History of the DGLM
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Leadership

The last millennium closed with a sad note when our All-Loving RW Bro. A.P. Tampi retired as DGM after leading us in Masonry for a few days short of two complete decades.; and soon after was called to the Grand Lodge Above. The new Millennium commenced with RW Bro. K.R. N. Menon accepting the leadership role on 10 February 2001. During that period he was assisted by

Deputy District Grand Masters
W. Bro. S, Chellappa 2001-03
W. Bro. M.A. Chacko 2003-04
W. Bro. P. Mukundan 2004-05
W. Bro. Dr. K.K. Varma 2005-09
W. Bro. T.A. Devagnanam 2009-11
W. Bro. S.Sampath 2011-
Assistant District Grand Masters
W. Bro. K. Krishna Pillai 2001-03
W. Bro. Dr. K.K. Varma 2003-05
W. Bro. G. Rangachari 2005-08
W. Bro. A.I. Kurian 2008-11
W. Bro. D.P. Marshall 2011-12
W.Bro. Abdul Jifri 2012-
District Grand Secretaries
W. Bro. K.V. Srinivasan 2001-06
W. Bro. S.Sampath 2006-11
W.Bro.S.Ponnaiya 2011-

The District Grand Wardens during the period were:

Senior Wardens
2001 W. Bro. D.P. Marshal
2002 W.Bro. C. Abraham
2003 W.Bro. K. Chinnaswamy
2004 W. Bro. G. Ranganathan
2005 W.Bro. M. Gopinath
2006 W.Bro. J.M.I. Sait
2007 W.Bro. Gopichand Kalro
2008 W.Bro. M. Chellappa
2009 W.Bro. Bandhu Chandokh
2010 W.Bro. K.P. Surendran
2011 W.Bro. K. Chandra Mohan
2012 W.Bro.V.Sukumaran Nair
Junior Wardens
2001 W.Bro. R. Ravi Varma
2002 W.Bro. A.E. Mould
2003 W.Bro. Gopal Madhavan
2004 W.Bro. T.V. Krishnamoorthy
2005 W.Bro. Capt. P.R. Datar
2006 W.Bro. Dr. D.V. B.Sundararaj
2007 W.Bro. S. Ponnaiya
2008 W.Bro. A.A. Mukerjee
2009 W.Bro. Dr. K. Vijayakumar
2010 W.Bro. V.D. Sundaravadanam
2011 W.Bro. M. Lakshmanan
2012 W.Bro.S.Sundaresan

The Leadership changed in August 2011 when R.W. Bro. Theo A. Devagnanam took over the reins of the district at the half yearly meeting at Tiruchirapalli.

Membership

During the past decade Membership of the Lodges in the District recorded an increase of 1.98 %. Viewed against the continual fall of membership at an average rate of about 10 % world over , this growth should be considered exceptionally good.

Memebrship on 1-1-2001 1122
Initiations 334
Joining 98
Resignation 221
Exclusion 13
Cessation 89
Death 87
Membership as on 31-12-2010 1144

Honours

W.Bro. K.R. L. Bandey, Lodge Cochin ,was honoured by Queen Elizabeth with the award of MBE.

Dr.M. Krishnan Nair, Lodge Minchin, was awarded Padmasree by the President of india.

Lodge-Wise Membership Movement 2001-2010

Lodge Name No. 1-1-2001 Initiation joining Resignation Exclusion Cessation Death 31-12-2010 Growth Rate %
Perfect Unanimity 150 53 13 5 10   9 2 50 -05.67
Rock 260 69 12 5 11   11 5 59 -14.49
Universal Charity 273 41 23 10 12 2 7 3 50 21.95
St. John’s 434 41 31 3 15 1   6 53 29.27
Anchor of Hope 1093 57 6 2 14 2 0 5 44 -22.81
Pitt Macdonald 1198 83 25 11 23   17 6 73 -12.05
Faith Hope and Charity 1285 49 11 2 4   6 1 51 10.20
John Miller 1906 51 17 2 12   6 1 51 00.00
Kerala 2188 74 14 1 5 5   9 70 -05.40
St. George 2532 54 17 5 14     3 59 09.26
Minchin 2710 95 34 3 11   5 9 107 12.63
Golconda 3249 26 15 5 12   3 1 30 15.38
Southern Brotherhood 3311 80 27 14 8   13 7 93 16.25
Ampthill 3682 67 3 6 8 2 10 4 52 -22.39
Cauvery 3848 50 21 4 14   2 7 52 04.00
Cochin 4359 76 18 5 17 1   4 77 01.32
Archibald Campbell 4998 57 19 8 8   4 4 68 19.30
Quilon 5839 99 28 7 23   2 7 102 03.03
Total   1122 334 98 221 13 89 87 1144 01.96

Jubilees and Centenaries

Four Jubilees / Centenaries were celebrated during the decade:

7 February 2003 Archibald Campbell Lodge Platinum Jubilee
1 December 2006 St. John’s Lodge 170th Anniversary
8 February 2008 Golconda Lodge Centenary
22 August 2008 Lodge of Southern Brotherhood Centenary

FREEMASONRY first arrived in India during the time of the East India Company; Most Lodges of those days were military Lodges, which moved with their Regiments.No details are available in the District Grand Lodge relating to those Lodges. There may be some records available in the Grand Lodge Library. But, for the purpose of this note it would be futile to attempt original research. In respect of those long ago years of the dim and distant past, it would suffice therefore to quote from the work of that great Masonic historian, R F Gould whose “History of Freemasonry” is a standard book of reference of the years from 1752, when Captain Edmund Pascal was appointed the first Provincial Grand Master down to 1866 when this came to be designated “the District Grand Lodge”. This is what Gould has to say.

The first Lodge on the Coromandel Coast was established at Madras in 1752, shortly after that city had been restored to the English under the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. It is described in the lists as “at Madras” in East India and it was first numbered 222, becoming 157 in 1755, 124 in 1770, 101 in 1780, and 102 in 1781,. It was erased from the register in 1790. Canon C H. Malden, in his “History of Freemasonry on the Coast of Coromandel”, thinks that, in all probability, Captain Edmund Pascal, who was appointed Provincial Grand Master for that District on February 27, 1767, founded the Lodge. He was an officer in the English Coast Army, the date of his commission being October 30, 1751. He was also responsible for the foundation, in 1765, of three Lodges, numbered respectively 353, 354 and 355. The first had its location at Madras and the third at Trichinopoly, and Canon Malden thinks that the second worked at Ellore on the East Coast, where there certainly was a Lodge of which G.Westcott was Master for many years.

It was in the Trichinopoly Lodge that the last reigning Nabob of the Carnatic, Omdat-ul-Omrah Bahadur, then the eldest son of the reigning Nabob, was initiated in 1775 by Terence Gahagan, who returned to England in the following year on account of his ill health. He attended a meeting of Grand Lodge held on February 5, 1777 and reported the initiation, stating that Omdat-ul-Omrah Bahadur professed a great veneration for the Society.

