Masonic lodges present service awards

Published 10:51 am Friday, May 19, 2017

by Merle Monahan
Contributing Writer

Masonic Orders are known for presenting achievement awards to members of the community, and the Ivor and Purdie lodges held up the tradition in high style at their awards banquet last week.

Between the two lodges, a total of 10 awards and scholarships were given. Three were from Purdie and five from Ivor, while the last two were to recognize two Eagle Scouts from Windsor.

Sue Garner and Worshipful Master Merrell Carr, who presented her the Community Builders Award. — Merle Monahan | Tidewater News

Sue Garner, who will be 90 next month, received the Ivor Community Builders Award, being recognized for serving more than 40 years with the Ivor Volunteer Rescue Squad. An EMT, she ran calls from the time she joined in 1977 until she was 80. Now an honorary member, she still assists when needed.

Also, Garner has been a member of the Ivor Baptist Church for more than 50 years and has been active in all areas, especially the children’s department, where she has served for 42 years.

Purdie’s Builder’s Award went to the Rev. Curtis Faison, pastor of Tucker Swamp Baptist Church.

A minister since 1998, he joined Tucker Swamp in 2012 and immediately became involved in the community, assisting those in need. Since then, he has helped to build eight ramps for the handicapped, repaired decks for several widows in the area, as well as other areas where needed. He also assisted the Waverly tornado victims, making repairs, distributing food and whatever was necessary.

Following the community builder’s awards presentation, scholarships were awarded. The Ivor Lodge presented four scholarships of $500 each to deserving high school graduates, either in college or planning to attend. All students have excelled in both academics and extracurricular activities.

The first award went to Leslie Umphlette of Wakefield, who is attending the Old Dominion University School of Dental Hygiene. Because of a former commitment, Umphlette could not be present at the banquet, but did send a note of appreciation.

The next two scholarships went to twins, Sarah Anne and Hannah Seward Faison of Surry. Upcoming graduates of Surry High School, the girls have chosen to attend one of several schools including Old Dominion University, Virginia Commonwealth University, George Mason University or Christopher Newport University.

The final $500 went to Cameron Bruce of Suffolk. Bruce, graduating from Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, will be attending Virginia Tech.

Scholarships of $1,000 each were awarded from the Purdie Lodge to Trever Kiser of Carrsville and Savannah Miller of Windsor.

Kiser plans to attend either Virginia Tech, the Coast Guard Academy or Randolph Macon College, while Miller will be attending Dartmouth College.

In closing, on behalf of the Grand Masonic Lodge of Virginia, Scoutmaster Jim O’Briant of Windsor Scout Troop No. 41 recognized Eagle Scouts Steven Miller and Jerome Unser for their accomplishments in earning their ranks.