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HIstory of the Lodge | Mencius’ Biography

Mencius Lodge started to grow after its birth on 28 June 1924. The period of efflorescence, as defined by the Webster's Dictionary, is the period or state of flowering. Like an eaglet, it has grown into an eagle. Like an eagle, it has spread its wings and soars high into the sky. It has spread Masonry to other countries. It has supported the Grand Lodge by undertaking charity works. It had participated in the building of the new temple.

Mencius Spreads Masonry to Other Countries

MW Michael Goldenberg, Honorary Member of Mencius Lodge, observed: "Mencius Lodge was a catalytic agent in the formation of lodges in China and ultimate(y, the Grand Lodge of China." (Ibid) Some members of the lodge helped in the organization and constitution of the first lodge in Shanghai, China in May 1931: Amity Lodge No. 106. Through the years, Amity Lodge maintained a close relationship with the masons in the Philippines. This cordial fraternal tie was happily marked on the evening of 5 Oct 1933 when Mertcius hosted the meeting between a brother from the Amity Lodge and the Philippine Islands: MW Stanton Youngberg. Bro. K. L. Kwong (Consul General of Chinese Republic) representing Amity Lodge presented a beautiful 9 feet by 3 feet plague to MW Youngberg. The message of Pres. Lim Sen of the Republic of China was inscribed on the plague: "The Spirit of Universal Benevolence." (Votaries: 109)

In response, MW Youngberg remarked: " ... They (the Chinese) have lived and labored with us, shared in our joys and sorrows and have contributed their share to the progress of this fair land ... Mencius Lodge No. 93 (is) our host this evening… " (Ibid.: 116)

Subsequently, Nanking Lodge No. 108 was constituted on 4 Feb 1933. Other lodges in China constituted under the jurisdiction of the Philippines includes Pearl River Lodge No. 109 (7 Feb 1934) in Canton, Szechuan Lodge No. 112 (13 May 1937) near Chengtu, West Lake Lodge No. 113 (22 July 1936) in Hangchow, and Sun Lodge (24 Jan 1939) in Shanghai. Amity Lodge was the first lodge to be constituted under the Philippine jurisdiction, while Sun Lodge was the last one to be constituted by the Grand Master of the Philippines. On 4 May 1937, Bro. Hua-Chuen Mei was installed as the first Philippine District Grand Master. (Ibid.: 116-123)

WB Tieng Seng (a Past Master of Mencius Lodge), observed MW Stevens, was very active in the craft despite that he had migrated to the United States. He and WB Joe Woon Lum of Shanghai together with some Chinese brethren in New York formed a conferral team. They conducted proficiently the 3rd degree of Masonry on several candidates in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and other places in America. (Mencius, 60th : 20)

Indeed, MW Wenceslao Trinidad accurately predicted 30 years ago when he granted the Charter to the lodge that Mencius would be responsible for spreading the teachings of Masonry to other countries.

The Meeting Places

The lodge hibernated during the Japanese occupation of the country in the 2nd World War. After the liberation, the lodge moved its meeting place from the Masonic Temple in Ongpin, Manila to the temporary Grand Lodge at 138 Gunao, Manila. Later the meeting was held at Plaridel Masonic Temple, San Marcelino, Manila. On 17 March 1954 during the Special Meeting of Mencius Lodge, Grand Master MW Mauro Baradi presented the dispensation to the newly designated Worshipful Master Capt. Edgar Merwin for the constitution of the new lodge Na Nungok Handa Lodge, U.D. in Seoul, Korea. Majority of the membership of this lodge was Chinese but an American military officer governed the lodge and the dispensation was presented by a Filipino Grand Master (Ibid).

On 4 May 1955, Mencius Lodge held its first regular Stated Meeting at the Scottish Rite Temple at 1828 Taft Ave., Manila (Ibid.). Since then, the lodge regularly holds its Stated Meeting every 1st Wednesday of the month and Special Meeting on the 3rd Wednesday of the month.

The First Newsletter

In 1952, Bro. Te Liong Bio, then the Lodge Secretary, suggested the printing of newsletter. The first copy of the newsletter came out in July 1952, but this lasted only up to September 1952. MW David Au, PGM of the Grand Lodge of China, commended the lodge for coming out with this newsletter (Ibid.).

Charity Projects

On 8 July 1963, the lodge undertook the Mencius Friendly Scholarship Program. It granted scholarships to 3 deserving students at the UP College of Engineering: Rei Lacson (SY 1965-66), Ruben Alcantara (Ist Semester, 1969-70), and Valentin Reyes (1st Semester, 1971-72). «Mencius 50th Anniversary: 25) In support of the Grand Lodge Committee on Education and Public Services, the lodge donated 877 books to the Celedonio Salvador School at Paco, Manila. (Ibid., p. 13)

Participation in the Building of the New Temple

Members of the lodge readily responded to the call of MW Jolly Bugarin to finance the construction of a new building for the Grand Lodge. They paid their share to the Temple Building Fund. However, the assessment was not enough to sustain the on-going construction. Hence, WM Mandac , devised a Raffle Fund Raising Project. Aside from the assessment for building fund, the brethren also bought the raffle tickets in support of the fund raising campaign of the Grand Lodge. The cost of the construction escalated due to the inflation. Thus, funds collected could not match the rising cost of materials and labors. On 23 Feb 1986, MW Pedro Guerzon formally launched for the membership to the Temple Builders Club while the People Power Revolution was gathering strength at EDSA More than 30 members of the lodge readily joined as charter members of the club. The lodge was able to raise more than 50% of the total collection of the Grand Lodge of P600,000.00. Finally, the building was completed and inaugurated on 19 Dec 1990 by MW John L. Choa (Votaries: 206-211).