Lodge Jose Rizal

No 1045, District 25, Under The United Grand Lodge of New South Wales & ACT Australia [Views herein does not necessarily reflect those of LJR 1045 & UGL NSW & ACT.]

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Education and Freemasonry

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."

William Butler Yeats

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Ballot

Written by College of Masonic Studies [UGL NSW & ACT, Australia]

When in time of war a company of soldiers go into camp for a night, the men can sleep with a sense of security only because along the frontiers of the camp certain of their comrades are on sentinel duty. The sentinel challenges all who approach; he permits none to pass or re-pass save such as are duly qualified.

The Ballot Box is Freemasonry's sentinel. It stands guard at the portals of the Craft to keep off all who are not qualified to enter; and there is peace and harmony inside those portals only so long as it remains faithful to its sentinel duties. Now that you have become a member of your Lodge, you will discover that in a certain real sense it is the very key-stone in the arch of our organisation. It is important for you, therefore, and as soon as possible, to gain a clear understanding of all it means and of the duties of a Mason with regard to it. I shall now call your attention to certain of these meanings and duties.

First, the Ballot Box gives decisive and practical expression to the principle of qualification.
Freemasonry does not solicit members. Petitioners must come of their own choice and free will. Of all those who thus come only such as have certain necessary qualifications are eligible for membership. The first use of the Ballot is to decide whether, in deed and truth, a given petitioner possesses those qualifications.

Does a petitioner have, or does he not have, the necessary qualifications? This is the question to be decided by the Ballot, and it is the only question to be decided. A man may be upright and honourable, a good citizen, a patriot, a loyal friend, and yet not possess the required qualifications. A black ball is therefore not a mark of disgrace. It is not a judgment on a man's character or on his personality, but is purely a technical method for deciding whether he is the type fitted for a place in the Fraternity.

For this same reason it is un-Masonic for any member of a Lodge to cast a black ball against a petitioner out of personal spite or private prejudice.

When we cast a Ballot we act in an official capacity as a spokesman, or sentinel, for the Fraternity. We are, so to speak, a member of a jury, and it is therefore unjust for us to permit our exercise of that function to be warped by purely private feelings. But as a safeguard, and to be absolutely just, we allow two black balls before a petitioner is rejected. [In the case of Lodge Jose Rizal, we have in our Lodge By-Laws, three black balls to reject. In certain Jurisdictions, one is sufficient to reject a candidate. MBJ]

Nevertheless - and here we come to our second point - the Ballot otherwise must be unanimous. The petition must be acceptable to every member of the Lodge. That is to say, when the question arises whether a given man should or should not be received into our fellowship the Fraternity itself receives first consideration. This is wise and just. The Fraternity has not solicited him; he is soliciting it. It is for him to prove his fitness. Consequently, if a member of a Lodge, not out of prejudice but out of certain knowledge, is convinced that the petitioner would disturb the peace and harmony of the Lodge, it becomes a duty to exclude him. The good, and welfare, of the body of men already in membership takes precedence over the desires and ambitions of the petitioner. [It is also important to note that the personal interview of the candidate is of paramount importance to garner the suitability or unsuitability of such candidate. Hence, together with the notifications of a candidate's application from both inside and outside the District; the investigation committee recommends to the Lodge the suitability or unsuitability of the candidate. MJB]

Our third point is that the Ballot must be secret. It is a violation of the Constitution and regulations of our Grand Lodge for a member to tell how he voted, or to discuss a Ballot in open Lodge, or to discuss the petitioner. This law has two general purposes: for one thing, it protects the peace and harmony of the Lodge; for another, it protects the petitioner. As a petitioner, he stands in a confidential relation to the Lodge; the facts he gives about himself are personal and private, and they must be kept sacred as such; the whole transaction is private as between him and the Lodge, therefore nothing about it should ever go to the outside world. If he is rejected it is for purely Masonic reasons and these should not prejudice him in the eyes of his fellows outside the Craft. [It is however a member's duty to bring any and all matters of fact in connection to a candidate's application to the Management Committee and to the Lodge before a ballot. In my personal opinion, it is better for the applicant to withdraw his application if there is unfavourable matter rather than reject an application via a ballot. MBJ].

