Dr. Gilbert Mason Memorial Held - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Dr. Gilbert Mason Memorial Held

Hundreds of people gathered tonight to say goodbye and to honor a giant of a man who stood tall in the face of adversity.

Dr. Gilbert Mason passed away earlier this month. Friday night in Biloxi, there was a visitation service for Dr. Mason at the Greater St. John AME church.

In this sanctuary, family and friends and so many who - a generation ago, as young people - saw the ugly face of discrimination. They couldn't ride the bus, couldn't go to the whites only beaches or drink from the same water fountain.

These folks, truly know and understand the extraordinary contributions Gilbert Mason made for them every day of his life.

Elsie Dixon says, "He was a pioneer. He was a voice, when nobody else had one."

It was Gilbert Mason who was on the front lines of the civil rights battles for decades. It was Gilbert Mason who led the Biloxi branch of the NAACP for 34 years.

Frances Fredericks says, "He did so much for us, more than we will ever know. And I just hope in years to come we will always remember him."

Dr. Gilbert Mason said he faced the enemy and never flinched because he knew what he was doing was right.

Bobby Steele says, "He was a believer in rights for all people, especially the black men."

Kande Steele says, "Countless contributions, a life of service and tremendous personal sacrifice."

There are many hills that remain to be climbed on the road to racial equality, but Gilbert Mason can rest now knowing he certainly has done his part.

Back in 1995, we featured Dr. Mason as our person of the week.

He told Jeff his favorite quote was one from Lyndon Johnson who said, "It is not just enough to help people open the door, but we must, as a society, help people to come through that door."

Gilbert Mason spent his lifetime helping people to make it through that door.

A private burial will take place tommorrow. However, the family of Dr. Mason invites you to share in a Memorial Service to be held in his honor at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum Sunday, July 30th, at three o'clock in the afternoon.

By Jeff Lawson

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