Tuesday, September 6, 2011

27th Annual Convention of the PMAAI, Las Vegas, NV - Sept 2 to 5

I accepted the kind invitation from WB Angel (Boyet) Corpuz, President of the Philippine Masonic Association of America, Inc (PMAAI), to the be Guest of Honor at the 27 Annual Convention of PMAAI from September 2 to 5 at the Gold Cost Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. I was introduced to WB Boyet, who lives in Seattle, WA, by MWB Santy Lascano, the Immediate Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Washington.

The Convention was hosted by the Filipino American Masons of Nevada Club (FILAMMON), headed by their President, WB Rolly Pascual. The FILAMMON Brethren & Ladies did a wonderful job in making everyone feel at home and have fun during the weekend.

Sis Mae and I left Winnipeg on Friday at 6 AM and drove to Fargo where we flew to Las Vegas. It was our first time to fly out of a North Dakota airport and avail of the  significantly less expensive airfares. That Friday, we experienced temperatures ranging from the cool high teens (in C) in Winnipeg to the hot mid-40's C plus in Las Vegas. We were met at the Las Vegas airport by WB Boyet Corpus, Sis Baby Corpus and WB Abe Velasco, Co-Chair of the Convention. WB Abe was also our Interactive GPS, Driver, Photographer, Tour Guide and Porter.

Here is a picture of some of Brethren and Ladies at the Registration area.
Here are pictures during the Fellowship on Friday evening.

Opening of the Plenary Session on Saturday morning. Entrance of the various Chapters.
The Immediate Past Grand Master of the State of Washington, MWB Godofredo (Santy) Lascano, who is an Honorary Member of the PMAAI.

I was escorted into the Plenary Hall with RWB Fred Magsino and RWB Greg Dy (alias Dr "Bistyek") leading and WB Rolly Pascual and WB Louie Decena following.

RWB Greg Dy and RW/Illustrious Bro Jun Ramos gave presentations about the Scholarship and Charity Projects of the PMAAI. The lives of the recipients of the PMAAI scholarships and their families have significantly changed for the better.

The Worthy Grand Matron of the Grand Chapter of Nevada, Order of Eastern Star, Sister Barbie Holmes, addressed the Sisters at the Ladies' Workshop.

The President, WB Boyet Corpus, and his Lady, Sis Baby, during the Saturday lunch. During the whole weekend, this love couple were our very gracious and hospitable hosts.

We had a few hours to go sight-seeing after lunch on Saturday. So MWB Santy and Sis Cely Lascano, Sis Mae and me went on a short tour. Our guide, WB Abe Velasco, who was also the Co-Chair of the Convention, brought us to Hoover Dam in Boulder City. Here are some pictures during that short trip to the dam. The beautiful bridge is a by-pass of the dam.

We were also brought to the Red Rock Canyon, 24 kms west of Las Vegas. The site showcased a set of large red rock formations.

Somewhere on the way back from Red Rock Canyon to Las Vegas, we saw this pink colored office. It houses the office of a traffic-ticket appeals company.

On Saturday evening, some of the Brethren attended the Stated Meeting of King Solomon Lodge No 58, presided by the WB Rod Lampa, the Worshipful Master. We had dinner prior to the Meeting and then a short Festive Board. There were 30 Brethren at the Meeting, 15 of whom are visitors, including some from California. The Lodge Raised 11 new Master Masons last year and currently has nine (9) Brethren on the Trestleboard and that evening balloted on six (6) Petitions. And the Lodge only has 40 plus Members! What an excellent Lodge! Surely, they are doing things very well to be continually attracting a good number of Petitioners.

From the Lodge Meeting, we went back to the Convention venue where they were having a Hawaiian Night. Here are pictures of some Sisters & Brethren doing a line dance. Later that night, a good number of us (about 20 plus) went to the California Hotel for some very delicious "bulalo" soup. I can still taste the rich flavor of the beef stew.

On Sunday morning, there was a bowling tournament. There was a good number of participants from the various Las Vegas community organizations. I did not participate in the tournament but bowled one (1) partial game with Sisters Mae Uson, Cel Lascano and Baby Corpus.

After lunch and before the Gala Dinner that Sunday evening, MWB Santy Lascano and I accompanied the Ladies (Sisters Mae, Cel and Baby) do some quick shopping. At the Gala, WB Boyet Corpus announced that the PMAAI Board approved to make me an Honorary Member of PMAAI. He andWB Bing Barro, PMAAI President-Elect, presented me with a plaque and a PMAAI pin. It was quite an honor.

The President presented the Chapter of the Year Award to the Travelers of Hampton Roads Virginia (THRV). The Award was received by WB Boboy Samonte, THRV Chairman. Their Chapter also had the most number of delegates from a Chapter other than the Host Chapter.

Following are some of the numerous pictures taken during the Gala.

WB Jim Klinefelter of Seattle, WA provided an entertainment number. He also taught some of the Ladies a few line dances.
And so there was line dancing.

With WB Abe Velasco, who was the Designated Driver of the GM (DDGM). He and I come from the same province (Pangasinan) and university (University of the Philippines). I know some of his brothers in the Upsilon Sigma Phi Fraternity.

And the Sisters & Brethren danced the Macarena. In the white dinner jacket and gyrating to the music is RWB Greg ("Dr Bistyek") Dy.

In this picture, WB Bing Barro, President-Elect, was pleading Sis Mae to ensure that she and I will attend the upcoming PMAAI Board Meeting in May 2012 in Virginia, the 2012 Convention in the Philippines and the 2013 Convention in Jacksonville, FL.

A picture of the three lovely Angels (Sis Mae Uson, Sis Baby Corpus and Sis Cely Lascano) taken while waiting for WB Boyet Corpus to get the vehicle. The Ladies were tired after the dancing after the Gala dinner.

WB Abe Velasco, our faithful "DDGM", picked us up at 4 AM on Monday and brought us to the airport for our 6:45 AM flight back to Fargo, ND.
It was an excellent Convention. Everyone had a wonderful time, thanks to the Sisters & Brethren of FILAMMON, the Host Chapter, and to the Officers, Sisters & Brethren of the PMAAI.
Sis Mae and I hope that we can make it to the May 2012 Board Meeting and the 2012 Convention. What an excellent bunch of Sisters & Brethren! It was great to meet some old friends and to make a lot of new ones.

No comments:

Post a Comment