Pilot Mountain Masons and their guests gathered at the South Key Street Lodge Friday to observe the installation of officers for Pilot Lodge #493 for 2017.
The ceremony had been rescheduled after snow had blanketed the area on the previous Saturday, forcing postponement.
Samuel Joseph (Joe) Carson II was installed as the 74th Master of Pilot Lodge by presiding officer Russell Atkins, Past Master of Ararat Lodge #558. Stephen McCraw, Past Master of Granite #322 in Mount Airy, served as Marshal.
“All i can think about is the many past masters that have served in this role over the years and to try to meet the high expectations and standards that they have set,” said Carson. “It is a great honor for me to be elected and installed as Master of Pilot #493. It was very special to have my friends and family joining us for the evening.”
Following Carson’s installation, 2017 Master Mike Register presented him with the Charter of Pilot Lodge which dates to 1898. The charter allows Pilot Lodge to operate under the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina.
Carson then presented Register with a certificate recognizing his year of service as master.
Other officers installed Friday evening were Dean Gordon as senior warden, Danny Martin as senior deacon, Mickey Chamberlain as junior deacon, Dickie Crump as treasurer, Homer Dearmin as secretary, Rick Smith as chaplain and Jesse Eads and Greg Dollyhite as stewards. Junior Warden Tyler Cook and Tyler Ted Johnson were unable to attend and will be installed at a later date.
“It was great to have so many visitors present,” Carson said. He estimated that around 60 guests were in attendance.
“The installation ceremony is one of the few times the public gets to observe the forms and ceremonies of Masonry, and it often sparks someone’s interest to ask about joining our organization.”
Prior to the installation ceremony, Masons and their guests enjoyed a country breakfast dinner prepared by Dickie and Jane Crump.
According to Secretary Homer Dearmin, Pilot Lodge works throughout the year to support several local and state charitable efforts. Primary among these are the Masonic Home for Children at Oxford and the Whitestone Masonic and Eastern Star Foundation, which provides assistance for elder care.
The lodge also funds an annual renewable scholarship for a graduating senior at East Surry High School and works year-round to support other charities and community needs.
To join the organization, Dearmin noted, petitioners must be at least 18 years of age, of good moral character and they must ask to join through someone who is already a Mason.
“Our organization strives to make good men better,” said Carson. “I am looking forward to great things from the members of Pilot Lodge in 2017.