In 1956, Past International Grand Matron, (PIGM) Phyllis S. Byrd of Queen Esther Chapter No. 1 formally organized a youth fraternity with 25 members. Charter members included PIGM Byrd organizer and chairman; Past Matron Cora Green, Co-Chairman; and PMs Leighetha Mack, Estella Wilson and Zoie H. Moore, Committee members. The Princess Matron was Lorraine Smith, and the original Prince Patron was Van Nixon. The initial cabinet was under the tutelage of its sponsors which included PMs Bernice F. Johnson, Pearl Qualls and Henrietta Green.
After the death of PIGM Byrd in 1958, the Youth Fraternity was named in her honor. In 1959, Past Grand Worthy Matron Eleanor P. Lewis divided the Fraternity into “Junior” and “Teen” Divisions. The advisors of the Teen Division were PGWMs Olive T. Nixon and Carrie M. Hackley, with PGWM Alberta F. Taylor and PM Addie L. Adams serving as supervisor and sponsor respectively. The advisors to the Junior Division were PGWM Nixon and PM Cora Greene as supervisors, and PMs Bernice Williams and Pearl Qualls as sponsors.
PM Greene made and presented the first regalia and standard to the Fraternity. PGWM Lewis presented the Teen Division with a white Bible for its altar. In 1967, Past Grand Lecturer Julia B. Robinson started a campaign to expand the Fraternity. She brought more than 30 members into the group and revised the ritual so that it was easier to commit to memory. With the seeming patience of Job and the wisdom of Solomon, she instilled in the youth the basic principle of the Order: Love One Another.
Princess Cassandra Coward, Yvette Smith and Donna Washington have had the honor, as youth leaders of conveying the fraternity’s greetings to sessions of the International Conference of Grand Chapters. The fraternity was host to youth from around the world when the International Conference of Grand Chapters met in Washington, DC.
PGWM Audrey W. Robinson Underwood who, during her term as Directress maintained training, and under the direction of PGWM Jane Robinson Levant started the first Divine Service and kept alive the interest of the youth. In 1993, PM Ada Whitley widened the path of former leaders and continued the academic and moral teachings which have become essential components of the Fraternity. In 1997/1998, PM Margaret Anderson continued the educational programs by taking the children to Baltimore to participate in the Blank Engineer of the year conference and the children attended scholarship seminars. In 1999, PM Zelda Stevens helped to bring the enrollment of the Youth Fraternity to 75 members and is continuing to grow. Under the leadership of PM Stevens, the Youth Fraternity continued its fellowship with foreign jurisdictions by visiting Delaware and Maryland.
Others who have made significant contributions to the Phyllis S. Byrd Youth Fraternity include PGWM Martha Ross for her yearly Scholarship, PGWM Thelma J. Tyler, who as Directress, brought different interests to the youth such as arts and crafts, karate and first aid; Sister Madgie Giddens who instituted selected educational programs.
In 2001, GWM Margaret E. Anderson had the foresight to appoint PM Barbara Wells as Directress of the Fraternity. Under Past Matron Barbara Wells’ administration with Assistant Directress Annette Scarboro (6) appointed in 2001 and Carolyn Hunter (1) appointed in 2000, the youth fraternity continued to progress. Educational programs included etiquette training, field visits to Great Black Wax Museum, Civil War Museum, Frederick Douglas House, Black Fashion Museum, The Lincoln Theater and the West End Dinner Theater. Community Services include donations to Border Babies, Scholarship to a deserving Washington area student, Count Your Blessings Project, Toys for Tots, Monetary donations to Hospital for Sick Children, Special Love (camp for children with cancer), American Diabetes, GTGC Breast Cancer Research Project and Katrina Youth Victims.
The first showering of a Junior Past Princess Matron (Tiffany McDowell) and Junior Past Prince Patron (Phillip T. McCall) also took place under the direction of PM Barbara Wells in March 2001.
PM Constance Francios, Miriam Chapter No. 4, donated sashes to the Fraternity for the office of Princess Matron and Prince Patron. Sash donations to Jr. Past Princess Matrons and Junior Past Prince Patrons will continue under the guidance of PM Constance Francios and LES DAMES DE FOI (Worthy Matrons of 2002). Others donations include: Past Master Pervis Coleman, Jr. two batons, Past Matron Betty Alexander donated twelve officer sashes – this ensures all members can wear a sash not just officers, ELOA’s (Matrons 2001) donated a Bible, Sis. Jacquelyn Kelley donated Bible Marker, Audrey Robinson Underwood Military Chapter No. 15 donated a gavel, Sis. Annette Scarboro donated 15 blouses to the Fraternity with PSBYF embroidered and Past Matron/Directress Barbara Wells in 2006 donated five (5) PSBYF banners [PSBYF Love One Another, PSBYF Organized 1956, PSBYF Washington, DC, PSBYF Honor Thy Father, Mother and Guardians and PSBYF Grandmothers are Special], station covers for the East, West, North, South, Secretary and Treasurer. Worthy Matron Bonita Bell (1) Past Matron Francene Hunter (8) gave monetary donations to PM Wells to assist with the expenses associated with the station covers and banners. Thrift Chapter donated Tee Shirts with the PSBYF emblem.
In December 2010, at the Annual Session of Georgiana Thomas Grand Chapter, OES-PHA, Grand Youth Directoress Barbara Wells retired after 15 years of dedicated service. PM Colondra Cooper was appointed to serve as Grand Youth Directress from 2010 to 2012 by GWM G. Delores Ellerbe. December 2012, Sister Annette Scarboro was appointed Grand Youth Directress by Grand Worthy Matron Barbara E. Murray.
The Youth fraternity continues their support to the Knights of Pythagoras and support to the Appendant Bodies by attending their activities and/or placing ads in their souvenir journals. In January 2013, Worshipful Grand Director of the Order of the Knights of Pythagoras Arnold E. Hudson, Sr. appointed Prince Patron, Knight Ray Williams appointed Associated Pratron. WGD Hudson and GYD Scarboro hope that this partnership will be lasting.
Junior Past Matrons of the subordinate Chapters provide welcomed assistance to the Youth Fraternity by mentoring, chaperoning, and serving as hostess for meeting and trips.
Many changes have been made since the early days and the fraternity continues to serve as an intergral part of the Masonic family in this Jurisdication.