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The 411: Youth

La Vernians receive Lamar Awards

La Vernians receive Lamar Awards
Fifth-graders Bailee Rich (top row, from left) and Chance Elliott, and fourth-grade students Grayson Sims (bottom) and Kelsey Jones.

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June 18, 2014
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Members of Brahan Masonic Lodge No. 226 in La Vernia presented Lamar Medals to La Vernia Intermediate School fourth-graders Grayson Sims and Kelsey Jones, and fifth-graders Chance Elliott and Bailee Rich. These students were deemed to be outstanding achievers who accept the challenge to excel and make the community, state, and nation stronger. In addition to the medals and proclamations, each student received a $25 certified check.

The Masonic fraternity has long supported public schools. Many lodges started public schools themselves and paid the teachers’ salaries. In the early days, most lodges were two-story structures, as is the lodge in La Vernia. The lodge met on the second floor and encouraged the local churches and schools to meet on the ground floor. Brahan’s lodge building was used in this manner from 1871 until the early 1950s. It continues to be used by the lodge members for meetings.

The second president of the Republic of Texas, Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar, was a Mason and is known as “The Father of the Texas Public School System.” One of his first items of business was to set aside land for public schools and two universities. In 1988, the “Lamar Award of Excellence for Personal Achievement” was created in his honor and the Lamar Medal bears his likeness.

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