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Famous Masons - Manuel Luis Quezon

by Ed Halpaus
Grand Lodge Education Officer
Grand Lodge of A. F. & A. M. of Minnesota

Dear Masonic Student,

If you’re ever looking for a good book to read about the lives of those Freemasons who came before you, or to search out some great information regarding Freemasonry, then the books 10,000 Freemasons is a good set of books to read; they are a great tool for learning about Masons and about history.

Denslow’s 10,000 famous Freemasons is difficult and expensive to buy in book form, but it is available as an e-book from and it can also be found on-line as an e-book at:

Below is just one example of the short biographical information that can be found in the books. Read about our Brother Manuel Luis Quezon, I think you might enjoy learning something about him and his life.

Manuel Luis Quezon (1878 – 1944) – President of the Philippine Islands from September 17, 1935 until his death in 1944.

He was born August 19, 1878 in Baler, Tayabas, Philippine Islands; He was admitted to the Bar in 1903. He served on the staff of General Aguinaldo. He was successively provincial prosecuting attorney, provincial governor of Tayabas, and resident commissioner to the U.S. from 1909 to 1916. He was president of the Philippine senate from 1916 to 1935, and a leading figure in the movement which led to the gradual independence of the islands.

Upon the Japanese invasion, [of the Philippine Islands] he escaped by U.S. Submarine to the U.S. on February 20, 1942; he died in Saranac Lake, N.Y. August 1, 1944.

Quezon was a Freemason most of his adult life, being grand master of the Grand Lodge of the Philippines, 1918-19. Due to the influence of his wife he resigned from Freemasonry September 17, 1930. After his death, the Catholic Church claimed he had renounced Freemasonry.

Seven years after he left Masonry, he [Most Worshipful Brother Quezon] made this statement:

“I didn’t actually resign from the Masonic order until several months later, and I never denounced Masonry. There is a formal form which those returning to the church from a Masonic Lodge are supposed to sign, but I refused to sign it. Instead I wrote the Archbishop a personal note saying I understood that that I could not be readmitted to the Catholic Church so long as I remained a Mason, and for that reason I was resigning from Masonry.” During his entire term as president, he fought for the separation of church and state.

It seems to me, the information about Most Worshipful Brother Quezon can teach today’s Freemason an important truth: If a Mason’s wife is against his involvement with Freemasonry something will eventually happen, and that something usually is that he may leave Freemasonry.

To me the lesson is obvious; Masons and Masonic Lodges need to make a concerted effort to educate the masons family about what Freemasonry really is and what it is not, and to have social activities to involve a Mason’s wife and family in the fun and fellowship of Freemasonry.

As enjoyable as Lodge Communications, fund raisers, and degree work are, if that’s the crux of a Lodge’s activity then the Lodge runs a real risk of high levels of inactive members, demits, and nonpayment of Dues (NPD’s):

If a wife’s pressure can get a Past Grand Master to resign from Masonry, think how important it is for our wives, (and other loved ones,) to learn what Masonry is and isn’t, and to involve the family as much as possible.

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Last modified: March 22, 2014