Ionic Lodge No. 31 open installation of the 2020 officers and the ceremonial supper that followed was conducted on the afternoon of Saturday, Dec. 14 at the North Battleford Masonic Temple. While the installation of the Worshipful Master of the Lodge was concluded the previous evening behind closed doors, the public was invited to the open installation ceremony for the remaining lodge officers. Worshipful Brother Arturo Galman was thus installed as the Master of the Lodge for the ensuing 2020 year. Having originally received his Master Mason Degree in 2011 from the Juan Sumulong Memorial Lodge No. 169 in the Philippines, Brother Galman and his family moved to the Battlefords where he affiliated with the Ionic Lodge a year later. He has served both as a junior and principal officer in preparation for his current role.
The installation was well attended by members of the lodge and their families. Numerous visitors were also present, including a large contingent of Filipino Brethren from Saskatoon and area who assisted in conducting the ceremony. Lodge officers were called individually and conducted before the Installing Master, Most Worshipful Brother Don Finan. In turn, each was duly installed receiving the symbols of that office.
Once installations were concluded, W. Bro. Mark Barclay, the Immediate Past master of the lodge, spoke to those gathered regarding the background of Freemasonry.
Brother Mariano Ong, newly installed Junior Deacon, then spoke about the rich history and development of Masonry from a Philippine perspective.
After the ceremony, members and guests retired to the lower hall for a supper consisting of numerous traditional Filipino dishes complete with a roasted pig. The authentic meal was catered by the Saskatoon and North Battleford Filipino brethren. Entertainment accompanied the evening social, which included video presentations and music.
As officers of the lodge, W. Bro. Galman and his team continue the long tradition of Freemasonry in this community. Ionic Lodge No. 31 received its Charter in 1907 from the newly formed Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan. Meetings were held in various buildings in the Battlefords throughout the years, until the current 92nd Street Masonic Temple was built and dedicated in 1961. Masonry itself is a truly global fraternity of like-minded Brethren, with over 200 jurisdictions worldwide. While not a service organization per se, Freemasonry is charitable and offers its members an opportunity for giving, learning, and self-improvement. Ionic Lodge, through its Memory Box program, donates to the BUH Birthing Unit financially, as well as providing memory boxes for mothers and families to hold keepsakes at the loss of their child.