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RW DGM Theo Devagnanam

Brethren, 12.08.2017

Good evening. It is indeed wonderful to see a gathering this large to suitably conclude our District’s celebration of the Tercentenary of the Grand Lodge in one of the oldest Masonic centers outside the British Isles. Brethren it is an honour for all of us and our District to have with us this evening R.W.Bro. Sir David Hugh Wootton, R.W. Assistant Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England. I thank you R.W.Bro. for having travelled all the way from South America to be with us over this week-end. I sincerely hope that you are comfortable in your accommodation and are enjoying this celebration.

I would also like to welcome R.W. Bro. Oliver Lodge, Grand Director of Ceremonies, who is no stranger to us.

I welcome R.W.Bro. Ramesh Jagtiani, P.Dy. G.M. P.Dy. R.G.M., representative of the Regional Grand Master of the Regional Grand Lodge of Southern India and his team of officers. We also have amongst us R.W.Bro. V. Nagarajan, District Grand Master, District Grand Lodge of Northern India, R.W.Bro. Dato Jeyaraj Ratnaswamy, District Grand Master of District Grand Lodge of Eastern Archipelago, V.W.Bro. Pichumani Venkataraman, Dy. District Grand Master, District Grand Lodge of Bombay, V.W.Bro. Ferhard Nilgiria, Dy. District Grand Master, District Grand Lodge of Sri Lanka, W.Bro. Nicolas Raymond Gras, Asst. Provincial Grand Master of Surrey and W.Bro. P.R. Jackson from the District Grand Lodge of South Island, New Zealand, all of whom are here representing their respective District Grand Masters to all of whom I extend a very warm welcome.

Brethren as I address you, the tercentenary of the United Grand Lodge of England is being celebrated in various parts of the world and as you all know the celebrations culminate with the meeting at the Royal Albert Hall in London on the 31st October.

I trust that the 18 Brethren selected from our District to attend the meeting will all attend and I am sure enjoy the celebrations.

This meeting concludes the celebration in our District and I must say a special word of thanks to R.W.Bro. K.R.N. Menon and the team he selected to assist him in planning and co-ordinating the various activities over this week-end.

Brethren our District continues to be vibrant and very active. Our administration is in good hands and our finances are sound. I must convey our sincere thanks to the District Grand Secretary, W.Bro. Ponnaiya and Dist. Grand Treasurer W.Bro. Viji Joseph who have ensured that our administration continues to run very smoothfully. I would also like to thank W.Bro. V.J. Bharath, President of the Board of General Purposes, W.Bro. Sukesh Menon, President, District Grand Charity, W.Bro. Sunil Koliyot, Dist. Grand Director of Ceremonies, who have all given their unstinted support in the management of District. Our sincere thanks also to W.Bro. P.B. Shanker, the Assistant District Grand Secretary and his team at the DGL Office.

The mentoring activities of the District are competently handled by W.Bro. M.S. Duleep who together with District Grand Orator W.Bro. A.K. Nair, are making a tremendous effort to educate and mentor our younger brethren. In our 18 Lodges we have approximately 1100 members but we are facing a bit of a problem in Kerala where the strength of our Lodges is approaching or exceeds 100 members which means that a new initiate would take anywhere between15 and 25 years to reach the Eastern Chair. I would like to request R.W. Assistant Grand Master to please bring this to the notice of Grand Lodge with a request they work out some way by which the District of Madras can get at least two more Lodges.

Brethren, I have much pleasure in placing on record the fact that W.Bro.S.L. Chitale, PJGD of the Archibald Campbell No.4998 completed 50 years of unbroken service to Masonry in January this year. I had the pleasure of presenting him the 50 Year citation and lapel pin at an emergency meeting of the Archibald Campbell Lodge on the 4th of March.

I attended the installation meeting of Lodge of Faith Hope & Charity No.1285 on the 11th March, 2017. The records of the Lodge were kindly inspected by W.Bro. Sunil Koliyot.

The following brethren represented me at their installation meetings since we last met:

  • V.W.Bro. Abdul Jifri, Dy DGM – Lodge Minchin No.2710 on 04.03.2017
  • W.Bro. D. Rajasekaran, ADGM – Lodge Cauvery No.3848 on 15.07.2017

I thank them for representing me and for inspecting the records of those Lodges.

