The Laredo Masonic Lodge 547 has recently ushered in its new leadership team for the 2023-24 term, comprising 11 roles, including the organization’s new president.

Local customs broker, Ruben Bazan III, was officially appointed as the Worshipful Master of the Laredo Masonic Lodge 547 at the event held at 9901 Crystal Court.

“I’m deeply touched by the trust placed in me by my lodge brothers,” Bazan expressed. “I’m eager to guide our fraternity into the future while serving our community.”

The Worshipful Master, akin to the president of the lodge, is tasked with assembling a team capable of fulfilling the responsibilities of the organization. Bazan’s new role will involve steering the organization in a fresh direction while upholding the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief, and truth.

In addition to Bazan, the newly installed officers of the organization include:

  • Guillermo Salinas, Senior Warden.
  • Aquiles Canales, Senior Deacon.
  • Carles Whitfield, Treasurer.
  • Ricardo Quiroz, Senior Steward.
  • Socrates Garza, Chaplain.
  • Andres Rodriguez, Junior Warden.
  • Salathiel Hale, Junior Deacon.
  • Jose Sosa, Secretary.
  • Sergio Menchaca, Junior Steward.
  • Greg Moore, Tiler.

Bazan acknowledges that as the primary representative of the local lodge, Freemasons are often perceived as secretive, leading to curiosity about their identities. However, he emphasizes that they are simply individuals committed to the community’s welfare.

“We are an organization of men from diverse backgrounds,” Bazan stated. “We unite because we share common values, and our objective is to improve ourselves while serving our community. If you encounter a Masonic lodge, you can be confident that it is filled with men of good character.”

Bazan explained that the speculation surrounding Freemasons might stem from the fact that the organization is one of the world’s oldest and largest fraternities.

“We are a global fraternity, comprised of men of all ages striving to be better husbands, fathers, sons, brothers, friends, workers, and overall better human beings,” Bazan explained. “We learn this through symbols and allegories, and apply it in the real world. We are always seeking ways to assist and serve the community, and we relish every opportunity to be involved.”

Bazan expressed gratitude to all who have contributed to the lodge’s leadership and pledged to continue supporting the organization’s impactful work in Laredo and its surrounding areas.

“I’m grateful to the brothers of Laredo Masonic Lodge for entrusting me with this role,” Bazan said. “I’m also thankful to everyone who traveled from across Texas or flew in from across the country to attend this event. I’m deeply humbled and honored to have such friends and ‘brothers’, and I will continue to serve the community and the world to the best of my ability.”

Bazan also shared his plans for community events that he believes will boost their local activism. He aims to continue the lodge’s existing community activities.

“I have several initiatives planned,” Bazan revealed. “We will be hosting a blood drive this year to give the gift of life. I’d like to collaborate with a local organization to distribute Christmas gifts to children. Every year we award scholarships to high school seniors, and as advocates of continued education, we are proud to provide assistance to over 20 college-bound students. It is one of our most significant annual events.”

The ceremony also saw the installation of officers from Zapata Lodge 1402, who share the facility for their events. Among the new members was Luis Felipe Aleman Jr., a relatively new member who was appointed as a senior deacon.

“It’s an honor to be part of this lodge in Laredo, where you get to meet many people,” Aleman said. “Being able to progress within the lodge itself is a true honor, as you work with charity and unity. With this title, I hope to deepen my understanding of what it means to be a Freemason and to contribute to my community, especially in Zapata.”

Aleman mentioned that one of the primary ways they assist his home county is by offering scholarships to high school seniors. He noted that the Zapata lodge does its best to do more with the resources they have, given that their community is much smaller than the neighboring Webb County.

Aleman joined the Freemasons to delve deeper into its history and the opportunities it offers as an organization, given its significant role in communities worldwide.

“The most common response you’ll get is the history and the mystery of being a Freemason, but I can tell you that it’s more about charity and becoming part of the family,” Aleman said. “It’s enlightening and something you’re glad to be a part of.”

Aleman advised anyone interested in joining to simply ask a Freemason about the process.

“To become one, you have to ask one,” Aleman said. “If you want to join this society, all you need to do is introduce yourself and express your interest in joining the organization, and we will welcome you with open arms.”