Young cadet named Master Mason
Published 8:17 pm Saturday, March 2, 2013
Cadet Capt. Shawn Gregory Thomas of Suffolk became the first Fishburne Military School cadet ever to be raised as a Master Mason in the history of Waynesboro’s 147-year-old Lee Lodge, A.F.&.A.M.
On hand for the ceremony were Waynesboro Sheriff and Past Master Joe Harris, Jr., who taught the new Mason his Masonic catechisms; the cadet’s father, Wayne G. Thomas, a fourth-generation Mason who travelled from Suffolk to participate in his son’s degrees; Thomas; Past Master J. B. Yount III, FMS ’56; Past Grand Master of Virginia William T. Ellison Jr., FMS ‘69; and Kenneth W. Dameron, Lee Lodge’s current Worshipful Master.
Virginia Masons recently lowered the eligibility age from 21 to 18, and the young cadet officer managed to include this difficult achievement among the many awards and honors earned during his five years at Fishburne Military School, where he is a senior.
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“Being the first cadet to become a Master Mason in the history of Fishburne, I thought it would be nice to give back to the Lodge, so I gave them a barracks cover,” Thomas said. “The lodge has done so much for me, so I gave them something to remember the school and me.”
“This is a very big deal and we are all very proud,” said Fishburne superintendent, Col. Gary Morrison. “It’s certainly not every day that one of our young men makes history in a way like this. Mr. Thomas’ hard work, commitment and involvement in the community are a great example to others and a testament to the kind of young man FMS attracts. I hope the people at the lodge realize how powerful a gesture that is for him to leave his barracks cover for them.”