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RW DGM’s speech at DGL Annual Investiture meet on 8.2.2014, at Coimbatore
 

Dear Brethren,

Greetings to all of you and a warm welcome to Coimbatore, at one time the Cotton City. and today an Industrial powerhouse. We meet again after our last meeting in the salubrious Nilgiris, this time under the banner of our host Lodge, Lodge Ampthill, on the very special occasion of their Centenary. This Lodge, No. 3682, was named after Rt.Honourable Lord Ampthill who was the Governor of the then State of Madras, and served as our District Grand Master from 1901 to 1906.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome Rt. Wor. Bro. R. Somasundaram P. Dy. G.M., P.Dy. R.G.M, and his team of Officers, who are here representing the Rt. Wor. R.G.M of the Regional Grand Lodge of Southern India.

Brethren I also welcome Wor. Bro. Dr Vengakalachulu G Suppiah,, PAGDC the Deputy District Grand Master, of District Grand Lodge of The Eastern Archipelago, and his Officers, who represent the Rt. Wor. DGM of the DGL of the Eastern Archipelago.

Brethren, I trust that you have been well looked after and that you are all comfortable.

Grand Lodge affairs:

During the quarterly communication of the United Grand Lodge held on Wednesday the 11th September, 2013 the Board of General Purposes drew particular attention to Rule 125(b) of the Book of Constitutions and the list of Grand Lodges recognized by the United Grand Lodge which is published in the Masonic Year Book available with the Secretaries of all Lodges. The Board, once again, reminded all Brethren of the caution that is to be exercised either when visiting Lodges overseas or receiving visitors from other Grand Lodges.

The President of Board of General Purposes also brought to the attention of the Grand Lodge, the existence of the website, “The Grand Masonic Directory”. It is essential that all Brethren are aware of the views of the Board of General Purposes and I quote the President:

“First, I wish to say a few words about a website, apparently based abroad, which has been promoted by e-mail to many Brethren of this Constitution. It is called The Grand Masonic Directory and purports to be a means for Brethren throughout the World to contact each other. It also appears to contain news items and other articles, many on topics unconnected with Freemasonry. Brethren should be aware that this project enjoys no support from this Grand Lodge and it is recommended that if thinking of using the facilities which it offers Brethren should consider carefully where the line is to be drawn between what constitutes a proper, and what constitutes an improper, use of Freemasonry”.

The President then asked the Grand Chancellor to make a formal statement concerning the UGLE’s position vis-a-vis the GLNF. As this is an important matter I would like to take some of your time to quote the Grand Chancellor’s formal statement in full:

“GRAND CHANCELLOR: MW Pro Grand Master and Brethren, Grand Lodge will recall that twelve months ago it voted to withdraw recognition from the Grande Loge Nationale Française (GLNF). Since then the Board and its External Relations Committee have continued to monitor the situation in France.

Last December the GLNF installed a new Grand Master, MW Bro Jean Pierre Servel, as a result of which the mandate of the Court-appointed administrator ceased, so that the GLNF is once again in full control of its affairs. His predecessor as Grand Master, having failed to attend a disciplinary hearing, has been expelled. The new Grand Master has already made changes welcomed by his Brethren and is setting in train constitutional processes to return to the Grand Lodge and its constituent Lodges powers and authority removed by his predecessor. His actions appear to be restoring harmony within the GLNF.

Five Grand Lodges in Europe – Austria, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and the Swiss Grand Lodge “Alpina” – have been in discussion with four other Grand Lodges in France with regard to the formation of a “Federation of Regular French Grand Lodges”. The four Grand Lodges, none of which has ever been recognized by this Grand Lodge, are: the Grande Loge de France, the Grande Loge de l’ Alliance Maçonnique Française, the Grande Loge Traditionnelle et Symbolique Opéra and the Grande Loge Indépendante de France. In June they agreed a charter outlining the basic principles on which the Federation will be founded but have not yet given any details as to how it will be organized and administered. So far the discussions have not included the GLNF, despite its having been internationally recognized for almost one hundred years as the only representative of regular Freemasonry in France. Whilst the five European Grand Lodges have kept us informed of the progress of the discussions it is important to note that this Grand Lodge has not been a party to them nor has it given any sanction to the project. It is equally important to note that, should the Federation come into being, before we could consider extending recognition this Grand Lodge would have to be wholly satisfied that each of its constituent Grand Lodges fully complied with our Basic Principles for Grand Lodge Recognition.

The “Blogosphere” is, as usual, full of rumour and misinformation, particularly regarding what the United Grand Lodge of England is supposedly planning in relation to France. We continue to believe that the problems in France are internal to that country and that the French Brethren should be allowed to sort out their problems without interference from outside. Whilst we welcome the changes taking place within the GLNF we do not have under active consideration any plan to recognise or re-recognise any Grand Lodge in France. We will continue to monitor the situation and, in doing so, will not enter into any formal discussions with any of the Grand Lodges in France. As a consequence of this position, we shall not be participating in any way in the centenary celebrations of the GLNF to be held later this year.”

