by RWBro Fidel Pamplona, PSGW
Considering the month of December is the busiest time of the year for holidays, family reunions and some of the members taking advantage of the festive season to visit and be with their relatives; LJR emergent meeting attendance were still in excess of more than seventy, including the Brethren, their wives, families and friends.
Held at the Castle Hill Masonic Centre last Saturday, 7th of December, it was Lodge Jose Rizal’s Family Christmas Celebration and an emergent meeting where Mr. Arnel Santos and Mr. Noel Gosiengfiao became Brother Arnel Santos and Brother Noel Gosiengfiao among Masons.
As the newly ‘excited’ Worshipful Master, WBro Manuel Placido; first time to preside in the Chair of King Solomon, the Lodge was tyled at exactly 5:00PM and was opened in the First Degree. The Worshipful Master welcomed and thanked all the Brethren present and those that brought their families and friends for the Lodge’s special occasion. He congratulated all his newly invested officers and trusted that they will keep their posts well alight with the guidance of the senior officers and members.
The Minutes, Correspondence and other matters arising were presented by the Lodge Secretary, RW Bro Fidel Pamplona. It was moved and seconded by the Senior Warden, Bro Mario Baylon, Jr and the Junior Warden, Bro Micvi Fidel respectively. The accounts and money matters were then presented by Lodge Treasurer, WBro Manuel Santos and were adopted by those in attendance.
All members of Lodge Jose Rizal were then admitted followed by visitors from within and without the District. Visitors outside the District are represented by RWBro Brian Potter, PRGC R-11 of Lodge Sydney St. George and WBro Ron Dixon of Lodge Hornsby.
The Worshipful Master called the nominators to give effect for the acceptance of the application for affiliation of WBro Ian Harrison of Lodge Alpha 970. The replies were positive and of good reports. The Worshipful Master called for the acceptance of WBro Ian Harrison by show of hands. The result was favourable and was accepted. The Worshipful Master then requested to admit WBro Ian Harrison and congratulated him for affiliating with Lodge Jose Rizal. WBro Ian Harrison gratefully thanked the Worshipful Master and the members of Lodge Jose Rizal for accepting him to be a member of LJR. The Worshipful Master presented him with the By-Laws of the Lodge, nameplate and other LJR kit such as necktie, lapel pin and Barong Tagalog which were given later in the South.
With dispensation received from the Regional Grand Counsellor, RW Bro Robert Moore, a successful ballot was then conducted for the admission into Freemasonry of Mr Arnel Santos, sponsored by WBro Rolando Manarang of LJR and Bro Gerry Buraga of Lodge Beauty of Cabravale and; Mr. Noel Gosiengfiao, a MAS Candidate on which the Grand Master MWBro Derek Robson AM and the Grand Secretary RWBro Kevin McGlinn PDGM empowered to permit VWBro Graham Andrews, DGIW-32 and RWBro Fidel Pamplona, PSGW as the Representatives of the Board of Management to act as the nominators for this applicant.
The Worshipful Master, WBro Manuel Placido invited WBro Khris Albano to take the Chair of King Solomon to preside the Ceremony of Initiation. VWBro Rudy Romerosa took over the position of Director of Ceremonies and RWBro Rey Porras as the Immediate Past Master. The Lodge Treasurer, WBro Manny Santos, retired to check on the two candidates for readiness and shortly after his return, an alarm was sounded. Upon inquiry, it was found that Mr Arnel Santos and Mr. Noel Gosiengfiao were at the door of the Lodge properly prepared and humbly soliciting to be admitted into the mysteries and privileges of Ancient Freemasonry. With the guidance of the newly invested Junior Deacon, Bro Eric Buenavista and supported by the Senior Deacon, Bro Paolo Beringuel, the two candidates were perambulated accordingly for the ceremony of their initiation. The charges were faultlessly executed and recited with particular mention of the “Mode of Preparation” as explained by Bro Oscar Eugenio with such feelings and in full control which was an inspirational to watch and an absolute joy to listen to.
The ceremony was over and a photo opportunity was taken, WBro Khris Albano explained to the newly initiated Brethren, Bro Santos and Bro Gosiengfiao the acronym of the word “MAP” on which he said that every Freemason requires when travelling in their journey in Freemasonry and not only in their Lodge meetings but in places in the four quarters of the globe. The “MAP” stands for Memorisation, Attendance and Presentation and or Personality. WBro Kris Albano stressed to them the great opportunity and privilege of being members of this Ancient Fraternity; and especially to this young and progressive lodge, Lodge Jose Rizal. He then handed them the Book of Constitutions, the By-Laws of LJR, the First Degree Book, and other reading materials assuring that they will peruse these during their spare time. WBro Kris Albano also mentioned that should they visit a Lodge, they will present the Freemason’s Passport for their attendance and there is always a seat allocated to them which is located at the North East Corner of the Lodge. Finally, congratulated and .thanked them for joining Lodge Jose Rizal and being good candidates. WBro Khris Albano handed back the Chair to WBro Manuel Placido, and thanked him for the privilege of giving him the opportunity to do the ceremony for the first time under the NSW Constitution with the support and guidance of RWBro Fidel Pamplona, RWBro Rey Porras and VWBro Rudy Romerosa. The Worshipful Master, WBro Manuel Placido thanked WBro Khris Albano and all the Officers and brethren involved in the ceremony.
