Annual Communication 2015 Nippon Lodge #9 Trestle Board

Nippon Lodge #9
Trestle Board
PSC 476 BOX 135 FPO AP 96322-0001
In This Edition:
Message From The
Worshipful Master
Message From The
Senior Warden
Message From The
Junior Warden
Grand Master’s Address
Notes from the
Masonic Education
Nippon Lodge #9
2015 Officers
MY-2015 Officers
March-April, 2015
Annual Communication 2015
It was a historic and solemn day. The brethren gathered to participate in
the Annual Communication of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Japan. It is
quite surprising to see the brethren not only from Japan, but also the honorable
guests that originated from countries outside of Japan including Alaska, Taiwan,
China and the Philippines.
PGM Vic Ortiz gave his parting words to the brethren followed by an election of the new Grand Pillars. It is enlightening to see how the brethren meticulously select the officers of the Grand Lodge. This is one experience that every
Mason should at least experience and see how our Grand Officers are elected and
Highlights of The
 Stated Meeting
 March—ANCOM 2015
 April— Easter with
Seifuen Orphanage
Our new Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brother Marvin Abueg (center) with
the Nippon Lodge #9 brethren from (L to R) BJW Ervey Amoyan, BSW Ace
Asuncion, Bro Manny Manipula, and NL #9 Worshipful Master, WB Mike Velarmino taken after the installation of the new Grand Lodge officers.
Nippon Lodge #9
Trestle Board
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Message from the Worshipful Master
I would like to thank all the brethren that made the 58th
ANCOM in Tokyo a great success. It was great seeing some new
and old Faces, and this happens once a year, I would like to encourage everyone when given the chance to attend one of these
once in a life time event.
Please take some time to offer a prayer to our departed
brother. Bro. Lou Navarra, who joined the GAOTU last month.
Sincerely and Fraternally,
WB Mike Velarmino
Message From The Senior Warden
First of all, hats off and congratulations to our newly elected
and selected Grand Lodge officers for the ensuing year of 2015.
Hail to our new Grandmaster, MWB Marvin Abueg! For those who
missed this memorable and exciting event, please visit our webpage
for the pictures taken during the ANCOM 2015 celebration.
To our brethren at sea and yonder, travel light and looking
forward to see you all again.
Please be reminded about our upcoming charity event for the
underprivileged kids of Seifuen Orphanage.
We would like to also pass along to all to please update us
with your current email and physical addresses, so that we can correspond to you expeditiously. Forward your addresses or our brethren’s address that you think we are missing in our distribution.
Bro. Ace R. Asuncion
Message From The Junior Warden
GL of Japan ANCOM was a Great experience. I would encourage every
Brother to at least experience the Brotherly love the Lodges from the
North provided. I would like to congratulate our very own and wish
them a successful Masonic year:
GRAND MASTER - RWB Marvin D. Abueg
GRAND ORGANIST - WB Michael Velarmino
Bro. Ervey Amoyan
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Nippon Lodge #9
Trestle Board
The MY-2015 Grand Master’s Address
(Most Worshipful Brother Marvin Abueg )
(Japanese Translation Included)
Good afternoon/Konichiwa
こんにちは/ Konichiwa
First and foremost, I would like to recognize our Past Grand Masters and visiting dignitaries in
the East and on the floor. And would like to take this opportunity now to ask your permission
to break the protocol of speaking up here in the East but rather on the floor.
I’m speaking on the floor vice up there in the East to show to all of you my personality as
some of the Brethren located in the Kanto Plain and elsewhere in Japan don’t know much
about myself.
I’m an easy going, personable and very approachable person. I believe in open communication. Exercising Brotherly love to the maximum extent possible is who I am. I don’t mind
whether you are EA, FC, MM, PM, or GL officers.
To me we are all the same – one family. Those titles I mentioned are all positional authority.
To me we are one family.
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Nippon Lodge #9
Trestle Board
MY-2015 Grand Master’s Address continued….
The High and Low. The Rich and the Poor. And we learned that we are all created by
one Almighty Parent – Therefore, we are all the same as Freemasons.
創造されていることを学びました。 – そして、私たちは全て同じフリーメーソンリー
I would like to recognize the friends, the non-masons that are here today and more importantly our spouses.
Believe it or not, our spouses are an integral part of our Masonic journey. We need their
100% support in order for us to be successful in Freemasonry – our goal of becoming a Better
であります。より良い人間になるという目標 - 私たちがフリーメーソンで成功する
From our lodge meetings, charity works and fellowships, our spouses are always there to
support. A round of applause to our spouses.
I would like to briefly touch a couple of challenges I think we face as Masons.
One is Lack of membership; Two - the Enemy within ourselves and three Masonic Education. I believe these three goes hand in hand. Please bear with me as I’m going to mix these
three challenges in the next few minutes.
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Nippon Lodge #9
Trestle Board
MY-2015 Grand Master’s Address continued….
