Mt. Hiram Masonic Lodge No. 595 recognizes members for 25, 40 and 50 years of service in Masonry
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Mount Hiram Masonic Lodge No. 595 of Copperas Cove recognized several of its brothers for their 25, 40 and 50 years of service as masons with a special ceremony Wednesday evening.
Robert Pryor was recognized for his 25 years as a mason. Pryor was initiated as an Entered Apprentice on January 23, 1993, and then passed to the degree of Fellowcraft on April 23, 1996, and became a Master Mason on May 21, 1996, at Mt. Hiram Lodge No. 595. He served as a Junior Deacon in 1997.
Candido Paul Mohedano, also known as ‘Mo’, Thomas Yarborough, and Ralph John were each recognized for 40 years as a mason.
Mohedano was initiated as an Entered Apprentice on February 19, 1980, passed to the degree of Fellowcraft on April 22, 1980, and was raised to Master Mason on July 1, 1980.
Yarborough was initiated as an Entered Apprentice on May 13, 1980, passed to the degree of Fellowcraft on June 24, 1980, and then to the degree of Master Mason on April 30, 1981. He received his degrees in Germany and joined Mt. Hiram Lodge No. 595 on March 11, 2003.
John was initiated as an Entered Apprentice on June 19, 1980, passed to the degree of Fellowcraft on January 15, 1981, and then to the degree of Master Mason on February 26, 1981, in Panama. He joined Mt. Hiram Lodge in 2018.
Jimmie Barnum and Mark Spangler were each recognized for their 50 years as a mason.
Barnum was initiated as an Entered Apprentice on January 29, 1971, passed to the degree of Fellowcraft on June 11, 1971, and then to the degreed of Master Mason on July 16, 1971. He joined Mt. Hiram Lodge in 2016.
Spangler was initiated as an Entered Apprentice on November 20, 1970, passed to the degree of Fellowcraft on April 19, 1971, and then to Master Mason on May 24, 1971. He joined Mt. Hiram Lodge in 2018, and since then, he has served as Tiler, Junior Deacon, Senior Deacon and Master of Ceremonies.
“From time immemorial, Freemasonry has taught proper reverence and veneration for age,” said Worshipful Master James Johnsen. “This was particularly so when years of age stand united with years of service, and when an honor is conferred upon a recipient, who is both worthy and esteemed. Age has always been the crowning glory of man. it affords an opportunity to reflect upon the past. From the experience of the past, the present receives the most useful counsel and guidance. It is to age we look for wisdom, and it is upon wisdom that Freemasonry builds each and every laudable enterprise.”
Johnsen continued to share about three steps that are symbolic to the principal stages of human life: youth, manhood and age.
“In youth, we should industriously occupy our minds and the attainment of useful knowledge,” Johnsen said. “In manhood, we should apply the knowledge to the discharge of our respective duties to God, our neighbor and ourselves, but it is only in age that we enjoy the happy reflection consequent upon life well spent.”
Grand Master Kenneth Curry, of the Grand Lodge of Texas which oversees the Masonic bodies in the state, attended Wednesday’s meeting.
He shared a quote from the Pentagon police officer, George Gonzalez, who was stabbed and killed earlier this month outside of the Pentagon, featured in a newspaper article by the Washington Post.
“He said, ‘We may not completely blaze the trail we want, but the question is, will we be happy with the trail we leave behind.’ And that’s the question that we each have to ask ourselves as we begin this journey we have with life and damnation. Will we be happy with the trail that we leave behind?” Curry said. “Now the symbol of these awards, these pins, is such that it is an honor that you receive these. For y’all, it recognizes 50 years of your time and your substance. For others, it’s 40 years of your time and your substance, and then the 25-year pin recognizes the same thing.”
Curry added that an important thing of the fraternity is that the members surround themselves with men of good values.
“Each man who is a mason had knelt before this altar and taken upon themselves certain obligations, and they hold certain values to them, so that we know when we’re in a lodge with a mason or on the street with a mason or down in the coffee shop, that we know he’s a good man, that he has good values,” Curry said.
Each received a pin for their years of masonry as well as a coin from Curry and a membership pin.
Following the pinning ceremony, Mohedano spoke briefly of how masonry has impacted his life.
“It’s given me the opportunity to see masonry in the United Kingdom, in South America, in Mexico and all throughout the United States,” Mohedano said. “I've shared through masonry what I’ve been shared by other brothers, some of them who have passed away, their history of how during the Second World War in the Philippines, how some of the downed pilots were saved by masons. Masonry has been good to me. It's given me a fellowship and it’s brought a large family that I don't think you could ever ask for. Anytime I've ever needed anything, I've had a brother there for me.”