The Worshipful Master asked the RW Bro Secretary if there was any other business to be done. The Senior Warden, Bro Mario Baylon, Jr stood-up and moved a motion that Lodge Jose Rizal shall apply and pursue the “Application for Lodge Accreditation”. This was seconded by the Junior Warden, Bro Micvi Fidel. RWBro Rey Porras briefly explained the procedure of getting the Lodge Accredited and gave some inspirational motivation to the members on which he also fully supported the proposal. The Lodge Accreditation was also discussed during the Management Committee meeting. RWBro Fidel Pamplona and RWBro Rey Porras gave the Management Committee the background and summary of Lodge Accreditation and were fully supported by all brethren present at the committee. The Worshipful Master then asked the brethren if they were in favour for the proposal and the brethren showed their full enthusiasm and willingness to go ahead with the proposal unanimously.
The Worshipful Master called-in if there were any apologies. An Inquiry for Membership from The Hills Lodges was announced with the replied not known. Being no other business, the Worshipful Master closed the Lodge and all retired to the South.
After the Lodge Chaplain, Bro Jay Roson, had said Grace, all sat down to a beautiful meal, courtesy of the Ladies of Lodge Jose Rizal and especially the delicious food prepared and cooked by our LJR Bro Master Chef, Bro Oscar Eugenio. Whilst everyone was having the delicious Christmas Banquet and busy with telling stories and fellowship banter, Bro Oliver Gadista and his live band played soft music for easy listening. The Worshipful Master proposed the Loyal Toast then followed by the Senior Deacon, Bro Paolo Beringuel to propose a Toast to the Newly Initiated Brothers. The Director of Ceremonies, Bro Khris Albano, called each of the newly initiated brethren Bro Santos and Bro Gosiengfiao to response and also to the newly affiliated brother, WBro Ian Harrison; which they did with grateful thanks and appreciation. Also, they were called and presented to the stage with a surprise request by the Director of Ceremonies to sing the song “La Bamba” with accompaniment from Bro Oliver’s band. The new members courageously delivered their “first charge” with complete body language and great symphony that the audience could not hold-on to their thunderous acclamations.
The night was getting deeper, Bro Eric Buenavista proposed the Toast to the Visitors and Ladies. He mentioned about one of his gratifying experiences is visiting various Lodges. He said that visitation is a form of communication; continuing that:
“we impart and receive knowledge, ideas and expression of brotherhood and Lodge Jose Rizal always hopes that their message of friendship is passed on to other Lodges.”
Bro Buenavista also created a poem especially dedicated to the Lodge Jose Rizal’s Ladies.
“What would we do without you, preparing for occasions of this sort? What would we do without you, without your help and support. So please accept our grateful thanks, for everything you do. And to say again how please we are, to have Ladies such as you. So, to the Ladies here tonight, be they friends, sweethearts or wives, we wish to thank you very much for lighting up our lives. And so before my chair resume, my toast to you complete. There is a message from the Brethren which to you I must repeat. Our wish to all you gorgeous girls be you young or old, is to wish health and happiness and to say we love you all.”
That wonderful deliberation of poetic words by Bro Buenavista made the Ladies stun and wowed for a few seconds and were awakened with a big applause from all those present. The Toast to the Visitors was responded to by RW Bro Potter; the Toast to the Ladies by his wife - both of whom were also invited to render a song accompanied by the band. They capitulated and proceeded to sing "Daydream Believer". The ladies also responded with an inspirational Christmas caroling; which precipitated a singing of caroling contest between the More Worshipful Ladies and the Brethren [which you know who won!]; and was later capped by a joined-in singing of “Auld Lang Syne”.
The Junior Warden, Bro Micvi Fidel proposed the Junior Wardens Toast and whilst some departed and made their way to their respective homes, others stayed on and continued singing and dancing their way into the wee hours but all ever so glad they had come to Lodge Jose Rizal’s Family Christmas Party and emergent meeting and all looking forward to …”Our Next Happy Meeting at Lodge Jose Rizal No. 1045”, which meets at the Castle Hill Masonic Centre on the second Saturday [11 Jan 2014], where great night, warm and friendly hand of friendship is assured.