The Pro Grand Master, in his address, expressed the need to make the Craft relevant to all Generations particularly younger generations, by shortening meetings and running them more efficiently. Brethren, it will be my endeavour, to ensure that our District meetings are run more and more efficiently and I would exhort all the Lodges in the District to please keep this in mind and earnestly work towards much more efficient meetings.

Affairs of the District

The health and finances of the District Grand lodge are in good shape and the high standards set by my predecessors are maintained.

It is my duty to inform you that our District is the only District in India to have cleared all dues to Grand Lodge, on top of which we contribute GBP 2000 every year to Freemasonry Cares programme of the UGLE. We have remitted GBP 2000 for the current year on 31st January 2014. Further I am pleased to inform you that an amount of GBP 3000 has been donated to Supreme Grand Chapter for Royal College of Surgeons, making our contribution to GBP 6000 for that purpose.

I have met with the Core Committee at regular intervals and we have tried to make sure that the administration runs smoothly

The affairs of the District Grand Charity have been printed and circulated in the report of Executive Council, which will give you a clear account of the charity work done by the district. At this juncture I wish to congratulate our Dist Steward of Charities W Bro. K.Chandramohan for his earnest efforts and for collecting Rs.7,75,301/- for Charity. Brethren for any Charity to be sustainable, it needs regular sources of income. We had the luxury of the regular income from the CMH to sustain our Charitable efforts for a few years, but that is not available to us now. While every effort to rent the property is being taken, we will need to enhance whatever rent we get with other sources of income. It is, therefore, my personal appeal to each one of you to make a regular contribution to our charities every year. I am sure that most of you would be able to contribute Rs. 1,000.00 a year to our efforts.

The Cornwallis Masonic Home is still vacant and we are nor getting any income from it. We are in active negotiation with a prospective tenant and we all hope that the rental will go through. In the meanwhile, Brethren, I am always open to suggestions for other tenants. I request all of you to please put your thinking caps on and try to come up with a suitable tenant for this property.

Mentoring

Our Dist Grand Mentor W Bro. M S Duleep and Our Dist Grand Orator W Bro. T V Srinivasan have endeavoured to further the Masonic knowledge and understanding of brethren throughout the District and I would like to place on record our appreciation of their efforts.

Brethren, it is a pleasant duty to congratulate all those brethren who have received honours this evening. Brethren these ranks and promotions are not given for services rendered to Freemasonry but are meant to encourage you to greater efforts in the future.

I had the pleasure of attending the Installation Meeting of Lodge Pitt Macdonald on 8th January, 2014.

R.W.Bro. K.R.N. Menon was kind enough to represent me in the Installation meetings of;

  1. Lodge St. George No.2532 on 27.09.2013
  2. The Archibald Campbell Lodge No.4998 on 30.10.2013
  3. The Lodge of Universal Charity No.273 on 20.12.2013
  4. Lodge of Perfect Unanimity No.150 on 10.01.2014
  5. Lodge Cochin No.4359 on 18.01.2014

The records of Lodge St. George, The Archibald Campbell Lodge, Lodge Cochin and The Lodge of Perfect Unanimity were inspected by W.Bro. Sukesh Menon. Those of the Lodge of Universal Charity by W.Bro. T.V. Srinivasan.

I was represented at the Installation meetings of the following Lodges by the following Brethren:

  1. V.W. Bro. S. Sampath - The Lodge Cauvery, No.3848 on 13.07.2013 and St. John’s Lodge, No.434 on 27.12.2013
  2. W.Bro. Sukesh Menon – John Miller Lodge, No.1906 on 20.11.2013
  3. W.Bro. Abdul Jifri – Lodge of Southern Brotherhood, No.3311 on 25.11.2013, Kerala Lodge No.2188 on 04.01.2014, Lodge Quilon, No.5839 on 11.01.2014
  4. W.Bro. Dr. T.A.K. Rathnam – Lodge of Rock, No.260 on 04.01.2014
  5. W.Bro. Chandru Raju Bettan – Lodge Ampthill No.3682 on 18.01.2014

Obituary

Brethren, it is with sadness that we remember the following Brethren, who were called to the Grand Lodge above, since we last met:

Bro.M.C.Mathew MM Lodge Cochin No.4359 13.07.2013
W.Bro.I.S.Sethna PDDyGDofC Golconda Lodge No.3249 15.09.2013
Bro.G.Govindarajulu MM Lodge Anchor of Hope No.1093 23.10.2013
W.Bro.S.Unnikrishnan Nair PDG Swd Br Lodge Minchin No.2710 10.11.2013
W.Bro.G.Yesodharan MM Lodge Quilon No.5839 24.01.2014
Bro.T.Valliappan MM Lodge of Rock No.260 24.01.2014

Brethren we will observe a minutes silence in respect to our departed Brethren. Upstanding.

I must place on record our sincere thanks to our DGS, DGTr ,DGDC, DAGSec, and the team at the DGL office for their commitment and dedication in conducting the day to day affairs of our District.

I wish to, once again, thank the visiting deputations for their participation I our celebrations, and request them to join me at the festive board following this meeting. Brethren I would like to say a very special Thank You to the Worshipful Master and Brethren of Lodge Ampthill for their hard work and very kind hospitality. Our congratulations to the Lodge on the completion of 100 years of Masonry.

Brethren, farewell, until we meet again in Kollam.



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