It was thereupon resolved that a complimentary letter should be sent to His Highness, accompanied with a Masonic apron, elegantly decorated, and a Book of Constitutions, bound in a most superb manner. This apron and book cost 37 Pounds Sterling.

The letter and present were entrusted to the care of Sir John Day, then going out as Advocate-General of Bengal, who executed his commission to the universal satisfaction of the Society and the following letter was written by him to His Highness as an introduction:

Sir John Day’s Letter

May it please your Highness, -The underwritten (having been honoured with the commands of the Grand Lodge of Masons of Great Britain, to convey to your Highness an apron and Book of Constitutions, as a testimony of their respect for you, and your illustrious father, the steadfast friend and ally of their Sovereign, as well as of the satisfaction they feel at seeing so exalted a name enrolled among their order) intended to have executed the commission with which he is charged in a manner that might best answer the intentions of his constituents, and the dignity and importance of the occasion.

It so happens, however, that the late dissensions in this Settlement have so effectually dissolved the ties of amity and confidence, which once subsisted amongst them, that even the fraternal bond of Masonry has been annihilated in the general wreck.

For this reason the lodge has so long discontinued its meetings that it may be said to be now extinct. In this situation of things, it being impossible to invest your Highness in full lodge, and with a splendour and a solemnity suited to the dignity of your character, and the importance of the commission he is honoured with, the underwritten hopes your Highness will condescend to accept (in the only manner that remains) the pledge of amity and respect from the Masons of Great Britain that accompanies this, and remains, with the most profound respect.

Your Highness’s
Most humble and devoted servant.
JOHN DAY

Omdat-ul-Omrah Bahadur returned an answer to the Grand Lodge of England in the Persian Language, elegantly decorated and enclosed in cloth of gold, which translated is as follows: -

Omdat-ul-Omrah Bahadur’s Letter

To the Right Worshipful His Grace the Duke of Manchester, Grand Master of the Illustrious and Benevolent Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons, under the Constitution of England and the Grand Lodge thereof.

Most honoured Sir and Brethren, – An early knowledge and participation of the benefits arising to our house from its intimate union of councils and interests with the British Nation and a deep veneration for the laws, constitution and manners of the latter, have for many years of my life led me to seize every opportunity of drawing the ties subsisting between us still closer and closer.

By the accounts which have reached me of the principles and practices of your Fraternity, nothing can be more pleasing to the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe, whom we all, though in different ways adore, or more honourable to His creatures, for they stand upon the broad basis of indiscriminate and universal benevolence.

Under this conviction I have long wished to be admitted of your Fraternity; and now that I am initiated, I consider the title of an English Mason as one of the most honourable I possess, for it is at once a cement to the friendship between your nation and me and confirms me the friend of mankind.

I have received from the Advocate-General of Bengal, Sir John Day, the very acceptable mark of attention and esteem with which you have favoured me; it has been presented with every circumstance of deference and respect that the situation of things here and the temper of the times would admit of; and I do assure your Grace and Brethren at large that he has done ample justice to the commission you have confided to him and has executed it in such manner as to do honour to himself and to me.

I shall avail myself of a proper opportunity to convince your Grace and the rest of Brethren that Omdat-ul-Omrah is not an unfeeling Brother, or heedless of the precepts he has imbibed; and that, while he testifies his love and esteem for his Brethren, by strengthening the hands of humanity, he means to minister to the wants of the distressed.

May the common Father of all, the one omnipotent and merciful God, take you into His holy keeping and give you health, peace and length of years.

Prays your highly honoured and affectionate Brother.

OMDAT-UL-OMRAH BAHADUR
Madras
September 29, 1778

This letter is still preserved in the Library and Museum of the United Grand Lodge of England. Unhappily, in later years, when he succeeded to the rule, the Nabob seems to have fallen from Masonic grace and through his inattention to the just claims of dependents upon him much suffering was caused, so much so that, in 1793, the Lodge of Perfect Unanimity, no No.150, recorded:

With respect to the claims of our late Brother on the Nabob, experience has shown that the solemn obligation of a Mason abd tge adnibutuibs if Kidge, have weighted little orphans of a faithful Brother and Servant.

Some year later, Terence Gahagan was the bearer of a personal letter from the Prince of Wales (afterwards George IV) to the Nabob, but, apparently, no notice was taken even of that communication.

Captain Pascal appears to have appointed as Deputy Provincial Grand Master, John Call, who was appointed to the rank of Captain in December 1758 and took a leading part in the siege of Fort. St.George.

It is worthy of recollection that for a short period the Presidency of Madras and its Dependencies were predominant over all the other English settlements in India; and, during the latter half of the eighteenth century, the continuous wars with the French and, afterwards, with Hyder Ali and his son, caused the Carnatic to figure largely in Indian history.

In 1767 a fifth Lodge was warranted at Madras, being described as “of Fort St.George, East Indies.” Its number was first 389, being changed successively to 323, 254 and 255. It did not appear in the List for 1770 and was erased on February 9, 1791.

On January 5, 1768, the Atholl Grand Lodge established a Lodge – No.152 – at Fort St. George, recruited mainly, if not altogether, from officers in the army, which received an impetus in consequence of the break-up of Lodge No.353. This unit seems to have exercised the functions of a Provincial Grand Lodge, in as much as, in addition to building a Masonic Hall, it established a Charity Fund and granted Warrants, or Dispensations, for subordinate Lodges. It was not until 1782, however, that a regular Provincial Grand Master for the Coromandel Coast was appointed by the Atholl Grand Lodge in the person of John Sykes, an attorney-at-law, the Master of Lodge No.152, but the Warrant of his appointment never reached its destination. Prior to that date-at the latter end of 1778-the Master and Past Master of the Lodge had been constituted into a “Provincial Grand Committee for hearing petitions and granting Dispensation for holding Lodges to such Brethren that may apply and be deemed worthy.”

In 1785 there was the expression of a desire for Masonic union on the part of the Atholl Masons in letter to the Earl of Antrim, dated from Fort St. George on July 17, 1785, the Master and Officers of Lodge No.152 wrote:

We cannot but express our deepest concern that Freemasonry should be unhappily divided into two different sects, but the terms of Ancient and Modern, and that their respective laws strictly prohibit a free communication with each other, we wish an union of the Craft could be effected, the principles of both are the same, the difference therefore must be in their manner of conducting the business of their respective societies, which do not appear so essential as to prevent a scheme taking place that would cement the Fraternity in universal harmony, and give it more the appearance of its divine origin, that it at present bears.

