VW Lito Dela Cruz, VW Jun Arcellana, District Grand Lecturers of Masonic District NCR-A; WI Nicco Yorobe, Grand Lodge Inspector; Dignitaries on the floor; VW sirs; Worshipful sirs; brethren of Mencius Lodge No. 93; brethren of other lodges; families and friends of masons; Ladies and Gentleman, Good Evening!
First and foremost and above all, I would like to give praises and thanksgiving to The Great Architect of the Universe for carrying us through all these past 95 years! Brethren, Friends, just like any other lodges, we had our share of rough and rugged times, yet all these had come to pass… many thanks to our Lord who Himself, in the past years, have preserved Harmony to exist in this beloved Lodge of ours. After all, as we Masons often quote, “Harmony, being the strength and support of all societies especially of ours.” And now this lies as a heavy responsibility on my shoulder…
When I got elected to the position of Worshipful Master, it left me with no choice but to accept it. In fact, I felt hesitant to lead because I am JUST a good follower. But words, after words, after words of encouragement made me more confident as days passed. One word of encouragement struck me most is that and I quote, “Bro, mabilis lang ang isang taon at masarap ang maging Worshipful Master ng isang lohiyang nagkakaisa at may harmony, tulad ng sa lohiya nyo, Mencius Lodge.” This word impresses me most and this is the one thing that I could brag about our Lodge with my head held up high, the existence and realization of Peace and Harmony in our midst.
This solidarity I can confidently attribute to the inspirations and pillars of Mencius Lodge No. 93, our Past Masters. (May I request the Past Masters to please stand up to be recognized?) My dear Past Masters of this beloved lodge, this I say to you, without you, your hard work, your dedication, your heart, and your perseverance, this event would not even be made possible. VW sirs, Worshipful sirs, you are always there to whisper good counsels and give advises and suggestions, and even give due and timely notices. To say it plainly, for me as your newly-installed Worshipful Master, your WISDOM being past masters of our lodge is truly treasured. Your vast EXPERIENCE is a rich guidance for generations of Master Masons to come. And this I humbly beseech you to bestow your wisdom and guidance on me to lead our lodge even further, with God as our witness and Harmony among us as our goal. Dear Sirs, I now humbly bow to thank you all from the bottom of my heart. (Please give our PM a warm round of applause!)
To all my Mencius brethren, (my Mencius brethren please rise) let us preserve the peace and harmony. Set aside our differences. Sayang naman kung masisira lang ang pagkakaisa natin kung paiiralin lamang natin ang ating mga makasariling adhikain at ambisyon. This I cannot do it alone without your support and love to our fraternity, particularly to our Lodge. Needless to say, I now implore you for your relentless support to strengthen our Lodge advocacies and projects as what have been customary of us, as Mencius brethren, that is in all-out support to the one seated on the Oriental Chair. (Let us give ourselves a big hand!!!)
Tonight, I would like to acknowledge the presence of a special person in my life, a friend of Masons, my Papa, Mr. Venancio Cheng, who obviously, if not for him, I would not be standing in front you. I am so grateful and happy that he is able to witness this very significant moment in my life.
And most important of all, to my ever-loving, ever patient, ever-supportive wife, Eliza, the embodiment of the old saying, “Patience is a virtue.” For your information, brethren and friends, we have 3 lovely daughters but she would often say, “Ang hirap mag-alaga ng apat na anak! Mga pasaway!” Referring to me as the eldest child… Anyway, she still takes care of us beyond her disgust… she has no choice… “Thank you, my dear Eliza, for your understanding, care, and love to our family. Isang taon lang ito.”
A true testament that we are one solid Mencius Lodge, we currently have 4 EAMs and 8 petitioners… I believe they are happy… Are you? As you guys aspire to get into this Lodge, I admonish you to emulate the patterns we have set so that we shall maintain the spirit of unity and oneness among us.
After all that have been said, I thank you all who came to spare your precious time to witness this auspicious event of our Lodge, Mencius Lodge No. 93.
Mabuhay ang Masonerya ng Pilipinas!!!
Mabuhay po tayong Lahat!
Gong Xi Fa Cai! Happy Chinese New Year!
WM Michael Jonathan G. Cheng
*In Harmony, We Unite*