Mt. Hiram Lodge #595 honors past Worshipful Masters
By DAVID J. HARDIN
The members of the Mt. Hiram Masonic Lodge #595 of Copperas Cove came together Tuesday night to honor all of the past Worshipful Masters of the lodge. The lodges hold this ceremony once a year to say thank you to all of the past masters for all of their hard work and dedication to the Masonic Lodge, the community and their fellow brothers.
“Since 1884 the Mt. Hiram Masonic Lodge #595 of Copperas Cove has had 90 past Worshipful Masters. This year I sent out invitations to 28 former masters,” said Senior Steward Paul Plourde. “We have this ceremony to recognize and honor our past masters. We recognize them for all they have done for the lodge, because they are responsible for everything in the lodge. This includes being responsible for all of what the junior officers do, all of what their committees do, and all of the functions that the lodge holds throughout the year. Basically they have a busy year, because we do a lot of functions throughout the year that support the community.”
James F. Powell served as Worshipful Master from 1971-1972.
“I was very fortunate to become a Master Mason at the age of 21, and have been in the fraternity for 50 years,” Powell said. “It is a pleasure to be around these men, they are my inspiration, and it is an honor to have been here tonight.”
Junior Steward Robert Walker is the youngest past master and just ended his term as Worshipful Master July 1 of this year.
“It is a great thing to be able to come together and recognize these past masters for their service to the lodge and their fellow brothers. When you step into the role of Worshipful Master you are in charge of many different things like meetings and events, you are depended upon for so much,” Walker said.
Ronny Singleton is a former Worshipful Master and was happy to be honored. “There are a lot of good people here who do a lot of good things for the community.”
Gary Paris has served twice a Worshipful Master, from 1982-1983 and 2011-2012.
“It is a pleasure and an honor to have served twice, and I would serve again if asked.”
Past Worshipful Master Jim Cooney said, “I consider myself to be amongst a tremendous group of individuals to have served this lodge. The master today still has most of the same responsibilities that I had when I served from 1994 to 1995. Our laws, traditions and history have not changed, and our responsibilities to each other and our community have not changed. We are always looking for new ways to serve mankind.”
All past masters from 1884-2017 were recognized at this year’s ceremony, with the following Worshipful Masters invited to attend: (1971-1972) James F. Powell, (1972-1973) Charles McCormick, (1974-1975) Charles Hatter, (1980-1981) Alan Levy, (1982-1983 / 2011-2012) Garry Paris, (185-1986) Robert McKinnon, (1986-1987) Jerry Fitzgerald, (1987-1988) Earl Sutton, (1991-1992) Charles Downard, (1992-1993) Charles Carter, (1993-1994) James Cooney, (1994-1995) Jeffrrey Shelton, (1997-1998) William Black, (1998-1999) Orla Sharp, (2000-2001) William Price, (2001-2002) Anthony Williams, (2002-2003) Peter Simpson, (2003-2004) David Woolridge, (2004-2005) Michael Robinson, (2005-2006) James Darossett, (2006-2007) Salvatore Corpina, (2007-2008) Billie Evans, (2008-2009) Marion Morris, (2010-2011) Thomas Dyer, (2011-2012) Gary Paris, (2013-2014) Clarence Page, (2015-2016) Michael Lang), and (2016-2017) Robert Walker.
There is a Texas State Historical Commission historical marker established in 1993 at the lodge, located at 801 N. 1st St., which points to the history of the lodge in Copperas Cove.
“The Mt. Hiram Lodge #595 of Copperas Cove was chartered on Dec. 12, 1884. Lodge members shared their first facility, a two-story structure located near present day downtown Copperas Cove, with a public school.
In its early years, the lodge participated in a volunteer company of minutemen and helped develop this area’s economy. The lodge then relocated in 1894 to Main Street and Avenue D, above J.S. Clements Mercantile Store. Growth in its membership led to the building of a new lodge facility at this site in 1970. This lodge continues to serve the local community.”