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RWDGM’s speech at District Grand Lodge Annual Investiture meet on 11.2.2012

Brethren,

Welcome to Chennai and the hospitality of the Lodge of Perfect Unanimity who, I am sure, are taking good care of all of you.

It is several years since we had our Investiture in the Freemasons Hall and it feels good to be back at the seat of our District.

This is, indeed, a special time for our District, and even more so for our hosts, as we are gathered to celebrate three very special events – the Bicentenary of School of Plato Chapter, the 225th year of the Lodge Of Perfect Unanimity, and 100 years since the District Grand Lodge started to meet under the banners of private Lodges. Incidentally the first such meeting was under the banner of The Lodge of Perfect Unanimity, which is the oldest lodge in the District and has the distinction of having bought and donated this property to the District in 1917.

I have great pleasure in welcoming R W Bro. George Pipon Francis, Past Senior Grand Warden, who has traveled all the way from London to celebrate this occasion with us. I also welcome V W Bro. Oliver Lodge, the Grand Director of Ceremonies, who have also traveled in from London.

A very special welcome to R W Bro. Retnaraj Sushilraj, Regional Grand Master of The Regional Grand Lodge of Southern India, who was with us at Trichy for my Installation and joins us once again.

It is my pleasure to welcome R.W.Bro. Bomi Mehta, Past Provincial Grand Master, Provincial Grand lodge of Scotland in India, the representative of the Provincial Grand master and V.W. Bro. Dr. K K Varma, Provincial Grand Inspector for Southern India and representative of Provincial Grand Master of Provincial Grand Lodge of Ireland in India.

RW Bro. Percy Driver, the RW District Grand Master of Dist Grand Lodge of Bombay and R W Bro. V Nagarajan R W District Grand Master of Dist Grand Lodge of Northern India, I welcome you to our midst.

Grand Lodge Affairs

At the Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge a resolution suspending relations with the Grande Loge Nationale Francaise was passed. Disharmony amongst the Brethren attached to that Grand Lodge has forced the United Grand Lodge of England to take this measure.

I would like to caution all our Lodges, to be extremely careful in the acceptance of visitors to your Lodge. The District Grand Lodge has sent a circular to all the of you, which contains the prohibitions that result from the resolution

All of us should take notice of, and adhere to, the instruction from Grand Lodge on brethren visiting from Overseas. It is part of our duty as members of English constitution not to associate masonically with members of unrecognized Constitutions. To avoid such danger and potential embarrassment to hosts, brethren should not attempt to make any Masonic Contact overseas with out having first checked with the Grand Secretary’s Office in London through your District Grand Secretary’s office.

The Grand Secretary addressed the Communication on, “Masonic Communication in the electronic age”, and explained the various features of the revamped Grand Lodge web site and its functionality.

The Deputy Grand Master, in his address, referred to an interview given by the Grand Chaplain to the BBC in which it became clear that there are still substantial misunderstandings about the Craft, and I would like to quote from his address. ”We need to be absolutely clear when we discuss our pure Antient Masonry that we belong to a secular organization, that is to say a non - religious organisation. This point was made, very eloquently, by the Grand Chaplain in his interview. It is, however, a secular organization that is supportive of religion: it is an absolute requirement for all our members to believe in a Supreme Being. As the late and sadly missed Dean Neil Collings so eloquently put it, this gives, “a context and background to the individual’s way of life as they seek to live it”. Freemasonry itself, as we all know, is neither a substitute for nor an alternative to religion. It certainly does not deal in spirituality, it does not have any sacraments; or indeed, offer, or claim to offer any type of salvation. Freemasonry, in fact, absolutely fails to meet any of the tests of what it is to be a religion, set by the late Reverend Professor

John MacQuarrie, former Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity at Oxford. The fact that men from different faiths can meet easily in harmony and friendship, without compromising their particular religious beliefs, demonstrates that one of the greatest strengths of the Craft, dating from its earliest beginnings, is that of tolerance. To ensure this tolerance remains untroubled, of course, discussions of religion, like discussions of politics, are strictly prohibited,” unquote.

He went on to emphasize the need to be extremely careful in the selection of candidates for Freemasonry, so that the Craft can continue to grow without compromising or losing its principles.

