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Masonic Lodge officer earns Golden Trowel Award

By Steven James BCC Editor

Pictured: The Golden Trowel is the highest award individual Lodges in Texas can bestow upon their members. Bandera Masonic Lodge Number 1123 Treasurer Kenneth Welch was awarded the Golden Trowel on Saturday.

Bandera Masonic Lodge Number 1123 awarded Treasurer Kenneth Welch the Golden Trowel Award on Saturday at 3 pm due to his outstanding service to both the Lodge and to the community.
The Golden Trowel, which is the highest award individual Lodges in Texas can bestow upon their members, was created by the Grand Lodge of Texas. The award is normally given to members who do the “little things” that help their Lodges function, including sweeping the floors, doing the plumbing, aiding those with disabilities and leading community events, according to the Grand Lodge website. A Golden Trowel Committee is consisted of three of the past five living and most immediate Masters of the Lodge.
Welch, who became a Master Mason on Jan. 9, 1984, served as Worshipful Master from 2003-2004. He has also served as Tiler, Junior Steward, Marshal, Musician and Senior Deacon.
Welch has helped organize the barbecue at the Bandera County Junior Livestock Show for more than 20 years. He is also a major supporter of youth organizations 4H and Future Farmers of America. Approximately 13 of his family members attended the ceremony.
“I’m really honored,” Welch said. “Thank y’all.”
Gene Carnes, another Lodge 1123 Golden Trowel recipient, helped run the ceremony.
“He’s very well-respected in this Lodge,” Carnes said. “I don’t remember going to a meeting and him not being there.”
Linda Stein, Welch’s sister-in-law, gave some words during the ceremony on his accomplishment.
“Kenneth’s my brother. It didn’t start out that way, but he’s my brother,” Stein said. “Daddy would be so proud of you today.”
Other Golden Trowel recipients from Lodge 1123 are Bandera County Sheriff Daniel Butts, who earned the award in 2004, and Bandera County Judge Richard Evans, who earned the award in 2008. Welch was the 15th Mason from Lodge 1123 to have earned the award, and the first in eight years.