Monday, December 22, 2008

Marble Springs Lodge #439 installs 2009 Officers

This past Saturday, April the 20th, Marble Springs 439 had its Lodge Officer installation for the upcoming year. Worshipful Bro. Jim Hyde DDGM was Installing Officer. WM Bro Brian Rau of Montgomery 426 was Installing Marshal. Lodge was opened in due form by Worshipful Bro Bill Almond and the rest of his officers present. Labor was dispensed with and all the officers were given their oaths and installed. Worshipful Bro Henry Hiss was installed as Master, Worshipful Bro George Vanbuskirk as Sr Warden, Worshipful Bro Bill Almond as JR Warden, Worshipful Bro Bobby Welch as Secretary, and for the 44th term Worshipful Brother Tom McClure was installed as Treasurer. The rest of the officers were appointed to seats as follows:
SD-Worshipful Mitch Arrowood
JD-Worshipful Derek Cheek (Pro-Tem)
Stewards are Bros Coffey and West
Harold Yonce is Tyler

Worshipful Master Henry Hiss.

The closing charge

Monday, December 15, 2008


Twas the Night before Christmas, and down at the Lodge
Not a gavel was stirring, and in the hodge-podge

Of aprons and jewels and chairs East and West
you could savor the silence, most gladly divest

All metal and mineral, it mattered not,
since Christmas was nigh and the coals were still hot

In the hearth of your homestead, all Masons abed,
as visions of trestle boards danced in their head;

When up on the roof there arose such a clatter,
Our Tiler jumped up to see what was the matter!

He picked up his sword and ran fast to the door,
three knocks shook the panels - he wondered 'What for?'

He answered the knocking with, raps of his own,
and once the door opened he saw, with a moan

Of delight it was Santa, all jolly and red
Except for one notable feature Instead!

Upon his large finger lie wore what we knew
was compass and square on a background of blue!

'Why Santa!' he shouted and lowered his blade
'I see you're a Mason!' the Tiler relayed.

He looked toward the Master's most dignified chair
and said, voice near trembling, 'Most Worshipful there

Is a Gentleman properly clothed at the gate!'
The Master replied, 'Let's allow him - but wait!

You tell me a Gentleman, but I don't see
His Apron beneath that red suit, can it be

Our visitor hasn't been properly raised?
Must we offer a test that is suitably phrased?

'I do beg your pardon,' old' Santa said quick
As he pulled up his coat and displayed not a stick

But a cane with, engraving, two balls did appear
and oh, what an apron, he wore and held dear!

Adorned like the Master' complete with a sign
Of "Lodge Number One, the North Pole" on one line!

"Now let man enter," the Master declared,
and once in the Lodge room the Brethren all stared,

For Santa was wearing a jewel not seen
for many a century - there in between

The fur of his coat and the splendid red collar
gleamed two golden reindeer that shone like a dollar!

"It's Donner and Blitzen, who, I must confess
Are actually images brought from the West

By my Warden, a craftsman like none in the world!"
And with a great laugh from his bag he unfurled

An ear of fine corn and some oil from the east,
"My friend I have plenty, tonight we will feast
On all that is good! We are Masons, kind sir!"
A murmur went throughout the Lodge, quite a stir,

As presents and promises flew from his sack
This Santa, a Mason, showed he had a knack

For making this Christmas the best you could glean,
And soon even Deacons were laughing, they'd seen

On this very night only happiness reigned!
This jolly Saint Nicholas quickly explained

That only a Mason could be so inclined
to make all kids happy, make all people find

A Christmas so special, yes, Santa was right!
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Past Master....thoughts, memories, and revelations.


