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!