Masons

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    I have always thought that Masons make good cooks – after seeing them in public with their aprons on. Kidding aside, in the past few years members of the Freemasonry have been quite visible in the eyes of the public, at least in San Fernando, because of their participation in City Government – led activities.

    Most of the local heroes we commemorate in the city were Masons, including Pedro Abad Santos who founded the Socialist Party of the Philippines and was the first Worshipful Master of the Pampanga Masonic Lodge No. 48 in San Fernando. (“Worshipful Master” is the title for the head of a Masonic lodge, similar to an organization’s president.)

    Recently the different Masonic lodges in Pampanga opened their doors to the public during the installation of the new sets of officers and I witnessed both the ceremonies at PML 48 and the Leonard Wood Lodge No. 105.

    For the longest time Masonry had been branded as a “cult” or “clandestine society” by many, probably because of its rituals and emblems that lend it such a secretive air. The public installation of officers of a lodge is then a perfect venue to catch a glimpse into this “secret” world.

    Leonard Wood Lodge No. 105 of the Free and Accepted Masons, located in Riverside Subdivision, Angeles City, celebrated its 80th Founding Anniversary earlier this month. It is one of the three Masonic lodges in the Pampanga Area (aside from PML 48 the other one is the Jose Abad Santos Memorial Lodge No. 333), and the second oldest.

    When it started in the Clark Airbase, its members were mostly American military men but after the Second World War more and more Filipinos joined the organization. Today LWL 105 is one of the most well-respected Masonic lodges in the country and counts as its members some of the most active members of Kapampangan civic society. In the past years it has also been very involved in community service by initiating projects such as medical and dental missions and tree planting activities. 

    Dr. Ceferino “Jim” Jimenez, a Most Outstanding Kapampangan Awardee, had just finished a fruitful two-year term as the lodge’s Worshipful Master in 2007 to 2008. The newly-installed worshipful master for 2009 is Dr. Ricardo “Jun” Ramos Jr., a dentist in one of the Rural Health Units of the City Government of Angeles. Dr. Jun gave a very heartwarming acceptance speech when he was installed as the new Worshipful Master of the lodge. According to some of his brethren, they are looking forward to a very active year in the lodge.

    One of the admirable aspects of the installation ceremony were the rites themselves, rendered in very poetic old English by the very capable installing officer Dr. Jim and the superb master of ceremony VW Antonio R. Manio. It is very rare to see such a rare show of formality in public proceedings that it is nearly elevated into an art form. RW Juanito Abergas of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of the Philippines graced the special occasion as the guest of honor and speaker.  

    The formalities of the installation ceremonies were capped by an evening of fun, frolics and fellowship for the brethren of LWL 105 and their family and friends.

    Kudos to the new set of officers of the LWL no. 105!

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