- By RWBro Bruce Quirk [as published in the Freemasons NSW &ACT website]
Numbers approaching eighty were in attendance at the Castle Hill Masonic Centre on Saturday evening, the 8th of November, for Lodge Jose’ Rizal’s 5th Installation Ceremony, where, Bro Mario Baylon Jnr, became WBro Mario Baylon Jnr, the Worshipful Master of Lodge Jose’ Rizal No 1045, under the very capable Installing Hands of WBro Manuel Placido, in the Presence of the Deputy Grand Master RWBro James Robert Melville.
With the Installing Master, WBro Manuel Placido,“In the Chair”, the Lodge tyled at five o’clock sharp and the usual business and correspondence were quickly presented and dealt with by the Lodge Secretary, RWBro Fidel Pamplona. All visitors were then admitted, including strong fraternals from neighbouring Lodges. Among those in the Lodge Room and in the North East Corner, were three entered apprentices, Bro Dominic Green (Lodge Baulkham Hills), Bro Hamad Sadat (Lodge Woronora) and Bro Lane Lenfallon (Lodge Katoomba). In the South East Corner was one Fellow Craft, Bro Fernando Tejada from Lodge Star of Australia.
Meanwhile, a very strong contingent of some thirty Grand Lodge Officers, were assembling under the watchful eye of the Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, VWBro Grant Singleton, assisted by VWBro Graham Leers, Grand Steward. Representing The United Grand Lodge of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, was RWBro James Robert Melville, Deputy Grand Master. Other high ranking Grand Lodge Officers were also in attendance, including, MWBro Raymond Barry Brooke, Past Grand Master, RWBro Kevin Foster, Past Deputy Grand Master, RWBro Peter Ratcliff, Past Senior Grand Warden and RWBro Kevin Foster Past Deputy Grand Master. Adding further colour to the delegation, were several Past Assistant Grand Masters, making it a very colourful delegation and at six o’clock sharp, the Grand Director entered the well filled Lodge Room and announced that Deputy Grand Master, RWBro James Robert Melville, accompanied by a large contingent of Grand Lodge Officers, were in attendance and seeking admission.
With consent by the Installing Master WBro Manuel Placido, the Brethren standing to order, loud hale on the trumpet, played by VWBro Allan Owen and music from the organ played by Bro Daniel Placido, the delegation entered the capacity filled Lodge Room and were made extremely welcome. In his welcome to the Deputy Grand Master and acknowledging the strength and numbers in the delegation and in token of Rank, WBro Placido surrendered the Gavel of Lodge Jose’ Rizal to the Deputy Grand Master who, in receiving the Gavel and acknowledging the welcome, returned it to the capable Installing Hands from which it was presented.
After the delegation were seated and made comfortable, notice papers were distributed and all officers of Lodge Jose’Rizal divested themselves of their insignia of office, which were collected by the Deacons and presented to the Grand Director of Ceremonies with VWBro Graham Leers assisting. All below the rank of Installed Master were then retired and with WBro Roland Martinez adopting the role of Senior Warden, WBro Antonio Saputil as Junior Warden and WBro Manuel Santos as Inner guard, the Board of Installed Master’s was opened and soon, under the very capable Installing Hands of WBro Manuel Placido, sponsored by RWBro Emmanuel Maniago and RWBro Fidel Pamplona, Bro Mario Baylon Jnr became WBro Mario Baylon Jnr, the Worshipful Master of Lodge Jose’Rizal No 1045.
All Master Masons were then re admitted and after the 3rd degree proclamations were given by the Installing Master in the East, accompanied by fan-fare on the trumpet, played by VWBro Allan Owen, the 3rd degree working tools were presented by VWBro. Rofolfo Romerosa.
The Lodge was then closed in the 3rd Degree and opened in the 2nd and all Fellow Crafts, including Bro Fernando Tejada, were re admitted. The 2nd degree proclamations were then given in the West, accompanied by fan-fare on the trumpet, again, played by VWBro Allan Owen, before the 2nd degree working tools were presented by WBro Remegio Nieto.
The Lodge was then resumed in the 1st degree and all Masons were re admitted, including Bro Dominic Green, Bro Hamad Sadat and Bro Lane Lenfallon. The 1st degree proclamations were then given in the South, again enhanced by fan-fare on the trumpet, played by VWBro Allan Owen and the 1st Degree Working Tools were presented with much enthusiasm and gusto by WBro Pritam Singh. The Installing Master then presented the Book of Constitutions and Codifications to the newly obligated Worshipful Master, before entrusting the Warrant of Charter of Lodge Jose’ Rizal to his care and instructing him to now invest his officers.
