By Sir Willi Red Buhay, KGOR – Immediate Past Commander, Chicago Chapter – Area Archivist
December 30, 2007 marks a milestone for the Order of the Knights of Rizal. Not only for the Knights in Chicago but the entire Order.
Marking the 11th year of the hero Dr. Jose Rizalâ€™s martyrdom, the occasion also celebrates the 30th founding year of the order in Chicago.
Heralding this special date, the Central USA headed by Sir Bonifacio â€œBoniâ€ Cenir, KGOR, Area Commander and all its member chapters Bantayog, Chicago, Dakila and Malaya paid tribute to the heroâ€™s brother General Paciano Rizal.
The silent heroâ€™s influence and support to his brother Jose, inspired the Central USA in paying tribute to General Paciano Rizal through his descendants.
In Chicago represented by one of his sonâ€™s Edmundo Rizal-Lopez, with his wife Elisa Guzman came to receive the Orderâ€™s tribute. His son Dr. Ramon G. Lopez and his wife Marilyn, their children Edmundo Jose, Ramon Jose Jr. and Michelle also were conferred with honorary titles to the Order. Members of the Lopez clan represented by daughter Elena Lopez Wijangco and family and the Villaruiz family of Calamba, Laguna graced the affair.
The Lopezâ€™s in return handed a rare framed article from the Journal of the American Medical Association on Dr. Rizal and a limited edition book on Dr. Jose Rizal for the Orderâ€™s Rizaliana library – the only library of itâ€™s kind in the country. A contribution was given by the family to help in the restoration of the heroâ€™s memorial bust at the Rizal Centerâ€™s front lawn.
Truly, this yearâ€™s culminating activity in honor of the national hero left an inspiring impression on the newly knighted members and their families.