Anchor Masonic Lodge No. 159
Masonically, the anchor is a symbol of safety. It reminds us to put our trust in Deity, to learn the lessons of Masonry and follow them faithfully. Then We shall be safely anchored "in a peaceful harbor, where the wicked cease of troubling and the weary shall find rest."
In 1960, the Masons in Tarlac felt a pressing need to establish a third lodge in the province. The number of Masons was on the increase, but there were only two lodges where they could congregate, Isagani Lodge No. 96 in Tarlac, Tarlac and Victory Lodge No. 116 in Camiling, Tarlac. At a meeting held in the residence of Bro. Lao Oh-kim, the members of the two lodges firmed up a decision to form a lodge in Moncada. A petition for a dispensation was sent to the Grand Lodge and forthwith Grand Master Luther Boone Bewley authorized them to establish a lodge in Moncada to be named Anchor Lodge. On April 26, 1961, the Grand Lodge, during its annual communication, granted a charter to the lodge and assigned to it number 159.
On May 27, 1961, Senior Grand Warden Pedro M. Gimenez, representing the Grand Master who was ill, opened a Special Communication of the Grand Lodge in Moncada, Tarlac and proceeded to constitute Anchor Lodge No. 159. Assisting him were three Past Grand Masters - Macario M. Ofilada, Cenon S. Cervantes, and Esteban Munarriz. Also in assistance were Manuel K. Torres, Mateo H. Cipriano, Hermogenes P. Oliveros, Pacifico Marin and other Masonic dignitaries. After the completion of the ceremonies of constitution, MW Ofilada and MW Munarriz installed the officers of the lodge. A program followed during which the newly installed Master, Mateo Caparas, MW Cervantes and RW Gimenez addressed the Assembly.
The lodge did not stay long in Moncada. After a year, it was moved to Paniqui where the members acquired a lot in Samput, on which they constructed a Temple. On September 14, 1963 Grand Master Pedro M. Gimenez, with the assistance of MW Munarriz, RW Serafin L. Teves, WB Felix Flaminiano, WB Jesus Evangelista, WB Gregorio Dayao, WB Pacifico Quines and other dignitaries, opened a Special Communication of the Grand Lodge in Samput, Paniqui, Tarlac for the purpose of dedicating the Temple of Anchor Lodge. At 4:10 p.m. the Grand Officers formed in procession around the Emblem and Dedicated the Temple. Thereafter WB Policronio Blanco, the Master of the lodge, and the Grand Master delivered short addresses.
After a few years, Anchor Lodge played host to the convention of District 7. In attendance were Malolos Lodge No. 46, Pampanga Lodge No. 48, Isagani Lodge No. 96, Leonard Wood Lodge No. 105, and Victory Lodge No. 116. The host lodge was Anchor Lodge headed by Jesus Evangelista as the over-all Chairman. The other officers of Anchor Lodge were Hipolito Julian, Secretary; who later became a principal in one of the high schools in Paniqui; Esteban Tan, Treasurer; and Policarpio Blanco, Auditor.
Meanwhile, the lodge continued to prosper in Paniqui. The members continued the tradition of laying a wreath at the monument of Dr. Jose Rizal on National Heroes Day and Rizal Day. The lodge also sponsored medical and dental missions to far-off places. Charities such as scholarships were launched. The members also continually improved their Temple. On September 9, 1967, Grand Master Mariano Q. Tinio motored to Paniqui and dedicated their Temple anew.
Anchor Lodge has assisted in the establishment of two lodges -- Arcadio Evangelista Memorial Lodge in honor of Arcadio Evangelista of Anao and Apolinario B. Yap Memorial Lodge No. 328 in honor of Apolinario B. Yap of Victoria, Tarlac.
At present, Anchor Lodge meets every second Saturday of the month in Samput, Paniqui, Tarlac. The members range from local government officials, doctors, lawyers, engineers, businessman and educators.
Location: Paniqui, Tarlac