New Family

Today is June 18, the next reunion of the Lucas-Halfkenny Reunion is July 18, 2014. There have been a few reunions but for me this reunion particularly is special because I am on the committee which is a first for me considering that barely over three years ago I wasn’t aware that I had such a large family encompassing two nations. I attended my first ever family reunion two summers ago in the greater Halifax NS area and it was such a wide eye-opener experience for me. This experience was made possible by my daughter Kianga Lucas who took on a mission to see whether we had family anyplace. To our surprise and amazement we did. So before three years ago I was resigned to the fact that we didn’t and now we do. I truly embellish what I have now and so do most of our immediate family. My brother Gary-Bishara Lucas feels the same way as well and he had made the first contact and that was with Debra Lucas. So for the next month I hope to see some family members that I haven’t met and renew acquaintances with family members that I have met in 2012 and since. I feel truly blessed to have a family now! I will be writing some more stories leading up to the reunion to share with everyone.

Wayne Lucas

Henry Edward Paige

Errol S. Page Speech Honoring Mr. Henry Edward Paige
My father, Mr. Henry Edward Paige, known to all his friends as Sonny, was a passionate tennis player. My mother often said she got into tennis because she couldn’t get him off the court.My father was a prominent figure when tennis was still segregated.
In the early 1950’s, he became the President of New England Tennis Association (NETA) and he organized
the first junior program in Boston, called The Boston Tennis Club.
Playing out of Carter Playground, he matched me and the other players against the white tennis programs throughout Massachusetts. My father funded most of the trips himself and provided racquets and gear for all of the players who couldn’t afford them.

Through his coaching, I became the Junior New England Champion for five consecutive years. In the late 1960’s, Henry left the Boston Navy Yard after 29 years in order to follow his dreams; an action that almost caused him and my mother to divorce: My father took an early retirement, placing a mortgage on his home and organized The Sportsmen’s Jr. Tennis Program at Franklin Field where he was the first Head
Coach and taught private lessons to many great players. Playing for the Negro American Tennis Association, he formed close bonds with players such as Arthur Ashe and Althea Gibson. I even remember how he and the Australian players Ken Rosewall and Rod Labor became close friends even though the league was segregated and would hang out every time they came into town.And throughout this time, he was one of the only Negro’s to have his own racquet stringing business and was a salesman for Wilson Sporting Goods.

After winning many single and doubles tournaments, he finally decided to start coaching at the
age of 47 and was sponsored by William Bell Battles of Stamford,CT. It was then that he became the first
African-American to coach professionally in New England and was registered by the USPTA. After 15 years, my father retired as NETA’s President to become the President Emeritus.
Throughout his career, my father served as Chairmen of numerous open and closed tournaments
including those held at Sportsmen’s Tennis Center and at the Boston Navy Yard. He umpired in the
NETA open tournaments held at Yale University and other matches held at the Longwood Cricket Club
in Brookline,MA.
He also helped to organize the first NETA sanctioned doubles tournament held in Waterbury, CT.

courtesy Richard Bramante

courtesy Richard Bramante

In 1993,The Mattapan Community Health Center honored my father as a Boston Tennis Legend.
Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) honored my father for his community service and
actions for developing Boston; and the Roxbury Comprehensive Health Center named their Diagnostic
Center after him.
It is at this time I would like to thank the United States Tennis Association for inducting my father,
Mr. Henry Edwin Paige, a great tennis player and great man, into the Hall of Fame

This entry was posted on December 3, 2013, in Our Stories.

Reading Starts Probe of Wilmington Murders

The folllowing is a transcipt of a local news article written Sept 11, 1925  for the Boston Globe. The article was uncovered by Kianga Lucas researching the Palmer Lucas line. Palmer and Hilda were first cousins, once removed, two of several Lucas family members that emmigrated to Massachsetts.

Wilmington Sept 11 – Residents of this town who knew William James 26-year old colored chauffeur and father of six children who was found murdered in a well at his home yesterday  have been summoned to appear today at the office of Dist  Attrny Arthur K Reading to tell what they know of the relations of James with Frank Johnson, Roxbury who is wanted in connection with the killing.

Palmer Lucas, brother-in-law of James and one of those present when the body was recovered from beneath a pile of stones in the bottom of the well, has been summoned, together with John Guy of Winchester , a workman at Lucas’ place, Mrs Lucas, Mrs Hilda James, widow of the murdered man and Angelo Valente the farmer who first directed attention to the well.
The police are inclined to the belief that Frank Johnson, the man who was befriended by William James, taken into his home, fed and sheltered when he was in trouble can throw considerable light on the mystery.

Body Found Yesterday

James’ body was found yesterday afternoon at the bottom of an old well about 100 yards from his home. The well is situated in an open meadow and has not been used for some time. Valente was working on his own place nearby when he noticed a peculiar odor. He tried to trace it but was unsuccesful until yesterday afternoon when he located it coming from the well.
Valente called Palmer Lucas , but both men were afraid to examine the well and they called in Charles E Reilly a special police officer of the town. Reilly uncovered the well and found it filled with rocks, a half ton of them. He took out rock after rock and finally came to the body, six or seven feet down. Medical Examiner Roscoe D Perley of Melrose found a bullet hole through the head and another through the left arm at the elbow. The man had been dead nearly three weeks.

Last Seen Two Weeks Ago

Jamees passed out of sight two weeks ago last Monday morning. It has been his custom to ride to Woburn with Palmer Lucas in the latters machine on his way to Winchester where he was a truck driver for George M. Bryne who is also a public trustee of the Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway Company and former chairman of the Selectmen of Winchester. On that day Frank Johnson went over to Palmer Lucases’ house about [sic] o’clock in the morning and told Lucas that James had gone on the bus. He was never seen again.

Just why James befriended Johnson and took him into his home, none of James’ friends could tell. They said however that James was a generous and good natured young man and that anyone in distress would find him sympathetic.  The police declared that Palmer Lucas took a revolver away fron Johnson about a week ago and that a bullet was  fired at Mrs Lucas from the bushes last Friday. It was on Friday night that Johnson left the vicinity of the Lucas and James homes.

Father of Six Children

James was the father of six children the oldest seven years and the youngest 6 months. The family lived on Border Road about a mile from the main road and the cart path leading in runs about three-quarters of the way. The rest of the way is by footpath over the Boston and Maine tracks. There are very few habitations there and it is one of the lonliest spots in town. The funeral for the murdered man is scheduled for tomorrow morning with services at the undertaking parlors of Edgerley and Bessom, Winchester. Burial will be in Wilminton.

This entry was posted on July 24, 2013, in Our Stories.