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“We should not let the momentum we have gained during the last few years in spreading the message of Jose Rizal to die down,” the regional commander of the Knights of Rizal for Australia New Zealand Oceania Ric de Vera said in an interview after last Saturday’s Rizal symposium at the Philippine Consulate General in Sydney.
“The regional command of the Order of the Knights of Rizal is working together with existing chapters to form additional chapters to help spread Rizal’s message in the community,” Mr De Vera added.
Mr De Vera also said that, in addition to spearheading commemorative activities to mark Rizal’s birthday (June 19) and martyrdom (December 30) for which the Order was franchised to carry out by the Philippines Republic Act 646, other activities should also be staged to further promote the Philippine national hero in the community, especially among the youth.
Mr De Vera said that last May 28, he and Sydney Chapter Commander Cesar Bartolome with Deputy Sydney Chapter Commander Max Encomienda conducted an orientation program in Canberra at the Philippine Embassy to form the nucleus of a chapter in the nation’s capital.
Embassy officials led by Consul Mary Anne Padua and community leaders headed by FCCACT President Perlita Swinbank were in attendance.
Mr De Vera said he expects to inaugurate the Canberra chapter within the next two months.
Discussions are also in progress for the formation of new chapters in Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Auckland and Darwin, he said.
Other types of membership, similar to special interest groups, are also being considered to cater to various community groupings and interest, the regional commander added.