24 years of age to 49 years of age. They all had attended Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) due to segregation in the United States at that time in history. Some were raised in the city, some from the state of Texas, one from Georgia, and one from Virginia. After compiling all of the necessary information and paperwork and complying with the National Body’s Guidelines, the Local Chapter was chartered by the Supreme Council of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated on November 1, 1940, and given the name Psi Alpha. The Charter members were: Brothers Dr. W. V. Hurd DDS, S. D. Kane, Dr. M. L. Preacher, Joseph Paul Chretien, Ernest M. Foxx, Valmo Charles Bellinger, Dr. Richard Kidd, and G. P. Inge, Jr. Brother S.D. Kane was our first Basileus (president).
These men were influential in the community and were known more for just bringing Omega Psi Phi to the Alamo City. All eight men did a great deal in the City but three had a substantial impact. Brother Dr. Hurd, a WWI veteran, was much respected in his field and at the time as the only individual to serve as President of the Gulf State Dental Association of Texas twice, once in the 1940s and again in the late 1950s. He served as the past president of the Lone Star State Medical, Dental, and Pharmaceutical Association, and a former board member of the National Dentist Association. He also, chaired and was a member of various boards at the National Dentist Association.
Brother G.P. Inge, Jr., a WWI veteran, was a believer in the philosophy of progressive education and served as principal of Phillis Wheatley High School from 1941 to 1963. During the 22 years as the leader of one of the largest segregated schools in the state, he graduated record numbers of students, and their sports teams dominated the states segregated schools in the Prairie View Interscholastic League, and they all knew they could compete with predominantly Anglo institutions. Brother Inge Jr. instituted the “No Pass No Play” rule for athletes during his tenure at the school before it was passed at the state level.
Brother Valmo Charles Bellinger was a prominent businessman and political party boss who also was the editor of the San Antonio Register. Founded by Valmo, the paper began printing in 1931, running without interruption for 47 years. Though its initial goal was preserving the political influence of Bellinger’s father, the paper later focused on local, state, and national news of specific concern to San Antonio’s African-American community. Valmo hired his future wife Josephine who assisted him in making the newspaper a success. Valmo donated an archive of the San Antonio Register to the University of Texas at San Antonio’s John Peace Library in 1979. The archive consisted of 22,000 issues and offered an almost complete run of issues from 1945 to 1978. If you ever have a chance to look over these archives, the Psi Alpha History coupled with the Black History of South Texas is remarkable. There are virtually no complete collections of black newspapers in the southwest and only two or three in the entire United States. Many of the articles written were published in Jet and Ebony magazines along with major newspapers reprinting the stories originating in the Register.
Currently, Psi Alpha Chapter has a total of 170 members. Psi Alpha Chapter’s Basileus, Brother Jimmie E. McMillion, has held this role for the past three years. “The Psi Alpha Chapter has been a pillar in the San Antonio community for 80 years. The Omega Men of Psi Alpha in San Antonio have been leaders in various occupations such as business, engineering, education, law, and medicine for many years,” McMillon stated. Our Psi Alpha Chapter historical note to mention is that in the late 1960s, Bro. Warren Eusan, WWII Army Air Corp and Tuskegee Airman Veteran, Theta Chapter ’39, was the driving force that brought the IHQ 47th Conclave to San Antonio which was the key focal point to break down discrimination in the San Antonio Area, becoming the first southern city to fully integrate. In the past years, the Psi Alpha Chapter has brought back a lot of IHQ recognition:
Brother Greg Thompson (Chairman of the Alamo City Black Chamber of Commerce): International Omega Man of the Year in the early 2000s
Brother Brandon Logan (Former President of the Rotary Club of San Antonio): IHQ Citizen of the Year in 2015
Brother Lionel Lyde: IHQ Colonel Charles Young Award Winner in 2017
Ms. Breanna Toney (Represented by Psi Alpha): Winner of the IHQ International Essay Contest in 2016
The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated has 10 International Mandated Programs: Achievement Week, Scholarship, Social Action, Talent Hunt Program, Memorial Service, Reclamation and Retention, College Endowment Fund, Health Initiatives, Voter Registration Education & Mobilization, and NAACP. In the Omega Year, which runs from November-October; several of these programs have been key highlights in Psi Alpha Chapter for the 2019-2020 year.
Scholarship: The Psi Alpha Scholarship Foundation awarded a total of $32,300 in scholarships and grants. A total of 20 seniors in the San Antonio Area were awarded scholarships totaling $30,000.
Talent Hunt Program: Psi Alpha Chapter awarded $1500 in scholarships as Ms. Zora Dickson, a junior and Bexar County Home School Student with a 4.0 GPA, walked away with winning honors.