What a year! I can scarcely believe that it is already over. Another milestone has been passed in my Masonic travels. The profane world would think there would be sadness, and heartbreak in leaving the place Masons call "the East". But, on the contrary, I feel something completely different....accomplishment! Its been a great year! One that our Lodge can be proud of for many years to come. We've undertaken a brave step in adding onto our dining hall, several fine men have passed thru the degrees, new catecism coaches have been initiated, a new Lecturer has emerged, over 1500 lbs of pork was smoked.....and it seems that Montgomery Lodge is alive and doing well. As I sat in the East during our last stated, a surprising feeling of humbleness came over me. A feeling that I'm sure many men in the Oriental Chair have felt before me.....a feeling that I am sure can only come as the sun sets on ones time in the East. It is a feeling that I will cherish and savor for the rest of my life. Knowing that the Lodge is left in good hands.....left in the hands of men that I've helped to initiate, pass, raise, and teach is the greatest of satisfactions. To see these new men congratulated on their accomplishments as see them take their chairs with see them proudly stand as Masons in our Lodge is where my joyfulness comes from. It truly makes me proud to be a NC Mason.

I'm also proud of what NC Masons have accomplished as a whole this year. The Prince Hall compact is behind us, and we have the first graduate of our beloved Orphanage guiding our path into the new year. We all sat in those District meetings and heard the Methodist Preacher from Troutman talk about "Raising FUN"....and I feel that some of his fiery darts struck us just right!

Attending the special recognition of Bro Kelly Hooper at Robbinsville Lodge was one of the year's brightest moments......knowing that Kelly's sincerity and love of the Craft helped mold my Lodge into what it is today. Thanks Bro Kelly!

But, along with the bright spots there has come some dim ones as well. John Dyer's battle with cancer has weighed heavily on my thoughts all year. John is a supurb coach and ritualist....and his absence from the Lodge this past year has truly been missed by many. We pray to God that we can somehow see his return to the Lodge. I've also especially missed some Brothers who have passed away....Doc Little, Arnold Guthrie, Raymond Hamby, and Jack Hughes have been sorely missed this year. But, even though they are abiding in the celestial Lodge above.....I have continually felt their words of wisdom guiding me along the way. The Good Lord knows I've definately needed it!

Sad? Nope! Just warming my bones from the warmth of the setting sun.....knowing that it will never set without the promise of rising again. The implements of Masonry are still shiney and sharp ......the trowel's handle is well worn....and I got a new apron with nary a stain of work yet upon it. Time to get back to work....the Master is calling.

WM Rau, PM Hiss, and my wife as i'm presented my PM apron and pin.

Getting a hug from the lady who made all the time I spent as Master possible.

Henry, Brian, and me.....proud as we can be!

Montgomery Lodge #426 installs Officers for 2009

Montgomery Lodge #426 had its annual Open Installation Saturday evening, December the 13th. A fine meal was prepared by the ladies of Eastern Star, and the dining room was beautifully decorated. I'd like to give a special thanks to both Bro Dan Anderson and his wife Sister Rose Anderson PWM for the splendid job they did. The dinner was served by Ms. Dana Anderson and her daughter Abby.

PM Henry Hiss was Installing officer, and immediate PM Derek Cheek was Installing Marshall. PM Mark Parker of Andrews #301 was Installing Chaplain. Many friends, family, and well wishers were all prsent to see WM Brian Rau take his seat in the East while the rest of his officers were installed and seated. A good time was most definately had by all.

Montgomery Lodge 2009 Officers
Being sworn in.
Taking the oath of office
Conducting Bro Brian to the alter for his swearing in.
PM Henry Hiss approaches the alter to pass the implements of the Lodge to Bro Brian.
The walk to the East.
Presenting the Charter to the new Master.
Presentation of the charter
One of our newly raised Master Masons Danny Carder and his daughter Abby.
Officers for 2009!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

WNC Shrine Club Grand Marshals of Murphy Christmas Parade!

Photos by SCOTT WALLACE/Cherokee Scout
Members of the Shriners of the western North Carolina chapter, which serves Cherokee and Clay counties, served as grand marshals of the 2008 Murphy Christmas Parade on Saturday afternoon. Hundreds of people braved chilly temperatures to either participate in or watch the annual festivities. Many people said because of the cold weather it actually felt a lot like a Christmas parade.


