Mt. Hiram awards Golden Trowel
By BRITTANY FHOLER
The Mt. Hiram Masonic Lodge #595 of Copperas Cove recognized member Clarence Page for his dedication to the lodge and community with the Golden Trowel Award on Tuesday evening.
According to Randy Dyer, the Golden Trowel Award Committee Chair, the award originated in 1989 at Armadillo Acres, the country retreat of past Grand Master Leonard P. Harvey, when Harvey, Deputy Grand Master A.D. Hanna and Grand Senior Warden Fred E. Allen were discussing the Sam Houston Medal award that was given to Masons and the lack of recognition given to Masons at the lodge level.
It is also formal recognition of a Mason for his service to Masonry or to his lodge, Dyer added.
The award, which is approved by the Grand Lodge of Texas, “continues to be an exciting means for the local lodges to recognize and honor distinguished lodge members,” Dyer said.
The Golden Trowel Award is given to the Brother who “quietly demonstrates his devotion to the teachings of the Masonic principles and Masonry without thought of recognition or special honors or accolades,” Dyer said. “Every lodge has such members. They spread the living cement that builds our fraternity into a true brotherhood.”
These members can be found everywhere that a hand of assistance is needed, Dyer added.
Page embodies the meaning of the Golden Trowel to Lodge #595 and to the Grand Lodge of Texas, Dyer said.
Dyer explained that he called on Page for help numerous times and Page gave his help willingly all but one time, including when Dyer wanted to have a “Tile Party” where they mopped, stripped and waxed all the tiles in the lodge, and when they replaced all of the lightbulbs in the lodge.
“The only time Clarence ever told me no was when I called him and was at the Gulf. I think he was actually on a fishing boat, headed out to go fishing,” Dyer said. “I know if he had been in town that he would have taken care of it, whatever it was.”
Dyer called Page the Brother who just takes care of business, adding that he serves with a song in his heart.
Bill Chenoweth, Worshipful Master of Lodge #595, said that he thought Page should have received the award years ago.
He referred to Page as an “unsung hero” and someone who is doing all of the “little things” behind the scenes and helping things run smoothly.
The Golden Trowel Award was given last year to Jim Cooney, according to Chenoweth. While it is an award that can be given annually, it is tough some years to find a worthy recipient due to the requirement of the recipient having been a past Master, he added.
Page, who was on the Golden Trowel Committee for this year, said he had an idea that he was the recipient when he noticed he was no longer mentioned as being part of the committee a few months ago, he said.
“It is a very prestigious award. I was very surprised to get it, put it that way,” Page said. “There’s not a lot of people in a lodge that get this award, it’s not arbitrarily given to any Mason. You really have to do something big in the community for a long time.”
Page paused and fought back tears before saying that he got choked up thinking he would even be considered for the award.
Page has been with the Mt. Hiram Masonic Lodge #595 of Copperas Cove for almost 10 years and went through all the chairs, even becoming the Worshipful Master, he said.
When he accepted his Golden Trowel, Page dedicated his award to his fellow lodge members and to all the men who had gone before.