Thorndale Masons honor But ts with highest award
“It is so good to see a good person honored.” So said Mar y Brannam of Rockdale on Saturday afternoon in the Thorndale Chamber of Commerce building where she and more than 80 people braved a heavy rain storm to see exactly that happen— a good person honored. Thorndale Masonic Lodge 978 presented longtime Thorndale business and civic figure— and long- time Mason— Newton Butts with the Golden Trowel Award. The Golden Trowel is an official award from the Grand Lodge of Texas and is designated as the highest award a lodge can bestow upon an individual member.
PINNING HONORS— Tinker Butts, the honoree’s wife, affixed the Golden Trowel pin on her husband’s lapel, and a huge ovation followed. James W. “Jim” Maines, secretary of Rockdale Masonic Lodge 414 and District 104 Deputy Grand Master, presented Butts with the Golden Trowel credentials. Barton Felton, Thorndale Lodge 978 Worshipful Master, gave the welcome and the invocation was given by Leroy Cast, Lodge 978 Chaplain. Butts responded in his usual low- key manner, expressing his appreciation to Lodge 978 members for the honor, and thanking everyone for their attendance despite the adverse weather conditions.
ABOUT THE HONOREE— The printed program for the ceremony, in a section entitled “A little bit about Newton,” stated: “Brother Newton Butts, unknowingly has set quite an example how to live one’s life. He graduated from Thorndale High School in 1945. He then entered Texas A& M University the same year and graduated in 1949. “Back in Thorndale the same year, he became athletic director at Thorndale High School, head football coach, elementary school principal and girls basketball coach. “In 1954, Newton joined his father, L. G. Butts, as a partner in Butts Dry Goods which Newton still operates today. “Over the years, he has served many terms as a director for the Thorndale Chamber of Commerce. He also served as a member of the Thorndale City Council for many years. He served on the Thorndale School Board and was president from 1974 through 1980. “He has been a deacon of First Baptist Church of Thorndale ‘almost forever.’ “He found the joy of his life in 1960 when he persuaded Tinker Hood to become his wife and, a few years later, they were blessed with a daughter Lisa and a son Todd who are the joys of their lives.”
MASONIC RECORD— The honoree was initiated into Masonry on May 18, 1953. On Feb. 1, 1954, he passed to Degree of Fellowcraft. On May 18, 1954, he rose to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason. On May 27, 2004, he received his 50- year Masonic pin. Also in 1954, he joined the Austin Scottish Rite. He has held many offices at the Thorndale Lodge through the years including Junior Steward, Senior Steward, Junior Deacon and that of Lodge Chaplain from 1982 until 2008 when he passed that office to present Chaplain Leroy Cast.
RECOGN IZED STAT E- WIDE— During the presentation, it was stated: the Golden Trowel Award, recognized statew ide, represents the Lodge’s formal recognition of a Brother who, year after year, quietly but actively demonstrates his devotion to the teachings of Masonry without thought of recognition or special honors. The award was created by the Grand Lodge of Texas in 1994.
CHARITIES— Each day in the U. S., Masonic organizations, via dues and donations, contribute over $1 million to charities including Shriner’s Children’s Hospital, Scottish Rite Children’s Hospitals and others.