On February 20, 1786, the Duke of Cumberland as “Provincial Grand Master for the Coast of Coromandel, the Presidency of Madras and parts adjacent” appointed Brigadier-General Mathew Horne and the Atholl Brethren welcomed his suggestion that they should transfer their allegiance to the older body. They surrendered their Atholl Warrant and a number of them joined the Lodge of Perfect Unanimity, still in existence as No.150, which has existed uninterruptedly since its constitution on October 7, 1786. Although 1786 is the date give in the Masonic Year Book, it is clear from a letter from Horne to the Grand Master of England, dated January 16, 1785, quoted in full in Canon Malden’s History, that he had held the office previously, but Freemasonry generally had been abandoned, owing to the unsettled conditions of the times. General Horne appointed Terence Gahagan as his Deputy Provincial Grand Master. Gahagan had striven hard, in 1784, to secure the higher office, but unsuccessfully. We are indebted to him, however, for a description of the surrender of the Atholl Brethren. In a letter to the Grand Secretary of England, dated October 9, 1786, he says:

I am very happy to inform you that previous to the arrival of the Patent, I made no small exertions in bringing about a Union with a set of gentlemen here who had acted under the Patronage of the Spurious Set who assumed the title of Ancient Masons. My arguments have at length carried conviction, and about three months ago they offered General Horne and me unconditional terms to come under our authority, which we gladly accepted but deferred the execution of it till the Patent arrived, since which General Horne repaired to the Presidency of Madras, tho’300 miles distant (from Trichinopoly), where I met him, and the 5th instant, we visited Prov. Grand Lodge No.152, which was composed of some of the first characters in the settlement, who in a very formal and awful manner surrendered their constitution of York Masons, with all their Jewels, Masonic Implements, & C., to Gen.Horne and me, and solicited our Patronage under the G.L. of England, and on Saturday, the 7th inst a Masonic assembly was convened at a very large elegant House for the purpose of consecrating in due form the new Lodge as well as to proclaim our Authority, which was done in ample form. After a regular procession, we marched round the Hall 3 times with a Band of Music, and then entered in a solemn manner and consecrated devoutly and installed in due form. As the ceremony had never been performed in this part of the world, it was left to my management, and I take no small share of satisfaction to myself in finding that the largest assembly of Masonic Gentlemen, sixty and upwards, attended upon the occasion; and were agreeably surprised, and extremely pleased at the ceremony.

The full programme of the procession is given by Preston, in his Illustrations of Masonry, though he has wrongly placed the year as 1787 instead of 1786.

At this period all the Lodges under the older Grand Lodge of England seem to have been extinct; but, in 1786, the Carnatic Military Lodge, No.488, was established at Arcot. In 1787, four Lodges were added to the roll, viz., Perfect Harmony, St. Thomas Mount; Social Friendship, Madras; Trichinopoly; and Social Friendship, St. Thomas Mount. Two other lodges were already established – Stewards’ and Perfect Unanimity-which, according to the loose practice of those days, were given the places on the list of two earliest Madras Lodges and became, in 1790, No.102 and 233 respectively. The Lodge of Perfect Unanimity is, as already stated, still in existence as No.150, but the Stewards’ Lodge is extinct. The Grand Orient of France and a second, Les Navigateurs Reunis, in 1790, constituted a Lodge of happy nomenclature, La Fraternite Cosmopolite, at Pondicherry in 1786.

Brigadier-General Horne resigned his office as Provincial Grand Master in 1788 on his transfer to Trichinopoly, his resignation being accepted with great regret by the Grand Lodge of England, a regret that was accentuated when he passed away in December 1789. He was buried in the churched at Trichinopoly, where a handsome tablet was erected to his memory.

General Horne was succeeded by John Chamier, a member of the Madras Civil Services, a very enthusiastic Freemason, who held the office until 1804, when he returned to England, where he died in 1810, after holding the office of Senior Grand Warden of England in the previous year. Terence Gahagan, who had been Deputy Provincial Grand Master since 1786, succeeded Chamier. He had waited long for the preferment, which he had sought with much assiduity. In 1812, when he returned to England, where he died in 1814, he appointed Herbert Compton as acting Provincial Grand Master who became his successor. Compton had the distinction of being the first Grand Superintendent of Royal Arch Masonry in Madras, in which office he was succeeded, says Canon Malden, by Richard Jebb, LL.D., although his name is absent from the list of Grand Superintendents as given in the Masonic Year Book, who also ruled over the Province as Provincial Grand Master from 1814 until his death in 1820. Between 1790 and 1812 four Lodges were added to the roll: Solid Friendship, Trichinopoly, 1790; Unity, Peace and Concord, 1798; St.Andrew’s Union, 19th Foot, 1802; and Philanthropists, 94th Foot, Scotch Brigade, at Madras.

Richard Jebb was, of course, the first Provincial Grand Master for the Coast of Coromandel appointed after the Union of the Antient (Or Atholl) and Modern Grand Lodges, but it was not until April 1815 that the official intimation of that Union was received at that outpost. Jebb was succeeded by George Lys in 1820, who, however, was never formally installed and, five years later, Compton again ruled over the Province. The name of this worthy only disappears from the Freemasons’ Calendar in 1842, and with it the provincial title, “Coast of Coromandel,” which was exchanged for that of Madras over which Lord Elphinstone had been appointed Provincial Grand Master in 1840. In 1866 Madras was designated a Distinct instead of a Province, the latter term being reserved for the Provinces in England and Wales.

Between 1814 and 1842 numerous Lodges were warranted locally, but thirteen only, of which seven were in Madras itself, secured places on the London register. There are, at the present time, (1950) thirty-six Lodges on the register of England and five on that of Scotland within the boundaries marked out for the English District, but the introduction of Scottish Lodges into India will be referred to in the ensuing section.

The French Lodge at Pondicherry, Le Fratenite Cosmopolite, was revived (or a new one established under the old title) in 1821. Another, L’Union Indienne, was erected at the same station in 1851. At the present date however, there exist throughout India and its dependencies no Lodges other than those owing allegiance to the Grand Lodges of England and Scotland.

The earliest Minute relating to Royal Arch Masonry occurs in the proceedings of the Lodge of Perfect Unanimity, dated March 4, 1790 and runs:

Read a letter from the Cosmopolitan Lodge at Pondicherry acquainting us of the Zeal they have demonstrated from the Royal Arch by promoting Brothers Robson and Giriffiths to a high degree.

Agreed that a letter be written to Cosmopolitan Lodge at Pondicherry expressive of our attention for the regard they have demonstrated to Brother Griffiths and Robson and further a mark of our attention that we have referred their letter to the Lodge of the Royal Arch.