Affairs of the District

It has been six months since I took over the administration of the District and I am very glad to inform you that the District Grand lodge is in good shape, both administratively and financially. I have endeavored to maintain the high standards of efficiency and transparency that were set by my predecessor. This has been made possible, by the formation of a core committee which deals with all administrative matters of the District, and by the dedication and hard work put in by W.Bro S.Ponnaiya, our District Grand Secretary and W. Bro N.D.Achaiah, our District Grand Treasurer.

I would also like to place on record my thanks to W. Bro. Dr. K.K.Varma, the outgoing President of the Board of General Purposes.

Charity

The report of the Executive Council, of the District Grand Charity has been circulated to all of you, and it will give you a clear account of the work of our Charities. I must congratulate our Steward of Charities W Bro. Chandru Raju Bettan for his earnest efforts to collect Charity. He has been able to raise over half a million rupees.

The Cornwallis Masonic Home building in Bangalore is still occupied by Bangalore International Airport Limited and the lease has another year to run. The management there, led by Lt.Col. Divaker continue to do an excellent job in taking good care of our building.

I must acknowledge, with thanks the excellent work done by W. Bro. D.Rajasekaran, the President of, the Executive Council. Thanks are also due to W. Bro. M.S.Duleep, our District Grand Mentor, and W Bro. T. V. Srinivasan, our District Grand Orator, for their contributions towards our efforts to improve Masonic education in the District.

I congratulate those of you who have been invested with active and brevet ranks and urge them to actively participate in the activities of the District. I trust that they will continue to earn rewards, and set an example for younger brethren to emulate.

I will be failing in my duty if I do not acknowledge, with thanks, the excellent work put in by Bro. Shanker and his team at the DGL Office, who have kept us on our toes during the year.

Installation Meetings

I had the pleasure of attending the Installation meetings of the following Lodges during the half-year.

Archibald Campbell Lodge No.4998 24.10.2011
Lodge Southern brotherhood No.3311 28.11.2011
Lodge of Perfect Unanimity Noi.150 12.01.2012
Lodge Quilon No.5839 14.01.2012

Inspection of the records of these Lodges was carried out by W.Bro. Sukesh Menon.

I was represented, at the Installation Meetings of the following Lodges, by the following senior brethren whom I thank for their untiring support.

 

W.Bro.A.C.Patel        Lodge Cauvery No.3848 09.07.2011

                                     Lodge of Rock No.260 07.01.2012

W.Bro.S.Sampath     Lodge St. George No.2532 30.09.2011

                                     John Miller Lodge No.1906 16.11.2011

                                     Lodge of Universal Charity No.273 16.12.2011

                                     John’s Lodge No.434 27.12.2011

                                     Pitt Macdonald Lodge No.1198 10.01.2012

W.Bro.A.I.Kuran Kerala Lodge No.2188 07.01.2012

W.Bro.Sukesh Menon Lodge Ampthill No.3682 21.01.2012

W.Bro.D.P.Marshall Lodge Cochin No.4359 28.01.2012

W.Bro.V.J.Bharath Golconda Lodge No.3249 03.02.2012

The brethren representing me also carried out the inspection of records of the respective Lodges.

Obituary

It is my sad duty to mention that the following brethren have been called to the Grand Lodge above:

W.Bro.Bhaskar Ullal, PDG Swd Br, Archibald Campbell Lodge No. 23.05.2011

W.Bro.K.V.Shetty, PDDyGDofC, Archibald Campbell Lodge No.4998 18.08.2011

W.Bro.Kirit P.Asher, PDG Reg, Kerala Lodge No.2188 23.90.2011

W.Bro.V.R.Seshu, PDG Swd Br, Lodge Southern Brotherhood No.3311 25.09.2011

W.Bro.T.Jacob, PDG Std Br, Lodge Minchin No.2710 06.11.2011

W.Bro.Dr.P.T.Cherian, IPM, Lodge Quilon No.5839 22.11.2011

W.Bro.Moosa Ahmed, PDG Std.Br. Lodge St. George No.2532 24.11.2011

W.Bro.K.Gopakumar, PM, Lodge Minchin No.2710 05.01.2012

W. Bro. A N Macleod. Lodge Pitt MacDonald.

Brethren, please stand and let us observe a minutes silence in their memory

I thank, once again, the visiting deputations for their participation and request them to join me at the festive board.

Brethren we must all thank the Worshipful Master and Brethren of Lodge of Perfect Unanimity for their hard work and hospitality in organizing this year’s meeting and seeing to our comforts. May the GATOU preserve the oldest lodge in this District for ever.

 

 

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