Friday, December 27, 2013

Last three (3) weeks of December 2013 until Boxing Day

From December 1 to 24, the Masonic Family of Manitoba provided Gift Wrapping and Coat Check Services at the Garden City Shopping Center. Each day, one Masonic Body manned the stall. I was able to assist on the following dates in December:

  • 4th - Scottish Rite
  • 5th & 7th - Khartum Shriners
  • 10th - Scottish Rite
  • 11th - Order of the Eastern Star
  • 15th - International Order of DeMolay
  • 17th - Order of the Eastern Star
  • 22nd - International Order of DeMolay
  • 24th - Grand Lodge of Manitoba

Of course, as Christmas drew closer, more people had us wrap their gifts. During the very busy times, it was really hectic and a bit stressful. But we had a lot of fun throughout. We had a few people ask about Freemasonry and the various Masonic Bodies. We even had one man start knocking at the doors of Freemasonry. In the picture on the right, we have two (2) Ron's co-wrapping a gift. RWB Ron Church, SGW, is on the right and RWB Ron Hodge, Past Grand Patron, Grand Chapter of Manitoba, Order of the Eastern Star (OES).
On December 12, Thursday, Queen Winnipeg Chapter No 1, OES, had its last Meeting for 2013. Each Member invited a "guest" for the evening. My guest is a co-Member in the Chapter, RWB Stano Spina.
On December 13, Friday, Mae and I attended the Annual Ladies Dinner of the Khartum Komedians. The winner of the door prize was Noble Bruce Barton, Khartum Chief of Staff.

In the picture on the right, Noble Bruce Barton (L) received the door prize from Illustrious Sir Potentate Andrew Skene (C), while Noble Kevin Davis (R) was watching.

The evening's entertainment was a magician. In the picture on the left, Noble Rick Holberg (R), Potentate-Elect, provides the audience participation for the magic trick, which was first performed by the great Harry Houdini, whose real name was Ehrich Weiss and who was a Freemason.
The food was wonderful and the fellowship warm, making for an excellent evening, despite the very cold weather.

In the morning of December 14, Saturday, we had the Monthly Breakfast of Fil-Can Cabletow Lodge No 189 at Canton Buffet. That same morning, there was a fundraising breakfast for the Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan Relief Fund. We just joined that breakfast that morning.

In the afternoon of December 14, I had the pleasure of being the Installing Master of Winnipeg River Lodge No 154. Installed as WM for 2014 was WB Don Carganillo, at whose Initiation and Raising in 2008, I was present.

Here is a picture of the 2014 Officers, Installation Team and other Brethren after the Open Installation. There was a lot of food, which was everyone enjoyed.
On December 16, Monday, I attended Selkirk Conclave No 6, Red Cross of Constantine ( I joined the dinner before the Meeting. The food was excellent and the fellowship very warm. At the Meeting, we constituted Companion Ted Jones, PGM and Grand Secretary and Companion Stuart Allen, PGM as Knight Companions of the Conclave.

In the picture on the left, we have the two (2) newly constituted Knight Companions figuring out the table puzzle, as all new Knight Companions of Selkirk Conclave No 6 have done in all ages. They did not disappoint the other Knight Companions. But they took a lot longer than when my batchmates and I did it last year.

On December 19, Thursday, Mikey and I went to the Pan Am Clinic to have Mikey's right ankle (an old injury) and my right shoulder checked. Mikey will have an MRI in March to verify if there is any soft tissue or muscle damage. I had to go to a Physiotherapist for my rotator cuff, which I injured in August last year (2012). I have since gone back to the Physio once. On December 23, Monday, I returned to the Pan Am Clinic for my lingering backache. I will be seeing the Physio about my back on December 30, Monday. I need some exercises for both my right shoulder and back, aside from other exercises for cardio and taking it easy at the dinner table during the Christmas season. It will be a struggle for sure.

On December 20, Friday, Keystone Council No 172, Allied Masonic Degrees (AMD) ( held its Installation. The outgoing Sovereign Master, Ven Bro Ron Church, invited representatives from the various Masonic Bodies and their Ladies to dinner prior to the Meeting. We had a wonderful dinner prepared by Lady Carol Hadley and JW MWB Al Hadley. At the Meeting, MVB Cliff Hardy presided at the Installation, where I had the honor of being installed as the Sovereign Master of 2014. MWB Al Hadley was installed as Senior Warden and RWB Mason Jardine as Junior Warden.

The 7th Annual Christmas Party of Fil-Can Cabletow Lodge No 189 was held on December 21 at the Khartum Shrine Center. One of the entertainment numbers was a dance by some of the braver and brazen Brethren.
Of course, the line dancers went to the dance floor when their favorite line dance music was played.
Even Santa Claus danced before giving out the gifts to the children.
The traditional pictures of the Brethren, Ladies and Children were taken.

On Christmas Eve, we had dinner at the residence of RWB Junn and Sis Lisa Manalang. It was, as usual, a feast of very sumptuous dishes. Calories and carbs galore.
At around past 1 AM on Christmas Day, we went home, still feeling quite full from the dinner. We then had our annual picture prior to opening the gifts. This time we had Ate Anna in the picture via facetime from Warren Hospital in Phillipsburg, NJ. She is on Night Rotation this December and worked on Christmas Eve. It was a bit sad that she was not with us this Christmas. We are looking forward to when she comes for a visit in early January. We'll keep the Christmas tree up and decorations in place.
The picture on the left is from Anna's iphone when we were talking via facetime. Technology is wonderful when it works.

On Christmas Day, we slept in. Then we went back to the home of RWB Junn and Sis Lisa Manalang for Christmas Day Lunch (and more).

The children were also there enjoying themselves. It is quite a privilege to be part of the lives of the children.
RWB Neil and Sis Espie Lapiña were in town for the holidays and were also at the Christmas Day Lunch.
Of course, everyone ate a lot.

We slept in again on Boxing Day. Mae and I then bravely went to Walmart, to Bed, Bath & Beyond and lastly to Costco. It was not too bad. We were able to avoid the traffic and had very little problem getting a parking spot and near the door, too. We did not dare go to any of the shopping centers or big box stores as we did not intend to buy anything from those. We survived Boxing Day in 2013! And we walked off a few of the calories from the previous days' lunches and dinners.

Next challenge: New Year's Eve Noche Buena. Sis Espie Lapiña will be cooking goto (rice porridge with tripe) and RWB Neil Lapiña will cook dinuguan (pork in "chocolate" soup). We will have fish and other dishes care of RWB Junn and Sis Lisa Manalang. I will cook sinigang na baboy (pork and veggies in tamarind soup). There will be other Brethren and Ladies who will be there, too. But we will specially miss RWB Jun, Sis Aries Pagunuran and their two (2) lovely daughters as they will be in Phoenix. AZ then to visit the sister of Sis Aries.

I trust that you all had a blessed, meaningful, wonderful and the merriest Christmas. Enjoy the rest of the holidays.

Until my next post.

No comments:

Post a Comment