|District Grand Chapter of Madras
Address of ME Grand Superintendent at the Half Yearly Convocation on
11th August 2012 at Thanjavur
It is indeed a great pleasure to be with all of you once again, at this time, in the historic backdrop of the city of Thanjavur. We are meeting here after eight years and I am sure all of you will recall the excellent hospitality which we enjoyed during our last District Grand Chapter meeting here.
Regrettably the Grand Superintendent of the Regional Grand Chapter of Southern India, E.Comp. Retnaraj Sushilraj is unable to be present with us this morning. He has deputed E.Comp. S. Chandrahasan, G.Sc.N, P.II. R.G. Principal and his officers to represent him and grace this occasion with their presence.
E.Comp. Chandrahasan, we welcome you and your delegation and invite you to please participate in the luncheon following this meeting.
The major milestone that we saw in the recent past was the bi-centenary celebration of Royal Arch Chapter School of Plato in February 2012, on which occasion we were honoured by the presence of M.E.Comp George Pipon Francis, M.E. II Grand Principal of the Supreme Grand Chapter of England. He was accompanied by the Grand Director of Ceremonies E.Comp Oliver Lodge. The M.E.II Grand Principal presented the bi-centenary Charter and the bi-centenary jewels to the three Principals. The following day we had the pleasure of his attendance at the District Grand Chapter meeting.
Companions, over the last few years the number of members in our Chapters has been dropping and we observe that in many Chapters the attendance has also been dropping. This does not augur well for Royal Arch Masonry in our District and the only way that it can be remedied is for each Chapter to make concerted effort to recruit every newly made Master Mason as a member of the Royal Arch. One of the other important factors to bear in mind is the frequency and dates of Royal Arch meetings and Craft meetings. It is increasingly difficult for our younger members to spare too many evenings to pursue Freemasonry and I know that some Chapters are seriously considering meetings of both the Craft and the Royal Arch on the same day. This is being done in the hope that the attendance will improve as well recruitment.
I had the pleasure of attending the Investiture meeting of the Supreme Grand Chapter in London in April this year. At that meeting E.Comp. S. Sampath received a promotion to the rank of Past Grand Sword Bearer and E.Comp. K. Ravindran was appointed Past Grand Standard Bearer. I congratulate both of them on these honours.
Although there were seven installations in the last six months I was, regrettably, be able to attend only one which was the installation convocation of Chapter Excelsior No. 1285 E.C. I was represented at the other installation convocations by E.Comp. S. Sampath, E.Comp. D. Rajasekaran, E.Comp. A.I. Kurian and E.Comp. K.V. Srinivasan and I would like to place on record my gratitude for having so generously represented me at those meetings.
It is with a sense of grief that we must record the passing away of our companions during the last six months:
E.Comp. P. Mukundan
E.Comp. C.T.O.A. Wright
E.Comp. K. Gopakumar
E.Comp. K. Velappan Pillai
I request you all to please stand and observe a minute of silence in their memory.
Before I close I must place on record our thanks to E.Comp. N.D. Achiah, District Grand Treasurer, E.Comp. S. Ponnaiya, District Grand Scribe E, E.Comp. Sukesh Menon, District Grand Director of Ceremonies, and Comp. P.B.Shankar and his team at the DGL Office for the excellent work they have put in the administrative functioning of the District Grand Chapter.
I shall be addressing you at greater length this evening.