Our fourth point is that every member of the Lodge must vote, if he is present, when the Ballot is taken. This means that the Ballot Box is a duty rather than merely a privilege. Membership in the Fraternity is an office and carries official duties - as much so as the occupation of one of the chairs; and one of the chief of those official duties is to exercise a watchful care over the quality and fitness of prospective members. When a Mason becomes a member, he takes responsibility to discharge the official duties incidental to membership, and for that reason it is as much his duty to cast an intelligent vote as it is for the Master to preside over the Lodge. [While EA's and FC's can not vote or hold office, aside from certain offices, in an election of the Lodge Officers; they are permitted to vote on a  ballot and on Lodge's business matters. MBJ].

Our fifth point is that the Ballot is independent. This means that when, in voting, a member has exercised his best judgment in the performance of a duty, he is not answerable to any man, to the Lodge, or to Grand Lodge for his action, whether it is favourable to the candidate or unfavourable. This is the necessary corollary to the principle that voting is a duty; for no man can be held responsible for a duty unless he is recognized to possess the power and authority necessary to discharge it.

Officially speaking, every Masonic Lodge room has two entrances, and only two: the Outer Door and the Inner Door. The Outer Door, which is, as it were, the passageway between the Lodge and the street, is kept sacred to members, who alone may pass or re-pass through it. It is guarded by the Tyler, who works under the immediate supervision of the Worshipful Master. The Inner Door is sacred to candidates, its sole purpose being to serve as a passageway between the Lodge and the Preparation Room. What the Tyler is to the Outer Door the Ballot Box is to the Inner Door - a guard, a sentinel. It and it alone, can decide who shall, or shall not, pass through it. No obligation rests more heavily on the shoulders of every member than his duty to see that none pass that sentinel save such as are properly qualified. [As an aside, in some Jurisdictions there are two entrances to the Lodge room: to the left of the Wor Master and immediate right of the Senior Warden is the entrance of all members. There is however a second door to the left of the Senior Warden - to the North West corner of the Lodge is a door via a Preparation Room from all candidates enter the Lodge. MBJ]

It would be a mistake to think of the Ballot Box only from the point of view of its power to exclude the unworthy; its positive power is far more impressive. [For] consider a favourable Ballot is more than a mere grudging admission of a petitioner into membership. On the contrary, it has, at one stroke and for all time to come, decided that he is admitted into full and free fellowship with his Brethren. Your membership in your Lodge gives you no licence to raise any question as to the fitness of another member; you cannot quarrel with him because he may belong to some race against which you may feel a prejudice, or because he adheres to some church or religious creed in which you do not believe, or because he votes with a political party you are opposed to, or because he may not possess the degree of social polish you consider necessary, or because he is not as learned as he ought to be, or is poor, or possesses traits and habits that may jar upon you. All questions as to the desirability or acceptability of such qualities or lack of qualities were decided with complete finality by the Ballot Box at the time his petition came before the Lodge; and that decision remains in force! It is un-Masonic to consider him under perpetual probation: his period of probation ended when he was elected to membership and received the Degrees. He has been, and is, a Brother, and it is the duty of every other member of the Lodge to treat him as such as long as his membership shall last. [Whilst we are not a reformatory association, it is one of our duties to counsel; through mouth to ear an erring Brother. MBJ]

From this rapid sketch of the rules governing the Ballot Box you will see that when in the beginning of this talk I likened it to the sentinel on guard through the night, I was guilty of no exaggeration. Now that you have consummated your membership in your Lodge, let me urge you to reflect upon these truths so that whenever you exercise the power and prerogative of the Ballot, you will do so with a clear conception of your personal responsibilities.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

March 2016 Raising Highlights

The March Regular Meeting of Lodge Jose Rizal marked not only the Raising of Bro MM Tim but also the acceptance of the affiliation as member of Wor Bro Arnel.

From all indications, LJR gained an experienced Brother in Wor Bro Arnel, the Grand Sword Bearer of the UGL NSW & ACT; on his own right. But more importantly we have made a Master Mason of our Bro Tim. Our more warmest welcome to our ranks to both!

Our newly Raised Bro Tim with his sponsor, Bro Myles, Wor Bro Micvi, his Brothers at work and Bro SD, Bro Obet.

