Category Archives: Community

June 2017 Stated Communication

Among other activities, our June Stated Communication is when our Bernard Hogan Essay Contest winners present their essays. This year’s winner, Brevin Martin, was in attendance with his family to present his essay to the Lodge.

Freemasonry in the American Revolution
by Brevin Martin

Freemasons have been in the United States since its inception; some even say that Freemasons helped bring about the founding of the United States through the American Revolution. Masonic Temples were used for meetings. Members from both sides of the Revolution were welcome and actively participated in Masonic meetings without politics being involved. Others are convinced that the American Revolution itself started in Masonic meetings with discussion of unfair British policies and how to combat them. Not all of the major “players” in the Revolution were Freemasons, but many of them were. Ten signers of the Articles of Confederation, nine signers of the Declaration of Independence, thirteen signers of the Constitution, and four Presidents of the Continental Congress were — or later became — Freemasons. The brotherhood of the Masons and the trust established be being a Freemason helped people who didn’t otherwise know each other to become loyal confidants. Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Paul Revere, Joseph Warren, George Washington and Benjamin Franklin are well-known names from the American Revolution…they were also Freemasons!

John Hancock was a wealthy businessman who decided to get involved with politics by securing political office in Boston and then the colonial legislature in Massachusetts. Paul Revere — a silversmith and not of the elite social class of John Hancock — was a Senior Grand Deacon in the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts and was a good friend of Joseph Warren, Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. They became friends due, in large part, to their membership in the St. Andrews Lodge (Boston, Massachusetts). Samuel Adams was a graduate of Harvard and came from a very politically-active family in Boston. A lead of the Sons of Liberty — and kind of a troublemaker — Adams frequently challenged British policies. All four of these men were Freemasons and belonged to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. At the time Joseph Warren sent Paul Revere to warn John Hancock and Sam Adams that the British regulars were marching to Concord, Hancock and Adams had warrants issued for their arrest. Without being in the brotherhood of Freemasons, the American Revolution may have had a completely different outcome. All of these men were active members of the Freemasons until their deaths.

There were many notable Freemasons involved with the American Revolution, but George Washington and Benjamin Franklin are among the most well-known. George Washington would be the “celebrity” by today’s standard, but Benjamin Franklin did more for the Masonic organization.

George Washington’s influence on American history is inestimable. He was the Commander of the Continental Army, served as President of the Constitutional Convention, and later became the first President of the United States. He was a devout mason; he was first initiated in 1752 in the lodge of Fredericksburg, Virginia. He remained an active member until his death in 1799. He rose to the level of Master of the Alexandria Lodge No. 22 (which was subsequently renamed the “Alexandria-Washington” Lodge No. 22). Washington surrounded himself with Freemasons; he used a Masonic Bible from the St. John’s Masonic Lodge No. 1 (New York City), and his oath was given by Robert Livingston, a prominent Mason and the Chancellor of New York. Livingston later served as one of five members of the committee tasked with drafting the Declaration of Independence. George Washington even incorporated Masonic practices as he and other members of the Maryland and Virginia Masonic Lodges laid the cornerstone of the US Capitol building.

Benjamin Franklin joined the Masonic Lodge of St. John in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1732 and remained an active member until his death. He eventually became Grand Master of his lodge as well as Grand Master of the Nine Sisters Lodge in Paris, France. He joined the Parisian lodge while serving as a diplomat in France. Interestingly, Benjamin Franklin traveled to other European countries to attend different Masonic Lodges and meetings. He was well-known for serving on the committee to draft the Declaration of Independence and his work in the Continental Congress, but he was just as dedicated to his Masonic Lodge. He created its bylaws and he also published the Constitution of the Free-Masons.

In conclusion, Freemasons helped create the United States of America, helped form the foundation of our laws and beliefs, and much of the Founders’ creative thinking can be traced to the fundamentals of Freemasonry. The fact that these men belonged to the same fraternal organization gave them the opportunity to interact with other Masons and crate and important connection, vital to the formation of our nation. Found fathers and historical figures, Freemasons truly shaped the very concept of the United States of America.

