The Brother installed as our 92nd Grand Master in his beloved Cagayan de Oro City on April 25, 2009 is, we submit, in his own measure, a man for all seasons because, among other reasons, since his youth he has dedicated himself to working and studying to the best of his ability in order to attain personal excellence, by means whereof he can contribute significantly to the progress of the society in which he lives and works; although he has become a successful entrepreneur and tried-and-proven business executive, he has remained humble, modest, and unchanging in his ways; he always strives to be and to do his best, thereby managing to stand out in every organization he joins, be it fraternal, civic, business, or community group; and he proficiently uses the symbolic 24-inch gauge for finding quality time to spend with his beloved wife and children, his busy schedule notwithstanding.
The specific details of his fruitful life given subsequently will substantiate our submission.
His Birth, Parentage, Early Training, and Formal Schooling
Born on October 16, 1948 in Cagayan de Oro City to parents worthy of emulation, Andres Catiam Lim Lo Suy and So Tin Uy, our 92nd Grand Master grew up in a family culture of entrepreneurship and traditional values. At an early age, he learned the rudiments of the wholesale and retail trade and the importance of self-discipline as he pursued his elementary and secondary education at the Kong Hua School.
He later on obtained the degree of Bachelor of Science in Commerce (BSC), Major in Accounting, at Xavier University/Ateneo de Cagayan. Subsequently, he became a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
His Business Initiatives
In the late 1960s, he pioneered in the locksmith business (key duplication by machine, key fabrication, and opening of locks) in his native city; at the same time he assisted in the management of their family’s trading and grocery businesses, including a thriving salted and dried fish industry.
In 1972, he helped establish the family hardware and construction supply store.
In 1988, he took over the management of the family’s ice drop and ice cream and soy sauce manufacturing operations.
An enterprising young man, he was soon engaged in insurance and real estate business. Up to the present, he has been a licensed underwriter and consistent producer of non-life insurance for Malayan Insurance Co., Inc. and constantly retains his ranking as one of the company’s top – Insurance agents nationwide.
After becoming a licensed real estate broker in 1976, he also once served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Real Estate Brokers Association for Northern Mindanao.
Aware of the value of continuing entrepreneurship education, he enrolled at the U.P. Institute of Small-Scale Industries and participated in its Entrepreneurship Development Program.
In 1991, he invested in the noodles manufacturing business and established a tinsmith shop.
In 1992, he established the Philtyres Corporation and became the distributor of Firestone tires in Cagayan de Oro and Northern Mindanao. Aggressive, he eventually branched out towards Davao City and Cebu City, which were then fortresses of well-established conglomerates.
In the year following, aware of the changing economic environment, he organized Limac Enterprises, a distribution company of consumer products also for Cagayan de Oro and Northern Mindanao.
Five years later, another opportunity knocked on his door. Together with some friends in the business community, he became one of the incorporators of Toyota Cagayan de Oro, Inc., a franchise dealership of Toyota cars.
His achievements in the sale of Toyota vehicles resulted in the receipt by him of several awards. In 2001, he was chosen as National Dealer of the Year Awardee for his overall dealer performance; in 2002-2003, as President’s Cup for Excellence Awardee for his customer satisfaction performance; and in 20042007, as Class A Achiever Awardee.
To this day, he is known in the business community of the city as a successful entrepreneur and tried-and-proven business executive. His success is attributable to his dogged determination to excel, his indefatigable industry in every initiative, and his strong and unswerving belief in, as well as reliance upon, Divine Providence. Besides, he is a firm believer in this monitorial message: “Time, patience and perseverance will accomplish all things.”
Success Has Not Affected His Ways
The achievements he has reaped in the business world have not affected his ways a bit; for he has remained modest and humble, unassuming and amiable. He has constantly maintained lasting friendship not only with those who are endowed with wealth and those who are clothed with power but also with those whom he had known many decades ago in his youth, as well as those who have served under him as his employees.
Having been brought up in the ways of polite and civil society, he exhibits his simple yet elegant and discriminating taste. His stature in life notwithstanding, he is known not only for his simplicity but for his magnanimity as well. In the words of the Installation Service of Subordinate Lodges, he is one “to whom the burdened heart may pour out its sorrows, one whose hand is guided by justice and whose heart is expanded by benevolence.” Indeed, his heart flows in abundant generosity to those who are in genuine distress, but his generosity is hardly known except by the immediate members of the recipients’ families.