Introducing....The Mower Men!!!!!!

Cherokee Lodge#146 and Chapter#10 of the Eastern Star!!!!
Cherokee #146

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

I'd like to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving! Please take a moment this Thanksgiving to remember our troops in prayer for the sacrifices they make in order for us to enjoy the freedoms we cherish so deeply. May God bless all of you! Derek.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Montgomery 426 takes Traveling Gavel from Robbinsville 672!

Let the minutes show that Jim Hyde cooks some GREAT Boston Butt BBQ! Also, let it be known that when Bro Kelly Hooper is getting a HUGE award that Montgomery 426 will bring a small army to the meeting! And, let it be known that Jim Hyde, Jack Long, Benny Self and Dennis Wilson are SORE losers when you get their Gavel!......***The minutes will stand approved at the sound of the GAVEL***!!!!!

Brian Rau and Jim Hyde fighting over the Traveling Gavel

Montgomery 426's Brian Rau wrests Traveling Gavel away from Robbinsville 672's Master Benny Self

What Brother Kelly means to me.

The following was written by WM Derek Cheek Montgomery#426

There are many kinds of milestones. Cal Ripken started 2632 games as a Baltimore Oriole, which is a record that according to most experts will never be broken. In my honest opinion, life throws us bigger hurdles to overcome in reaching milestones. In 1950 a 31 year old Kelly Hooper made a journey to Raleigh, NC...a journey beginning the quest for a milestone with time still not totally written on its surface. Fifty Eight years ago this past spring Bro Kelly became a NC Certified Class A Lecturer. And for this very moment in time, that makes Brother Kelly the longest serving Class A Lecturer in NC Grand Lodge history. Many men would boast of such accomplishment...many men have gone "round after round the circle of fame in our mystic circle" without ever reaching such a milestone as set by Brother Hooper....but I dare say you would ever hear a man as humble as Brother Kelly boast of such. All I heard Kelly brag about was what good Brothers he knew and how good they had been to him. Such is the fabric that mighty Masons are made of.

Being from Montgomery #426, I have a little bit stronger tie to Brother Kelly than a lot of other Masons in NC do...that goes for ALL members of Montgomery! Brother Kelly was a shepherd to Montgomery's Doc Little. When Doc took his Class A certification in 1961, Brother Kelly boarded, fed, drove, and prepared Doc for his journey as a Lecturer....a journey which ended last year with Bro Doc's death. There is, was, and has been no one attending Montgomery in the past 45 years that wasn't touched by Doc's work....and it all began with Brother Kelly. My own Masonic journey is adorned by Doc Little's teachings.....teachings nurtured by Bro Kelly Hooper. I tried my very best last night as I was fighting back tears to tell Brother Kelly how thankful we were for him, his travels, and what he meant to the 41st District. All of this is what I wanted to say. So, THANKS Bro Kelly! Thank you from everyone you've lectured, coached, corrected, fed, shepherded, boarded, and loved. I hope #58 is a mile on a road that is very long!

Brother Kelly Hooper of Robbinsville 672.. Class A Certified Lecturer for 58 years!

The following was written by DDGM Jim Hyde.

Recently Brother Kelley Hooper was given a surprise honor at Robbinsville Lodge # 672 for his dedicated service as the longest serving Certified Lecturer in the history of the North Carolina Grand Lodge. Brother Hooper has remained certified for 58 years.

Brother Mack Sigmon, Secretary of the Board of Custodians was present to present Brother Hooper with a framed certificate, read a history of Brother Hooper’s accomplishments and read a letter to Brother Hooper from Grand Master Cash. Also present to honor Brother Hooper were the Masters and brothers from Andrews # 529, Clay # 301, Marble #439, and Montgomery # 426, and brothers from Indiana and Wisconsin.