Worshipful Brother Kemble presents Chase Martin with his first place prize and plaque. Pictured above, left to right: Dan Kemble, P.M., Secretary; Brevin “Chase” Martin; Buddy Wallace, Master.
Pictured above, left to right: Doug Logan, History teacher at Cooper High School; Don Martin; Brandon Martin; Rose Martin; Buddy Wallace, Master; Right Worshipful Brother Gary Rose, Grand Senior Warden, Grand Lodge of Kentucky.

Right Worshipful Brother Gary Rose, Grand Senior Warden of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky was our guest speaker for the evening. He spoke briefly on a series of interesting topics to get everyone thinking then opened the floor for questions and discussion.

Bicycles Presented at Kelly Elementary School

Wednesday, May 24th was the last day of school at Kelly Elementary School.  Elvin E. Helms Lodge No. 926 sponsored eight bicycles that were presented to students as attendance awards.

Three Kelly students had perfect attendance for the school year.  Those students were allowed to select a bicycle of their choice as a reward for this accomplishment.

Kelly Elementary School students with perfect attendance during the 2016-2107 school year. Congratulations!

The remaining bicycles went into a drawing for students that had at least one month of perfect attendance.

Thanks to Family Resource Center Coordinator Shelly Hoxmeier, who facilitated our donation of the bicycles to Kelly Elementary School!

In attendance, representing Elvin E. Helms No. 926, were, left to right: Travis Bush, P.M., Treasurer; Dan Kemble, P.M., Secretary; Buddy Wallace, Worshipful Master; Ed Tanner, P.M.

Visit to Bro. J. R. Ross

Bro. Ed Tanner and Bro. Dan Kemble visit with Bro. J. R. Ross at the Sam Swope Care Center, Louisville, Kentucky.

On Saturday, May 20, members of our Lodge visited Bro. J. R. Ross at The Masonic Homes in Louisville.  Bro. Ross is a resident at the Sam Swope Care Center and is a member of St. George Lodge No. 239 in Louisville.  He is a 43-year member of our Fraternity.  Bro. Ross never married and has no children.  His Lodge Brothers are truly his family.  Through the assistance of Worshipful Bro. Bruce Lott, our Lodge “adopted” Bro. Ross in 2016.

We found Bro. Ross to be in good health and in good spirits.  He was happy to see his Brothers from Elvin E. Helms Lodge and especially thanked us for the afghan that we sent him last Christmas.  During the course of our visit, Bro. Ross said at least a half dozen times that he thanked God daily for having the good fortune to live in the Masonic Homes.

The Sam Swope Care Center is a beautiful facility.  As evidenced by Bro. Ross, the residents are well cared for and happy in their surroundings.  Seeing our Brother so happy and content is a vivid demonstration of the importance of the Masonic Care program.  We can all be proud of the job done by The Masonic Homes of Kentucky.

Kelly Chorus Performs Spring Concert

The Kelly Elementary School Chorus, under the direction of Ms. Holly Trenkamp, performed their Spring Concert on Thursday, March 30, 2017 to a full house at Belleview Baptist Church.  Following the concert, Elvin E. Helms Lodge No. 926 served punch and cookies to the choir members, faculty, relatives and friends.  The Lodge wishes to congratulate the Choir and Ms. Trenkamp on a job well done.  Thanks to all who came out to support the Choir and a special thanks to Jillian Gross for baking most of the cookies that were enjoyed by all!

Eight members of our Lodge and one visiting Brother attended the Spring Concert.  They are, left to right, Bro. Jason Wallace, Sr. Warden, Bro. Kenny Williamson, P. M., Bro. Buddy Wallace, Worshipful Master, Bro. Dennis Stephens, Jr. Deacon, Bro. Rick Campbell, Tyler, Bro. Ed Tanner, Sr., Steward, Bro. Larry York, Secretary at DeMoss Lodge No. 220 and Sr. Warden at Wilmington Lodge No. 362, Bro. Dan Kemble, Secretary and Bro. Adam Gross, Jr. Warden.

Ms. Trenkamp gets the Choir organized prior to the performance.

Choir members chat with each other before the performance.

The Choir takes a quick run through prior to showtime.

The Kelly Elementary Choir performing during their Spring Concert.

Ms. Trenkamp introduces the next selection.

