Mt. Hiram Lodge No. 595 recognizes past Worshipful Masters
By LYNETTE SOWELL
The members of Mt. Hiram Masonic Lodge No. 595 of Copperas Cove gathered on Tuesday evening for a ceremony to honor the past Worshipful Masters of the lodge.
The lodge’s senior steward, James Hamilton, led the ceremony and talked about the lodge’s history as well as the responsibilities of the lodge’s leader, the Worshipful Master, elected annually.
Much of the traditions of the lodge are steeped in symbolism, from where the lodge’s Worshipful Master sits, to the type of apron the leader wears. For example, the Worshipful Master has a special seat located in the East in the lodge room. The Worshipful Master is also the only member allowed to wear a hat inside the lodge.
“His tool is the square, the stonemason’s tool to ascertain the true and correct angles of the cut and smooth stone,” Hamilton explained. “This tool symbolizes virtue. It is his duty to set the craft to do the work and give them wholesome instruction for their labor.”
The Worshipful Master is responsible for other lodge officers in their duties, ritual and degree work, education, as well as the lodge’s social functions, fundraisers, and more.
“If the lodge functions smoothly, it is the master who takes credit. If the lodge functions go awry, it is the master who bears the blame,” Hamilton said.
On the walls of the lodge’s dining room, there is a framed photograph of every Worshipful Master of Mt. Hiram since 1884, where their service will always be remembered, Hamilton said.
He also talked about the erroneous belief that freemasons “worship” their leader, but said that worshipful is an honorary title that shows respect for the position.
The lodge is very active in community service projects and supports charities in the local area, such as the Copperas Cove Soup Kitchen and Cove House.
All past masters from 1884-2017 were recognized at this year’s ceremony, with 12 of them in attendance Tuesday evening to include James F. Powell (1971-1972, 2009-2010), Charles Downard (1992-1993), Antonio V. Suarez-Barrio (1996-1997), Orla Sharp (2000-2001), William Price (2001-2002), David Woolridge (2003-2005), Thomas Dyer (2010-2011), Clarence Page (2013-2014), Ronny Singleton (2014-2015), Michael Lang (2015-2016), Robert Walker (2016-2017), and William Chenowith (2017-2018).
The Mt. Hiram Lodge #595 of Copperas Cove was chartered on Dec. 12, 1884. The lodge has a long history in Copperas Cove, with one of their early facilities being on the corner of Avenue D and Main Street, above the location of the J.S. Clements mercantile. It has been at its present site on North 1st Street since 1970.
After the Past Worshipful Masters were recognized, the lodge’s Rainbow Girls had the opportunity to talk about their program, to include what the young women study and how they serve and volunteer at the lodge and in the community.
Up next at Mt. Hiram is an open house that is open to the public on Saturday, Sept. 8, from 9 a.m. until noon. The lodge is located at 802 N. 1st St.