The Les Hommes Hall of Fame was established in 2012 to identify and honor those members (living and deceased) who have distinguished themselves through outstanding service and performance during their tenure as members of the Les Hommes Civic and Social Club. All active, emeritus, and deceased members of the Club are eligible for consideration for induction into the Les Hommes Hall of Fame. If active or emeritus, the prospective nominee(s) must be in good standing and have been in good standing status for a total of at least ten years before nomination. If deceased, the prospective nominee(s) must have been a member of the Club and in good standing for a total of at least ten years or in emeritus membership status when he became deceased. Each nominee must receive approval by 2/3 of the votes cast by the body present to be inducted into the Les Hommes Hall of Fame.
Mr. Cresson Taylor Brown, Sr. was a devoted husband and father. Although he was a native of Richmond, Va., he was a Hampton resident for over 47 years. Mr. Brown served at Langley Air Force Base for 29 years and retired in 1985 from Andrews Air Force Base, as chief of supply. He was a member of First Baptist Church, Hampton, where he served faithfully as a deacon. He served on a number of community boards and was an alumnus of the Hampton Neighborhood College and a board member of the Hampton Solid Waste Advisory Commission. He was a fifty year member of the Les Hommes Civic & Social Club. He served as President of the Club for several terms, Financial Secretary of the Club for at least fifteen years, and chairman of the Executive Board. Perhaps his greatest achievement was in spearheading the Club’s first major renovation. He was the ideal person to deal with city officials to secure all of the permits and variances needed to get the project completed. The idea of a canopy over the front entrance to the Les Hommes Club was due to Mr. Brown. He served on many committees and was chairman of the Anniversary committee, Building renovation committee, July 4th picnic committee and the list goes on. He is also the recipient of the Club Medallion, the President’s Award, and one of the Club scholarships was named in his honor. Mr. Brown was an excellent example of what any Les Hommes member would want to be and represented the Club well at all public functions.
Mr. Charles A. Cherry, a devoted husband and father, worked and retired as a civil servant at Fort Eustis, Virginia. He was a member of First Church of Newport News for over 50 years and served as a trustee for many years. He was in good and regular standing with the Holland Lodge #256 for over 50 years and a member of the Orcutt Avenue Senior Citizens where he served as president for many years. He was a founder of the Les Hommes Civic & Social Club and an exemplary member for 50 years. Mr. Cherry was best known as the “moral conscience” of the Club. He consistently convinced club members that no matter what the situation, “doing what is right” would always benefit the Club. He represented the Club in a positive fashion, especially in interclub activities with the Dochi Chi and Beau Brummel Clubs. Mr. Cherry knew every member of the Club along with their family members, and in the community he knew everyone of importance, both politically and civically. He was a person who loved to work quietly in the background and he rarely missed a meeting. He worked on several committees such as the Anniversary committee and the House committee. He was the recipient of both the President’s Award and the Medallion Award, and one of the Club scholarships was named in his honor. Club members often tell of how good of a cook he was. On pinochle nights, you could count on Mr. Cherry to bring the food and his pots were always left empty.
Mr. Earl J. Holmes is a neighborhood icon, a public school teacher, an adjunct professor, a youth mentor, and a volunteer track coach. Mr. Holmes joined the Les Hommes Civic & Social Club in May of 1997. He earned the distinction of being the longest serving President of the Les Hommes Civic & Social Club, serving in the capacity of President for 10 consecutive years. Among his primary accomplishments as club President are: 1) He significantly increased the Club membership, 2) He helped to architect and monitor a major Club renovation, 3) He changed the mindset of members with respects to delinquent dues and saw dues delinquency rates drop to zero under his leadership, 4) He introduced new ideas and a new location for the Les Hommes Anniversary Celebration, and 5) He changed the way the Club was viewed and enhanced its image. Mr. Holmes also made significant contributions while serving on the Club Anniversary and Club Entertainment committee and is a recipient of the Cresson Brown award.
