WB Robert Ong Sing
February 08, 2012
Scottish Rite Temple, Malate, Manila
Worshipful Bang, MW Avelino “Sonny” I. Razon, RW Satiago T. Gabionza, VW Silverio Garing and his Party, Worshipful Sirs, Brethren, Friends and Guests of Masons
A year ago, when I was installed Master of the Lodge, I stood and declared before you that I was a very, very Happy Man. Tonight, I stand before you a very, very Grateful Man. And I find myself again speechless.
Truly, it is with great humility, with pride and honor even, to be presented with the Past Master’s Apron, Certificate but particularly the Jewel. Moreover, it is not always that a Past Grand Master is asked to award these precious Masonic items. Incidentally, MW Sonny is a close family friend and happened to be the godfather of my pretty daughter. Thank you MW Sonny.
I accept these tokens with deep gratitude to each and every one of you. Thank you very much. I fear my eyes may flow with tears of joy though I beg for them not to show.
Surely, I will treasure them forever and shall be deposited in a most important place among my Masonic mementos.
Several people acknowledged that the Masonic Year recently gone by for Frank Reed Horton Lodge No. 379 radiate with bright colors. That the Lodge was ready; sufficient in form and substance; and consistent in alleviating the plight of the needy; that the Lodge adequately provided the badly needed doses of care, concern, and encouragement to the destitute, the deprived and the other less fortunate members of our society.
In all modesty, my watch as Worshipful Master represented a time when human interaction was based primarily on charity, cooperation and mutual aid. It was hoped that my term shall be that of unselfish collective efforts where we were to work together as equal partners laboring toward the same vision.
We grew and took responsibility in facing the wide-open horizons and ever–expanding versions of reality that there are people in the streets suffering and some, in fact, dying. From the Holy Bible, Matthew 6:1-13 reads:
“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. “Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.”
However, I pray that my message or pronouncement will not be construed to go against what I have just read. I remember the words from a more senior and down to earth brother that should there be a crime of a deeper color in the chain of man’s weaknesses, it is ingratitude. And really, I have so much to be thankful for.
Perhaps, the greatest blessing in my life is simply the presence of people like you who care much, whose love is real and sees much beyond yourselves. I believe that no person was ever honored for what they received. Instead, Honor will always be the reward for what they gave. And that only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.
And, I honor you, my dear brethren, for doing so!
Candidly speaking, that if I were a general, you were those reliable soldiers flanking me on the left and right side of an army formation, ready for battle with zeal and dedication. To find out at the end of the day, that the battle was won. And the flag of selfless Service, hanging high with pride for the betterment of our fellow men.
I am so thankful to you, my dear Frankies. Let me thank all of you who made my term soft and beautiful.
You assisted me in preserving our Lodge as an instrument to spread goodness and gladness to others. In fact, the fine camaraderie among its members was strengthened. And we have started doing our degree works! Is that not simply great?
Our concept was based on love, of reaching out, of contributing to the fulfillment of our society’s needs though minimal. We traveled together with the belief that Benevolence and Charity is not merely relieving the wants of the underprivileged.
We also answered the call in accepting the minor errors and faults of others as well as correcting our own faults. This in itself was no easy task. There was always that danger of being lost in despair and hopelessness.
But we weathered all approaching storms through our well-spent energies, resources, talents, time, and cooperation. We patiently endured the pain of service for the advancement of humanity. Yes, I am so proud and really so thankful.
Allow me to mention then a few what these gentlemen of God and Reason did:
The Frankies were at Minalin Road, Pampanga for a Tree Planting Activity. The untiring Frankies traveled to Catanduanes to distribute school supplies and to participate in another Tree Planting Project aside from donating Masonic aprons to a local Lodge. And during a visit to Davao, the brethren likewise left a donation for the benefit of the Philippine Eagle Center.
They were found yet at Fairview, Quezon City for a Dental Mission to address the dental needs of some of the under privileged sectors of society. Yes, they, too, were frequent visitors at the National Orthopedic Hospital to bring good cheers to the patients. Moreover, twenty-nine (29) new wheelchairs were distributed to various beneficiaries.
And to heed the wrath of climate change, relief goods were likewise dispersed to several typhoon victims in different parts of the country.
The sons of Horton were at the Golden Acres Home for the Aged to donate eye glasses, slippers, toothpastes, toothbrushes, laundry and bath soaps, towels, biscuits, adult milk and diapers, aside from feeding them. And to further ease their burden, a washing machine and a rice cooker was left behind for their use.
“Sapin sa Paa para sa mga Mag-aaral Project” was initiated. Beneficiaries were the Burac and Saplan Elementary Schools. And to put more fun to the endeavor, again, slippers, towels, shirts, school supplies, books for their libraries, and other goodies were handed out. Sets of computers were also installed in their respective schools for their gain.
The sons of Horton were at the Reception and Study Center for Children twice — for a “Feeding and Gift Giving Program”. At said orphanage, the Frankies joyfully gave milk, diapers, toys, candies, and served lunch to the delight of the abandoned children.
At the home front, at the Grand Lodge, a glass signage was affixed at the Emilio Aguinaldo Hall, and a substantial donation for the dormitory’s use was effected. At the IMES Room,a wooden altar with its corresponding provisions for padded kneelers and tapered light holders were delivered. A much welcomed flu vaccination program was also held for the benefit of the GLP and SRT office staff, and their immediate family members.
The Frankies were there to address and support the Grand Master. A very good number of lodge-members were in attendance during the Sagip Kalikasan Project and the 133rd birthday celebration of MW Pres. Manuel L. Quezon at Quezon Circle.
And in the spirit of the yuletide season, the Lodge was very visible. It supported both the GLP and Masonic Charities for Crippled Children Inc. (MCCCI) Christmas Party and Charity Gift Giving Program.
Yes, there were a lot more. We were reaching out. We were building Bridges of Benevolence and Pillars of Friendship.
May each of us remember that the best way to have friends is to be one, and that the true test of friendship lies in our treatment of people from whom we can expect no favors in return. May each of us devote ourselves, our energies, and our abilities in Service to others. The world needs people with compassion to ease if not help end universal human suffering.
Let us not close our eyes to the needs of others – the hungry, the naked, the orphans, the underprivileged, the underdogs, the widows, the wounded, and the other deprived sectors of society.
We must continue to create an atmosphere where passion for service must ran high to achieve our noble purposes, I enjoin you to live a life with altruistic goals. Let us accept our assignments and shape up with resolve for the aim of serving others.
And having committed ourselves to these dignified objectives, let us go out our comfort zones and continue to pursue the noble contention of being of serviceable to mankind.
To follow a similar line known to most of you: I am sure you will agree that there is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.
To VW Garing and the other office-bearers of MD NCR-E, thank you for your endorsement and guidance.
To my ever-tolerant and treasured wife, Yvonne, thank you foryour absolute thoughtfulness and encouragement … for your unwavering kind appreciation on the importance of Masonry in my life.
To our dearly prized and beloved children, Christian and Christina, thank you too for understanding.
To WB Bang and his Officers, it is another year, another great reason to celebrate. And I wish that at the end of your term, you too will wear a crown of success and possess a strong sense of self-fulfillment.
It is also my humble hope that I gave justice to the office you have entrusted to me. Now that my stint as your Worshipful Master comes to an end, I pray that for all these, may God continue to guide and bless us all.
Mabuhay kayong lahat! Mabuhay tayong lahat! Magandang gabi at maraming maraming salamat!