Brother Theodore S. Parvin was an instrumental force in the development of Iowa, both as a territory and as state, and of Iowa Freemasonry. He was the Personal Secretary to Governor Robert Lucas, the first Governor of Iowa. He was instrumental in establishing a library for the Territory of Iowa, and was the first lawyer licensed to practice law in Iowa. He was very active in education and was among those who founded what is now known as the Iowa State Education Association. Masonically, Brother Parvin was instrumental in the formation of the Grand Lodge of Iowa and served as its’ first Grand Secretary and later as Grand Master. He was the first Iowa Mason to hold the offices of Grand Master of Masons, Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, Grand Master of the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters, Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar, and Sovereign Grand Inspector A.A.S.R. He was the force behind the foundation of the Iowa Masonic Library, located at Cedar Rapids. His record leaves no doubt about the remarkable influence he had upon Iowa Freemasonry and the early history of the Iowa itself.
Each year, the Iowa Conference for Masonic Cooperation presents the T.S. Parvin Award to an Iowa Mason who has conspicuously contributed to the betterment of the Fraternity without expectation of fee or reward. The recipient is selected by a committee consisting of the Grand Master of Masons, the Grand High Priest, the Grand Master of the Grand Council, the Grand Commander, the Sovereign Grand Inspector General, and the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Iowa Conference for Masonic Cooperation. The winner is selected from nominations submitted throughout the state. Any Master Mason, Companion, Sir Knight, Master of the Royal Secret or Noble of the Shrine may nominate a brother for this award. All Master Masons who are in good standing in any subordinate lodge in Iowa are eligible if they have never been honored by being elected to any office in one of the state bodies, has not been elected Potentate of any Iowa Shrine Temple, or has not attained the 33rd degree. Please note that previous nominees must be resubmitted for consideration in 2015.
While filling the form out, please pay attention to civic and church activities, as they are also very important in the final determination of the honoree.
Please distribute copies of this letter and the nomination form to anyone in your organization who may wish to nominate a brother for consideration by the Committee. There is no doubt that there are many qualified brothers who richly deserve this prestigious award. Please help to honor them by submitting their nomination. Nominations for this award must be submitted by May 1, 2015 to the address on the form.
Sincerely & Fraternally,
Wade E. Sheeler