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RWDGM's speech at DGL Half Yearly meeting on 9.8.2014 at Kollam
 

Dear Brethren,

It is indeed a pleasure to be with all of you here. It is a few years since we met in Kollam and I trust that many of you will recall the wonderful hospitality that Lodge Quilon is reputed for. Our host Lodge, although the youngest in our District, is one of the biggest with approximately hundred members. I am sure that they have spared no efforts to assure your comfort.

I must first extend a warm welcome to the important visitors who have taken the trouble to be with us on this occasion.

R.W.Bro. Damodharan Pillai Shanthikumar, PAGM, Dy. RGM, who is here representing R.W. Bro. Arvind Prasad Chitra, the Regional Grand Master of The Regional Grand Lodge of Southern India, is no stranger to us and it is indeed a pleasure to have him with us. I also extend a warm welcome to V.W.Bro. Dr. Vengakalachulu Suppiah, Dy. District Grand Master, District Grand Lodge of Eastern Archipelago, who is here representing his District Grand Master. Once again V.W.Bro. Venga is no stranger, having been with us in Coimbatore just a few months ago. Bro. Venga, I sincerely hope that your brief holiday in Kollam has been enjoyable and that you have been comfortably accommodated. It is also our pleasure to have with us R.W.Bro. Percy Driver, District Grand Master, District Grand Lodge of Bombay, who has also been with us on many occasions in the past. R.W.Bro. Percy, I trust that you had a comfortable journey and that you have been well looked after so far. I sincerely hope that al l of you will enjoy the rest of the evening.

Grand Lodge affairs:

Brethren, during the quarterly communication of the Grand Lodge on March 12, 2014 M.W.Bro. His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent, was unanimously elected as Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England for the 47th consecutive year and was so proclaimed at the Annual Investiture meeting of the Grand Lodge on April 30, 2014. It was my pleasure and privilege to have been present at the Investiture Meeting and to have enjoyed the dinner, the previous evening, which was hosted by our Grand Master, for the Provincial and District Grand Masters present on the occasion.

At this meeting, the following brethren of our district received Grand Lodge honours:

Wor. Bro. V.J. Bharath was promote to the rank of PJGD, and Wor Bro Ponnaiya received the rank of PAGDC.

During his address the Grand Master once again emphasized the importance of recruitment and retention. In order to stem the loss of members, a membership focus group has been formed and is headed by the Deputy President of the Board of General Purposes. This group will analyse the reasons for shrinking membership and make proposals for correction.

In the quarterly communication of the Grand Lodge held on June 11, 2014 the Grand Lodge restored recognition to the GLNF with immediate effect. Brethren, this is an important decision which serves to promote our fraternal relationships worldwide.

Affairs of the District

Coming to our District, I am pleased to report that, both administratively and financially our District is in good health. While shrinking membership is a matter of concern in many places, our District has, thankfully, been able to maintain a steady membership of around 1,100 members, for the past several years. With this membership we have been able to make our annual contribution of 2,000/- to Freemasonry Cares.

The affairs of the District Grand Charity are contained in the report of the Executive Council which has been printed and circulated to all of you. Our District Steward of Charity W.Bro. S. Sundaresan has been making an earnest effort to collect money for our charitable activities and I would request every Brother to respond with generosity.

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

My appeal to each member of our District to contribute at least Rs.1,000/- per year to the District Grand Charity has been responded to by 7 of our Lodges who have sent in a total of Rs.3.55 lakhs. I would like to thank the following Lodges for having responded so well:

  1. Lodge Universal Charity No.273
  2. Lodge Perfect Unanimity No.150
  3. Lodge Rock No.260
  4. Lodge Golconda No.3249
  5. Lodge St. George No.2532
  6. Lodge John Miller No.1906
  7. Lodge Kerala No.2188

I would once again appeal to the remaining 11 Lodges to please send their contributions to the District Grand Charity Fund Trust to assist us in maintaining our charitable activities.

This is particularly important given that the Cornwallis Masonic Home premises continue to remain vacant although all efforts are being made to find suitable tenant.