Obituary

It is with grief that I inform you that the following brethren have been called to the Grand Lodge above:

  • Bro. G. Kumaran Nair, PDJGW, Lodge Minchin No.2710 on 23.04.2017
  • W.Bro. V. Vijayan, PDSGD, Pitt Macdonald Lodge No.1198 on 26.05.2017
  • W.Bro. Dr. S. Mohandas, PDG Chap, Lodge Quilon No.5839 on 28.05.2017

I request you to please be upstanding to observe a minutes silence in their memory.

Brethren, I once again take this opportunity to thank all our visitors for having taken the time and trouble to travel great distances to join our celebration and I extend a warm invitation to all of them to join us at the festive board after this meeting.

Brethren, before I conclude I would like to thank the W.Master, Wardens, and Brethren of Lodge St. George who have made tremendous effort to organize our get-together this week-end and we all know that they have worked really hard. I would like to express our collective gratitude to the W.Master, Wardens and all the Brethren of Lodge St. George.

Brethren, farewell until we meet again in Hyderabad in February next year.

I now request our R.W.Assistant Grand Master to address us. Thank you, Brethren.

 
Most Excellent Grand Superintendent’s speech at DGC Half Yearly Convocation
at Chennai on 12.8.2017 morning
 

Good morning Companions and welcome to this convocation.

I am very pleased to have our M. E. Companion Sir David Hugh Wootton, OBE, Past III Grand Principal of Supreme Grand Chapter of England, with us this morning. He is accompanied by E.Comp.Oliver Lodge, Grand Director of Ceremonies and they are here to celebrate the tercentenary of the United Grand Lodge of England with us. I warmly welcome them and trust that their accommodation and visit thus far, have been comfortable and enjoyable.

I would also like to welcome E.Comp. Ramesh Jagtiani, P II G. Pr. P.II R.G.Pr. who is here representing E.Comp. Abraham Markos, the Grand Superintendent of Regional Grand Chapter of Southern India, and his officers. Also with us are E.Comp. V. Nagarajan, Grand Superintendent of District Grand Chapter of Northern India, E.Comp. Dato Jeyaraj Ratnaswamy, the Grand Superintendent of District Grand Chapter of the Eastern Archipalego, E.Comp Pichumani Venkataraman from the District Grand Chapter of Bombay, E.Comp. Joseph Lee from the District Grand Chapter of Hong Kong & Far East, E.Comp. Ferhard Nilgiria, from the District Grand Chapter of Sri Lanka, and E.Comp. P.R. Jackson from the District Grand Chapter of South Island, Newzealand. E.Companions, I welcome all of you to this Convocation and trust that you have been comfortable, and well taken care of since your arrival.

Companions, Most E. Comp. Sir David Wootton will be addressing us and I am sure he will inform us of anything relevant from the Supreme Grand Chapter. I will not, therefore, dwell on this subject.

Coming to our District I inform you that both administratively and financially the District is in good shape although our membership still remains the same as it has been for the past several years. Only about 50% of our Craft members are Royal Arch Masons and I once again request all of you to make whatever efforts you can to improve our numbers in this beautiful degree.

I attended the Installation Convocation of Chapter Excelsior No.1285 on the 9th of June and the records of the Chapter were inspected by E.Comp. Sunil Koliyot. I also attended the Installation Convocation of Chapter Benson No.1093 E.C. on 4th August, 2017. The records of this Chapter were inspected by E.Comp. Narayanan Kutty Nambiar.

The following Companions represented me at the Installation Convocations of other Chapters:

E.Comp. K. Muralidharan Chapter Cauvery No.3848 on 18.03.2017 and Golconda Chapter No.3249 on 31.03.2017.
E.Comp. Dr. R. Arunagiri Chapter Rock No.260 on 01.07.2017.

I would like to thank them for representing me and for inspecting the records of those Chapters.

Obituary

Companions, it is with sadness I inform you of the passing away of

E.Comp. G. Kumaran Nair, PDG ScN Chapter Minchin No.2710 on 23.04.2017
E.Comp. V. Vijayan PDG II A Sojr, Pitt Macdonald Chapter No.1198 on 26.05.2017
E.Comp. Dr. S. Mohandas, PDG Reg Chapter Quilon No.5839 on 28.05.2017

I request you to please stand and observe a minutes silence in their memory.