The Choir begins their final number.

Belleview Baptist Church is a beautiful venue for the concert.  Pictured above is one of the Church’s stained glass windows.

Worshipful Master Buddy Wallace and Choir Director Holly Trenkamp after the performance.

6th Annual David Wood Memorial Chili Cook-Off Results

This year the David Wood Memorial Chili Cook-Off had eight entries. Chili chefs included David Bird, Debbie Bush, Travis Bush, Rick Campbell, Dave Cassesa, Lora Rodgers, Ed Tanner, and Buddy Wallace. The overall winner, and new unofficial Mayor of Petersburg for the ensuing term, was Debbie Bush, followed by David Bird in second, and Dave Cassesa in third.

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The category winners were:

Traditional: Dave Cassesa, first place; Buddy Wallace, second place; Lora Rodgers, third place.


Hot: Rick Campbell, first place; Travis Bush, second place; Ed Tanner, third place.


Exotic: Debbie Bush, first place; David Bird, second place.

Overall the David Wood Memorial Chili Cook-Off was a great success with receipts of over $1400 for the various community programs of Elvin E. Helms No. 926.

Bro. Mike Moses of Boone-Union No. 304 won the split-the-pot.

Northern Kentucky DeMolay January 2017 Installation

Northern Kentucky Chapter, Order of DeMolay, held its installation of officers on January 29, 2017 at Bradford Lodge No. 123, Independence, Kentucky. Bro. Josh Ball, who also serves as State Junior Councilor, was installed as Master Councilor of the Chapter. This is Bro. Josh’s third term as Master Councilor!

The Installation was performed by State Master Councilor Draven Sims along with his corps of officers.


Our Master, Bro. Buddy Wallace, along with Junior Warden Adam Gross and Secretary Dan Kemble attended the installation. Worshipful Bro. Buddy is pictured above with the members of Northern Kentucky Chapter, Order of DeMolay and the state officers of Kentucky DeMolay.

Northern Kentucky Chapter meets at Bradford Lodge No. 123 on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month at 2:00 P.M. Please support these young men and welcome them into the family of Freemasonry.

6th Annual David Wood Memorial Chili Cook-off

On Saturday, February 18, 2016, Elvin E. Helms Lodge No. 926 will host its 6th Annual David Wood Memorial Chili Cook-off.  Festivities will begin at 11:00 A.M. and winners will be announced at 3:00 P.M.  The event will be held at the Petersburg Community Center, 6517 Market Street, Petersburg, Kentucky, 41080.

Lodge members, family and friends can enter and everybody can vote. There will be three classes: classic, exotic and hot (!). There will be prizes in each class. Bring any condiments you want to accent your chili. Our Lodge will provide iced tea and water (soda will be available). Judging is simple, just put a $ 1 donation in the ballot box of your favorite chili. You may cast as many votes as you want and we encourage you to vote often!! Winners will be announced at 3:00 P.M.

2016 Kelly Elementary Winter Holiday Concert

The Kelly Elementary 3rd, 4th and 5th Chorus had their Winter Holiday Concert  this evening, welcoming a packed house in the beautiful Belleview Baptist Church. They performed 5 songs for the crowd under the direction of Holly Trenkamp, Conductor. Everyone did a marvelous job. Gabriella Stephens, who is a 3rd Grade member of the Kelly Elementary School Chorus, is the granddaughter of Bro. Dennis Stephens, P.M. and current Junior Deacon. We will be looking forward to hearing them perform again at their Spring Concert. Below is a copy of the program for the evening.

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Installation of Officers 2016-2017


Officers for 2016-2017, left to right:

Sammy Meyerratken, Senior Deacon; Travis Bush, Treasurer; Adam Gross, Junior Warden; Jason Wallace, Senior Warden; Buddy Wallace, Master; Ed Tanner, Senior Steward; Grand Senior Warden Gary Rose, Installing Master; Bob Bradford, Junior Steward; Mel Kinser, Chaplain; Honorary Member Dave Cassesa, Installing Marshall; Dan Kemble, Secretary


Our Volumes of Sacred Law upon the Altar.  May they ever light our path!


