The Montreal Filipino community hosted one of the major events on the national calendar of the community this past weekend. It was the Canadian Assembly of the Order of the Knights of Rizal and it ran from Sept.13-15 at the West Island’s Crowne Plaza Hotel, in Montreal’s Hellenic Community Conference Centre and several other locations. Some 500 attended the Commanders Ball this past Saturday night. Representatives came from across the country, the United States and the Philippines. The Order of Rizal is the only Order of Chivalry of the Republic of the Philippines. It was established in 1911. The Order is named for revolutionary journalist José Protacio Rizal, whose words inspired the Philippine revolt against 300 years of Spanish domination. Among his most passionate rallying cries was, “There can be no tyrants where there are no slaves!” Rizal was executed by firing squad in 1896 though he never carried a gun. He was 35 years old. Because of this history, and the writings Rizal left, the motto of the order is “Nom omnis moriar — Not all of me will die!”. At the Ball, MP Anthony Housefather and Suburban editor Beryl Wajsman were invested into the honourary Knight Commander Rank (KCR). There are four chapters of the Order in Quebec, including one in Montreal and one in the West Island. A statue to José Rizal stands in Snowdon’s Mackenzie-King Park.

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