Outgoing Worshipful Master Romeo D. Malasarte is thankful for the overwhelming support of the entire Emon Lodge No. 179 of the Free and Accepted Masons of the CNMI.
Malasarte, who headed the CNMI Masons for the 2015-2016 Masonic Year, will be stepping down when formal installation of the new elected and appointed officers takes place next week. The ceremony will be held at the Saipan World Resort’s Royal Taga Hall on Jan. 30.
Malasarte, who owns and operates Armatech Corp., will become an Immediate Past Master once incoming Worshipful Master Peter Crisostomo is installed.
Grand Master Mason Tomas Rentoy III of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines, which jurisdiction Emon Lodge No. 179 falls under, will visit the CNMI in April.
Malasarte, who is also the Overseas E’s District Deputy Grand Master, said 2015 has been a challenging for the CNMI especially on Saipan after the devastation brought by Typhoon Soudelor.
“Time flies so fast. I was overwhelmed by the 100 percent support given to me by all the Masons and I thank them for that,” said Malasarte, who replaced Very Worshipful Master Daniel E. Banez last year.
“We were able to raise funds for our community projects especially after Soudelor where we joined the community in the recovery efforts,” Malasarte added.
Malasarte and the officers of Emon Lodge 179 that is set to be installed will then join 430 other lodges in the annual communication in April in Tagaytay City, Philippines where more than 5,000 Mason members will be attending.
It will also mark the formal installation of the Philippines’ Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin as Grand Master, replacing Rentoy.
Emon Lodge has also organized a basketball league and formed a team that joined in a separate tournament. The CNMI Masons’ membership also increased during Malasarte’s one-year term.
“To find new members and increase our numbers were our target. To become a Mason you must ask one, to be one. Those who interested will undergo a process, which we also experienced,” he said.
An applicant must first be endorsed by two Free Mason members and his name would then be submitted along with the other candidates to the Grand Lodge for reading. If no objections were made, the name of the applicant will return to the Lodge where he is applying at where the members would vote for formal his entry to the Free Masons.