Outgoing speech of Worshipful Brother Gene Illenberger, IPM
Dignitaries in the East, Dignitaries on the floor, VW Sirs, W Sirs, brethren, Family and Friends of Masons, good evening!
Thank you for honoring me with this Past Master’s Apron, Certificate and Jewel. I will certainly cherish these not because I feel that I deserve them but because these came from you, my brethren. These are tangible testaments that once in my life I had assumed leadership in a lodge of gentlemen and champions, and certainly, I will not forget this chapter in my Masonic journey.
The fact that VW Asiong Illenberger, my humble uncle, a retired marine general and one of 4 Master masons in our family was the one who presented these to me, all the more, added color to the presentation. Thank you very much VW Asiong for this honor. I hope that you are as proud of me tonight as I am of you especially since I joined masonry.
Tonight, as I enjoy the first moments of my Masonic life as an Immediate Past Master, allow me to say thank you to brothers who served as my advisors and beacons during my term as WM: VW Edgardo S. Delmo, VW Roberto Fajardo, VW Robert Sing, VW Tonette Tuazon, VW Tony Zeta, VW Alexander B. Madamba, VW Fahad Lucman, VW Waidah Lucman, WB Doods Hulipas, WB Eric Sagario, WB Bang Llacuna, VW Albert Encarnacion, WB Gene Tolentino, VW Luthmyr Teoxon , VW Nino Espiritu and ofcourse VW Asiong.
To my wardens, thank you for all your support, for standing behind me and for being my constant companions… I would not have done it without you!
Ang secretary po ang may pinakamaraming trabaho sa lohiya. Bago ka maupo as JW it is imperative in our lodge that you a tour of duty as secretary. So To my lodge secretary, Kuya Dennis Lim who cannot join us today and would have been our JW if not for that unfortunate accident…Thank you for all the hardwork. Sia ang aking laging sidekick sa pagplano ng lahat and my confidant. Salamat sa tiwala at magpagaling ka kuya. Alam kong hindi ka pababayaan ni WM at ng lodge sa iyong hinaharap ngayong pagsubok.
To our JW Dhong Bahena, tol natapos rin natin ang malaking problema ng lohiya..the lodge had a different opinion to mine but natapos natin as I promised you. Finally, Closed chapter and we can all breath easy. I am glad you are now where you are jan sa south because I know you are a performer brod. Look well in the south.
To my batchmates, VW Belli Tamayo and Vic Tariao. Thank you for helping me VW sir kahit minsan di tayo tugma ng mga opinion. I very much appreciate it batch. And to Kuya vic thank you for being with me in spirit. I know you are. I look forward to the day when it will also be your turn to sit in the east. Hurry back batch.
To our new Worshipful Master Eric Lagrisola: Worshi, Ingatan mo at palaguin ang ating inang lohiya. Never let it fade in obscurity or wallow in mediocrity. As all past masters have done, who have gone this way before. you have served previously as secretary and I am confident you can run the lodge with ease. Goodluck kuya look well in the east.
Allow me also to say thank you to my wife, ateng Rosell. All of these will not be possible without her love and understanding. Thank you for this time you have given to serve my lodge. It is your most precious gift.
This term, we are fortunate to have raised 4 brothers to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason. Brethren and guests, may I present to you brothers Bart Monforte (pls stand),, Rey Dela Cruz, Ryan Zablan and Melvin Bautista. Welcome to the craft my brothers and thank you for your support.
We were also able to initiate two brothers in the Craft. EAMs bro. Jake Franco (pls stand) and bro. rex Moslares…await a time with patience my brothers, at the end there is fulfillment.
THE charitable knights of FRHML for this masonic year was always there, always on the move, and on the go. Ang daming projects! I can hardly believe it myself looking back now. Wow! Siguro ang yaman ng WM ng frank reed…
Truth be told, I live a very humble life my kuyangs and on my own resources I cannot afford even one of of my projects!
It is just that I have prepared very early on. ..planning lang po at konting diskarte…. Wala po ako nalabas na ganun kalaking halaga because to be frank I cant afford it. I do not and cannot claim credit for that. I can only take credit for wisdom to contrive, but you my brethren, have lent me and are to be credited for the strength of your support. Such is the beauty of freemasonry my brethren. When we can collectively best work and best agree, much can be accomplished. We lift ourselves higher by helping each other. Thank you for your cooperation and service.
In closing, I hope I have served you well my brethren. Leadership I discovered is a rough and rugged road. If I might have have ruffled some feathers during my tenure it was because I was protecting the craft or the dignity of my office and for that I hope you will find it in your heart to forgive and forget. I have tried to do right and best for our lodge the best way I can with the interest of freemasonry in general and the pride of our lodge in particular…Yes we are a young lodge and comparably very few but what we lack in age & numbers we make up for in bravado and determination to become a lodge of note in our jurisdiction.
Brethren…I am your kuyang Gene Illenberger and I am a proud past master of Frank Reed Horton Memorial Lodge No. 379. Thank you very much everyone..and with that, mabuhay ang ating inang Lohiya AT MABUHAY ANG MASONERIYA!