Right Worshipful Bro. Gary C. Rose, Grand Senior Warden of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M. served as our Installing Master.


Worshipful Bro. Dave Cassesa, Installing Marshall, presents Master-elect Bro. Buddy Wallace at the altar for installation.


Our newly obligated Master, Bro Buddy Wallace, receives the line, the rule, Book of Constitutions and the By-Laws from Installing Marshall Dave Cassesa.


Worshipful Master, Bro. Buddy Wallace, is seated in the chair of King Solomon.


Right Worshipful Bro. Gary C. Rose, Grand Senior Warden of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M. charges our newly installed Master, Bro. Buddy Wallace.


Worshipful Bro. Dave Cassesa, Installing Marshall, proclaims the installation of Worshipful Master Bro. Buddy Wallace.


Bro. Sammy Meyerratken, Senior Deacon, and Worshipful Bro. Adam Gross, Junior Warden, observe the proceedings.


Worshipful Bro. Jason Wallace (kneeling) and Worshipful Bro. Adam Gross take their obligations as Senior Warden and Junior Warden, respectively.


Worshipful Bro. Jason Wallace, Senior Warden, assumes his station in the West.


Worshipful Bro. Dave Cassesa, Installing Marshall, presents Worshipful Bro. Adam Gross at the altar for installation as Junior Warden.


Worshipful Bro. Adam Gross, Junior Warden, receives his collar from his mother-in-law, Holly Kemble.


Worshipful Bro. Dave Cassesa, Installing Marshall, presents Worshipful Bro. Dan Kemble and Worshipful Bro. Travis Bush for installation as Secretary and Treasurer, respectively.


Worshipful Bro. Dan Kemble and Worshipful Bro. Travis Bush (kneeling) take their obligations as Secretary and Treasurer while Holly Kemble and Debbie Bush look on.


Worshipful Bro. Dave Cassesa, Installing Marshall, presents Worshipful Bro. Mel Kinser, Worshipful Bro. Bob Bradford, Worshipful Bro. Dennis Stephens and Bro. Sammy Meyerratken for installation as Chaplain, Junior Steward, Junior Deacon and Senior Deacon, respectively.


Worshipful Bro. Dave Cassesa, Installing Marshall, presents Worshipful Bro. Mel Kinser, Chaplain, with the jewel of his office.


Worshipful Bro. Bob Bradford and Worshipful Bro. Ed Tanner are installed as Junior Steward and Senior Steward, respectively.


Worshipful Bro. Dan Kemble, Worshipful Bro. Mel Kinser and Worshipful Bro. Ed Tanner at their respective stations.


Worshipful Bro. Ed Tanner, Worshipful Bro. Adam Gross and Worshipful Bro. Bob Bradford at their respective stations.


Worshipful Bro. Dave Cassesa, Installing Marshall, proclaims the installation of officers of Elvin E. Helms Lodge No. 926 for the year 2017.


Worshipful Master Bro. Buddy Wallace stands between Right Worshipful Bro. Gary Rose, Grand Senior Warden, and Worshipful Bro. Dave Cassesa, Installing Marshall.


Bro. Sammy Meyerratken, Senior Deacon, Gary C. Rose, Grand Senior Warden, Grand Lodge of Kentucky, Worshipful Master Buddy Wallace and Worshipful Bro. Ernest C. Jackson, Past Master of James W. Alley Lodge No. 869 in Wayland, Kentucky.


Worshipful Bro. Garry Kelly, who otherwise would not have had his picture taken, poses with Worshipful Bro. Jason Wallace, Senior Warden.

Last but not least, 2016’s winners for our Kelly Elementary School Fund were Worshipful Bro. Bob Perry of Alexandria No. 152 and our newly installed Secretary, Worshipful Bro. Dan Kemble.

November 2016 Stated Communication

On Election Night 2016, the Brothers of Elvin E. Helms No. 926 welcomed a capacity crowd for a great night of Masonry in Petersburg, Kentucky. We were honored to have Most Worshipful Grand Master Todd Jones, Right Worshipful Grand Junior Warden Geary Laird, Worshipful Grand Senior Deacon Coleman Waford and Worshipful DDGM Kevin Schneider (District 18) in attendance.  We had an excellent meal provided by Bro. Mike Boffemmyer, followed by the introduction of our distinguished visitors, an especially interesting education program for the evening, a new twist on our program with Kelley Elementary School, the Worshipful Master’s report from Grand Lodge, and last but not least, were able to share our Grand Master’s 2015-2016 Lodge of Excellence Award for the first time in Stated Communication.