一つは、メンバーシップの欠如である。二つめ - 私達自身の良くない心、そし
One might say, OK Grand Master I got the lack of membership and education. But what are
you talking about the enemy within ourselves?
For me, the enemy within ourselves is our own demeanor or simply our own behavior.
Un-Masonic Behavior is the enemy within ourselves. And we are the only one that can fix this
challenge. How do we defeat this enemy within ourselves? I believe through proper Masonic
自分自身の中にある、この問題を打ち破るのでしょう? 私は、適切なフリーメーソ
As a Mason, everywhere we go, whatever we do reflects on us as Freemasons. Our
names will be mentioned all the time with a connotation of – by the way he is a Mason. So if
we show to the public the good deeds we do as a group, as an individual or even as a family,
this will help with gaining membership which is the other challenge we are facing.
As far as Masonic Education, I’m not talking about a structured education system but
simply a discussion on the context of our monitor during lodge meetings.
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Nippon Lodge #9
Trestle Board
MY-2015 Grand Master’s Address continued….
Take about 15-30 minutes. Start on the 3 charges – First, Second and the Third degree
charges. Ensure the Brethren understood very well the meaning of these charges.
We need to open our eyes, mind and more importantly our hearts and understand what
the charges really mean. After all, where were we first prepared to be made a Mason? In our
Heart. Not here………… but here.
So we read; we Learn; then What?
We PRACTICE!! By doing so, I believe this will help bring additional membership into
our Lodges. In short, we should LIVE and PRACTICE WHAT WE PREACH.
我々は実践します! それをやることにより、私達のロッジはより活気ずいていくで
It is un-masonic to solicit men to join Freemasonry. However, we do solicit by the lives
we live before the eyes of the community.
So to influence others to join our Fraternity by the lives we live is the best way
to get new members than by simply asking them to join. We should Practice the masonic virtues in our daily lives.
もらうことが最善の道と考えています。 我々は、日常生活において、フリーメ
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Nippon Lodge #9
Trestle Board
MY-2015 Grand Master’s Address continued….
The bad part of this whole process is that if we cannot control this enemy within ourselves and we practice the wrong behavior like vicious or immoral habits, then we will not succeed in getting more members to join our Fraternity.
So the bottom line is this: Meaningful Masonic Education equals membership; Living
and Practicing Freemasonry in our daily lives equals membership.
Finally my Brethren, we live in troubled times, where hatred seems to trump reason. Too
many killings; too much hatred. Nevertheless, Freemasonry stands as the Beacon of hope and
my wish is that someday men will be united regardless of country, sect or opinion.
Nippon Lodge #9 Pillars
posing inside the Most
Worshipful Grand Lodge
lobby. (L-R) WB Mike
Velarmino, BJW Ervey
Amoyan, and BSW Ace
Asuncion during the recently concluded ANCOM 2015 held in Tokyo, Japan.
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Nippon Lodge #9
Trestle Board
Notes from the Secretary
Dear Brother,
Please take a moment to look at the Dues Card you now carry. If it does not have the Year 2015 on it, then you are in arrears.
As stated in our Constitution, Art. 104. All dues to Subordinate
Lodges shall be payable in advance annually on December 31st. of each
year. CURRENT YEAR DUES $50.00. Draw all Checks Payable to
Nippon Lodge#9 and NOT To the Secretary.
PSC 476, BOX 135
FPO AP 96322
Cordially and Fraternally,
Bro. Earl Epperson
01 April
Stated Meeting
PSC 476 BOX 135 FPO AP 96322-0001
06 April
Local Address:
08 April
10 April
Charity Event (Seifuen)
13 April
15 April
20 April
22 April
27 April
29 April
Primary Address:
Nippon Lodge NO. 9
4-3 Tanigo Cho 2nd Floor., Sasebo-shi
Contact Telephone #s:
WBro. Mike Velarmino: (81) 80-4209-5269
Bro. Ace Asuncion: (81) 80-8367-0788
Bro. Ervey Amoyan (81) 80-4356-2305
e on t
We ar
*** Subject to change
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Masonic Education
Nippon Lodge #9
Trestle Board
(A Subject Too Often Overlooked by Bro. Bill Cloonan)
This is Part II of a III part series on various aspects of our honored Fraternity. In part one we took a
brief glimpse at the importance of Masonic Education and posed a few questions to the reader.
1. What in fact are the origins of Freemasonry? 2. Where did it all begin? 3. How did it reach
the present state in which we find Freemasonry today?
Why did the ancient Guilds of Cathedral builders need such an elaborate method of recognition? Why would they have needed signs and words, if in fact our early origins were with tradesman
plying their skill in building cathedrals? Why would they wish to keep secret the methods by which
they constructed a building? They were in the open, visible to anyone who wished to come near the
building and certainly not in any danger from an outside enemy. So why would they need to have
methods of recognition that would have not have been known to the casual observer?
One of the theories that has been around and has been for several hundred years and supported
by many scholars in search of answers regarding the craft revolves around the Knights Templar.