Reclamation and Retention: Psi Alpha Chapter was awarded the Mighty 9th District Reclamation Large Graduate Chapter of the Year.
Fatherhood Initiative: Psi Alpha Chapter was announced as the winner of the best Fatherhood Initiative in the Mighty 9th District. For this mention, President Dr. David Marion awarded the chapter a $5000 award.
These programs were led by our Vice President, Brother George Mayers, who will transition into the role of President on November 5th as Brother McMillion’s award-winning 3-year term is up.
Psi Alpha Chapter will celebrate their 80th year serving the city on Sunday, November 1st. The day will begin with Brothers visiting the gravesites of the Charter Members who are laid to the rest in the city from 12 PM – 3 PM. The effort will be split into teams of 3 to maintain social distancing. From 5 PM – 7 PM, a Virtual Celebration over Zoom will be held where Brothers will be able to have a meal and socialize as we go through the program. During the program, Brothers from the 40s to the present will discuss the Charter members’ influence on them and any experiences they may have had with the Charter line.
Psi Alpha Chapter recently celebrated our beloved Godfather, Brother Earl Campbell, on October 25th with a drive-by celebration where over 45 vehicles lined up beeping our horns and watching him smile and wave to us as he celebrated 95 years of life. Brother Campbell, a 1944 initiate of the Epsilon Sigma Chapter at Tillotson College which is now Huston-Tillotson University, also celebrated 76 years of serving Omega on October 17, 2020. He was recently interviewed by the Psi Alpha Fatherhood Initiative Committee, where he provided a toolbox of knowledge in speaking on the importance of fatherhood. A point in the interview was when Brother Campbell was asked, “Out of the 4 F’s Faith, Family, Fellowship, and Friendship, which was most important and why? Brother Campbell replied, “Faith is the most important. All of us must have faith in God. He is our creator, having that faith means that fellowship, friendship, and loyalty will follow. In life, whatever we encounter, our faith is the most important thing that we have. Love your neighbor as yourself! (Mark 12:31) If you live by that creed alone…you will certainly live a great life and our lives will be so much better.”
A Call for Conservation
City of San Antonio opens cooling centers as ERCOT calls for conservation through the week
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has called on the state to conserve power through Friday, June 18, 2021.
“With ERCOT calling for conservation and higher temperatures approaching, I want to encourage our residents to utilize these cooling centers if they need to seek safety from the heat. If you need assistance, please call 311,” said City Manager Erik Walsh.
To conserve energy at home, CPS Energy recommends that customers:
- Set thermostats 2 to 3 degrees higher from 2 – 7 p.m.; set programmable thermostats to higher temperatures when no one is home. The optimum energy-saving temperature is 78 degrees.
- Avoid using large appliances (i.e. ovens, washing machines, etc.), especially during peak demand hours.
- Use fans to feel 4 to 6 degrees cooler. Remember: fans cool people by moving air across the skin. They don’t cool rooms and should be turned off in empty rooms.
- Set pool pumps to run early morning or overnight; shutoff from 4 – 6 p.m.
- Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.
- Close shades and blinds on windows exposed to direct sunlight.
- Charge electric vehicles after 9 p.m.
The City of San Antonio has opened the following locations as cooling centers. The City of San Antonio has opened the following locations as cooling centers. Service animals (as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act) are allowed in City Cooling Centers. As required by law, residents should always provide pets with protection from the sun, a shelter that includes three walls, a raised floor and roof as well as food and fresh water daily.
Residents in need of transportation assistance can contact 311 for assistance. Those with medical needs and in need of assistance should also call 311 for arrangements.
