Andres Bonifacio Lodge No. 879
2023 FRATERNITY REPORT

Leadership Spotlight: The Givers

A new lodge, Andres Bonifacio No. 879, has put philanthropy at the center of its culture.

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Download the Masons of California 2023 Fraternity Report here, or view individual stories through the links below.

With 15 past masters on its membership rolls along with two district inspectors, Andres Bonifacio № 879 has no shortage of leadership experience. Fittingly, then, despite having only received its charter in 2021, the lodge has already made its mark as one of the state’s most philanthropic, both locally and through the California Masonic Foundation.

“As past masters, we all know the importance of duty and when to extend that helping hand to those in need,” says current lodge master Edwin Senga. “We also know the challenges and mistakes that come with being a past master, so we try to be the best examples for the brethren to follow.” 

Members of the lodge during Annual Communication in 2023.
Members of the lodge during Annual Communication in 2023.

As a 100 percent officer-giving lodge, all officers of the lodge pledge an individual yearly gift to the California Masonic Foundation to support the Masonic Homes of California as well as statewide literacy programs, scholarship, and other youth outreach. 

Those aren’t the only community efforts the lodge takes on. In August, the lodge hosted Malalakbay Na Gurong Mason (Tagalog for “the Traveling Master Mason”), the largest annual Filipino Masonic gathering in California. There, the lodge raised $12,000 in donations, with a majority of the proceeds going to renovate the Long Beach Scottish Rite Cathedral. And in July, the lodge hosted its second annual blood drive with the Red Cross, breaking its previous mark with 42 blood donations. Last March, the lodge partnered with local nonprofit Recycle for Veterans for a beach cleanup at Belmont Shores in Long Beach. 

This year, the sky’s the limit for lodge activity, says treasurer Edmund Leviste. “We’re still confirming things for next year—a charity golf tournament, an essay contest for seventh graders in Long Beach… But the goal is the same: keep giving.”

Above:
Members of Andres Bonifacio Lodge No. 879 at a lodge-sponsored blood drive.

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Faces of the Fraternity: Edmund Leviste

Fraternity Report 2023: Edmund Leviste

Member since 2016, Cornerstone Society Member, & Grand Master’s Circle Donor
Metropolitan № 352
Andres Bonifacio Lodge № 879

What about Freemasonry has kept you so active and engaged? 

I was a Senior DeMolay, so I’ve been around the fraternity since the 1970s. I remember when I joined Masonry, I didn’t have many expectations. I just wanted to join for the sake of it. And as I progressed through my degrees, I was given opportunities to be a lodge officer and I even started participating in the degree team. It reminded me of my time in DeMolay, and I found it to be really fulfilling. 

And that’s inspired you to donate to the Masonic Homes of California? 

Yes, I especially love to support the Masonic Homes. It’s something you don’t see anywhere else. Masons take care of one another and their widows. Not many other groups do that. So I love the philanthropy side of the fraternity. I see the real purpose of it: to make an impact on others and on mankind. 

What drives you to give back? 

I’ve visited many lodges, and not all of them prioritize charity as much as they should. I want to help change that mindset. So whenever I visit a new lodge, I always encourage everyone to give back or to join the Grand Master’s Circle. By giving, you’re putting more visibility and awareness on that part of the fraternity. As Masons, we’re here to give more than we receive. 

Read More From the 2023 Fraternity Report