Freemasonry very likely may have begun with the suppression of the Knights Templar in the year
1307. At that time the Templars were being crushed in France, but by the delay of the King enforcing
the edict in England and Scotland many escaped. Mr. John Robinson, a scholar of the craft has written
a book entitled “Born in Blood” where his theory of the evolution of Freemasonry is more thoroughly
discussed. Possibly it is at that time that the Knights Templar went underground and had to devise a
method of recognition enabling them to travel safely and to establish safe houses where they would
have an opportunity to rest and refresh themselves. It also gave them the ability to recognize each other as members of the order. While the suppression of the Knights Templar may or may not hae anything to do with early Freemasonry, it certainly makes more sense to me that secret signs and words
in this type of environment were far more necessary than with the simple workmen plying his trade in
building a cathedral.
Another thought from this particular theory. The suppression of the Knights Templar occurred
on October 13, 1307. The particular day of the week was a Friday and ever since that event Friday the
13th has been considered to be an unlucky day of the year.
The suppression of the Templars was crude and bloody but it was not an unusual event in
those times. War, pillage, and the confiscation of property were a way of life. There were other orders
in existence who had their trouble as well. What was there bout the Knights Templar that made them
known and recognized and respected? Why do I say respected? Because there wasn’t and rejoicing at
their suppression. Instead the day is remembered as unlucky! The only conclusion that I can reach is
that this order held the respect of the people and their “destruction brought about the omen of bad
Why were they so respected? There is no absolute answer to that question, but one could surmise that if they were indeed practicing the principles of Freemasonry, they would certainly have had
the respect of the people.
My conclusion is that Freemasonry has existed for a very long time. Not perhaps, as we know
it today, but as an order of men doing good work where they were permitted to exist.
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Nippon Lodge #9
Trestle Board
Masonic Education continued...
This observation is not to be taken in the context of the claims of many Masonic Scholars, such as:
Masonry goes back to the times of Solomon or even Noah and the flood. In Masonic writing we must be
very careful when making claims like this. Many times ancient symbols, which have in more recent times
been co-opted by Freemasonry, are mistaken as evidence of early Masonic existence.
Here is one example. The All Seeing Eye on the one dollar bill is certainly well known to Masons
and unfortunately, has mistakenly been interpreted as a Masonic Symbol. It is in fact an ancient symbol
which was taken into Freemasonry in far more recent times.
The lack of understanding of ancient signs and symbols has, in my judgment, misled many Masonic
historians into false conclusions. The study of history, particularly, where the written word was not used requires a well trained person when interpreting its meaning. That is why we need to do a far better job of interpreting early Masonic history than we have done in the past. If Masonic history began in earlier times
than we normally talk about, it is obviously going to make a reconstruction of our past difficult because we
have very few written records to go by. Remember these were times when few people could read or write.
So we don’t have minutes of early Lodge meetings available. Also remember, if their very lives were at
stake, that was another strong inducement not to put very much information in written form.
The purpose of my tracing this obscure part of our history is simply to say to you that I very strongly
believe that there was a far more significant purpose to the origins of Freemasonry than simply erecting
buildings. I do believe that Freemasonry evolved into that stage, during its development, but the Cathedral
builders reflected a time in our history and not it’s beginning!
Let me carry this thinking one step further and bring it into the late 1700’s. Benjamin Franklin and Voltaire
did not join a workers guild! They joined what they believed to be an educational society which was called,
“Freemasonry”. These were extremely intelligent men who had no time to waste on things that were not
important to them, and yet Franklin was an active Freemason and Voltaire joined shortly before his death.
What was it that they saw in Freemasonry that eludes us today?
I conclude Part II of this education with the above thought, hopefully embedded in your mind. Please
take the time to continue the study of our great Ancient Craft and Fraternity and all that it has to offer.
NIPPON LODGE NO. 9 / MASONIC PSC 476 BOX 135 FPO AP 96322-0001
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Masonic Year 2015 Officers of Nippon Lodge #9
Worshipful Master
WB Mike Velarmino
Senior Warden
Bro. Ace Asuncion
Junior Warden
Bro. Ervey Amoyan
Bro. Bill Cloonan
Bro. Earle Epperson
Bro. Kiyoteru Abe
Bro. Masayoshi Okuda
Charity Committee:
Bro. Julio Reyes
Bro. Mark Crawford
Bro. Ray Asuncion
Audit Committee:
Bro. Ronnie Lagrito
Bro. Mike Vagle
Bro. Manny Manipula
Bro. Ace Asuncion
Bro. Ervey Amoyan
Senior Deacon
Bro. Julio Reyes
Refreshment Committee:
Junior Deacon
Bro. Jim Wheeler
Bro. Ervey Amoyan
Bro. Yasu Michiwaki
Bro. Manny Manipula
Senior Steward
Bro. Jim Harmon
Education Committee:
Junior Steward
Bro. Yasu Michiwaki
Bro. Manny Manipula
Bro. Ace Asuncion
Bro. Bill Cloonan
Investigation Committee
The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Japan
2015 Grand Lodge Officers