The fact that his friends are legion is a striking evidence of his constancy and steadfastness in interpersonal relationships, as well as a tribute to his adamant adherence to a dictum by which he has lived since his youth, to wit, “The only reward to virtue is virtue itself; the only way to have a friend is to be one yourself.”
His unwavering determination to succeed in every endeavor, coupled with his fervent desire to attain the goals he has set before him, easily infects and influences others. He consistently leads by example; he is an inspired and inspiring, as well as a democratic and diplomatic, leader. He guides those who work with him and for him with such prudence and wisdom that he manages to stimulate them to work together in close harmony toward a common purpose. They, in turn, find satisfaction, pride and honor in the result of their teamwork.
He is sincere and honest in his dealings with others. He lends the attentive ear to others and generously shares with them his valuable judgment and instructive tongue. Gifted with natural charisma and an inquiring, analytical mind, he can easily turn a volatile situation to the advantage of all. He is invariably diplomatic but decisive in handling complicated situations.
But, of course, he is aware of the limits of his own mind. He knows his own deficiencies, but he never allows these to get in his way. In every emergency he looks up to God for comfort and support, and he ever bears in mind that -He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved (or even prevail).” Like the GMHA, he prays for wisdom necessary to enable him to draw designs upon the trestleboard, whereby those who work with him and for him may pursue their labors.
His Zeal, Ethusiasm for the Craft, Appendant Bodies, Allied Order
When he was 28 years old, he filed his petition for Masonic membership with Macajalar Lodge No. 184, where he was initiated, passed, and raised on April 5. June 22, and July 14, 1977. respectively.
In 1983, he was chosen by his Mother Lodge as its Mason of the Year; In the following year, as its Most Outstanding Mason. These awards must have led his ambitious feet to tread round after round of the ladder that leads to fame in our mystic circle.
In 1985, he was elected by the brethren of his Mother Lodge as their Worshipful Master. He managed and administered the affairs of his Mother Lodge so efficiently and effectively that he was selected as the Most Outstanding Worshipful Master of Masonic District No. 17.
In 1986, he was awarded by the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of the Philippines as the Most Outstanding Worshipful Master in its entire jurisdiction.
In 1986-1987, he served as District Grand Lecturer (DGL) for the same district.
In 1988-1989, 1989-1990, and 1990-1991, he served as the Grand Master’s Deputy for the same district. He holds the enviable distinction of being the only Brother (so far) who has been awarded by the GLP as the Most Outstanding District Deputy Grand Master (DDGM) in its entire jurisdiction for three consecutive terms.
As DDGM, he spearheaded the organization of Makahambus Lodge No. 315, which he loves as much as his Mother Lodge. He also got actively involved in the activities of many other Lodges and extended his guidance and assistance to the officers thereof. He was, therefore, unanimously elected Honorary Member of those Lodges, particularly Leonardo T. Pafiares Memorial Lodge No. 220, Punta Sulawan Lodge No. 242, Carmen Valley Lodge No. 250, Don Lorenzo Tan Memorial Lodge No. 265, Camiguin Lodge No. 296, Cagayan de Oro Lodge No. 298. Dadiangas Lodge No. 225, and Manuel Roxas Lodge No. 152.
He has also sat as either a member, vice-chairman, or chairman of many a Grand Lodge Committee.
In 1986, he was Venerable Master of Mindanao Bodies, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite (A.&A.S.R.) of Freemasonry. In 1987-1990 he served as the Bodies Supervisor thereof. In 1990, he was coroneted 33° Inspector General Honorary (IGH) in recognition of his exemplary service to the Scottish Rite. In 1990-1994, he labored as the Valley Deputy of Mindanao Bodies, A.&A.S.R.
Firmly believing in the prime importance of properly guiding the youth, he served as Chapter Dad of Wadih Saab Chapter, International Order of DeMolay, in 1985-1988; as Rainbow Dad of Anthurium Assembly No. 5, International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, in 1985-1987; and as Jurisdictional Deputy Grand Master for Mindanao of the Supreme Council of DeMolay Philippines in 1991. In 1987, the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls gratefully conferred upon him the Grand Cross of Color.