Mentoring

Our District Grand Mentor W.Bro. M.S. Duleep and our District Grand Orator W.Bro. A.K. Nair have continued to render best of their services to our members and I trust that the membership will continue to encourage them.

Installation Meetings

Since January this year I have had the pleasure of attending the Installation Meetings of

Pitt Macdonald Lodge No.1198 on 8th January, 2014
Lodge Cochin No.4359 on 18th January, 2014
Lodge Anchor of Hope No.1093 on 22nd February, 2014
Lodge of Faith Hope & Charity No.1285 on 5th April, 2014
Lodge Cauvery No.3848 on 5thJuly, 2014

The inspection of the records of these Lodges were carried out by W.Bro. Sukesh Menon.

During the same period the following Brethren have, very kindly, represented me at the following Installation Meetings and have inspected the records of the respective Lodges:

W.Bro. Abdul Jifri, Asst DGM Kerala Lodge No.2188
Lodge Quilon No.5839
Lodge Minchin No.2710
04.01.2014
11.01.2014
01.03.2014
W.Bro. Dr. T.A.K. Rathnam Lodge of Rock No.260 04.01.2014
R.W.Bro. K.R.N. Menon, PDGM Lodge of Perfect Unanimity No.150 10.01.2014
W.Bro. Chandru Rajubettan Lodge Ampthill No. 3682 18.01.2014
W.Bro. A.C. Patel Golconda Lodge No.3249 31.01.2014

The inspection of the records of the Kerala Lodge and the Lodge of Perfect Unanimity was carried out by W.Bro. Sukesh Menon.

Brethren, I would like to place on record the dedicated service that our District Grand Secretary, W.Bro. Ponnaiya, our District Grand Treasurer W.Bro. Viji Joseph have put in to ensure that the finances and administration of the District continue to function smoothly. The President of our Board of General Purposes W.Bro. D. Rajasekaran, and the President of the Executive Council of the District Grand Charity W.Bro. V.J. Bharath have also contributed tremendously to our efforts and I convey my sincere thanks to them. Needless to say W.Bro. Sukesh Menon, District Grand Director of Ceremonies has spared no effort to ensure the smooth conduct of all District Grand Lodge meetings and has also taken a lot of his time and effort to visit various Lodges with me. My sincere thanks to him.

The staff at the District Grand Lodge Office have continued to work sincerely and diligently and I think that every one of us owe a word of appreciation and thanks to them.

Obituary

Very sadly the following Brethren have been called to the Grand Lodge above:

W.Bro. G. Yesodharan, PDG Std Br, Lodge Quilon No.5839 24.01.2014
Bro. T. Valliappan, MM, Lodge of Rock No.260 24.01.2014
Bro. K. Mohandas, MM, Kerala Lodge No.2188 24.02.2014
Bro. G. Surendran, MM, Lodge Minchin No.2710 09.05.2014
Bro. A.P. Nayar, MM, Lodge Minchin No.2710 05.06.2014
W.Bro. T.S. Gokilan, PDJGD, Lodge of Perfect Unanimity No.150 12.06.2014
Bro. G. Thanu Pillai, MM, Lodge Minchin No.2710 22.06.2014
Bro. M. Chandrasekharan, MM, Pitt Macdonald Lodge No.1198 30.06.2014
W.Bro. P.Elanchelain, PDGChap. Lodge Rock No. 160 26.07.2014
W.Bro. N. Vijayakrishnan Nair PDJGW Lodge Minchin No. 2710 04.08.2014

Brethren, you will now rise and observe a minute's silence in memory of our departed Brethren.

It is my pleasure to invite our honourable visitors to join us at the festive board after this meeting.

Brethren, last but not least, our very very sincere thanks to W.Bro. M.K. Shyama Prasad Menon, Worshipful Master of Lodge Quilon and his Brethren for the great amount of work they put in in organising this weekend and making sure that we have all been well provided for. The organising of these events is not easy and we must all say a very big thank to W.Bro. Vinod Kumar who has been the Convenor and the mover and shaker behind the excellent arrangements made by Lodge Quilon.



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