When Felix Pintado first became the chief executive of Royal Freemasons in 2010, he was initially told by the board not to worry about becoming a Mason and to focus on his job, but this just made him more curious.
“Over the next few years,” Felix says, “I was fortunate to experience the presence of Freemasonry, and it was very inspirational.” In 2012 he became a Mason, supported by his wife and his late father-in-law (who was also a Mason), and since then his esteem for the Craft has only grown.
When looking back on his time with the brotherhood, Felix was enthusiastic in his praise: “Freemasonry is teaching me to become a better person and to build up the community in the same way that we build up ourselves”. For Felix, who came over to Australia from the Philippines when he was 15 years old, his community includes the 50 thousand Filipinos living in Victoria. In 2014 he was asked to become their honorary consul. This role allows him to give back to his country of origin by offering support with Visas, special Powers of Attorney, police clearances and community outreach in many other forms. Felix is a member of the Middle Park Lodge as well as Seavic Lodge, and cherishes both for their mixture of age groups.
“Obviously we have a few elder members,” he says, “but we also have a few young and inquisitive ones. The great thing is that each group helps the other to understand where Freemasonry has been and what its future holds”.
When asked for advice for anyone looking to become a Mason themselves, he suggested the most important step was to ask a lot of questions from Masonic members, and also to test what you think you know – “Don’t just trust Google and what you read in Dan Brown novels,” he advises. “They’re entertaining, but they’re not necessarily accurate!”