|District Grand Lodge Of Madras
Address of RWDGM at the Half Yearly Meeting on 11th August 2012 at Thanjavur
Welcome to Thanjavur, the seat of Chola Empire and the home of our Lodge Cauvery. I am sure that the Brethren of Lodge Cauvery have spared no efforts in making all of you comfortable in the various accommodations. This Lodge will, hopefully, celebrating centenary in the next few years and I am sure we shall all look forward to wonderful celebration in Thanjavur again.
Rather unfortunately the Regional Grand Master of the Regional Grand Lodge of Southern India R.W. Bro. Retnaraj Sushilraj has been unable to join us on this occasion but he has very kindly deputed R.W.Bro. S. Chandrahasan , Past Deputy Regional Grand Master to represent him and I take this opportunity to extend a very warm welcome to R.W.Bro. Chandrahasan and his delegation and invite them to participate in our festivities after the meeting.
Turning to Masonic matters
Grand Lodge - I had the pleasure of attending the Annual Investiture meeting of the United Grand Lodge in London in April this year. I am very pleased to inform you that on April 25, 2012 M.W.Bro. His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent was elected as M.W. Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England for the 45th consecutive year, and may the Great Architect of the Universe long time preserve.
During the Annual Investiture meeting V.W.Bro. S. Sampath was promoted to the rank of Past Grand Sword Bearer which entitles to him to the, “V.W.Bro.”. W.Bro. J. Raja Kalifullah was appointed as Past Assistant Grand Registrar, W.Bro. Abdul Jifri as Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies and W.Bro.K. Ravindran as Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies. I take this opportunity to congratulate them on the honours that they have received and I look forward to working closely with all of them in the future.
The situation with the Grand Lodge of France appears to have deteriorated since I last addressed you on this matter. While the instructions issued when recognition of the GLNF , by the UGLE was suspended last September, will remain in force and I must inform you that the Board of General Purposes has decided to recommend, in its report to the September Quarterly communication of the Grand Lodge, that it would be in the best interests of the UGLE to withdraw its recognition of the GLNF.
Should any of our Lodges have members belonging to both Grand Lodges I would encourage them to decide on resigning from all Lodges under any one of the two Grand Lodges.
Nothing, however, need be done until after the Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge in September.
The Grand Lodge continues to place great emphasis on the subject of mentoring and during the quarterly communication of Grand Lodge on 14th March, 2012 amendments to Rule 104(a) and (d) were approved. Basically Rule 104(a) was amended to include the mentor as a regular officer of every Lodge. The amendment to Rule 104(d) concerns the precedence for investiture of the mentor who shall be invested after the Charity Steward and before the Senior Deacon.
It is in the interest of our District, and Freemasonry in general, that everyone of our 18 Lodges renews their efforts to succeed with the mentoring programme by specifically appointing a mentor as a regular officer of a Lodge and that the mentors attend the District Mentoring meetings and sessions in order to be able to build a sound structure and develop a good flow of information which are crucial to the success of this programme.
The DGL Office will send a circular in this regard and the Lodges are requested to have the Collar Jewels for the mentors made well before their next installation. Incidentally the mentor’s jewel is two chisels in saltire.
The mentoring activities in our District are being managed by W.Bro. M.S. Duleep and W.Bro. T.V. Srinivasan and I request all the Lodges to make best use of their knowledge, their enthusiasm, their time and their efforts, as it is only by paying attention to this scheme that we will be able to promote the interest of Freemasonry in our District.
District Grand Lodge Affairs
In February this year we attended our 100th meeting, to be held under the banner of a private Lodge, in Chennai. The system has certainly worked well over the years and we would like to see it continue.
I am very pleased to say that we have been able to build on our relationship with our sister constitution and harmony between the Brethren of both constitutions is currently excellent. The R.W.Regional Grand Master of the Regional Grand Lodge of Southern India attended our annual investiture meeting.
In February W.Bro. Abdul Jifri was appointed and invested as the Assistant Grand Master and I once again wish him happiness and success in this position.
During the last six months two of our Brethren W.Bro. K.V. Kunhammed and W.Bro. R. Ramachandra completed 50 years of unbroken service to Masonry and were presented with the suitable citations and lapel pins.
District Grand Charity News:
The Bangalore International Airport Limited, in February this year sent us a letter stating that they would terminate the lease on the Cornwallis Home building although it still had a year to run. We have advised them that, under the terms of agreement, the lease cannot be terminated and they would have to continue to pay rent until the expiry of the lease in February next year. We are now waiting for a response from them.
The other activities of the Trust, which are primarily scholarships and medical relief, have been explained in detail in the Half Yearly report of the District Grand Charity.
The affairs of the Freemasons Hall are in the good hands of W.Bro. K.V.Srinivasan as Chairman of the Premises Committee. During the last six months the R.W. Regional Grand Master and I, as trustees of the Madras Freemasons Hall Trust, attended two meetings of the Premises Committee and were able to assist the Committee in certain important matters.
The auditorium is now being rented for functions for activities during the day and the income from that will be made available for the maintenance of the premises.
The building requires extensive repairs and this whole matter is receiving the attention of the Committee.
I was able to attend four of the last eleven installation meetings and was represented at the others by W.Bro.A.C.Patel, W.Bro. A.I. Kurian, W.Bro. S. Sampath, W.Bro. Sukesh Menon, W.Bro. D.P. Marshall, W.Bro. V.J. Bharath and W.Bro. K. Chandra Mohan. I thank these Brethren for so willingly given of their time and effort to represent me at those meetings.
It is always sad to place on record the names of those Brethren who were called to the Grand Lodge above since our last meeting. They were;
W.Bro. K. Gopakumar
W.Bro. C.T.O.A. Wright
W.Bro. P. Mukundan
W.Bro. Dr. Shiraz Kareem
W.Bro. K.Vellappan Pillai
W.Bro. A.S. Subbaiyan
Bro. S. Ponnudurai
W.Bro. Dr. Ninan Kuruvilla
Brethren I request all of you to stand and observe a minute of silence in their memory.
Before I close, Brethren, I must place on record my grateful thanks to W.Bro. Sukesh Menon for the tremendous amount of time and effort that he has put into travelling with me to attend various meetings and his untiring efforts in directing our meetings and ceremonies. My sincere thanks are due to W.Bro. N.D. Achiah and W.Bro. S. Ponnaiya, together with Bro. P.B. Shankar and his team of District Grand Officers, for the huge amount of time and effort they devoted to mentoring the affairs of the District.
Brethren, with that I shall now bid you all farewell till our next meeting in February, 2013.