Wor Master, Wor Bro Micvi with newly affiliated Bro, Wor Bro Arnel and newly-Raised Bro Tim.

Bro Tim flanked by Wor Bro Micvi [left] and Bro SD, Bro Obet

Bro JW, Bro Eric, Wor Master Micvi, RTWor Bro Secretary Fidel & Bro SW Pao

Photo credits: VWBro Romy Nieto [of Nieto Photography]

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

LJR Ladies Night Function

"You will always be      
Beautiful in my eyes 
And the passing years will show
That you will always grow 
Ever more beautiful in my eyes."

The above song chorus seems to be the theme of the night. The Brethren, thru our Director of Music - WBro Manny Placido chose the song to reflect the sentiments of the Brethren. The Ladies of LJR and friends richly deserved the adoration, even coinciding with the celebration of Valentine's Day 2016.

The Wor Master, WBro Micvi Fidel chose The Epping Club's Grand Ballroom 3 and 4 as the venue of this year's Ladies Night. The classy venue matched the classy Ladies who attended the function last 12th February 2016.

The night started with cocktails and canapes at the foyer of the club. This gave the Brethren, their Ladies and friends time to wind down, have a couple of drinks, chat and catch up and take the opportunity to have some 'selfies' and group photos.

The formal portion of the night started when WBro Khris Albano, the compere for the night; announced for everyone to be seated and Wor Bro Micvi Fidel promptly welcomed and thanked the Brethren and guests for taking this special time to treat the Ladies for a pre-Valentine's Day three-course sit down dinner.

 As expected the night was a great night to remember with a lot of dancing and games for couples, with the traditional offering of flower/chocolates to the ladies.

A big thank you to all who attended, especially those who organised the event; but more especially to the Ladies who make our day great, our Lodge Banquet and our lives truly happy.

As our Wor Master said:

"Thanks for everyone for a successful event !!! 

"It was truly a fantastic night out and so special to celebrate Valentines Day with our dear Ladies. We had a great time and it is always wonderful to see everyone and meet new people.
I feel very lucky to have met all our guests and look forward to many more fun times together.

"Our biggest thanks goes to WBro. Director of Music Manny Placido for organising a live band to entertain us, and again shown his choreographic skills has brought a great delight to prepare a special number presentation to our ladies, that was terrific and we all enjoyed ourselves so much. Also, special thanks to our WBro. Director of Ceremony Khris Albano for emceeing the event, we all know that the emcee is the glue that holds the event together. It was great to have him in control and directing the night and ensuring everyone had a great time. 

Many thanks to VWBro Romy Nieto for being the photographer for our special night. Our pictures truly captured the essence of the night, they were all absolutely priceless. Congratulations and thank you to three of you for all your hard work during the night."

Till our next Ladies Night!

Photo credit: VWBro Romy Nieto

Monday, August 31, 2015

Lodge Jose Rizal’s 42nd Meeting on 04 July 2015

Excitement and jubilation was abundantly evident right from the onset of Lodge Jose Rizal’s forty second meeting, held at the Castle Hill Masonic Centre on Saturday evening the fourth of July, the first meeting after they had been awarded “Accreditation”, a “Lodge of Excellence” which was announced at the June Grand Lodge Communication.

Strong support was given from surrounding Lodges and Districts, who came to congratulate the members of the Lodge on their envied achievement to such an extent that tyling was delayed somewhat, whilst a search was made to find enough Entered Apprentice and Fellow Craft aprons to accommodate the vast numbers of visiting Brethren. Finally and with over fifty five signatures on the presence book and the Accreditation Certificate placed proudly for all to see on the Secretary’s table, the Lodge was opened, with no fewer than nine Entered Apprentices in the North East Corner and three Fellow Crafts in the South East Corner and the Lodge Room filled to near full capacity.

The Worshipful Master in the Chair, WBro Mario Baylon Jnr., immediately congratulated the members of Lodge Jose Rizal on their achievement of a “Lodge of Excellence” and the Lodge room immediately erupted in thunderous acclamation of both acknowledgement and approval.

The Worshipful Master then gave welcome to the many visitors and gave recognition to the attendance of the Assistant Grand Master- elect, RWBro Bill Driver, who will take up his role at the Grand Lodge Installation, to be held in the Sydney Town Hall on the Eighth of August.

