By Alicia Lacy
Killeen Daily Herald
Smiles stretched across the faces of all who filled the Grace United Methodist Church Saturday, accompanied with laughter and chit chat that was heard as old friends reconnected along with the widows of a few late friends who share a bond that ties them forever.
The bond of freemasonry is shared among millions of members of the fraternity worldwide.
One hundred and twenty-five years to the day, the brothers of the Masonic Mt. Hiram Lodge No. 595 celebrated its founding in Copperas Cove.
The head of the lodge, Worshipful Master James Powell, said the program was only a snapshot of the lodge's history.
Chartered on Dec. 12, 1884, by the Grand Lodge of Texas, the Mt. Hiram Lodge began in the second story of a two-story schoolhouse, which longtime member B.C. Peters said wasn't unusual for earlier lodges in the state.
Peters was also an integral part in attaining the current lodge building on First Street in Copperas Cove in 1970.
Peters, at 89 is the oldest and longest member of the lodge. By researching the lodge's minutes, Peters helped write the lodge's history during the 75th and 100th anniversaries.
Linda Ledger, who also had a hand in writing the history of the lodge and of Copperas Cove, has strong ties with freemasonry, since all the men in her family are masons.
Ledger delivered a short reflection on the lodge as it relates to Copperas Cove.
Seated at the head table, nine widows were honored and given a Masonic widow pin.
Though their husbands passed on, the women are still tied to the organization.
"This is just our humble way to take a few moments to recognize you and say we are here for you," James Cooney, past district deputy grand master of District 69, said.
"The pin was created to as an emblem to symbolize our continued concern and honor for the widows of a brother Master Mason," Cooney read.
The pin is a broken column surrounded by acacia leaves. The broken column symbolizes earthly life, while the acacia leaves represent eternal life.
Each year during the holiday season, the lodge also gives Christmas baskets to the widows.
Contact Alicia Lacy at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7476.