Freemasons award Raymond selectman for service to townBy GRETYL MACALASTER
Union Leader Correspondent December 20. 2013 7:03PM
RAYMOND — Selectman, volunteer firefighter and former longtime highway department employee William Hoitt was honored by Tucker Lodge No. 99 of Freemasons on Saturday with the 2013 Community Builders Award.
Hoitt grew up in Raymond, and according to his nomination letter, has been the fire department representative to many Tucker Lodge Veterans Day events.
Hoitt, who has served as a selectman for five years, is also known for helping fellow neighbors without hesitation or reward, according to the letter, including spending his days off cutting wood to drop off to those in need at his own expense.
Hoitt is a member of the Sons of The American Legion and although he is not a Freemason, is a strong supporter of the Lodge.
According to the letter, Hoitt has been helpful in getting the Lodge's taxes reduced to zero, stating that he would rather see the Lodge support the community with those funds.
Edward J.P. Miller, secretary for the Tucker Lodge, said the award is given to what the Freemasons would consider an outstanding individual within the local community who is a non-Freemason.
"Billy Hoitt for quite a few years has demonstrated his contributions to the local community. When we voted on it, his name was brought up at large and the first vote was a unanimous decision and we are proud to honor him with the award," Miller said.
The lodge, which was chartered on May 17, 1905, has 71 members and all members vote on the award.
Miller said the award can be given out once a year, but is not, and has to be approved by the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire.
"It is seldom given. That is true," Tom Lowe, Grand Secretary for the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire, said. "It is special. They don't want to give it out just like candy."
Miller has been part of the Tucker Lodge for about a decade and this is only the second time he has seen the Community Builders Award given out in Raymond.
"I've known Billy Hoitt myself personally for 25 years and this guy's unbelievable. If somebody cuts a tree down or someone needs a tree cut down, he will cut it down at his own expense and give the wood away to people who need it," Miller said. "He is the first guy anybody calls if they need anything."
Miller said Hoitt is what Raymond is all about.
"He is very, very giving," Miller said.
Hoitt has served as a volunteer firefighter in town for more than 30 years.
"It's hard to describe the stuff he does. He goes out every year and buys cookies, 100 cans of cookies and just gives them away. There is no rhyme or reason as to why he does it," Miller said. "He'll never die a rich man, that's a fact, because everything he seems to have he seems to give away."
In an email, Hoitt said he was very humbled and appreciative for the award, and said his parents always told him to be kind to others and help people out whenever he could.