A Torn Off Page From A Masonic Book From The Past Comes To Life In The Present and For The Future By Gardenia C. Hung

My Father, Mr. Roberto Hung Juris Doctor was a member of the order of Ancient and Free Accepted Masons of Santiago de Cuba and the Grand Lodge of Cuba in La Habana. When I was born on December 27, 1958, Mr. Roberto Hung was already an officer of the Masonic Lodge No. 1 “Fraternidad” in Santiago de Cuba and also participated in Masonic Lodge fellowship at the Grand Lodge of Cuba and other lodges with the brethren around the world.

My first experience with a public library happened at the Freemason Lodge in Santiago de Cuba, in Cuba, where my late father, Dr. Roberto Hung, J.D. used to meet for Masonic Lodge business with his Freemason brethren. While my father held the general meeting with the other Freemasons, I was asked to wait in the library. One of the elder Freemasons would select a book with photo images for me to read, look and browse, while I waited for my father’s meeting to end, in the evening. I was the only child in the Lodge and the elder Freemason was kind to me. He would check on me, now and then, and would ask me, “Are you finished reading the book yet?” Since, I was not halfway through the book he had given me, I would answer, “Not yet”. So, the elder Freemason would say then, “our meeting is not done yet, either.” I found easier to wait while I read with a book in hand, browsing and reading along the pages and photo captions.

When I was about three years old, the Grand Master of the Masonic Lodge No. 1 “Fraternidad” invited me with my Father, Mr. Roberto Hung Juris Doctor, to visit during their General Meeting and have dinner with them. One day, visitors from England arrived at the Masonic Lodge in Santiago de Cuba. The Grand Master brought a young boy to the library room and presented the 5-year-old English boy to me, when I was a young school girl. The Grand Master of the Lodge wanted to show and display a new book about the Freemasonry which had just been published with photographs.

Figure 1 The Steps of Freemasonry

The Freemasonry book illustrated the brethren and fellowship among the ancient free and accepted masons.

The Grand Master was beaming with pride at the newly published book, a gift for the Masonic Lodge in Santiago de Cuba. The new Masonic book was opened on the table and displayed for me and the English boy to read and browse together. Then, the Grand Master left the library room and walked out the door.

After the Grand Master had gone, the English boy walked up to the table where the Masonic book was opened on display, look at the page, and before my very young eyes, the English boy pulled his hand out and tore off the page from the book at once.

In shock, I looked at the English boy and said, “Why did you tear off the page from the book?” In Spanish, I said, “¿Por qué arrancaste la página del libro en la mesa?”

The English boy looked at me with glee, while his hand held the torn page from the Masonic book.

In disbelief, I walked out of the room to find the Grand Master of the Lodge to tell him what had happened to the Masonic book, while the English boy was browsing and looking at the illustrated page on display.

I told the Grand Master of the Lodge that the English boy had torn off the page from the Masonic book on the table.

The English boy was visiting the Grand Master of the Lodge from England and the United Kingdom during his vacation stay in Santiago de Cuba, in the country of Cuba.

Needless to say that the Grand Master of the Lodge asked for an explanation for the English boy’s behavior in tearing off the page from the Masonic book. Furthermore, the English boy was reprimanded, punished, and forced to buy another new Masonic book for the Lodge in Santiago de Cuba.

To this day, on the 25th day of August in the year 2016, I still remember how the English boy was presented to me by the Grand Master of the Lodge in Santiago de Cuba one day, and how the same English school boy tore off the page from the Masonic book in the library of the Lodge No. 1 “Fraternidad” in Santiago de Cuba.

Even now when more than half a century has passed, this Masonic incident remains indelible in my mind…how the English school boy, in an act of derision and affront, tore off the new page from the Masonic book on display at the library, after the Grand Master of the Lodge left the library room.

Now that we are adults, the English school boy has grown up and left behind remnants of his act of incivility and derision in tearing off the page from the new Masonic book publication in the Lodge of Santiago de Cuba during the 1960s.

My recollection of this Masonic incident remains a lodge situation which was addressed by the Masonic General Meeting for replacement, reprimand, and retaliation years afterwards.

The Englishman remembers his visit to Santiago de Cuba and the Cuban people he met there years ago, to tell the story about the torn page off the book at the Masonic Lodge in Santiago de Cuba, again and again.

Gardenia C. Hung, M.A., B.A.
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