The Degree, however, was marked in a Chapter attached to the lodge of Perfect Unanimity right from the time of its foundation in 1786, although many years elapsed before a Royal Arch Chapter was regularly warranted on the coast. About 1809 two Chapters were established in Madras-Benevolence and School of Plato-but their Warrants were not issued until December 10, 1811. The first was formed by members of the Provincial Grand Lodge and the second by the members of the Lodge of Perfect Unanimity. In 1811, also, a Chapter, named St.George, which met at Fort St. George, was formed from among the members of the Lodge Carnatic Military, which met as a separate unit until July 1814, when it joined forces with the Chapter of Benevolence. The only Chapter in this trio still in existence is the School of Plato, which, Malden says, may fairly claim to be the oldest Colonial Royal Arch Chapter now on the roll of the Supreme Grand Chapter of England.

The Mark Degree was worked by the Lodge of Perfect Unanimity from August 1856, when the following resolution was adopted.

That the Mark Degree having been sanctioned by the Graand Lodge of England, it be given as a separate Degree in this Lodge to any desirous of it who have taken the degree of Fellow Craft.

The Lodge of Social Friendship also worked the Mark, Ark Mariner and Excellent Master Degrees and had a Knight Templar Encampment attached to it.

Some years back the 18* was worked by two of the Lodges in Madras, I think in Perfect Unanimity and Pilgrims of Light, but without, as far as I can discover, any Warrant from a Supreme Grand Council of the 33*. The Degree has now long ceased to be worked in Madras.

On my arrival from Burma, where I had inaugurated the Leeson Chapter under a Warrant from the Supreme Grand Council 33* for England and Wales. I made every inquiry regarding these Chapters and found that even the working had been incorrect.

There were some interesting local customs, particularly in the Lodge of Perfect Unanimity. When the time for the election of Master came round, the retiring ruler invariably proposed the Senior Warden as his successor. The members then put forward another candidate and the votes of the Brethren were then cast, the candidate securing the majority being, of course, declared elected. He then nominated a Brother to take the office of Senior Warden; the members brought forward a candidate in opposition and the ballot again decided the issue. The same procedure was adopted for the election of Junior Warden, Treasurer and Secretary, but the Master-elect appointed the remaining officers. A similar custom seems to have been followed in St.Andrew’s Union Lodge. The Lodge of Perfect Unanimity seems to have valued Chaplains highly. On November 6, 1792, it admitted the Rev. Richard Hall Kerr, D.D., as an honorary member and, shortly afterwards, he was appointed Grand Chaplain at a monthly salary of thirty pagodas (a pagoda was of the value of about seven shillings). The Provincial Grand Lodge demanded that the names of all candidates should be submitted to that body before any subordinate Lodge could proceed to confer any Degree, a rule that was the cause of much irritation. The following extract from the Minute Book of the Carnatic Military Lodge is somewhat amusing.

Resolved unanimously that henceforward no person exercising the occupation of Gaoler, Bailiff, Turnkey, or any other whose Livelihood arises from being actually and personally employed in restraining the liberty of His Fellow Creatures, be admitted a member of this Lodge, with the exception, (to prevent misconstruction) of any one who being a House-keeper in Madras may be obliged to serve the office of Constable, as parochial duty in his turn, when regularly chosen as such, for the usual terms; an office unavoidable and which every one so situated is liable to; but no Person holding the last mentioned employ as a substitute for another (for hire or otherwise) is by any means to be admitted. Furthermore the exception equally applies to all military men immediately employed as such, whose duties are of that nature, so as to preclude them from always acting according to their own inclination, and who cannot give way to the impulse of their own feelings, or resist the authority by which they are commanded.

The old customs of St.John’s Day in winter and summer, says Canon Malden, were regularly kept. On June 24 and December 27 it was the practice for the Brethren to assemble at sunrise and to open the Lodge. The officers for the ensuing six months were then installed. During the day the meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge was held and attended by the Masters and Wardens of the subordinate Lodges. In the evening the Brethren reassembled, and the business of the Provincial Grand Lodge was reported to those who had no right to attend. At sunset the Lodge was closed, after the usual Masonic toasts had been honoured.

The Lodge of Social Friendship appears to have visited the sins of a wife upon a husband, according to the following extract from its Minute Book:

Brother S having petitioned the lodge for advancement, it was proposed and agreed to and accordingly put to the ballot, whether or not Brother S, should be advanced, or even continued as a member of the lodge, unless he put away his wife, she being convicted of having behaved in a loose and indecent and scandalous manner in various instances, particularly during his absence at Seringapatnam on command. The poll proved against him by 10 to 3, on which he was directed to withdraw, and his name struck out of the lodge.

The Brethren of the District have always been stalwart supporters of the Masonic Institutions and have organized their own local Benevolent Funds. The Civil Orphan Asylum was founded in 1807, as the outcome of a scheme drawn up by Dr.R.H.Kerr and placed before the members of the Lodge of Perfect Unanimity in September 1800.

There is no recording of the happenings between 1840 to 1866 in the above narrative possibly because not much seems to have happened during the provincial Grand Mastership of Lord Elphinstone between 1840 to 1852 nor during that of Robert M.Williamson between 1852 and 1856. In 1856 Colonel Willian Pitt MacDonald was appointed Provincial District Master. During his term, five new Lodges were warranted of which three survive to the present day – Lodge Mount (1862, numbered 826 (1863) and Lodge Bangalore No. 1043 (1864) and Lodge Anchor of Hope No.1093 (1865). Two Lodges were erased – Lodge Emulation, Nagapattinam, in 1868 and Lodge Western Star, Cannanore in 1904.

In 1866 the Provincial Grand Lodge came to be styled as the District Grand Lodge. Colonel William Pitt MacDonald, who was Provincial Grand Master at the time, became the first District Grand Master. When he laid down his office in 1867, a Lodge named after him got its Local and Grand Lodge Warrant and was numbered 1198. In the seven years Arthur Mac Donald Ritchie was District Grand Master (1867 – 1874) events of importance were the election of H.E, the Earl of Mayo as Honorary Member of the District Grand Lodge. Lodge of Perfect Unanimity, No.150 received its warrant of confirmation in 1869 and Lodge of Rock No.260 in 1874. Three new Lodges – Lodge of Faith Hope & Charity No.1285 (1869), Lodge Mayo No.1406 (1872) and Lodge Deccan No.1444 (1873) – were warranted. They continue to flourish to this day.

John Miller became District Grand Master in 1875. He held the office for four years. The most outstanding event during this period was the presentation of an address by the District Grand Lodge to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, the M.W. The Grand Master (afterwards King Edward VII and Protector of the Craft). During his time four new Lodges were warranted but all but Lodge Mysore No.1841 got erased in later years. Lodge Mysore continues to function even now.

