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.