Mr. Knox W. Tull, Sr. was an outstanding husband and father, Postman, college football and basketball official , and Boy Scott leader. He worked diligently with the local and national Alzheimer’s association, especially after his wife, Hyler, was stricken with the disease. He was a charter member of the Les Hommes Civic & Social Club and was a fifty-five year member prior to his death. Through his personal connection with bankers at the Old Merchants National Bank, he was able to secure a loan to purchase the building that the Club now occupies. Mr. Tull worked at the Club every weekend in which the Club had a band and charged a small admission fee in order to keep the lights on at the Club and pay the mortgage. In the early days of the Les Hommes Club, Mr. Tull even used his personal funds in order to keep the Club doors open. He served as Club President for many years. As one of the early Presidents of the Club he served on many committees and in many cases he was the committee. Mr. Tull came to be known as the Club” Worker Bee.” Among his many Club awards are the Distinguished Medallion and the President’s award. The Club main Ballroom and one of the Les Hommes Education Foundation scholarships are named in his memory.
Henry McNeal Tyson, devoted husband and fantastic father was born in Birmingham, Alabama. Mr. Tyson was a true sportsman; he hunted, played basketball, football, baseball, and golf. He pitched on a baseball team in the Newport News Shipyard League and struck out some of the best, including Willie Mays. Mr. Tyson was a World War II Veteran where he received a Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal, and Overseas Service Bars. Following an honorable discharge from the Army, he met his wife Mozelle and after marrying her, adopted the Tidewater area as his home. He was a member of Second Baptist Church East End where he served as a Trustee. As a member of the Hampton Boosters, he never missed a Hampton University football or basketball game. In 1980, Tyson retired from Civil Service as a Supervisor in the Vehicle Maintenance Shop at Langley Air Force Base where he received numerous awards, including Outstanding Vehicle Maintenance Person and YWCA Man of the Year. His wife Mozelle became stricken with Alzheimer’s disease in 2000 and he took care of her so well that on May 3 of 2007, Governor Tim Kaine presented him with the prestigious “Governor’s Caregiver Award.” The award symbolically honored caregivers who lovingly take care of family and friends day-after-day. Later that year Kaine invited Tyson to meet Queen Elizabeth during her visit to Richmond. Tyson became one of the Alzheimer’s Association of Tidewater best advocates. He was a charter member of the Les Hommes Civic & Social Club and was an active member of the Club for more than 50 years. Mr. Tyson was the Club treasurer for over 25 years and was a workaholic on every committee he served. Among these committees were the Anniversary, Membership, and Entertainment committees. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Club Medallion and also the President’s award. Mr. Tyson rarely missed a meeting and participated regularly in the joint Dochi Chi, Beau Brummel, and Les Hommes get-to-gether and upheld the name of
Les Hommes in a most distinguished manner. The Les Hommes lounge is named in his honor and it is said that no one ever had a bad word to say about this distinguished Club member.