The next four years (1879 to 1883) were ruled by Lt.Col.Aubery William Ogilive Saunders. In the year of his appointment, Lodge John Miller No.1906 began to function from Royapuram in Madras under a Local Warrant (Grand Lodge warrant obtained in 1881). To Saunders goes the credit of starting the Madras Masonic Institution (1879). This Institution functioned quite well till 1985 when it was merged into the District Grand Charity established that year to consolidate and coordinate charitable activities in the District.

The most important event in the history of the District, insofar as Indians and the Craft are concerned, took place in 1883. That was the warranting and consecration of Lodge Carnatic No.2031 ‘for the special benefit and convenience of native gentlemen’.

The significance of this event can only be properly appreciated against the background of the prejudice that prevailed till then against the admission of Asiatics into Freemasonry.

Of our English Masonic forbears the Late W.Bro.G E Walker in his Prestonian Lecture captioned “250 Years of Masonry in India” has this to say:

“Bro. Heron Lepper has described the period as ‘a brutal age that had crude ideas about tolerance and humane dealing and general decency of conduct’; and indeed our Founding Fathers were a strange combination of culture and coarseness, rugged individualism and sycophancy, good taste and ostentation; they were chauvinistic and bigoted, truculent and outspoken.

“And if this was the Englishman on his home ground, we can well understand how his natural tetchiness would be aggravated in India by the heat, the humidity, the velvet coats and high neck cloths and the quenching of his thirst by his daily tipple of arrack-punch and a bottle (or more) of Madeira”.

These were the men who brought with them Masonry into India. No wonder they were opposed to letting the dark skinned into their fold.

As has been mentioned at the very beginning of this narration, Omdat-ul-Omrah, the Nawab of Carnatic was the first Indian Mason initiated in 1775. In the next 59 years there is no record of making of any Indian Mason except the one in 1812 of Meer Bunde Ali Khan in Marine Lodge (now No.232) meeting at Portishead, Somerset, England in the face of strong opposition by certain brethren of the Lodge. In 1834 one Ibrahim Purkar was initiated in Lodge of Hope in Ahmednagar and Mohamed Ismail Khan, Ambassador of Oudh in 1836 in Lodge of Friendship No.6 and immediately invested as Past Senior Grand Warden by the Duke of Sussex himself.

Bro.Walker attributes this prejudice against admission of Indians to ‘the class consciousness of the English especially in the Presidency towns which were the seats of Government and where Masonry tended to become dangerously stratified’. Even among themselves, they had what were called ‘Inferior’ and ‘Subordinate’ lodges. Could mentions 13 Non commissioned officers in Bombay who were

“too poor to establish a Lodge of their own and too modest to seek admittance in what they considered an ’aristocratic lodge’. It is also said they were invited to the ‘aristocratic lodge’ as guests but were offered refreshments downstairs – and very properly walked out. This preoccupation with social gradations (it was an English disease not so much a Scottish one) was forfeited in India by the genuine belief that Genesis IX-25 was Scriptural warrant for the superiority of Europeans over all dark skinned people.”

No wonder that notwithstanding the determination of the Duke of Sussex (Grand Master) to make Masonry a genuinely Universal brotherhood, ‘let a man’s religion or mode of worship be what it may’, the attempt to keep out Indians persisted, especially in Bengal where the Provincial Grand Lodge had a byelaw (No.55) which prohibited the initiation of any Asiatic without the Provincial Grand Masters personal approval. Madras does not seem to have had such a byelaw and does not seem to have discriminated expressly against Asiatics. Bombay was progressing, under the Scottish constitution, not English, towards admission of more Indians. Bombay has also the distinction of setting up the first Lodge expressly for the admission of Indians into the Craft-Lodge Rising Star of Western India (1843).

In 1840, on a reference from Dr. John Grant, the Provincial Grand Master of Bengal, the Grand Master, the Duke of Sussex ruled that, ‘provided a man believes in the existence of the Great Architect of the Universe and in futurity and extends that belief likewise to a state of rewards and punishment hereafter, such a person is fully competent to be received as a Brother.’

The final blow to the prejudice against Asiatics fell in 1860’s when the Grand Master struck down byelaw No.55 of Bengal and ruled that ‘It is the privilege of a Lodge, and one which cannot be interfered with, to decide who it will receive-the required formalities being duly observed’.

In the more equable South, even before the happenings in Bengal, Hindus were being initiated without fuss, the first were Bro. Ranganatha Sastry in Perfect Unanimity and Bro. Murugesha Mudaliar in Universal Charity in 1857. Between 1855 and 1869 Universal Charity initiated (besides a Muslim and a Parsee) a Mudaliar, a Chetty, a Pillai, a Naidu, an Iyengar and an Aiyar and Lodge of Rock between 1863 and 1877 initiated seventeen Hindus of seven different castes.

But, says Walker,

‘the increasing entry of Indians into the Craft from 1860’s onwards did not mean that everything was sweetness and light for ever after. Indian Masons are as capable of folly as their brethren beneath the western sky. There were growing pains to be lived through. Besides, the Europeans were clumsy or thoughtless and some Indians understandably touchy.”

One of the most galling things for the Indians was ‘the sorry habit of some mainly European Lodges of denying their few Indian members the Master’s chair. For example, Ranganatha Sastry of PU was Junior Warden 1862 and Senior Warden 1863 but never Master.

One good result of this unbrotherly behaviour was the birth of the Carnatic Lodge No.2031. However, in viewing the past we must, at Walker warns,

‘always beware of applying twentieth century moral judgements to eighteenth century behaviour. We have to understand the difference in circumstances and temperament.’

The Carnatic Lodge was consecrated by the Dy.District Grand Master Arthur Morell Saunders who soon become the District Grand Master (1854).

During Arthur Morell Saunders rule 1884-88) only two lodges were warranted. Lodge Kerala No.2188 warranted in 1886 and Lodge Southern Cross No.2298 in 1889 both happily flourishing to this day.

Lord Connemara, Governor of Madras who became District Grand Master in 1888 ruled only for 3 years and during his time, in 1888, Lodge Pandyan No.2356 got a local warrant.

Lt. Col. G. M. J. Moore, who succeeded Lord Connemara in 1891 ruled till the close of the century and added six lodges to the District viz., Lodge St. George No.2532 (1894) Lodge Coorg, No.2576 (1895), Lodge Waltair No. 2522 (1895) Lodge Moore No.2710 (1896), Lord Minchin No.2710 (1897) and Lodge United Services No.2736 (1898). Of them only Lodge Moore got erased in 1903.

Thus by the close of the century there were 20 Lodges functioning in the District.

