Zaragosa Lodge No. 263
Named after the town of Zaragosa in Nueva Ecija, which, in turn, was named after a province in Spain. Many towns of Nueva Ecija, including the province itself, were named after provinces and cities in Spain.
In 1982, the brethren of Nueva Ecija Lodge No. 73 and other Masonic lodges in Nueva Ecija, thought of forming a new lodge in Zaragosa, in the southwestern part of Nueva Ecija, to cater to the people in that area and those from the northwestern part of the province of Tarlac.
On April 13, 1983, Grand Master Rudyardo V. Bunda, acting on the petition of 30 Master Masons, issued a dispensation authorizing them to form a lodge in Zaragosa to be named after the town. From the date of its organization up to the annual communication of the Grand Lodge in April 1984, the lodge held
fifteen meetings, raised ten brothers to the 3rd degree, and had six petitioners for degrees and seven for dual membership. It held its initial meetings at the residence of former Governor Gabriel Belmonte in Brgy. Del Pilar, but was negotiating for the purchase of a 554 sq. m. lot on which to build a Temple.
During the annual communication held in April 1984. Then granted Zaragoza Lodge a charter and assigned to it number 263. I 1984, it was constituted into a regular lodge at the San Isidro Elementary School in San Isidro, Zaragoza by Grand Master Reynato S. Puno, in the Grand Lodge Officers, Masonic District No. 6 officials and brethren from the entire jurisdiction. On that occasion too, the officers of the new lodge were duly installed, viz, Monico G. Delgado, as Master, Liberato G. Castelo, as Senior Warden, Romulo G. Reyes, as Junior Warden and Hilario C. Aluning as Secretary.
The first initiate of the lodge was Bro. Sofronio Tagaza of San Isidro, Zaragoza who also happened to be the first one to retract his membership in the craft. The first dual member was Bro. Prudencio J. Elegado, a member of Nueva Ecija Lodge No. 73, and the first recipient of the Hiram Award was VW Uy An Sit for his untiring and unselfish services to the lodge in particular and to Masonry in general.
The first election of officers of the lodge were held in December 1984. Elected were: Worshipful Master, Romulo G. Reyes; Senior Warden, Rodolfo G. Espina; and, Junior Warden, Uy An Sit. They were installed on January 9, 1985.
The lodge continued to meet in the old house of Gov. Belmonte until it was toppled down by a strong typhoon. Meetings were then transferred to the residence of WB Romulo G. Reyes, but because it was not big enough to accommodate those who were attending, a dispensation was granted by the DDGM of the District to hold the stated meetings in La Paz, Tarlac at the second floor of the bakeshop of WB Uy An Sit.
In the early months of 1988, the members learned that a house and lot in front of the municipal hall of Zaragoza was foreclosed by the GSIS-Cabanatuan City Branch and was up for sale. The members decided to purchase it and made personal pledges ranging from P 1,000 to P 80,000.00. Uy An Sit made the biggest pledge. In a month's time, the amount of P 170,000.00 was generated and the property was acquired.
On October 1, 1988 Zaragoza Lodge No.263 hosted the District Convention of Masonic District No. 6.
After six (6) years, the brethren decided to demolish their old building and construct a new edifice on their lot. By 1989, the new Temple was ready for occupancy. For its proper management, the Zaragoza Masonic Temple Association was organized in 1990. In 1994, during the term of WB Josefino accommodate more brethren. The following year, the lot was fenced.
A month after the installation of WB Romulo G. Reyes in March 2002, the brethren decided to repair the ceiling and replace the roof that was damaged by lahar during the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991. Once more, the brethren enthusiastically responded to the call and the project was finished in May 2002. Again, in June 2002, the sliding windows and doors on the ground floor were repaired. At last, the lodge is now a safe and decent place for the brethren to meet.
Location: Zaragosa, Nueva Ecija