The first week of December, Brother Felix Diclo and myself, had the great opportunity of traveling and taking part in the 160th Anniversary of the Grand Lodge of Cuba
The first week of December, Brother Felix Diclo - Grand Lodge Representative near the Grand Lodge of Cuba - and myself, had the great opportunity of traveling and taking part in the 160th Anniversary of the Grand Lodge of Cuba together with the Supreme Council of 33rd Scottish Rite of Cuba. I must begin by expressing my warmest appreciation to the Grand Lodge of Cuba and all the brothers from Cuba for their warm reception and attention they gave both Felix and I. Below you will see a few pictures of our trip and we would gladly put together a formal presentation as a program for any lodge in need as part of Club Masonico Libertad. During our time in Cuba we were able to attend many activities. This is an abbreviated itinerary of activities.
Tuesday, December 3, 2019 was the accreditation of delegates and welcome cocktail reception by the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Cuba Ernesto Zamora Fernández and the Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of 33? Scottish Rite of Cuba, José Ramón Viñas Alonso. It was a great time meeting and getting to know many of the dignitaries including Grand Masters from various jurisdictions. Delegations from Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, New York, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, Panama, and many more were in attendance. Over 250 brothers from 52 different countries/states with 35 Grand Masters, Past Grand Masters and Sovereign Commanders attended the event. In the evening we were invited to a stated regular communication of Lodge Jose Naken, which is the mother lodge of the organizer of all events, W∴Raimundo Gomez Cervantes, Exterior Relations and Foreign Affairs officer for Grand Lodge of Cuba.
Wednesday, December 4, 2019 we had a city tour of Havana, with emphasis on sites linked to the history of Freemasonry in Cuba. In the evening we were able to attend a Cultural Gala for the 160th Anniversary of the Grand Lodge and the Supreme Council of the 33? at the renowned Martí Theater. We were delighted by an outstanding performance by Camerata Romeu directed by Maestra Zenaida Romeu, whose grandfather was a Past Grand Master of Cuba.
Thursday, December 5, 2019 we accompanied all the delegations from across all of the jurisdictions where we attended a morning floral offering to the Apostle and Brother José Martí Pérez at the Central Park statue. All were in full regalia led by Grand Master with the Grand Lodge officers and Supreme Grand Commander of Scottish Rite, Ill. José Ramón Viñas Alonso and members of Scottish Rite. It was amazing and heartwarming to see such diversity in every aspect including language, ethnicity, and religion. There were brothers from many counties in attendance from
Jamaica, Virgin Islands, Peru, South Africa, and many European delegations.
At noon we were received by the Grand Lodge at the National Masonic Building: "Carlos Manuel Piñeiro y del Cueto". The Grand Master gave a welcome address to the delegates. Brother Felix Diclo is our Grand Lodge Representative to Cuba but he felt under the weather so bestowed on me the honor and privilege to bring the official greetings of our Grand Lodge and those of our Most Worshipful Grand Master Kenneth F. Poynton. I was humbled by the occasion as many were delighted to hear me speak fluently in both English and translated into Spanish when bringing the greetings of our jurisdiction.
The evening was the main event of the 160th anniversary celebration of the Grand Lodge and the Supreme Council. The Grand Master and Sovereign Grand Commander welcomed us at the Concert Hall of the Minor Basilica of San Francisco de Asís in the Historic Center of Havana. This is where the oldest traces of Masonry are found in Cuba. We ended the night with commemorative dinner at the restaurant "El Patio" in Cathedral Square, after walking through old Havana in full regalia.
I feel blessed and honored to have represented our Grand Lodge with my brother Felix in Havana and hope to continue to travel around Latin America and other jurisdictions to learn about the different cultures of our Masonic brothers. Freemasonry is universal.
I will leave it with our motto of Club Masonico Libertad, “Sine Termini æqualitatis,” translated to Spanish is “Igualidad sin Fronteras,” or in English “equality without borders.” It was chosen as we believe that especially in Freemasonry brothers are never strangers even in foreign lands.
Club Masonico Libertad will be traveling to our second Spanish speaking lodge, Logia La Fraternidad in New York City on Friday, March 13. During our travels to Cuba we were delighted to see some of these New York brothers as Felix and I had enjoyed their brotherhood in a Festive Board held for the newly chartered Spanish Lodge in NY, Juan Pablo Duarte Lodge. This lodge pays homage to the father of the Dominican Republic.
By W∴ Melvin Silverio