The new century started under good auspices with the appointment of Lord Ampthill (Governor of Madras) as the District Grand Master. It was during his time that the District Grand Lodge made a big move from the modest Masonic Hall in Vepery to Mount Road, thanks to the generosity of the Lodge of Perfect Unanimity and the support of Lord Ampthill. The PU handed over its premises at Mohamed-e-Bagh at Pudupakkam, Mount Road to the District Grand Lodge for a consideration of only Rs.5000 in cash and Rs.75000 in debentures on which interest was payable only on Rs.10000, the balance of Rs.65000 being free of interest. This self-effacing sacrifice of PU in the larger interests of the Institution should be especially noted as it has a bearing on later developments in regard to the present Freemasons Hall. The building was then renovated at a cost of Rs.15000.

Lord Ampthill was succeeded by Herbert Bradley as District Grand Master (1906-10). In that period two lodges were warranted – Lodge Southern Brotherhood No.3311, (1908 ) and Lodge Salem No.3400, Salem (1909), both of which are flourishing to this day.

In 1910, Sir Murray Hammick became the District Grand Master. Only one of the four Lodges warranted during his time now remains viz., Lodge Ampthill No.3682.

Llewellyn Edison Buckley’s tenure as District Grand Master (1914-21) was quite eventful notwithstanding the World War I. The District Grand Lodge office was moved from Mount Road to rented premises in Egmore and after moved into the present premises in Commander-in-Chief Road. It used the building, which presently houses the DGL offices as the Temple. An important event that took place during his time was the visit of HRH the Duke Connaught, M.W.Grand Master to a District Grand Lodge meeting held at the Banqueting Hall Madras in 1921. Lodge Cauvery No.3848 Tanjore was warranted in 1918 and Lodge Cochin No.4539, Cochin in 1921.

Archibald Campbell succeeded Buckley in 1922. By that time plans to build a new and large temple at Commander-in-Chief Road were ready and in 1923 its foundation stone was laid by H.E.Lord Willingdon, Governor of Madras. In the same year, the foundation stone was also laid for a new Masonic hall at Tanjore for Lodge Cauvery No.3848 and that building too was dedicated later that year.

Archibald Campbell’s term was as eventful as it was long-twelve years. It can be termed also the Decade of Building. For following on the heels of Lodge Cauvery, Lodge Minchin No.2710, Trivandrum and Lodge Ampthill No.3682, Coimbatore built and dedicated their temples in 1927 and 1928 respectively. Again in 1928, the Ghoshamahal Baradari in Hyderabad (Deccan) was dedicated and consecrated. The New Freemasons Hall at Commander-in-Chief Road was opened by H.E.Viscount Goschen, Governor of Madras on 27th February 1925 and dedicated by the District Grand Master. In 1928 a deputation of the UGLE visited Madras for a long sojourn of almost three weeks. The other notable events of his term were the consecration of three new Lodges- Archibald Campbell No.4998 and Lodge Annamalai No.5015 (1928) the former happily in existence and active. The crowning piece was the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Carnatic Lodge No.2031 on 25th October 1933.

George Townsend Boag, who succeeded Archibald Campbell, was the last Englishman to adorn the throne of the District. He ruled for a decade from 1936 to 1946. His term may be rightly called the Decade of Jubilees, for as many as twelve Lodge celebrated their Jubilees. (Lodge Kerala No.2188 – Golden (1936); Waltair No. 2592 – Silver (1937); St. Johns No.434 – Centenary (1937); Murary Hammick No.3636 – Silver, (1938); Mysore Lodge No.1841 – Diamond (1938); Southern Cross No.2298 – Golden (1939); Lord Ampthill No.3682 – Silver (1939); John Miller No.1906 – Diamond (1941); Lodge Cauvery No.3848 – Silver (1943); Lodge Goodwill No.465 – Centenary (1944); Universal Charity No.273 – Centenary (1946). Also during his time buildings of Salem Lodge No.3400 and Lodge Pandyan No.2359 were dedicated in 1936 and 1939 respectively. One new Lodge, Lodge Quilon No.5839 was consecrated in 1941. In consequence of the War, the District Grand Lodge moved to Kilpauk in 1942 and returned to Freemasons Hall in 1946.

It is to be noted that between 1941, and 1961 only one new Lodge – Lodge University No.7690 was consecrated. This, it would appear, was not only because of the war but also because of the goings on in connection with formation of a sovereign Grand Lodge for India.

This point of time in the history of the District can be truly called the end of an epoch and the beginning of a new one. Just as George Boag was the last Englishman to adorn the throne of the District, Muthukrishnan Aiyar was the first Indian to become District Grand Master. But for the intervention of World War II, the District may perhaps have had a couple of more Lodges. But that was not to be. With the advent of Indian Independence, a pall of uncertainty seems to have hung over the growth of Freemasonry under the UGLE. The last Lodge to be warranted by UGLE in India was Lodge University No.7690 in 1960.

Tiruchandurai Venkatraman Muthukrishna Aiyar, ascended the throne in 1947. He verily seems to have been the man of destiny for the District Grand Lodge of Madras. It was due to his determined and inspiring leadership that the District Grand Lodge survived 1961 and remained strong and vibrant. His role in that crisis is detailed in the article. The 1961 ballot resulted in 19 out of 37 lodges opting in favour of GLI and in Madras city 4 out of 10.

From all accounts making the rounds, he was highly respected and feared by all, more especially the Englishmen who prevailed in the District during most years of his rule. He seems to have been such a keen and observant DGM that if he had not made note of a brother, the latter was considered just unlucky. His wit and knowledge are reputed to have held the brethren of the District in utter awe.

During his term, the District has had its full share of glory and joy in that there were many jubilees. Among them: Lodge Minchin No.2710 – Golden Jubilee (1947); Lodge Pandyan No.2356 Diamond Jubilee; Archibald Campbell Lodge No.4998 – Silver Jubilee (1954); Waltair Lodge No.2592 – Diamond Jubilee (1956); Lodge Kerala No.2188 – 70th year (1956); Lodge Minchin No.2710 – Diamond Jubilee (1957); Lodge Salem No.3400 – Golden Jubilee (1958); Lodge Justitia No.3457 – Golden Jubilee (1960); Lodge John Miller No. 1906 – Platinum Jubilee (1961); Lodge Anchor of Hope No.1093 – Centenary (1966) and Lodge Quilon No.5839 – Silver Jubilee (1966). Lodge Cochin dedicated it’s building on 23rd January 1966.

‘Muthanna’, as the brethren endearingly called him, personally attended most of these functions in addition to visits to Lodges on occasions. He was called to the Grand Lodge above on 9th October 1967.

To Muthukrishna Aiyar goes the credit for the institution of what is called “Bar Stewards Dive” which is currently very popular among the brethren and can be said to be unique to this District, the like of which does not exist anywhere else. It started as a small conclave of senior brethren close to the DGM to retire from labour to refreshment. More brethren were admitted in due course with the express permission of the DGM. The Bar Stewards Dive has a very expressive ritual emphasising camaraderie and charity.