Acknowledgements

I would like to record my sincere thanks to E.Comp. Viji Joseph, District Grand Treasurer, E.Comp. S. Ponnaiya, District Grand Scribe Ezra, E.Comp. Sunil Koliyot, District Grand Director of Ceremonies, E.Comp. Sukesh Menon, President Committee of General Purposes and the District Grand Chapter office team for their excellent support for the administration of the District affairs.

With these few words I request our ME Comp. Sir David Hugh Wootton to deliver his address to companions, Thank you.

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Bro. Theo Devagnanam, is the fifth District Ruler since Independence, and by far the youngest to hold this office. Bro Theo Devagnanam was installed the RW DGM of the District Grand Lodge of Madras on 13th August 2011 at Tiruchirapalli.
 
DISTRICT GRAND LODGE OF MADRAS
Address of R.W.Bro.T.A.Devagnanam, RWDGM
At The Half yearly Meeting on 13th August 2011 at Tiruchirapalli

Brethren, let me first welcome all of you to Trichy. The Brethren of Lodge Rock have spared no effort in organising this half yearly meet of the DGL, and I am sure that all of you have been well received and taken care of. I take this opportunity to thank the brethren of Lodge Rock for their kind hospitality.

Before I proceed with reporting on the regular news, I must, first, thank the M W the Grand Master, for the confidence that he has reposed in me, in appointing me as the DGM of this district.

I thank R.W.Bro. K.R.N. Menon, for having invested me with this high office and can only hope that the GAOTU will give me the wisdom to discharge the duties of that office to the benefit of the whole District. R. W. Bro. K.R.N.Menon, whom I have known, since I was but a lad, has been a close friend of my family, for many years. After the untimely death of my Father, he has been a great source of support and encouragement for me, particularly in Freemasonry. The standards that he has set will not be easy to live up to and I can only hope that I am able to meet them. I must, however, tell you that my administration will not deviate from the excellent administrative policies that R.W.Bro. K.R.N. Menon brought into the District. The policies, of transparency in administration, the recording of all discussions, and the absolute shunning of politics, will continue. The chief objectives of the administration will be the preservation of the principles of masonry, and, as we are told at every installation meet ing, the business of being happy, and communicating happiness.

Brethren, I am a third generation Freemason, and our host Lodge, Rock, holds a personal significance for me. It was in this Lodge, in 1922, that my Grandfather, W. Bro. Samuel Devagnanam, was initiated. He went on to become the Master of this Lodge in 1946. After his retirement, from Government service, he settled in The Nilgiris and joined the Lodge of Faith, Hope and Charity, where he installed my Father as W. Master in 1960. My Father, W. Bro. Theo Devagnanam installed me in the same chair in 1985, and I had the pleasure of installing my Son, W. Bro. Theo Devagnanam III, in the same chair, earlier this year. My installation, as DGM, under the banner of this Lodge, is very special to me.

I will do everything that I can to support all of you, and our institution, and call upon you for your support, not only in spirit, but also by active involvement in our initiatives.

We have many Visitors this evening and I think that their presence, is a tribute to the relationships that my predecessor has strived to establish. I must thank, profusely, our important visitors this evening;

  1. Regional Grand Lodge of Southern India - R W.Bro .Retnaraj Sushilraj, R.W.Regional Grand Master

  2. District Grand Lodge of Eastern Archipelago - W Bro. Dr.Jenagaratnam Sinnathampy, PAGDC , Asst. District Grand Master

  3. District Grand Lodge of Bombay - V.W Bro.Arun Jaganathrao Deshmukh, P G Swd Br Dy. District Grand Master

  4. District Grand Lodge of Sri Lanka - R W Bro.Milroy Sherwin Perera R.W.District Grand Master

  5. District Grand Lodge of Hong Kong and The Far East - R W Bro. Peter Wong Hong Yuen R.W.Past District Grand Master

I thank all for having taken the time and the effort to be with us on this occasion.

