Get Today in Masonic History into your Inbox. Sign up today for one of our email lists!
Need an article for your Trestleboard/Newsletter see our Use Policy

TODAY in Masonic History:

Facebook Twitter Google

Conrado Benitez is Born

Today in Masonic History Conrado Benitez is born in 1889.

Conrado Benitez was a Filipino statesman, businessman and Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the Philippines.

Benitez was born on November 26, 1889 in Pagsanjan, Laguna. He attended school at the Philippine Normal School and graduated  valedictorian. In 1911 he was sent to the United States as a government pensionado, a student whose expenses are paid by the government, and enrolled at the University of Chicago where he acquired his Master of Arts, and his Ph. D. After returning to the Philippines he studied law at the University of the Philippines.

Benitez started his professional career as a teacher of history and economics at the Philippine Normal College. He would later found the College of Business Administration at the University of the Philippines and would become it's first dean. He would also become one of the founding trustees of the Philippine Women's University, the first university for women in Asia. Later in life, convinced of the potential of the youth in the Philippines, he helped found the Young Man's Christian Association (YMCA) in the Philippines and was President and Chairman of the board until the time of his passing. He also fought for free primary education in the Philippines. He fought to have that put in the Constitution as national policies.

In the 1920's there were no Filipino newspapers in English that were owned and edited by Filipinos. They were all owned and edited by Americans. Benitez saw the important need for such a publication in the Philippines as it fought for it's independence from the United States. He founded the Philippines Herald a voice for the people of the Philippines with stories being told from the Filipino point of view.

In 1934, Benitez was elected as a delegate to the Constitutional Assembly where he became a member of the committee tasked with drafting the proposed charter. The committee was nicked named "the seven wise men." In 1937, United States President Franklin  D. Roosevelt made him a member of the  Filipino-American joint committee charged with formulating economic plans  in preparation for the country’s independence.  In 1938, he was appointed assistant executive secretary to the President  of the Philippine Commonwealth.

Benitez passed away on January 4th, 1971.

Benitez was raised in Bagumbayan  Lodge No. 4 in 1914, he was the first candidate of the lodge. He served as Worshipful Master of the lodge in 1918. In 1936 he was elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the Philippines.