Locations and hours of operation are below:
|Bazan Library||2200 W Commerce St||Closed||12pm-8pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||1pm-6pm|
|Brook Hollow Library||530 Heimer Rd||Closed||12pm-8pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm|
|Carver Library||3350 E Commerce St||Closed||12pm-8pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm|
|Cody Library||11441 Vance Jackson Rd||Closed||12pm-8pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm|
|Collins Garden Library||200 N Park Blvd||Closed||12pm-8pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||1pm-6pm|
|Cortez Library||2803 Hunter Blvd||Closed||12pm-8pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||1pm-6pm|
|Encino Library||2515 E Evans Rd||Closed||12pm-8pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm|
|Great Northwest Library||9050 Wellwood St||Closed||12pm-8pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm|
|Guerra Library||7978 Military Drive West||Closed||12pm-8pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||1pm-6pm|
|Igo Library||13330 Kyle Seale Pkwy||Closed||12pm-8pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm|
|Johnston Library||6307 Sun Valley Dr||Closed||12pm-8pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm|
|Landa Library||233 Bushnell Ave||Closed||12pm-8pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm|
|Las Palmas Library||515 Castroville Rd||Closed||12pm-8pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||1pm-6pm|
|Maverick Library||8700 Mystic Park||Closed||12pm-8pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm|
|Mission Library||3134 Roosevelt Ave||Closed||12pm-8pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||1pm-6pm|
|Pan American Library||1122 W. Pyron Ave||Closed||12pm-8pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||1pm-6pm|
|Parman Library at Stone Oak||20735 Wilderness Oak||Closed||12pm-8pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm|
|San Pedro Library||1315 San Pedro Ave||Closed||12pm-8pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm|
|Schaefer Library||6322 US HWY 87 E||Closed||12pm-8pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm|
|Semmes Library||15060 Judson Rd||Closed||12pm-8pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm|
|Thousand Oaks Library||4618 Thousand Oaks Dr||Closed||12pm-8pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm|
|Tobin Library at Oakwell||4134 Harry Wurzbach||Closed||12pm-8pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm|
|Westfall Library||6111 Rosedale Ct||Closed||12pm-8pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||10am-6pm||1pm-6pm|
|James Bode Community Center||901 Rigsby Ave||3pm-9pm||3pm-9pm||3pm-9pm||3pm-9pm||3pm-7pm||1pm-5pm|
|Commanders House Adult and Senior Center||622 S Flores||8am-5pm||8am-5pm||8am-5pm||8am-5pm||8am-5pm||Closed|
|Copernicus Community Center||5003 Lord Rd||7:30 am-7:00 pm||7:30 am-7:00 pm||7:30 am-7:00 pm||7:30 am-7:00 pm||7:30 am-7:00 pm||10am-4pm|
|Dawson Community Center||2500 E Commerce||Closed||2pm-9pm||2pm-9pm||2pm-9pm||2pm-7pm||9am-5pm|
|Denver Heights Community Center||300 Porter St||Closed||Closed||Closed||Closed||Closed||Closed|
|Dorie Miller Community Center||2802 Martin Luther King Dr||Closed||Closed||Closed||Closed||Closed||Closed|
|Fairchild Recreation Center||1214 E Crockett St||3:30pm-8:00pm||3:30 pm-8:30 pm||9am-12pm & 3:30pm-8:00pm||3:30 pm-8:30 pm||9am-12pm & 3:30pm-8pm||9am-3pm|
|Father Roman Community Center||11030 Ruidosa St||Closed||Closed||Closed||Closed||Closed||Closed|
|Garza Community Center||5627 Mira Vista||7:30 am-7:00 pm||7:30 am-7:00 pm||7:30 am-7:00 pm||7:30 am-7:00 pm||7:30 am-7:00 pm||10am-4pm|
|Gill Community Center||7902 Westshire||8am-5pm||8am-5pm||8am-5pm||8am-5pm||8am-5pm||Closed|
|Granados Adult and Senior Center||500 Freiling Dr||Closed||Closed||Closed||Closed||Closed||Closed|
|Hamilton Community Center||10700 Nacogdoches Rd||7:30 am-5:30 pm||7:30 am-9pm||7:30 am-5:30 pm||7:30 am-9pm||7:30 am-5:30 pm||9am-5pm|
|Harlandale Community Center||301 Sussex Ave||2pm-9pm||2pm-9pm||2pm-9pm||2pm-9pm||2pm-7pm||9am-5pm|
|Lincoln Community Center||2915 E Commerce St||3pm-9pm||3pm-9pm||3pm-9pm||3pm-9pm||3pm-7pm||11am-3pm|
|Lions Field Adult & Senior Citizens Center||2809 Broadway St||8am-5pm||8am-5pm||8am-5pm||8am-5pm||8am-5pm||Closed|
|Melendrez Community Center||5909 W Commerce St||2pm-9pm||2pm-9pm||2pm-9pm||2pm-9pm||2pm-7pm||9am-5pm|
|Miller’s Pond Community Center||6075 Old Pearsall Rd||2pm-9pm||2pm-9pm||2pm-9pm||2pm-9pm||2pm-7pm||9am-5pm|
|Normoyle Community Center & Senior Center||700 Culberson Ave||2pm-9pm||2pm-9pm||2pm-9pm||2pm-9pm||2pm-7pm||9am-5pm|
|Palm Heights Community Center||1201 W Malone Ave||7:30 am-7 pm||7:30 am-7:00 pm||7:30 am-7:00 pm||7:30 am-7:00 pm||7:30 am-7 pm||10am-4pm|
|San Juan Community Center||2307 S Calaveras||2pm-9pm||2pm-9pm||2pm-9pm||2pm-9pm||2pm-7pm||9am-5pm|
|South San Community Center||2031 Quintana Rd||7:30 am-5:30 pm||7:30 am-9pm||7:30 am-5:30 pm||7:30 am-9pm||7:30 am-5:30 pm||1pm-5pm|
|Southside Lions Community Center||3100 Hiawatha Dr||7:30 am-7:00 pm||7:30 am-7:00 pm||7:30 am-7:00 pm||7:30 am-7:00 pm||7:30 am-7:00 pm||10am-4pm|
|Tobin Community Center||1900 W Martin||Closed||Closed||Closed||Closed||Closed||Closed|
