Cliff Rossler, worshipful master, presented Bast with the award on July 13, with representatives from the local Masons, their families and Grand Lodge representatives present.
The Hiram Award dates back to King Solomon temple workers. It reflects the dedication, commitment and out-standing service to the Masons.
ďWhen I was told a couple of months ago that I had been chosen to receive this award, my first thought was I was not worthy of such an honor,Ē Bast said. ďIn accepting this award, I do so on behalf of all the members of Paynesville Lodge #71.
ďWe have all worked together as brothers and everyone has contributed to the success of the lodge. It has been a good journey and I am looking forward to more years of working together as a group of men with common goals, of friendships, brotherly love and becoming a better person,Ē Bast added.
Bast has been a member of the Paynesville Lodge 42 years. He was recommended for membership by Reuben Young and George Paetznick in 1956. Bast was voted into the lodge in April of 1956, initiated on April 30, 1956, as an entered apprentice, received the fellow craft degree in October and was raised to degree of master mason status in November of 1956.
Bast said that he has held every office in the Masons over the years, including serving as worshipful master twice (1963 and 1993.) He is also a member of the Shriners, a branch of the Masons.
The Paynesville Masonic Lodge is over 125 years old. ďWe are not a service club, we donít bang our drum a lot,Ē Rossler and Bast said. ďWe help out where needed, giving scholarships to students, donating to the food shelf, donating to the crippled childrenís hospital, purchasing a blood glucose tester for the school and helping with the special education department within the Paynesville Area School District.
The late Ray Webb, Paynesville, is the only other member of the local lodge to receive the Hiram award.
There are 192 Masonic Lodges in Minnesota. Paynesville has 64 members on the roster.
ďThe Masonic creed explains who we are, what we do and what we believe in,Ē Bast and Rossler said.
ďA Mason is a man who professes a faith in God. As a man of faith, he uses the tools of moral and ethical truths to serve mankind.
A Mason binds himself to like-minded men in a brotherhood that transcends all religious, ethnic, social, cultural, and educational differences.
In fellowship with his brothers, a Mason finds ways in which to serve his God, his family, his fellowman, and his country.
A Mason is dedicated. He recognizes his responsibility for justice, truth, charity, enlightenment, freedom, and liberty, honesty and integrity in all aspects of human endeavor.
A Mason is such a man.
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