I have also been blessed by the presence of some of my personal friends who have travelled vast distances to be with us this evening. R.W.Bro. H.Y.Wong, PDGM of the DGL of HK and the Far East, I thank you so much for being such a positive influence on my Masonic career. You were present at my first Installation, as W. Master in 1985, you have visited our Lodge since and you were present at the Installation of my Son, Theo, earlier, this year. You have been a close friend of my Family for about forty years, and your presence this evening is of very special significance to me.

We also have with us, this evening, W.Bro. Benny Lo, and W.Bro Edward Wen Tai Hey, also from Hong Kong. W. Bro. Benny’s family and mine go back almost 50 years. Benny’s Father In Law and my Father first met, and started to do business together, in 1962. It is wonderful to have you, Benny, with us this evening.

I also welcome V.W. Bro. Shegar Balakrishnan who is visiting us from the Irish Province in Singapore.  Shegar is also a close friend and is, in fact, related to my wife.  Thank you very much for making the effort to be with us.

I shall now move on to my report of the Masonic happenings since we last met.

Grand Lodge Affairs

M W Bro HRH the Duke of Kent was reelected MW the Grand Master for the 44th successive year and we are very fortunate to have his continued guidance. The annual investiture meeting of the united Grand Lodge of England was held on the 27th day of April, 2011 and M W the Grand master in his address, amongst other things, called attention to the following:

The Mentoring Scheme:  The mentoring scheme set in motion is designed eventually to mentor members at all stages of their Masonic progress. The aim is to have as many members as possible to act as ambassadors for freemasonry. He drew attention to the working group under the Chairmanship of the Grand Secretary and Provincial and District Grand Masters to ensure that the mentoring messages are consistent.

M W the Grand Master also referred to the address by the Head of Disaster Management of the British Red Cross, during the March quarterly communication, and the immediate help rendered by the Grand charity to the affected Districts.

At the Investiture meeting, I was promoted to the rank of Past Grand Sword Bearer. Unfortunately, I was not able to attend the meeting. Our Asst. District Grand Master, W.Bro. D P Marshall, who attended the meeting, received the rank of Past Asst. Grand Director of ceremonies. We congratulate him.

District Grand lodge Matters

On July 27, this year our district had the privilege of organising the Prestonian lecture, which was delivered by W Bro. James Campbell. The event was sponsored by The Archibald Campbell Lodge. Wor Bro. Campbell, a member of the Archibald Campbell Lodge, is the Grand son of W.Bro. Archibald Campbell whom the Host lodge is named after. M W the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of India attended the lecture and the banquet thereafter.

Harmony between the brethren of sister constitutions in our District is excellent. R W Bro. K.R.N. Menon, as R W DGM, attended the Universal Brotherhood day celebrations organised by The Regional Grand lodge of Southern India, on 24th June, 2011. He also attended the Half yearly meeting of the Regional Grand Lodge of Southern India at Thanjavur on 6th August, 2011.

The mentoring activities of the district are spearheaded by       W. Bro. M. S. Duleep, District Grand Mentor, and W. Bro. T. V. Srinivasan, District Grand Orator, who are both giving of a lot of their time and effort towards the success of these activities, and I request every one of you to give them your support and encouragement.

W Bro. S Sampath, PAGDC, on his appointment as the Deputy District Grand Master, is succeeded by W Bro. S .Ponnaiya as the District Grand Secretary and we wish both of them success in their new positions.

District Grand Charity News

The lease on the Cornwallis Masonic Home has been renewed for a further period of two years. The building is in good repair thanks to our administrator and his team.

At the last meeting of the Executive Council of the District Grand Charity, Dr. Srinivasan of the Jeevan Blood Bank and Research centre, made a presentation of the organization, and its activities. It is basically the first public stem cell bank in India. He appealed for financial assistance. Following the meeting, the Trustees decided to donate a sum of Rs.15,00,000/- to this organization. This amount will go towards the collection of further units of cord blood.

Charity contributions, towards scholarships, pensions and Medical relief have been dealt with, in detail, in the half yearly report already circulated. It is, however, encouraging to see that the number of Scholarships is now in the region of 145.

The goal, of creating a Corpus Fund of Rs. 50 lakhs each for the Masons Welfare Fund and Masonic & Heritage Buildings Trust, is likely to be reached by Novenber, 2011.