Pictured above, left to right: Jim Fletcher, DDGM 19; Geary Laird, Grand Junior Warden; Tom Roundtree; Larry York; Coleman Waford, Grand Senior Deacon; Chuck Yokum; Robby Ratliff; Jason Wallace; Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Kentucky, Todd Jones; Sammy Meyerratken; Brad Drew; Buddy Wallace; Dave Cassesa; Worshipful Master Ernie Stratton; Ken Rogers; Jim Herzog; Travis Bush; Mel Kinser; Garry Kelly; Mark Rosen.
Pictured above, left to right: Coleman Waford, Grand Senior Deacon, Grand Lodge of Kentucky; Dave Cassesa, Committee on Education, Grand Lodge of Kentucky; Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Kentucky, Todd Jones; Ken Rogers, Committee on Masons Helping Masons, Grand Lodge of Kentucky; Worshipful Master Ernie Stratton; Right Worshipful Grand Junior Warden, Grand Lodge of Kentucky, Geary Laird.

Our education program for the evening was presented by Worshipful Brother Marc Rosen of Poage Lodge No. 325. Brother Rosen is a former District Court and Circuit Court Judge in Boyd, County, Kentucky. His topic was the Grand Lodge of Kentucky Appeals Committee, on which he has served for many years, what is its purpose, and how it performs its functions. Especially interesting was the dialogue between Most Worshipful Grand Master Todd Jones and Worshipful Brother Rosen allowing for an explanation of the checks and balances between the judicial and executive branches of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. As a result of the very unexpected conversational presentation and in following the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky we do not have a transcript of the program to make available.

Pictured above, left to right: Marc Rosen; Worshipful Master Ernie Stratton.

Larry York of Demoss No. 220 shared with us a brief writing he had published in the November 2016 issue of the Masonic Homes Journal:

WHAT IS A MASON? by Larry York, DeMoss No. 220

A Mason is a man who has decided he likes to feel good about himself and others. He cares about the future as well as the past. He does what he can both alone and with others to make sure the future is good for everyone. Recently I found that to be true. I belong to a small Lodge in District 19, DeMoss Lodge No. 220. Our Lodge was in need of some repairs, most importantly a new roof. To help offset the cost, we purchased a shotgun to be raffled. Tickets were printed up for a dollar donation.

We did get our roof replaced and the shotgun raffle was a success because we made enough on the raffle to replace our gutters and downspouts, also. I would like to take this time to thank everyone that participated in the raffle. I would like to especially thank the man who sets the example of a true Mason. His name is District Deputy Dan Kemble of District 18. He was the winner of the raffle. Upon his name being drawn as the winner, he donated the shotgun back to the Lodge to be raffled again later in the year. Thanks again to everyone that made our raffle a huge success.

Pictured above, left to right: Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Kentucky, Todd Jones; Larry York.

An update on our program with Kelley Elementary School: a local church has come forward to help the school and has opted to take over our Christmas program, extending our reach and allowing us to redirect our own focus. As we all know, fine arts programs are the first programs to have their funds redirected or cut entirely. We now have the distinct honor of being able to redirect our support to the Kelley Elementary School Choir program and the school’s Family Resource Center. Thanks to the church for helping with the Christmas program, we are now able to support and maintain the Choir program which has been in danger, as well as support the Family Resource Center and Director Shelly Hoxmeier. The Masons of Elvin E. Helms No. 926 have led by example and now others are joining in the efforts to aid and support our local elementary school.

Pictured above, Worshipful Master Ernie Stratton poses with the 2015-2016 Grand Master’s Lodge of Excellence Award earned by Elvin E. Helms No. 926.



After a long and fruitful evening, Elvin E. Helms No. 926 was closed in peace and harmony at 10:30pm. We thank all of our guests for making the trip to be with us this evening and hope you will return again soon!