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RWDGMs address Annual Investiture meeting on 14.02.2015
 

Dear Brethren,

First I would like to welcome all of you to this meeting and to thank you all for being present in such large numbers. I gather that you have all been taken care of very well by the Master and Brethren of the Pitt MacDonald Lodge which is one of the older Lodges in our District. I know that they have been working, tirelessly, to ensure that all of us have been comfortably accommodated and suitably cared for.

I have great pleasure in welcoming R.W.Bro. V. Nagarajan, District Grand Master of District Grand Lodge of Northern India who is, of course, no stranger. A very warm welcome to you Brother, and I trust that your needs have been suitably taken careof. I warmly welcome R.W.Bro. D. Santhikumar, P.Dy.GM., Dy. R.G.M. who is representing R.W. the Regional Grand Master of Southern India. He is, once again, no stranger to our meetings. I welcome you Bro. Santhikumar and your officers. I am sure that the Pitt MacDonald Lodge is looking after you well.

It is also my great pleasure to receive and welcome V.W.Bro. Dr. Vengakalachulu Suppiah who is here representing R.W.District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of The Eastern Archipelago. V.W.Bro. Dr. Vengakalachulu Suppiah is no stranger to us and this is the third consecutive meeting of our District that he is attending.

Grand Lodge Affairs

In the Quarterly communication of September 2014 the Board of General Purposes has, once again, emphasised the provisions of Rule 125 of the Book of Constitutions which governs the admission of visitors. Brethren, this is extremely important particularly with international travel becoming easier and easier each year. Let me once again remind you that the admission or refusal of admission of visitors to your Lodge is the direct responsibility of the Master and I would request all Masters to please make themselves absolutely familiar with the provisions of Rule 125 so that unqualified persons are not admitted to their Lodges and to avoid embarrassment to the hosts of such visitors.

Similarly, Brethren, before you make any attempt to visit a Lodge overseas please check with the District Grand Lodge Office that such Lodges are under Constitutions recognized by the United Grand Lodge of England.

The Board of General Purposes has further recommended that the terms of this warning should be repeated verbally in Open Lodge whenever a Grand Lodge certificate is presented and in print once a year in the Summons of each Lodge.

The District Grand Lodge office will send out a circular to all Lodges with these instructions.

Another important matter that the Board decided upon was photography, mobile phones, and social media. For your benefit, Brethren, the decisions put briefly are;

  1. All mobile phones must be switched off during Lodge meetings. Brethren, please note that mobile phones should not be put in silent mode at Lodge meetings.
  2. Group photographs maybe taken on the premises with a suitable dispensation but photography or electronic recordings of Lodge proceedings is strictly prohibited.
  3. The transmission of any photographs or information, by electronic means, from the Lodge rooms, is prohibited. Taking photographs, however, during after proceedings of the Lodge is permitted.
  4. Disciplinary action may be taken against Brethren who fail to comply with this policy.

Brethren I have briefed you, on our website, about the plans for celebrating the Tercentenary of the United Grand Lodge of England in the year 2017. The outline I have given you is not set in stone and things might change as we get more involved in the planning of the celebrations. In fact it has already been suggested that our District celebration be here in Chennai and be moved to August 2017 instead of February 2017. As we progress through this year decisions pertaining to the celebrations will be made and suitably communicated to all of you through the website. Our District celebration is being organized by a Committee headed by R.W.Bro. K.R.N. Menon who, I am sure, will make it a remarkable and truly memorable occasion.

District Grand Lodge Affairs

Brethren, I am pleased to report that the general health and the financial health of our District remain in good shape. We have paid all amounts due to the Grand Lodge and, thanks to all of you, we continue to contribute a sum of 2,000/- to Freemasonry Cares, every year. I continue to meet with those involved in our administration so that the running of our District is smooth.

At this point I must mention the huge amount of time and effort that are being put in by those who have taken on responsibility in the administration of the District, notably, W.Bro. S. Ponnaiya, W.Bro. Viji Joseph, W.Bro. D. Rajasekaran, W.Bro. V.J. Bharath and W.Bro. Sukesh Menon, all of whom have worked extremely hard to keep things in order and make sure that the District continues to meet its obligations.

The report of the Executive Council of the District Grand Charity has been printed and circulated to all of you and this report will give you a clear indication of the charity work done by the District and all the financial positions concerning our charities. I must thank our District Steward of Charities W.Bro. S. Sundaresan whose earnest efforts have enabled the Charity Fund to collect Rs. 7,77,906/- as on date.

Brethren I repeat the appeal that I made last year and request each of you to contribute Rs.1,000/- to the Charity Fund each year. So far 11 Lodges have contributed a total of Rs. 5,67,000/- for 2014. I urge the other Lodges to follow their example. Brethren all that I am asking for is less than Rs.3/- per day!!