Brother Charles M. Sessoms, a Suffolk, Virginia native, has resided in Hampton for over 60 years, and has been dedicated to his family, church, community, and the Les Hommes Civic and Social Club. Brother Sessoms is a graduate of Hampton Institute, now Hampton University, with a degree in engineering. He is also a United States Army veteran who served in the Pacific theater during World War II and remained with the US Government as a civil servant, retiring as the installation’s Chief of Maintenance at Fort Eustis, Virginia in 1989. Upon his retirement, he immediately became involved in the running of his family’s farm in Suffolk and dedicating his spare time to serving on the Hart McAllister Center’s Board of Directors and participating in the Alzheimer’s Foundation, the Old Point Kiwanis Club, and the local chapters of the Hampton University and Elizabeth City State University Alumni Associations. In addition, Brother Sessoms has maintained a long tenure as the Senior Trustee at the Mineral Springs Baptist Church in Suffolk where he has been a member since the age of nine. As if he had limitless spare time on his hands, Brother Sessoms has been a stalwart member of the Les Hommes Civic and Social Club for 56 years. Over this period of time, Brother Sessoms’ leadership, skill sets, and superb service have helped shape the positive character of Les Hommes. He was known as the “go to guy” when it came to getting things done within Les Hommes, and his stellar performance in various capacities has enhanced both the Club’s image and operations. Brother Sessoms served as Club President on two different occasions and also as a Chairman of the Board of Directors. He chaired the Anniversary Committee that first took us offsite to other venues during our Anniversary Week; chaired the House Committee that started our Friday happy hours; directed the first club renovation which added the downstairs lounge to our facility; and further chaired other committees which brought benefits to the club membership. Brother Sessoms’ dedicated service has earned him numerous club accolades and awards to include the President’s Award and the Club Medallion. He has continued to serve the Club by his strong involvement in our activities, both personally and financially. Brother Sessoms’ contribution over time imminently validates his induction into the Les Hommes Civic and Social Club’s Hall of Fame Class of 2013. Brother Clarence F. (Jap) Curry has lived a magnificent history of dedication, accomplishment, and unbounded duty to the Les Hommes Civic and Social Club and the local community. His active/emeritus membership and strong involvement has spanned over 52 years; he is the longest tenured member of this magnificent Club A consummate musician, over the years he has provided superb entertainment to the Club; played for dances; and presented floor shows. Nationally and internationally known by musicians, Brother Curry would often be called upon to provide their musical backup. Through his connection with the American Federation of Musicians, he has presented many musical programs for children at the Club. In addition, Brother Curry has served on several anniversary planning committees and was a prime source for assisting in fundraising activities; thus, ensuring funds would be available for the Club during lean years. Therefore, let it be known that whenever we hear, “Let the name be heard far and wide…”, it is the ultimate contribution from him to our glorious organization as Brother Curry wrote and composed both our Les Hommes Club and sweetheart songs.
We could now conclude Brother Curry’s superior resume solely based upon his musical contributions to Les Hommes and the general public. However, he continuously performs outside of Les Hommes, financially and personally, through his alma mater, Hampton University, and his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, as he strongly participates in both organizations. An active and loyal HU booster, who is always in attendance at Hampton basketball and football games, he has been recognized on several occasions by Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey–Brother Curry is a honorary HU football letterman and proudly wears number 1-1/2.
It is a distinct honor and pleasure, and in the true spirit of brotherhood, to affirm Brother Clarence F. (Jap) Curry is eminently qualified and deserving to be inducted into the Les Hommes Civic and Social Club Hall of Fame Class of 2014.
Brother Cecil Webb has accomplished a superlative history of dedication, commitment, and duty to the Les Hommes Civic and Social Club and the local community. His active/emeritus membership and involvement has spanned over 43 years, and during this period, his leadership and service has run a full range of activities. Brother Webb has served not only as a chairman of the Les Hommes Civic and Social Club Board of Directors, but gave of his time and talents to all of the club’s committees. His favorites were the Program and Entertainment, Anniversary and the July 4th committees from which the most visible club benefits were derived.
Throughout his tenure, Brother Webb extraordinarily performed as a Chief planner and caterer, providing sumptuous menus and able serving staffs for many club affairs. He catered the Club key events, e.g. Valentine’s Day, Christmas and New Years Eve affairs, and was truly remembered for his superb Valentine’s Day celebrations. Also, Brother Webb lent his professional culinary skills and organization outside of the club which often resulted in employment opportunities for members of the community.
Brother Webb provided thorough support to the club, both financially and time-wise. No schedule was too complex nor too great for him to satisfy his obligation to his beloved club. He had outstanding attendance and participated in Club meetings and events until Father Time reduced his physical attendance. Even with this limitation, he has still supported our Club in spirit and communications.
It is a distinct honor and pleasure, and in the true spirit of brotherhood, to affirm that Brother Cecil Webb is eminently qualified and deserving to be inducted into the Les Hommes Civic and Social Club Hall of Fame Class 2014.