Sunday, February 16, 2014

Inaugural Speech of WB Ali M. Bari

Below is the transcript of the Inaugural Speech of WB Ali M. Bari, Worshipful Master of Iligan Lodge  No. 207,  delivered at Plaza Alemania during the Fellowship Dinner that followed the 39th Installation of Officers on February 15, 2014.

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim!

Very Worshipful Sirs, WB Stephen T. Monterroyo, Installing Officer; WB Lester R. Salazar, Master of Ceremonies;  WB Arsenio Q. Mejia, Assistant Master of Ceremonies; VW Eufemio C. Calio, who delivered the Ancient Charges; WB Oscar V. Badelles, PGI, Justice of the Court of Appeals assigned as The Court of Appeals at Cagayan de Oro, our Guest Speaker for tonight's affair;  Worshipful Sirs, SKs and HLs of the Order of the Amaranth Iligan Court No. 21 lead by Royal Matron HL Irma Dalisay Celdran and Royal Patron SK Cesar T. Miguel;  Brothers and Sisters from the Order of the Eastern Star-Maria Cristina Chapter lead by Worthy Matron Jina Sy, Worthy wife sister Hayde, the mom of my loving children Iben-Ali, now a practicing Architect connected Cebu Doctor's Hospital in Cebu City; Potri Iren, business management graduate of UP Cebu now working in Canada; and, Myrna, married with three daughters and a son.  I would like to appreciate and acknowledge the presence of Architect Malou Dela Rosa of Plantation Bay Resort in Mactan, Cebu - the fiancee of my son Iben.  My blood brother Dr. Pol Bari, VC for Admin and Finance of MSU-IIT with his better half Luz Abayon Bari, niece Zulaica; members of the Order of DeMolay, Jobs Daughters, Rainbow for Girls, families of masons, guests, friends, ladies and gentlemen, a pleasant greetings in the craft, a good evening/ maayong gabii sa tanan and assalamo alaikom warahmatullah hi wabarakatoho.

As I solemnly and humbly receive the charge you have entrusted upon this Masonic Year 2014, I am truly humbled that you have chosen to do so this momentous installation and investiture of the new set of officers of our Honorable Iligan Lodge No. 207.   I fervently hope and pray that just as our distinguished predecessors  have cleared the path for our Ancient fraternity under the sovereign jurisdiction of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines, may we receive the wisdom and guidance from the GAUTO to continue on our journey towards even greater masonic light for us, our children and our children's children; and succeeding generations of brethren.

Brethren allow me to take this opportunity to highlight our theme this masonic year, "Let us emerge as better masons and better men for ourselves, family, workplace and our community."   Admittedly, especially those who have gone their ways as past worshipful masters will agree with me that to be Worshipful Master of our Honorable Lodge entails much time, talent and tact; much patience and perseverance and prayer - prayer particularly for wisdom necessary to enable one to draw and design upon the trestle board whereby the craft may pursue their labors;  much exertion of efforts and energy;  much perspiration and much inspiration as well as dedication to duty.

Is true mason one who makes good use of the working tools of the craft?  Partly yes. Because a mason should use those working tools for building his own self into an inward master - one who has so mastered himself that his influence over other men bring good results.  The true masons endeavor.  For instance, to make use of the 24-inch gauge, that is to say, he strives to faithfully divide every day of his life into three parts - one for service of God and a distressed worthy brother; another for his usual vocation; and the third for refreshment and repose.  It follows then that he observes such a prudent and well-regulated course of discipline as may best conduce to the preservation of his corporeal and mental faculties, in their fullest energy so that he will be better enabled the talents where with God has blessed him; as well as to his glory as the welfare of his fellowmen.  Hence, in fellowships such as like tonight, particularly when there are non-masons around, he does not lose sight of the importance of the perfect point of entrance.  He strives to remain temperate, discreet and prudently sober, so that he will not carelessly let fall the least sign, token or word, whereby the secrets of freemasonry might be unlawfully obtained by the profane.

Every Mason, after all, have been charged  to support the dignity of his character on all occasions and to strenuously enforce, by precept and example, a steady obedience to the tenets of freemasonry.  Every Mason ought to conduct himself at all times as to convince the world that, upon becoming a master mason he has become a better man.

Essential to the daily duties of every mason is his indispensable duty of remembering the poor, and, to them, a share of our wealth should be given.  But, there are those who may be rich in worldly goods, yet poor in spirit, who do not need help from our pockets, but help from our hearts.  And, to them we must share a part of our time rather than a part of our wealth.  Masons are so engaged in the affairs of their respective business, the cares of their families, as well as civic and other activities that consume so much of their time left to fulfill their masonic obligations and assist distressed Brethren who may need a moment of their time.  There is no better time for each of us to reexamine our conscience and honestly appraise our conduct in the past as when we are considering our resolutions for the ensuing year.  Let us place at least two resolutions in highest priority for us to carry out: 1) Living up to our obligations and 2) Giving of time to others.  For us masons, there can be no greater commitment than to fulfill our obligations to the Craft, and give ourselves to the needy Brethren; for it is charity of the heart, not charity of the pocket, that preserves among us the full and complete harmony of brotherly love.

The creed of masonry is service - service without counting the cost, service without expecting any material reward save the self-satisfaction that arises from a job well done for the good of our fellow men particularly, and to the greater glory of God.

I challenge you my dear brethren of Iligan Lodge No. 207 to do things not because you are duty bound to do them but because you really want to do them for a noble and glorious purpose;  then you will enjoy your life; attend lodge meetings for instance not because you are obligated to do so but because you want to be with your brethren with whom you are linked together by an indissoluble chain of sincere affection and share your fellowship with them.  Then you will enjoy attending lodge meetings;  in fact, you will look forward with much anticipation to attending our next lodge meetings.

It is high time that we re-examine ourselves whether we deserve the wages of the craftsmen in the quarries as builders of temples in the hearts of men.  We cannot speculate on what masonry can do for us but rather we should reciprocate masonry for enlightening us to understand the vicissitudes of life.  We must always remember that a true mason is he who chooses the right with invincible resolution who resist the sorest temptations from within and without; who in the calmest in storms and whose reliance in truth on virtue on GAOTU is the most unfaltering.

Yes, masonry means everything to the brother who believes that its tenets are unalterable and immutable for masonry is a seeker of truth and truth is masonry.

Permit me therefore to enumerate in brief the planned activities for our dear Iligan Lodge No. 207 for the ensuring MY 2014.  After proper consultations with some past WMs and past DDGMs and brethren we have come up with the following, to wit:

1.  February 2014  -  Proficiency and installation of new set of officers for MY 2014
2.  March  -  Rusty Nail :  visiting/ bringing long lost brethren back to the lodge (c/o WB Victor G. Mariano)
3.  April  -  Lodge Anniversary/ PM Night and Re-dedication/ ANCOM (c/o SW)
4.  May - Family bonding, if agreed to be held outside Iligan area of responsibility (c/o JW)
5.  June  -  Environment Month Celebration (c/o WM)
6.  July  -  School visitation
7.  August  -  Community outreach
8.  September -  Sister Lodge visitation
9.  October - Planning for coming year activities and review on-going
10.  November - Community work
11.  December  - Year-end assessment and bonding

May I conclude by extending sincerest fraternal gratitude to the VW District Grand Officers, VW Sirs, Worshipful Sirs, worshipful brethren; and all other brethren, sisters, friends and families of Masons who have contributed in labor, service and in kind toward this orderly and successful affair.  Mabuhay and Iligan Lodge 207 and mabuhay kitang tanan.

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