The Cornwallis Masonic Home continues to remain vacant and every effort is being made to find a suitable tenant. In the meanwhile action is being taken to ensure that the building is kept in good repair.

The next meeting of the District Grand Lodge, which was due to be held in Trivandrum, will now be held here in Chennai in view of the fact that we will be hosting a regional conference of District Grand Masters here in Chennai at that time. The meeting will be held under the banner of John Miller Lodge No.1906.

Mentoring

Brethren, our District Grand Mentor W.Bro. M.S. Duleep and District Grand Orator W.Bro. A.K. Nair continue to give their best efforts for the Brethren of our District and I see from the reports that they are visiting Lodges with regularity.

Brethren I must congratulate all those Brethren who have received active and brevet ranks and I would like to remind them that such ranks are given, not for services rendered in the past, but as encouragement towards even more active participation in all Masonic activities. Brethren I look forward to working with all of you and I trust that I may rely upon your active involvement in all Masonic activities.

Brethren I would like to say special thanks to the Past Deputy District Grand Master, V.W.Bro. S. Sampath whose support and involvement have very greatly assisted me in the performance of my duties. Brethren, V.W.Bro. S. Sampath is not retiring or letting to. He is moving on and has assured me of his continued support and involvement. In fact his work for the next couple of years is cut out for him as he will be in-charge of organizing the Regional District Grand Masters Conference, later this year, and co-coordinating with the Region and the Grand Lodge on all matters pertaining to the Tercentenary celebrations.

Installations

During the last half year I have had the pleasure of attending the Installation meetings of Lodge Cauvery No.3848 on the 5thJuly, 2014 and Lodge Ampthill No. 3682 on the 24th January, 2015. The records of both Lodges were inspected by W.Bro. Sukesh Menon.

I was represented by the following Brethren at the other Installation meetings:

R.W.Bro. K.R.N. Menon

Lodge St. George No. 2532 on 26th September, 2014
Archibald Campbell Lodge No.4998 on 29th October, 2014
Lodge of Perfect Unanimity No.150 on 07th January, 2015

V.W.Bro. S. Sampath

John Miller Lodge No.1906 on 19th November, 2014
Lodge of Universal Charity No.273 on 19th December, 2014
St. Johns Lodge No.434 on 27th December, 2015
Lodge of Rock No.260 on 03rd January, 2015
Pitt Macdonald Lodge No.1198 on 13th January, 2015

W.Bro. Abdul Jifri

Lodge Southern Brotherhood No.3311 on 24th November, 2014
Kerala Lodge No.2188 on 03rd January, 2015
Lodge Quilon No.5839 on 10th January, 2015
Lodge Cochin No.4359 on 24th January, 2015

I would like to thank them for representing me and inspecting records of the Lodges. I would also like to thank W.Bro. Sukesh Menon for inspecting the records of St. George No.2532, Archibald Campbell Lodge No.4998, Lodge of Perfect Unanimity No.150 and Kerala Lodge No2188.

Obituary

Brethren, it is with sadness that I report of the following Brethren having been called to the Grand Lodge above since we last met:

W.Bro. P. Elanchelian, PDGChap, Lodge of Rock No.260 26.07.2014
W.Bro. Dr. N. Vijayakrishnan Nair, PDSGW, Lodge Minchin No.2710 04.08.2014
W.Bro. K. Krishna Pillai, PAGDC, PADGM, Lodge Quilon No.5839 20.08.2014
W.Bro. K. Gopinathan Nair, PDSGW, Lodge Quilon No.5839 15.09.2014
W.Bro. G. Rangachari, PAGDC, PADGM, Lodge of Perfect Unanimity No.150 19.09.2014
W.Bro. T.N. Ramaswamy, PDSGD, Lodge of Rock No.260 20.10.2014
W. Bro. C.N. Vennel, PDJGW, Past Master of Lodge Ampthill No.3682 18.01.2015
Bro. S.Venugopal, MM of Lodge Quilon No. 5839 24.01.2015
W.Bro.P.S.Rou, PDG Std Br, Member of John Miller Lodge No.1906 08.02.2015

Brethren, it was especially sad to lose two of our very senior Masons who were Past Assistant District Grand Masters during this short spell of time and I would request you to please be upstanding to observe a minutes silence in respect and in remembrance of all our departed Brethren.

I once again thank the visitors and their deputations for visiting us on this occasion and I invite them to join me at the festive board following the meeting.

Before I close Brethren a very warm and sincere word of thanks to the Wor.Master, the organizing committee, and all the Brethren of the Pitt MacDonald Lodge for all that they have done to make this occasion most enjoyable and successful.

Last but not least I must place on record my sincere thanks for the support and hard work put in by all those in the District Grand Lodge Office under the guidance of W.Bro. P.B. Shanker, our Assistant District Grand Secretary.

Farewell Brethren till August when we will once again meet here.



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