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“Lacey voted for me five times,” commented Louis Campbell, grand master of Virginia’s Masons, as he prepared to give Delegate Lacey Putney his 50 year Mason’s pin.
Campbell is a retired judge and, unlike federal judges, Virginia judges are not appointed for life. They serve fixed terms and must be reappointed at the end of each term if they desire to remain on the bench.
Campbell was in town to honor Putney, and a few others, at Bedford’s Liberty Lodge. This Masonic Lodge gets its name because the town was called Liberty when the lodge was organized in 1813.
Putney is a Big Island native who earned his law degree at Washington and Lee University, serving four years in the Air Force between earning his undergraduate degree, also from Washington and Lee, and starting law school.
He was first elected to the House of Delegates seat he now holds in 1961 and first set foot on the floor of the General Assembly as a delegate in January, 1962. He is the longest serving delegate in Virginia’s history.
The Virginia House of Delegates has its roots in the House of Burgesses, which first met in Jamestown in 1619, 393 years ago. Putney has been in Virginia’s legislature for 12 percent of that time. 1962 also marks the year Putney joined Liberty Lodge.
The Masons also honored two community builders — Becky Wuergler and Thomas Sikes.
Wuergler served on the county’s board of zoning appeals from its inception in 1998 until 2010. She served on the Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors for six years and is currently serving on two of the Chamber’s committees. She’s also president of the board of directors for the Big Otter Mill Foundation. Finally, she’s a Sunday School teacher at Otterville Methodist Church, something she’s done since 1990. With all that going on, she finds time to sell real estate. She’s been a realtor since 1985 and a broker at Scott & Bond since 1995.
Sikes has been the scoutmaster of the Boy Scout troop, that Sedalia Center sponsors, for 20 years. Twenty-seven scouts have reached the rank of Eagle Scout in that troop.