TVM was succeeded by another eminent Indian those days – Lt.Col.Gurdial Singh Gill. The “Colonel” as he was endearingly called was of a very kindly disposition, averse to clashes. The most difficult problem he had to face was the aggressive demands of the RGL in respect of the Masonic property in Madras. The basic understanding in the formation of the GLI was that properties owned by Lodges would go with the Lodges and that the side owning the property would make it available for the use of the other side on non-discriminatory terms. In Madras the majority of Lodges (6 to 4) opted to remain under the UGLE and the 6 included Lodge of Perfect Unanimity, which, as has been recorded earlier, had provided the bulk of funds for the acquisition of the property. The property should logically have remained with the English Constitution. The RGL although originally content to receive a share or the cash assets reversed its stand and staked a claim for part ownership of the buildings. They rushed to the court with a suit pressing this claim. Col.Gill was unlike TVM and did not relish a conflict. On the advise of some members of the District Board of General Purposes, who were in both camps and who perhaps feared that leading members of the judiciary were top ranking members of the RGL, Col.Gill yielded to a compromise. The original proposal to form a Trust with two trustees from the DGL and one from the RGL was later watered down to one from each, albeit with majority of 4 to 3 infavour of the DGL in the Premises Committee, which was to administer the property.

But otherwise the relationship between the DGL and the RGL till recently has been without friction.

During Col.Gill’s time (1967-80) the District had its share of Jubilee celebrations and happy Investiture and half-yearly meetings. Lodge Kerala No.2188 celebrated its 80th year in 1967; Lodge Pitt MacDonald No.1198 its Centenary in 1967; Lodge Golconda its Golden Jubilee in 1968; Lodge & Chapter Southern Brotherhood No.3311 its Golden Jubilee in 1969;Lodge Minchin No.2710 its Platinum Jubilee in 1972 Lodge Ampthill No. 3682 its Diamond Jubilee in 1974; Lodge Kerala No.2188, again, its 90th Anniversary and John Miller Lodge .

D.J.Carpenter, PM. Nos. 150 & 7891, P.Pr.SGD (Sussex)

My recollections of Madras District begin and end in the 1950s.

In those days there were 36 Lodges in the District, in place of the present 18, since the Grand Lodge of India was not inaugurated until 1961.

The ritual worked was Emulation, though many Brethren developed a liking for the Nigerian Ritual (now defunct), which, because of its descriptive annotation, then enjoyed special though unofficial popularity. From time to time the District organised festivals in which a ceremony or lecture was worked by a varied team drawn from all the Madras Lodges. Thus the Master might be drawn from Lodge A, the S.W from Lodge B, the J W from Lodge C, and so on. These festivals were admirable opportunities for developing friendships between Brethren of different Lodges. Also from a District point of view, they promoted uniformity of working throughout the District.

In this period, Madras had few hotels to provide venues for Masonic dinners. The Connemara Hotel was about the only one conveniently near to Freemasons’ Hall, though the Oceanic was also tried. Often the Brethren would repair to the Madras club (the ‘new’ one opposite St.George’s Cathedral). The important thing in those prohibition years was that the venue should include a ‘permit room’ for those entitled to imbibe alcoholic drinks. Thus although Freemasons’ Hall had (still has?) kitchens and cooking facilities, they were then very considerably underused.

In the 1950s there were many European Brethren in Madras, and it was customary for them to go on U.K. leave during the hot weather (May – September) leaving their Lodges to operate with the few Brethren remaining. I can recall being raised in December 1950, made Steward at the P.U Installation in the following January, and then asked to serve as acting unpaid Junior Deacon from May to September while the official J.D enjoyed his U.K. vacation. The same thing happened in subsequent years. We certainly were given early encouragement to get to grips with the ritual and be prepared to assume any office at a moment’s notice. In P.U, the hot whether absences got so pronounced that the Lodge altered its byelaws to abolish meetings between May and September.

At this time, three Lodges – Perfect Unanimity No.150, Pitt Macdonald No.1198 and St. George No.2532 – were European in composition, but with the development of India as an economically independent country these have now found good and capable Indian Masons to carry on old traditions.

- D.J.Carpenter, PM. Nos. 150 & 7891, P.Pr.SGD (Sussex)

C F M Baldwin, PDJGW (Madras)

I was initiated in the Lodge of Perfect Unanimity on the 6th December 1948 and I well remember the impressive manner in which the initiation ceremony was conducted by W.Bro. J.A.Mickelson.

Not long after I became Secretary of the Lodge, when it was explained to me that it was an unwritten rule that members of PU had to serve as Secretary before being elected to the Master’s Chair – so the sooner the better1 I eventually became Master in 1956, and then again in 1964.

As regards my Madras District activities, I was appointed D G Supdt. Of works in 1965 and 1966 (acting rank) and P D Junior Grand Warden in 1980. As a District Officer I very much enjoyed attending meetings of District Grand Lodge, not least when we met at Cochin, and other locations outside Madras, and the social arrangements were always most enjoyable.

Reverting back to my Perfect Unanimity days it was customary to open the Lodge at 8 a.m. in the morning of Installation days and then call off-followed by breakfast at the Connemara Hotel, which included consumption of Kippers and Brandy. After retiring from India, as a Director of Parry & Co., I on several occasions brought out Kippers from the U.K. so that the custom could be continued. I thought this was worth a mention in lighter vein1

I very much enjoyed visiting Madras in September 1991, and attending a Meeting of the Lodge of Perfect Unanimity, and am hoping to visit again later this year probably in September. In the meantime, may I convey to the District Grand Lodge of Madras my most cordial greetings on this historic occasion of the 225th Anniversary, which I am sure, will be a highly successful and a memorable occasion.

Sincerely and fraternally,
C F M Baldwin, PDJGW (Madras)

Harold Hayman, OBE, PADGC, PDG Swd.Br. (Madras)

I came to South India in May 1944 having been posted to the Queen Victoria’s Own Madras Sappers and Miners Depot in Bangalore arriving as a raw Lieutenant and an even newer Fellow craft Freemason, having been initiated into the Lodge of Joppa No.188 in the February of that year. My stay in Bangalore was short, but I remember vividly my introduction to Freemasonry in India—a visit to Lodge Southern Brotherhood No.3311. Little did I know at that time what influence the District Grand Lodge of Madras would have on my Masonic career.

Returning to India as a Civilian after hostilities had ended, I passed through Madras in 1949 and was entertained as a visitor by Brother George Hambling at The Lodge of Perfect Unanimity No.150. No. Masonic Indophile could fail to have been impressed by the History of this Lodge and the part its early Brethren played in helping to bring peace and order into South India. I was therefore delighted to be accepted as a Joining Member when in 1954 I was posted to Madras. Sadly, ICI saw fit to re-post me to Calcutta in 1957, but not before PU honoured me with the Mastership of the Lodge, ICI, thankfully, had second thoughts and returned me to Madras in 1960 where I remained until my retirement from India in 1965.

