Richard H. Ryder, 2017
Freemasonry is attracting many fine young men who desire association with others that are likeminded and of strong character. This has been true since the Fraternity’s inception and it is refreshing to see that continue. After reaching adulthood and starting a career, men today are looking for ways to form lasting relationships and to give back to society. One such person, Brother Manny Hoyo from Celestial Lodge in Westwood, MA., is this month’s spotlight Mason. I asked Brother Hoyo to share with readers why younger men join the Fraternity, what they hope to experience, and, more importantly, what they hope to contribute.
Brother Hoyo was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1987. After arriving in the United States at a young age, he and his family, including one sister, settled in Dedham, MA. A 2005 graduate of Dedham High School, Brother Hoyo attended Wentworth College, attaining a 2010 Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Management. Fluent in Spanish, Brother Hoyo enjoys the outdoors, including fishing, dirt bike riding, basketball, and track. What would surprise you about him? He’s an avid guitar player with a love of blues (his favorite), jazz, classic rock, and rock and roll.
So, one might ask, what got Brother Hoyo interested in construction? It was his grandfather, an engineer, and the memorable times tinkering in his workshop. Inspired, Brother Hoyo worked in the Dedham High cabinet shop, which led to attending college and a formal study of construction. Today, he is a construction superintendent at Skanska USA Building, Inc., currently serving as Superintendent for Construction Activities at Dana-Farber’s Cell Manipulation Core Facility Project.
Brother Hoyo’s interest in Freemasonry started during his high school years, when Dan Brown’s books peeked his curiosity, especially the impact America’s forefathers had on our developing country. While attending college in Boston, Brother Hoyo visited the Massachusetts Grand Lodge building and was impressed with its ornate architecture. In 2016, after graduating and enjoying a stable career, he reached out to Grand Lodge to satisfy his desire for “something more”, concluding that Freemasonry had everything he wanted. It seemed like “a good fit”. Grand Lodge referred him to Celestial Lodge’s Ambassador, Brother Charlie Liftman, who was instrumental in organizing regular lodge blood drives. Brother Liftman invited him to the February 2016 drive where soon to be Brother Hoyo noticed a friendly face: R.W. Glenn Kubick, who queried: “Are you Manny?” You see, R.W Kubick was one of Manny’s Boy Scout leaders, and now Brother Hoyo was sure Freemasonry was calling him.
I’m always interested in why fine, young men join the Craft, what they expect to gain, and what they hope to contribute. For Brother Hoyo, he enjoys the philosophical influence of Freemasonry and is moved by the spirituality influence of its ritual. He often ponders its meaning and how it can help him grow as an individual. The working tools and his love and interest of construction merge to help him reflect on Freemasonry’s potential influence on everyday life; so simple, yet so powerful an image.
How does Brother Hoyo, a newly raised Master Mason, believe he can contribute to Freemasonry? He feels he has much to offer over his expected long Masonic career, but right away Brother Hoyo hopes to leverage his construction skills by someday being an integral part of the Westwood Masonic Building Association. Additionally, by becoming a line officer Brother Hoyo would like to help preserve Celestial Lodge’s tradition of strong ritual. If these were not enough Brother Hoyo takes seriously his obligation to not only assist his Brothers, their widows and orphans; but also those less fortunate in the community.
He has some advice for a new Mason: don’t just memorize the cipher; think about its meaning and influence on you. Also, take the time to let everything sink in and recognize the value of not rushing through the degrees. Instead, appreciate the time tested and measured traditions of Freemasonry that momentarily provides relief from the hectic pace of today’s society.
If Freemasonry continues to attract many outstanding men like Brother Hoyo, then its future is definitely assured.