As Ester Mason Sr. rolls out to his birthday celebration, Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris was there bearing a gift. (Courtesy photo)
Ester Mason Sr. (Courtesy photo)

Ester Mason Sr., his family and a support team familiar with the power of his presence had a special celebration during the week of Thanksgiving. Mason turned 100 on Nov. 25.

The venue was Norris Avenue M.B.C., where Mason has served as deacon for 27 years. Accounting for the COVID-19 pandemic, it mostly was a birthday celebration drive-through at the church, located at 1437 Norris Rd., last Saturday.

Mason, who has made involvement in church, civic, and community activities a way of life, was showered with praise. He received gifts from the City of Memphis and Shelby County Government, with Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris making a delivery.

The Rev. Dr. Rickey L. Dugger Sr., pastor of Norris Avenue M.B.C., said, “It was great. We had quite a few people show up. He had children in Texas … some in Florida … and they came down to make the occasion for him. … There were probably 40 or 50 cars lined up.”

Mason and his wife, Hazel Wright Mason, were married 65-plus years ago. They are the parents of 14 children.

Dugger said Mason was a deacon at Lake Grove Baptist church for about 45-50 years prior to serving at Norris Avenue.

Asked what comes most readily to mind when he reflects on Mason’s church commitment, Dugger said, “He could sing Dr. Watts (hymns), very, very eloquent; a good singer.

“All his children sing too. … He was singing in male chorus up to about two years ago. I mean faithfully. His walking is not good now but he has a strong voice. People who know him know he can do it, and do it well.”