The Officers being presented, invested and taking up their respective position, VWBro Ted Balgos delivered a very instructive address to the newly Installed Master, followed by WBro Mauuel Santos addressing the Wardens and WBro Vince Flores, in a voice full of authority, addressing the Brethren.
Before the Installation Ceremony was completed, all in the Lodge Room had their breath taken with two musical items, one by Bro Micvi Fidel playing the saxophone, the other, a solo by the Installing Master’s son, Bro Daniel Placido, both acknowledged on completion, by the Brethren, with thunderous acclamation.
A somewhat relieved Installing Master then told the now, WBro Mario Baylon Jnr. that the ceremony of Installation was over and Lodge Jose’ Rizal was now under his complete control.
RWBro Melville immediately presented the newly Installed Master with his Installed Master’s Certificate, along with hearty congratulations. A photo opportunity was then taken, before the Deputy Grand Master asked the Grand Director to present the Immediate Past Master and duly presented WBro Placido with his Past Master’s Jewel and congratulated him on a job well done. RWBro Melville then asked the Grand Director to present Bro Noel Gosiengfiao, Bro Bien Palad and Bro Jomar Crisostomo and presented them with their Master Mason’s Certificates. The Deputy Grand Master went on to congratulate the Grand Lodge Officers, who had recently received further Grand Lodge Honours and recognition with particular mention to Lodge Jose’ Rizal’s own RWBro Emmanuel Maniago and his elevation to the rank of Past Assistant Grand Master.
The formalities and presentations completed, RWBro Melville, in a very relaxed manner, went on to speak of his long association with Lodge Jose’ Rizal, dating back to its consecration and how he always thoroughly enjoyed each visit and complimented the Lodge on its continual advancement and achievement, doubling its numbers in five short years and now in its quest for accreditation and in closing wished the Lodge well.
In thanking the newly Installed Master, indeed all the Brethren of Lodge Jose’ Rizal for a totally enjoyable evening, the deputy Grand Master and the Grand Lodge Delegation retired and all made their way to the Installation Banquet which was held at The Hills District Bowling Club, Castle Hill just a few kilometres down the road.
On their arrival, the Brethren found the party to be in full swing, with loud music and the dance floor filled completely with wives, partners, girl friends and children, “Line Dancing” and totally enjoying themselves. After all had found a seat, some hard to find, as the room was filled to full capacity, The Master of Ceremonies, WBro Kris Albano, introduced WBro Vince Flores who welcomed everybody and recited Grace.
With soft music and singing in the background, all made themselves comfortable and got drinks from the bar, before the Worshipful Master proposed the first toast of the evening, the Loyal Toast, followed by a toast to The Most Worshipful Grand Master. In response to the toast, the Deputy Grand Master related that this was Freemasonry in its truest form, all meeting together in peace, love and harmony and totally enjoying each-others company.
The Deputy Grand Master, being the Chairman of the “Australian Masonic Friends of the Philippines”, then received a cheque for one thousand dollars, to be forwarded on to the people of the Philippines who have lost all they owned in the recent typhoons and left on the very brink of starvation, the monies to be spent on new fishing boats and medical equipment so urgently needed.
The newly Installed Master’s grandson - Ashlee then entertained all with a little song and speech before Bro Daniel Placido sang another song, in a powerful voice, which drew a huge response of gratitude and appreciation from all in the banquet hall.
WBro Renmegio Nieto then proposed a toast to The Worshipful Master and his Officers, which was responded to by the Installed Master.
RWBro Fidel Pamplona then proposed a toast to The Installing Master and in doing so, introduced all previous Masters of lodge Jose’ Rizal in its short but highly successful history.
VWBro Kris Albano D.G.P. then proposed a toast to“Our Ladies and Our Visitors”
And in doing so gave Lodge Jose’ Rizal’s Visitors Honours which are:
“We Hold You in Our Hearts”
“We embrace you as Family”
“We honour your Friendship”
The toast responded to, in the first instance, by VWBro Vergel Vanderrama and supported by RWBro Paul Schultz from Lodge Blacktown Kildare.
A “Thank You” presentation was then made to the Deputy Grand Master and his Partner Luana, before the Worshipful Master and his good wife Irene cut the Installation Cake and the Bonza Raffle was drawn.
The hour getting late (almost midnight), Bro Micvi Fidel then proposed the Junior Warden's Toast and whilst some stayed and partied on, more made their way to their respective homes all well pleased they had come to Lodge Jose’ Rizal’s 5th Installation and all looking forward to:
“Our Next Happy Meeting at Lodge Jose’ Rizal No 1045”