By RWBro Bruce Quirk [reposted from District 32 website]
With large numbers expected, the members of Lodge Jose’ Rizal took great care in setting up the Festive Board at the Castle Hill Masonic Centre to achieve maximum capacity and their expectations were realized when all of the one hundred and sixty places set out were filled for the First Installation Ceremony and Banquet of Lodge Jose’ Rizal where VW Bro Emmanuel [Manny] Maniago was to Install VW Bro Fidencio [Fidel] Pamplona as Worshipful Master of this young and vibrant Lodge, Lodge Jose’ Rizal No 1045.
The members and their wives arrived early on the Saturday afternoon to complete the final touches of the festive board and organize the food and as the hour approached the Centre became a flurry of activity and excited chatter as more, more, and still more arrived to both witness, take part in, and enjoy the first Installation Ceremony of Lodge Jose’ Rizal.
The Lodge tyled at 6pm sharp and after the usual business was dispatched, all visitors were admitted including many large Faternals including a very large delegation from ‘The Cedars’ who have been keen supporters of Lodge Rose’ Rizal since it’s concept. As the Lodge was raised to the Third Degree, the Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts were respectively retired, many of which were members of Lodge Horizons and all were greeted and became acquainted with the RGC for Region Three, RW Bro Nigel Hamilton. At the same time, a large contingent of Grand Lodge Officers were assembling under the care and direction of The Grand Director of Ceremonies, VW Bro Antoine Georges, who was assisted by VW Bro Peter Miller, Grand Steward. As seven o’clock approached and a photo opportunity taken, the Grand Lodge Delegation assembled and after an alarm was sounded and duly responded to, the Grand Lodge Delegation was led into the Lodge Room by The Grand Director VW Bro Georges, headed by MW Bro Raymond Barry Brooke PGM and all were warmly received by the Installing Master VW Bro Manny Maniago.
With the Grand Lodge Officers seated and made comfortable and notice papers distributed, the officers of the Lodge divested themselves of their insignia of office and all Master Masons were retired and the ceremony of Installation began, commencing with the second presentation of the Worshipful Master Elect, by his sponsors W Bro Jacinto 'Jack' Sta Maria and W Bro Rolando 'Rolly' Manarang.
The ceremony that followed was a joy to watch and a pleasure to listen to as the age old ceremony of Installation unfolded and soon VW Bro Fidel Pamplona became The Worshipful Master of Lodge Jose’ Rizal No 1045 at Lodge Jose’ Rizal’s first Installation ceremony.
Before the Lodge was closed in the Third Degree, the usual announcements and proclamations were given in the South, the Herald on the night being W Bro Duncan Muir. The Third Working Tools were delivered by Bro Alfredo 'Fred' Sese and in resuming in the Second Degree, all fellow crafts were re admitted, an entered apprentice almost slipping by unnoticed but was quickly retired and after the usual announcements and proclamations given in the West the second Working Tools were presented by Bro Manuel 'Manny' Santos. The Lodge was closed in the second degree and the Lodge was resumed in the First Degree and all Masons were admitted and after the announcements and fanfare in the South the First Degree working tools were presented by Bro Israel 'Izzy' de Guzman. A beautiful rendition of ‘What a Wonderful World’ was then sung by Bro Edward Banting which, on completion, drew loud acclamation from all in the Lodge Room. The presentation of the Warrant or Charter, the book of Constitutions and the By Laws as well as the codifications and decisions of the ritual committee was then presented before the new Worshipful Master of Lodge Jose’ Rizal invested his Officers for the ensuing year. The three closing addresses were then given, The Address to The Master delivered by Bro Micvi 'Mick' Fidel, the address to the Wardens, by Bro Antonio 'Tony' Saputil, and the address to the Brethren by W Bro Rolando 'Rolly' Manarang, and in closing the ceremony, a beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace was sung by Bro Daniel Vincent Placido. The Installing Master VW Bro Maniago then, with some reluctance, told the newly installed Master VW Bro Pamplona that the ceremony of Installation was complete and in handing him the keys of the Castle Hill Masonic Centre told him that Lodge Jose’ Rizal was now under his complete control.
VW Bro Pamplona immediately gave welcome to the Representative of The United Grand Lodge of New South Wales and the ACT and in response Most Worshipful Brother Raymond Barry Brooke related the long association he had had with both the Newly Installed Master and the Installing Master during his term as The Most Worshipful Grand Master, where they had traveled together all over the State to attend the wide and varied Lodge Functions including Lodge Dedications, Balls, the laying of Foundation Stones Installations and many more. MW Bro Brooke then asked the Grand Director to present Bros Mario Baylon Jnr. Jose’ Elizes, and Robert Maneze and duly presented them with their Master Mason’s Certificates [affiliation certificates]. Before retiring from the Lodge Room MW Bro Brooke gave an enlightening and inspiring address which motivated many of the Brethren present into trying harder to achieve greater. MW Bro Brooke then indicated his desire to retire and both he and the Grand Lodge Delegation left the Lodge Room to disrobe and to join the Ladies and were soon joined by the Brethren from the Lodge Room.
Somehow one hundred and sixty found a seat and sat down for the Installation Banquet in a Banquet hall that eighty was the recognized maximum number and soon all were enjoying beautiful food prepared with great care and expertise by the Ladies and in response to the toast to the United Grand Lodge of New South Wales and the ACT. MW Bro Brooke gave recognition to the vigor and success of Lodge Jose’ Rizal in it’s short term of existence and in wishing them well, complimented them on their twenty five percent increase in numbers. In proposing the toast to The Worshipful Master and his Officers, in closing W Bro Ronaldo Manarang recited these words of great wisdom --- ‘Learn from Yesterday, Live for to-day and Dream of Tomorrow’, and said how proud he was to be the one who initiated the Newly Re Installed Master some years ago and he wished them well. In response to the toast to the Ladies and visitors proposed by W Bro Russell Dobson, and the Worshipful Master of Lodge Woronora, W Bro Luis 'Louie' Reyes.
The hour was late when the Junior Warden's toast was given but no one cared as all had had shared a thoroughly enjoyable evening with a thriving Lodge that is really going forward, carried by good officers, supported by keen members and have the unceasing devotion of their Ladies, may it long continue and be an example for all Lodges to take heed.