Kali Kirsten Kennedy and Daniel David Amador received their honors from members of the Beeville Masonic Lodge No. 261 Tuesday, June 17, just before the Beeville Independent School District board of trustees met.
The Lamar Medal is named after the second president of the Republic of Texas, Mirabeau B. Lamar, who was a Mason.
Lamar is known as the “Father of the Texas Public School System.”
It was his work as president that resulted in the creation of the state’s public school system. Today, more than 4,000 streets across the state are named after Lamar.
Local lodge member Eldridge Custer said the fraternity has long supported public schools across Texas. In the early days most Masonic lodges were located in two-story buildings. Lodge members met and conducted their business on the second floor and they encouraged local churches and schools to meet in the ground floor.
In many locations, it was the lodge members who founded the schools and paid the salaries of the teachers.
During the presentation of the awards, Custer outlined the history of Masons in Texas, pointing out that the fraternity had established lodges here before the revolution that won Texas’ independence from Mexico.
Some of Texas’ most famous heroes were Masons, including Anson Jones, Sam Houston, Lorenzo de Zavala, James Fannin, Antonio Navarro, William Travis, Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett.
Anson Jones actually carried the official charter for the first Masonic lodge in Texas in his saddlebags as he fought in the battle of San Jacinto.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 343-5220, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.