... further light...

... further light...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A View of the Current History of Cavite Masons

An objective reiteration of the events in 2006 that led to chaos in the Masonic District of Cavite can lead even an armchair analyst to see a seemingly Machiavellian scheme to divide the District and eventually destroy its harmony.

Harmony has always been a primary concern of Masons in Cavite, and they stood steadfastly to preserve it. First, they established a compact among Lodges to implement a rotation scheme for the hosting of their annual district convention. Second, in conformity to the requirement to recommend three Past Masters for District Deputy Grand Master, they agreed to do away with politics by selecting nominees only from the district convention host lodge. The scheme worked perfectly for over two decades. Third, they agreed to preserve the District as one and seriously protested, through resolutions and personal pleadings, every move by any Grand Master to divide it.

In 2003, many brethren were slighted when they learned about the circulation of an offer by a prospective candidate for Junior Grand Warden to foot the bill for plane tickets to the venue of the scheduled Grand Lodge of the Philippines Annual Communications. This tact was never done before. Cavite Masons were known for their independence and free choice during elections. To the extent of being labeled disunited, even nominees from Cavite were not always supported by Cavite Masons. The blatant attempt to gain support with the use of favors was considered an affront to their sensibilities and adherence to age -old tenets. Therefore, in the exercise of their lawful rights and duty, Cavite brethren filed an electioneering case against the prospective nominee.

The 2003 annual election for Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of the Philippines was marked with unprecedented events. When the prospective nominee did not land in the short list of five, the electioneering case was declared moot and academic. But in an unprecedented decision of the Past Grand Masters’ selection board, alternate nominees were named. The strangest development was when all five principal nominees suddenly withdrew from the race. Naturally, the two succeeding alternate nominees became the only strong contenders. The nominee charged of electioneering by the Cavite brethren won. Three years later in 2006, he became the Grand Master.

The biggest blow that a Masonic district could suffer is disharmony. When personal interests start to supersede established traditions, they become the Achilles heel of an organization. The Cavite brethren had no inkling that their strongest asset, their harmonious traditions could be at the same time, their weakest. In spite of a clear conformity to the requirements for nominating a District Deputy Grand Master, i.e., three recommendees, the 2006 Grand Master invoked his prerogative and ignored the District recommendation. The Past Grand Masters tried to advise him that such move might cause disharmony but to no avail.

Personalities and personal interests started to divide an erstwhile harmonious Masonic District. Disillusionment was however, not over the personalities involved but over the principle and scheme of things. Only later did the issues become personal and confrontational - a natural reaction when battle lines are drawn.

Who would therefore not subscribe to the idea that there was spite or a conscious desire on the part of the Grand Master to punish the District of Cavite for exercising its lawful right and duty to oppose electioneering? Certainly, one would be hard put to dissociate the events of 2003 from the actions taken by the Grand Master in 2006. No amount of rationalization could cleanse the effects of his actuations. Actions speak louder than words.

In contemporary history, a system of government based on benevolent dictatorship does not work anymore. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Absolute power has become obsolete power.

The bottom line is many Cavite Masons unwittingly allowed themselves to be used like medieval marionettes in a theatrical mock war. They mistook their own brothers as their real enemies until these brothers had no recourse but to establish their own fort to withstand the siege.

January 28, 2008

*** originally posted at West to East Yahoogroup by Bro Ric Alvarez