Madras Freemasons Hall, Library and Auditorium

In an effort to support the Masonic mentoring activities we have created a separate fund for the library. We intend to have the Library fully functional, with all the support material for the mentoring programme, in as short a time as possible.

In order to augment the income of the Madras Freemasons Hall Trust, the auditorium will be put to use for various Masonic, and non-Masonic functions.

Installation Meetings

R W Bro. K R N Menon attended the installation meetings of the following lodges, as DGM

Lodge Minchin No.2710  on 5.3.2011
Lodge Faith Hope & Charity No.1285    on 12.3.2011

The records, of both Lodges, were inspected by W.Bro. Sukesh Menon.

The RW District Grand Master was represented at the installation meetings of other lodges as follows

W Bro. S. Sampath- Golconda lodge No.3249 on 18.2.2011.
Myself- Lodge Anchor of Hope No.1093 on 19.2.2011
W Bro. A C Patel- Lodge Cauvery No.3848 on 9.7.2011.

Very sadly, since we last met, Bro. J.Venugopalan Nair, Master Mason of Lodge Minchin No.2710 was called to the Grand Lodge above on 11th March, 2011. We will stand and observe a minute’s silence in his memory.

I would like to place on record the excellent work done by the DGS, W. Bro. S. Sampath, the DGT, W. Bro. N. D. Achiah and the rest of the District Grand Lodge officers who have contributed generously of their time and knowledge in the governing of the District. Thanks, are also due to the staff of the DGL Office, ably led, by Bro. Shanker.

DISTRICT GRAND CHAPTER OF MADRAS
Address of E.Comp.T.A.Devagnanam, MEGS
At the Half yearly Convocation on 13th August 2011 at Tiruchirapalli
Companions,

Welcome to Trichy.  I trust that all of you were well received and are comfortably accommodated.  I shall be addressing you at greater length this evening and will, therefore, restrict this address to general news.  Before, however, I proceed with reporting on those matters I must first thank the ME The First Grand Principal  for having appointed me to the position of Grand Superintendent of this District.

I would also like to thank Excellent Companion K.R.N. Menon for having invested me as the Grand Superintendent, and for all the guidance he has given me over the past several years.

Excellent Companion Menon, I am sure that I will always continue to review valuable advice and wise counsel from you.

Let me also take this opportunity to thank the several visitors who are present this morning and who have taken the trouble to visit us from, not only various parts of the country,  but various parts of the world.

  1. Regional Grand Chapter of Southern India - E Comp. Retnaraj Sushilraj Grand SuperintendentDistrict Grand Chapter of Eastern 

  2. Archipelago - E Comp.Theivanthiran Sinnathampy, PG Swd Br Dy. Grand Superintendent

  3. District Grand Chapter of Bombay - E Comp. Arun Jaganathrao Deshmukh, P G Swd Br Dy. Grand Superintendent

  4. District Grand Chapter of Srilanka - E Comp. Milroy Sherwin Perera Grand SuperintendentDistrict Grand Chapter of Hongkong 

  5. and The Far East - E Comp. Peter Wong Hong Yuen 

Past Grand Superintendent

At the Convocation of the Supreme Grand Chapter in London in April this year the Most Excellent The First Grand Principal, His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent, KG,  saw fit to promote me to the rank of Past Grand Sword Bearer.  Very unfortunately I was unable to attend the Convocation.

The District Grand Chapter continues to be run well both from the administrative and financial points of view.  The private Chapters continue to function well and I can only encourage each Chapter to make a concerted effort to increase membership through recruiting of newly made Master Masons into the individual Chapters.

During the period under report the following Companions represented the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent at the Installation Convocations of the following Chapters:

  1. E Comp. S. Sampath – Chapter School of Plato No.150 on 15.02.2011

  2. E.Comp. A.I. Kurien – Chapter Quilon No.5839 on 25.02.2011

  3. E.Comp. K.V. Srinivasan – Chapter Cauvery No.3848 on 5.3.2011

  4. E.Comp. V.J. Bharath – Golconda Chapter No.3249 on 7.3.2011

  5. E.Comp. R.V. Raghavan – Chapter Excelsior No.1285 on 10.3.2011

  6. E.Comp. D. Rajasekaran – Chapter Rock No.260 on 2.7.2011

     Valediction


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