 A very much appreciated Bro James Holdsworth, who has been “acting tyler” for the Lodge for many years, was then invited into the Lodge Room and warmly welcomed as an affiliate member of Lodge Jose Rizal, his membership being hailed with loud acclamation.

The Worshipful Master then called the Lodge from Labour to Refreshment and all visitors and ladies were invited into the Lodge Room which filled the room to total capacity, before introducing the presenter of the night, WBro Khris Albano, who gave a lengthy and very interesting talk on Dr Jose Rizal, the Man and the Mason. WBro Albano, being a very highly skilled presenter and speaker, with much interaction, held all in the Lodge Room’s undivided attention for almost an hour, whilst he told of what a great humanitarian Dr Jose’ Rizal really was and of the great good he did for his country, his fellow countrymen and the Masonic Fraternity and in closing, of his great persecution, torture and execution of this well-travelled, highly educated and much loved man.

The lecture completed and recognition given, all non-masons were then retired and The Worshipful Master called for a Caring Officers report. Respect and recognition was given to the late Lyn Quirk, who was affectionately known by all at the Castle Hill Masonic Centre as “Bro. Lyn”, reports were also given on several other sick and absent brethren.

Before the Lodge was closed, an invitation was extended by the Worshipful Master Elect of Lodge Merrylands, Bro Max Totaan, to attend his Installation, to be held at the Guildford Masonic Centre on Saturday the Eleventh of July. There being no further business the Worshipful Master closed the Lodge and all retired to the festive board to enjoy delicious food and the unsurpassed harmony of Lodge Jose’ Rizal.

After Grace was recited by Bro Julio Roson, the Worshipful Master proposed the Loyal Toast and after all had partaken in the delicious food and tasty sweets, as only the Ladies of Lodge Jose Rizal can prepare and present. RWBro Fidel Pamplona proposed a lengthy toast to his long-time friend, “The Presenter”, WBro Khris Albano. In his response, WBro Albano said it was his pleasure to speak about such a worthy man of such world renown.
In the absence of WBro Pritam Singh, Bro Tim Glanville gave a rousing and hearty welcome to the visitors and friends and in closing the toast, WBro Albano gave the Lodge Jose Rizal visitors honours which are:

“We hold you in our Hearts” “We embrace you as a Family” “We Honour your Friendship”

The first response was given by a prospective Mason, Mr Taregh Echesh, a friend of RWBro Bill Driver, who said how impressed he was with the evening and wished to become a Mason as soon as possible, the second response was from the Senior Deacon of Lodge Education No 814, Bro Kevin Lim Lo Suy who complimented Lodge Jose Rizal’s presenter in particular, on such an enjoyable evening and pledged to return as soon as possible.

The raffle was then organized and drawn by the Junior Warden Bro Paolo Beringuel before the final toast was proposed, thus ending another very pleasant evening shared with Lodge Jose Rizal, a Lodge of well deserved “Excellence”

“To Our Next Happy Meeting with Lodge Jose’ Rizal No 1045”

which will be on the Twelfth of September---Installation may be planned for the Seventh of November [back to the scheduled 2nd Saturday, 14th of November], to be held at the Castle Hill Bowling Club depending on the availability of the Grand Master. Hopefully the New Grand Master being in attendance.

By: RWBro Bruce Quirk, PAGM

From The Region 2 & District 25 Newsletter

Monday, July 6, 2015

LJR's Regular Meeting - 9 May 2015

Numbers exceeding fifty, including the Brethren, their Ladies, family and friends, not forgetting
the “tiny tots”, were in attendance at the Castle Hill Masonic Centre on Saturday night the
Ninth of May for Lodge Jose Rizal’s Forty First meeting, where, in a very impressive manner,
Bro Timothy Glanville was passed to the second degree. 

With Worshipful Bro. Mario Baylon Jnr. “In the Chair”, WBro Manuel Santos as I. P. M., WBro
Vince Flores as Director of Ceremonies and WBro Fred Sese as Tyler, the Lodge tyled at little
after six o’clock and the minutes and correspondence were quickly presented by the Lodge
Secretary, RWBro Fidel Pamplona and accepted by the Brethren. Likewise the accounts and
money matters were presented by the Lodge Treasurer, WBro Manuel Santos and passed
for payment without comment. 