|Ward Community Center||435 E Sunshine||2pm-9pm||2pm-9pm||2pm-9pm||2pm-9pm||2pm-7pm||9am-5pm|
|Woodard Community Center||1011 Locke St||2pm-9pm||2pm-9pm||2pm-9pm||2pm-9pm||2pm-7pm||9am-5pm|
|Alicia Trevino Lopez Senior Center||8353 Culebra Rd||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||Closed|
|Claude Black Community Center (District 2)||2805 E Commerce St||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||Closed||1pm-6pm|
|District 2 Senior Center||1751 S WW White Rd||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||Closed|
|District 5 Senior Center||2701 S Presa St||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||Closed|
|Doris Griffin Senior Center||6154 NW Loop 410||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||Closed|
|Frank Garrett Multi-Service Center||1226 NW 18th St||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||Closed||1pm-6pm|
|Northeast Senior Center||4135 Thousand Oaks||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||Closed|
|West End Park Comprehensive Senior Center||1226 NW 18th St||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||Closed|
|Bob Ross Senior Center||2219 Babcock Rd,||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||Closed||1pm-6pm|
|Southside Lions Senior Center||3303 Pecan Valley Dr||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||7am-4pm||Closed||1pm-6pm|
Text COSAGOV to 55000 to receive updates and information
City Budget- Your Input Is Important
City of San Antonio invites residents to participate in virtual FY 2022 budget telephone town hall meetings
The City of San Antonio will host two virtual telephone town hall meetings to inform the public about the Fiscal Year 2022 budget development process, answer public questions and gather input. The virtual meetings will include telephone town hall features, which allow residents to register in advance and receive a call when it’s time to join the event. City Manager Erik Walsh, Deputy City Manager Maria Villagomez and Budget Director Scott Huizenga will lead the public meeting.
The meetings will be held Tuesday, June 22 and Wednesday, June 23 at 6 p.m. Residents can register here to participate at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FY2022telephonemtg. Registration closes three hours prior to each event.
“Telephone town hall meetings are a convenient way to hear directly from our residents, from the comfort of their homes. Each of our residents leads a busy life, whether that’s tending to their families, commuting to and from work, balancing schoolwork, or other priorities. These telephone town hall events allow the public to participate wherever they are,” said City Manager Erik Walsh. “The annual budget process sets the framework for our work in the community and our strategic goals.”
The City also opened a brief budget survey, which will remain open through June 21, 2021. The survey gives residents the opportunity to weigh in on their service priorities, as well as share their thoughts on restoring programming from budget cuts made in FY 2020 and FY 2021. City residents can take the survey on www.saspeakup.com or by texting SASpeakUp to 55000 to take the survey on their mobile devices.
More information about the telephone town hall meetings and survey are available at www.saspeakup.com.
Complimentary One-day Ticket To Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Six Flags Fiesta Texas is partnering with SA Metro Health to give away 20,000 one-day tickets – over $1.5 million in value – to people who get a COVID-19 vaccination at any Metro Health or partner vaccine clinic.
Beginning Tuesday, May 25, individuals who get vaccinated at any of these clinics will receive a complimentary one-day ticket to Six Flags Fiesta Texas valid through Sept 6, 2021 to enjoy a fun day at the park.
“Six Flags Fiesta Texas is honored to partner with city leaders to encourage residents to get vaccinated, especially in underserved communities,” said Park President Jeffrey Siebert. “We appreciate Mayor Nirenberg’s leadership on this initiative and we look forward to partnering with the City of San Antonio Metro Health to assist with their vaccine campaign efforts.”
Metro Health will also share the theme park tickets with its partners – including UT Health San Antonio, University Health System, University of the Incarnate Word, WellMed, San Antonio Fire Department, Bexar County Health Collaborative and Curative – to give to those who receive their vaccine at designated vaccine clinics.
“With so many people who enjoy visiting Six Flags Fiesta Texas each year, we hope people take advantage of this generous ticket giveaway and go get vaccinated. This could mean that 20,000 more residents get vaccinated to help us end the pandemic,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg.
As a reminder, people can get vaccinated either by walk-in or appointment at the Alamodome drive-thru clinic from noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday.
For a list of locations of Metro Health vaccine clinics around the city, visit http://covid19.sanantonio.gov.
For more information about Six Flags Fiesta Texas, including operating hours, visit https://www.sixflags.com/fiestatexas.