Maranaw Lodge No. 111
This lodge was named after a Muslim cultural-linguistic group, which lives principally around Lake Lanao and the banks of the small rivers, which lead into it. Maranao means "people of the lake." It originally met in Marawi City, along the banks of Lake Lanao, but transferred to Iligan City after the Second World War.
Maranaw Lodge No. 111 was formed in Dansalan (now Marawi City), the capital town of the Province of Lanao. The province is considered as the Cradle of American Masonry in Mindanao, because it is in Malabang where the first known Masonic club organized by Americans in Mindanao - the "19th Infantry Masonic Club" - was formed on July 31, 1905.
Sometime in August 1921, Bro. Ubaldo Laya, then the Provincial Treasurer and a member of Maguindanao Lodge No. 40, invited to a meeting a group of Masons who were either working or residing in various parts of Lanao. They organized themselves into the "Lanao Soujourners Association" with situs in Dansalan. Most of them were elite American businessmen and military officers. Others were the cream of the Filipino society and officials of the provincial government of Lanao.
For more than ten years, the club remained an informal Masonic group. In 1934, upon the return of Bro. Ubaldo Laya from Davao and Sulu to Lanao as Provincial Treasurer, he contacted about twenty known Masons residing in the different parts of the province and invited them to a get-together party at the Officers' Club in Camp Keithley, Dansalan. With the remaining members of the Sojourners Association serving as a nucleus, it was agreed upon to organize a Masonic lodge in the province. A petition was correspondingly drawn up and on November 14, 1934, Grand Master Manuel Camus granted the organizers a dispensation to form a lodge in Dansalan to be named Maranaw Lodge. Among the founders of Maranaw Lodge are Henry Atkins of New York, Bro. Coverston, the Military Governor of Lanao, Sydney Austin who became Grand Master after the War, and John Heffington, the Division Superintendent of Schools.
On January 22, 1935, what came to be known as Maranaw Lodge No. 111 was granted its charter with the following lights: Ubaldo Laya as Worshipful Master, Rafael Ramos, Senior Warden and Florencio Cruz, Junior Warden. On May 7, 1935, Grand Master Samuel R. Hawthrone formally constituted this lodge at the Golf Club in Dansalan, Lanao. The ceremonies were public and were attended by about 200 persons, including ladies and prominent citizens of Dansalan and other places.
Among the first initiates of the lodge is Tomas L. Cabili. He was raised on March 4, 1936 and served as Master of the lodge in 1940. Cabili later became Secretary of National Defense and Senator. His son, Camilo, who was a Mayor of Iligan City, was also initiated, passed and raised in Maranaw Lodge.
The Dansalan period of the lodge lasted for seven years (1934-1941).
The Second World War brought about a discontinuity in the life of Maranaw Lodge No. 111. At the end of the war, most of the members of the lodge transferred to Iligan; only a few were left in Dansalan. Those In Iligan, desirous of renewing their Masonic activities after a four-year spell of forced inactivity, came together in 1946 and through the initiative of Bro. Salvador T. Lluch, decided to reconstitute the lodge and at the same time transfer its seat to Iligan. The move was successful, and in that year, WB Salvador Lluch became the first Master of the newly reconstituted lodge.
The lodge held its first meetings in Iligan in the building owned by WB Alfonso Sy Gaite. In 1946 they acquired a lot and built a two story building on it. Then in 1962 they traded their property for a bigger lot only to find out they could not build on the new property because most of the time it was under water. They sold the lot in 1964. After some negotiations, WB Laya gave them a piece of land along Quezon Avenue. Three years later the members constructed a two-story Temple on the land.
Meanwhile, one important event took place in 1948. On November 28, twenty-one members of the lodge, led by their Master, WB Florencio Cruz, made a special trip to Malabang and successfully located the grave of Grand Master Jose Abad Santos who was executed by the Japanese during the war. Eleven years later, the Grand Lodge built a concrete monument on the spot in honor of MW Abad Santos.
Maranaw Lodge No. 111 has hosted a number of Masonic Regional and District conventions. It has also sponsored the formation of several lodges in Mindanao. Thus, it mothered Mt. Malindang Lodge in Ozamiz City, Pagadian Lodge in Pagadian City, Iligan Lodge in Iligan, Kapatagan Valley Lodge in Lanao del Norte and Lake Lanao Lodge in Marawi City.
Location: Iligan City