At 88 years old not only is Brother Hooper the longest serving Certified Lecturer, he proved to everyone present that he was still able to hear and correct mistakes, as demonstrated when he pointed out that during the opening ritual the word “this” was used when it should have actually have been “a” in one particular statement.

Brother Hooper actually became certified the same year as the first District Deputy Grand Lectures began in 1950. The certified lecturer program had stated only 9 years earlier, in 1941. He has served as the DDGL on four occasions under three different district numbering systems, the 43rd, 58th, and 65th. His tenure as DDGL lasted for 12 years.

Not only has he given countless lectures, schools of instruction, assisted newly made brothers witch catechisms, he has helped more than one brother take that dedicated step of also becoming a Certified Lecturer; Brothers such as the beloved late Doc Little, and our current District Deputy Grand Lecturer Jack Long.

Accomplishments of Brother Hooper:
In 2000 he became the 2nd individual to reach the 50 year milestone of being certified, and is only 1 of 10 individuals to accomplish this feat. Of those 10 individuals, only the first nine have served without a break in service.
Only one other brother, Brother Willie P. Goodman of Unanimity Lodge # 7 has ever reached 58 years. Brother Hooper was certified in March of 1950, and Brother Goodman the following September.
DDGL 1956-59; 1972-75; 1978-81; 1989-92
He has served as Master of Robbinsville Lodge # 672 on four separate occasions.
Has been a Deacon at New Hope Baptist Church in Robbinsville for over 50 years.

Bro Kelly and Board of Custodians Secretary Mack Sigmon

Brother Kelly's certificate for 58 years as a Class A Certified Lecturer

DDGL Jack Long, Board of Custodians Secretary Mack Sigmon, and DDGM Jim Hyde all offer Brother Kelly congratulations.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Franklin Chapter 95 York Rite Masons Celebrate Homecoming and Honor Dave Cashion and Dennis Hurst

What do you get when two of your finest Masons advance into their respective Grand Lines.....and you celebrate a Homecoming for 50 hungry Masons, their wives, and family members???????? LOTS OF FOOD and some GREAT fellowship! That is what happenned at Junaluskee Lodge on Saturday night October 25th, 2008. Right Excellent Grand Master of the 2nd Veil Dennis Hurst(York Rite Grand Chapter), and Right Illustrious Grand Steward Dave Cashion(York Rite Grand Council) were honored for their many achievements in Masonry while the rest of their friends, family, Brothers and Companions all were there to roast the occasion. The excellent prime rib dinner was prepared by Companion Rick Dunn, his wonderful wife Karen, and son Clay....and was proclaimed supurb by all attending. Lon Peden KYCH was host of the event and many excellent and deserving remarks were made chronicling Dave and Dennis's Masonic travels. Right Eminent Past Grand Commander Charles Cathey and Most Illustrious Past Grand Master Royal & Select Masters, Hugh K. Terrell each gave their respectful remarks and recollections concerning Dave and Dennis. Also present was Most Excellent Past Grand High Priest Berry Rigdon and Right Eminent Past Grand Commander Bob Kraus. Due to health reasons, High Priest Henry Hiss sent well wishes via email, which were read by Lon Peden...Companion Henry was sorely missed. A most excellent evening was enjoyed by all present.

Companions of the hour.

Gordon and Hugh K. hit the coffee!

Charles Cathey getting ready to eat

Jim Egan WM #146 is ALL smiles!

Scribe Tom O'Day and wife Patty Jean enjoy some masonic company!

Brian Rau SW #426, Ann Marie, and Companion Andy Liakos

Juan Joachim KYCH, and wife before meal.

Dallas Davis and Most Excellent Past Grand High Priest Berry Rigdon before the meal


The Preparer and Family!!!!!


Matthew Neeley enjoys the meal

DDGM Tiny Hooper is ALL smiles!

REPGC Bob Krauss enjoys the meal

My wife, PM Mark Parker, and wife Suzanne waiting to eat

The room

The dignitary table

The Roaster and Roastees confer on some "titles"!