The Golden Trowel Award originated in a place called "Armadillo Acres" --- the get away home of Past Grand Master Leonard P. Harvey. In the fall of 1989 while at Armadillo Acres for a bit of a breather before the up-coming Grand Lodge Session, the Grand Master, The Deputy Grand Master and the Grand Senior Warden were discussing possible recipients of the prestigious Sam Houston Medal given annually to outstanding Masons. During those discussions, The Deputy Grand Master said "we are always giving special recognition to brethren on a Grand Lodge Level, and I don't understand why we can't recognize deserving guys at the Lodge level." He mentioned that in nearly every lodge there are the rather obscure brothers who day in and day out do the little things for Masonry and for his lodge, and he does those things without exception of reward or recognition.
While setting in"the red chair" twiddling between his fingers a small golden trowel that was given to Brother Harvey's father-in-law several years previously after purchasing lots at a Dallas cemetery. At this point, the proverbial light came on and the Deputy Grand Master declared, "we can call it The Golden Trowel Award." And thus began the creation of the highest honor that any lodge can bestow on a brother.
By the way, that Deputy Grand Master was A.D. Hanna, a member of Iowa Park Lodge No. 713 of District 88 of The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Texas.
The Golden Trowel Award is unique in that it is sanctioned by The Grand Lodge of Texas as an official award.
The Golden Trowel Award is exclusive in that it can only be awarded to a brother "once" in a Masonic Year.