All visitors were then admitted and in view of three Installations taking place within the area on
the same night, the Worshipful Master thanked all for their unswerving support and attendance.
With Lodge Jose Rizal being almost certain to be awarded Accreditation at the June Grand
Lodge Communication [June 10], RWBro Pamplona urged all members of the Lodge to be in
attendance to show acknowledgement and appreciation on the night. 

The Worshipful Master, WBro Mario Baylon, Jnr announced the Affiliation Acceptance of Bro.
Gerardo  Musa, Jnr., who, after all formalities were successfully completed, was duly admitted
into the Lodge Room and made most welcome with loud acclamation. 

The work of the evening, which was to pass Bro Glanville to the second degree, then commenced
with the Junior Deacon, Bro Roberto Urqueza, presenting the candidate to the Worshipful
Master for the Preliminary Examination. Bro Glanville, obviously being well tutored by
his mentors, Bro Rajeev Kalra and Bro Myles Eusebio, had no problems with the examination
and spoke in a loud and confident voice, the examination over and after all Entered Apprentices
were retired, the Worshipful Master gave Bro Glanville further instruction before he was
retired under the capable hand of the Senior Deacon, Bro Roderick Buenavista and the Lodge
was opened in the Second Degree. 

An alarm was then sounded and the candidate was re admitted and duly passed to the second
degree. The work conducted at Lodge Jose Rizal is without exception, always a joy to watch
and a pleasure to listen to and the evening of May the Ninth 2015 was no exception, with all
the work, with exception of the signs and secrets, carried out by Master Masons and on completion
of the ceremony, showing much wisdom, the Worshipful Master asked the Candidate's
Mentors to come forward and congratulate Bro Glanville, which they did with much enthusiasm.
With the newly passed Brother taking his seat in the South East Corner, the Lodge was returned
to the First Degree and further business was discussed and announcements made.
It was agreed that the June meeting should be an informal evening in the form of a social
gathering with no regalia in the Lodge Room and inquiries were to be made to acquire an interesting speaker for the night, the next main meeting scheduled is on the fourth of July. 

There being no further business, the Worshipful Master closed the Lodge and all retired to the
South to join the Ladies, family and friends at the festive board. 

After Grace was recited by the Lodge Chaplain, Bro Julio Roson, the Worshipful Master proposed
The Loyal Toast before all totally enjoyed a delicious food, for which Lodge Jose Rizal is renowned,
 prepared and presented as only the “Ladies of the Lodge” can do.  

Bro Myles Eusebio then proposed a toast to The Newly Passed Brother and in his response, Bro Glanville, with much sincerity, thanked all, his sponsors in particular, for their support and encouragement he had received along the way in his Masonic Journey thus far. 

Bro Roderick Buenavista then proposed a toast to “Our Ladies and Our Visitors”, concluding
the toast with the “Lodge Jose Rizal” Visitors Honours which are always given with much sincerity
and meaning:

                             “We Hold You in Our Hearts”
                                "We Embrace as a Family”
                                  "We Honour Your Friendship"

The toast was responded to by the Worshipful Master elect of Lodge Woronora, Bro Emmanuel Konitopoulos who, in congratulating the Candidate and thanking Lodge Jose Rizal for such and enjoyable evening, invited all to his forth coming Installation on 27th of June. 2015. 

The Raffle was then drawn with the usual fun, frivolity and good will always associated with
Lodge Jose Rizal, before Bro Paolo Beringuel proposed the Junior Warden’s toast and whilst
some, with long distance to travel, ventured out into the cold Autumn night and made their way
to their respective homes, others stayed on and partied well into the night in the true festive
spirit of Lodge Jose Rizal. 

Such was the May meeting of one of the most progressive Lodges in the Fraternity and definitely
the most hospitable. We wish them well in their quest for accreditation which will set a
standard that will remain for many, many, years to come, for other Lodges to pursue.

              "To our Next Happy Meeting at lodge Jose Rizal No 1045”
From The Region 2 & District 25 Newsletter: 

By RWBro Bruce Quirk, PAGM