Recognition News

One Busy Evening at Lodge

Submitted by Brian Raigan, DDIGM

Brian Raigan and Landon Jones Brian Raigan and Landon Jones
First Responders Award

It isn't every day that you attend a lodge meeting to give honors and end up receiving them! On Monday, February 17, 2020, while attending Carnegie Lodge #294 in Carnegie, Oklahoma, I had the opportunity to present the Cryptic Mason First Responder Award to Landon Jones, Junior Warden of Carnegie Lodge, for his nearly 20 years of fire service in the town of Cordell, Oklahoma. Immediately afterwards, Brother Jones presented me with the same award for my decade of service as a firefighter and paramedic in Chickasha, Oklahoma.

While we were in the award giving spirit, I presented a 10 year Masonic pin to my father, Truman Lavern Ragain Jr, who is currently serving as Worshipful Master of Carnegie Lodge. The investigating committee also reported favorably and I was elected as a member of the lodge. There were five York Rite Masons present and six others that were exposed to the York Rite and our support for first responders, veterans, and the advancements of medical research through CMMRF.

Keith W. Henry, First Resonders Award

Submitted by Stephen Balke, General Grand Recorder, Cryptic Masons International

Keith Henry
Companion Harry Jenkins, SW of Hiram Lodge, Companion Stephen Balke, GGR, Trevor Wallin, WM Edgewood Lodge, Keith Henry, Amanda Henry, Sean Henry, Companion Nicholas Brittenham

On Tuesday, February 18, 2020, Worshipful Master Trevor Wallin of Edgewood Lodge No. 82 called the Craft to Refreshment and invited in guests for a presentation by Companion Nicholas J. Brittenham and Edgewood Lodge.

Companion Brittenham, a previous recipient and the Junior Steward of Edgewood Lodge, presented Brother Keith W. Henry, Chapter Dad for Edgewood’s Route 66 DeMolay, with a First Responder Award for his service to the Los Alamos Fire Department as both a Firefighter and EMT. It was my honor to introduce the award to an audience which included visitors from several Lodges, including two other Worshipful Masters and R. Christopher Leitch, Potentate of Ballut Abyad Shrine. The award was well received by the members present, and Brother Keith was surprised; his Lady, Amanda, not only got him to wear his class A’s, but was also able to sneak his mom, Nancy, and brother Sean (also a Firefighter) in without him previously knowing.

Photos by Michele Balke



First Responder Award PresentationBrother Keith Henry, recipient and Companion Nick Brittenham, First Responders
First Responder Award PresentationKeith getting “pinned” by Lady Amanda, Nick Brittenham and Sean Henry in background
First Responder Award Presentation34 Brethren in attendance from seven NM Lodges

Lloyd Johnson, First Responders Award

Submitted by Will Highsmith, Editor, Decryption

Lloyd JohnsonComp. Craig Horton, GPCW-NC, WB Justin Eldreth, WM Raleigh 500, Bro. Lloyd Johnson, JW Raleigh Lodge 500, Comp. Will Highsmith, Decryption Editor

On Tuesday February 18, the First Responders Award was presented to Brother Lloyd Carl Johnson who is currently serving as Junior Warden. The award was presented during a Stated Communication of Raleigh Lodge 500, Grand Lodge of North Carolina AF&AM. Worshipful Master Justin Eldreth had the Marshal conduct a very confused Brother Johnson to the West Side of the Altar where he stood for a moment until Companions Will Highsmith and Craig Horton explained why he was standing there and presented the award. Brother Johnson was surprised by the award as were most of the Brothers in the room.

Brother Johnson is currently serving as a Captain for the City of Raleigh Fire Department and has been a firefighter for 27 years. Brother Lloyd Johnson stated that he would treasure the award and really appreciated being thought of.

Photo Credit: Tyler Ball



First Responder Award PresentationLloyd Johnson reviewing the award
First Responder Award PresentationAward Jewel
First Responder Award PresentationCertificate

The First First Responder's Award Presentation

By Companion John Bridegroom, PMIGM IN
General Grand Sentinel, Cryptic Masons International

First Responder Award Presentation
First Responder Award Presentation

On September 9th, Valparaiso Council No. 86 in Valparaiso, Indiana presented Lieutenant Christopher J. Gamblin with the first ever First Responders Award from the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International. Companion Gamblin serves the Lowell Fire Department and his community as a First Responder, and we are pleased to be able to recognize his contribution to our safety and security.

The First Responders Award is intended to honor all of the fields in which our First Responders serve, whether they are members of our Fraternity or not. They are the “Angels on the Ground” here at home, and their contribution is indispensable in the communities across the world. Congratulations to Companion Christopher J. Gamblin on being the first recipient of such a distinguished honor, and we hope it is the first of many given by Cryptic Masonry!





First Responder Award Presentation
Award Certificate and Jewel
First Responder Award Presentation
Award Jewel