My memories are far too numerous to be recorded here, but all of them are happy ones:

...That inspite of Brother Rudyard Kipling’s “We dursen’t give no banquets lest a Brother’s caste were broke…” I recall with delight the installation Banquets at the Connemara Hotel, where there were full Vegetarian and non-vegetearian menus, often washed down in those prohibition days with copious drafts of Bangalore Beer and Parry’s Gin1.

...Of Opening Lodge PU Installation Day at 8.00 a.m.; carrying out all items on a Agenda prior to the installation Ceremony, Calling off, going to Breakfast all the Connemara and eating kippers specially imported for the occasion!

...Of the District Grand Master of beloved memory, R W Bro.T V Muthukrishnan Ayyar, well into his ninth decade, being wheeled into District Grand Lodge by an Assistant District Grand Director of Ceremonies, Wor.Bro.‘Bunny’ Austin, who was familiarly known as the District Grand Nursemaid, and whose pleasure it was to attempt to run the wheelchair into my back as I carried the DGM’s Sword into the Temple!

...At the great pleasure in the District when, in 1961, the majority of Lodges decided to remain under the auspices of the Grand Lodge of England, and the support and assistance afforded by the District, its Officers and Staff to the infant Regional Grand Lodge of Southern India.

...Of the dignity of the District Grand Lodge Meetings, particularly when held up-country, where the Brethren pulled out all the stops, to ensure that the impression which their guests took back with them was one of pride in their hosts.

...And finally, of the friendship shown to me and to other ‘strangers in a strange land’, by our Indian Brethren.

May Freemasonry continue to flourish in South India and in peace, and may the Masonic District of Madras continue until time with us shall be no more.

...My warmest fraternal greetings to all Freemasons in the District, particularly those who remember

Harold Hayman, OBE, PADGC, PDG Swd.Br. (Madras)

The most important event, however, took place in 1978, when the then, R.W the Deputy Grand Master, R W Bro.Rt.Hon. Lord Cornwallis accompanied by Lady Cornwallis paid an official visit to the District between 15th and 19th November. He attended the installation meetings of John Miller Lodge, Madras and Lodge Southern Brotherhood, Bangalore. The brethren of the latter took the distinguished visitors on a sight seeing tour and entertained them at a Ladies Nite.

In 1980, R W Bro. Sir James Stubbs the Grand Secretary and Lady Stubbs visited the District between 25th and 30th November. They went round to Bangalore, Ooty and Cochin. In Bangalore, R W Bro. Stubbs attended a meeting of Southern Brotherhood. Likewise he attended a meeting of Lodge of Faith Hope and Charity No.1285 followed by a Ladies Nite in honour of Lady Stubbs.

Col. Gill laid down his office as DGM in December 1980. On 10th May 1982 he was called to the Grand Lodge above.

The undaunted spirit of TVM and patient endeavours of Col.Gill enabled the District to emerge unscathed by the division of 1961. If anything the District grew in stature and strength developing exemplary discipline and pride, zeal and enthusiasm. The annual and half-yearly meetings increasingly became occasions of great decorum and dignity and, literally, festivals of fraternal union.

R.W. Bro. Arumana Parameswaran Tampi who succeeded Lt. Col. Gurdial Singh Gill as District Grand Master in September 1981 ruled the District with grace and distinction for two decades until he resigned his office, in January 2001, on account of advancing years. In 1997 R.W. Bro. Tampi was conferred the Grand Master’s Order of Service to Masonry, the first recipient in the District of Madras of this coveted honour restricted to about 10 distinguished Masons in the entire World, a well-deserved recognition of two decades of devoted service to Masonry in general, and to this District in particular.

During his stewardship of the District many milestones were reached such as the merger of all the separate District Charities into one District Grand Charity Fund Trust (1985), a visit by M.W. Bro. Rt. Hon. Lord Fiennes Cornwallis Pro Grand Master in 1986 when he attended a number of Lodge Meetings in the District and more particularly graced the bi-centenary celebrations of the Lodge of Perfect Unanimity and in this connection, unveiled a commemorative plaque at Freemasons’ Hall, in November 1986.

In 1988 Rt. Wor. Bro. A.P. Tampi was felicitated on his completing 50 years in Masonry and that year also saw the District’s first Newsletter named “The Coromandel Courier” launched. In that year also R.W. Bro. Tampi installed R.W.Bro. Archibald Edwards as R.W. District Grand Master of Bengal.

In 1994 M.W. Bro. Rt. Hon. Barry Lord Farnham, Pro Grand Master, accompanied by Lady Farnham visited the District. In 1995 R.W. Bro. Tampi’s 84th birthday was celebrated.

In 1998 during R.W. Bro. Tampi’s eventful tenure, the foundation stone for the Senior Citizens’ Masonic Village was laid by M.W. Bro. Lord Cornwallis ably assisted by R.W.D.G.M. and Lord Cornwallis most graciously permitted the proposed facility to be named after him.

He was succeeded in February 2001 by R.W. Bro. Kumar Ravindra Nath Menon, who was, until his installation as DGM, the District Grand Secretary for a period of five years preceding. R.W.Bro. Menon has launched the District into the information age by promoting this Website and is determined to preserve the ancient landmarks of our order, while giving it modern vestments and more open communications.

We march forward with confidence towards our third centennial in this Masonic District of Madras which extends from Hyderabad in the Deccan to the State of Kerala.

Chronological Table Of Important Events In The History Of Craft Freemasonry In The Madras District


1752 Warrant for a Lodge at Madras in East Indies. Erased in 1790 1765 Warrant for Lodge No. 1, Madras, Broke in 1777.
1765 Warrant for Lodge No.2, Madras (Ellore) Erased in 1791.  1765 Warrant for Lodge No.3, Trichinopoly, Erased in 1791 1767 Warrant for a Lodge Fort St. George, Erased in 1791.
1767 Captain Edmund Pascal appointed Provincial Grand Master 1768 Warrant for Atholl Lodge No.1, Provincial, Fort St. George, Warrant surrendered, 1786. Nawab Umdut-ul-Umra initiated in Lodge No.3,Trichinopoly. Local Warrant for Atholl Lodge, A Lodge, Ist Battalion 2 Regiment. not registered.
1779 Warrant for Atholl Lodge, St.Thomas Mount. Warrant surrendered, 1786.
1781 Warrant for Atholl Lodge, Provincial Grand Lodge, Fort St.George.
1786
  • Brigadier-General Mathew Home appointed Provincial Grand Master.
  • Amalgamation of Atholl and Regular Lodges in Madras.
  • Local Warrant for the Steward’s Lodge, Freemasons Hall, Madras.Extinct 1790.
  • Grand Lodge Warrant for the Lodge of Perfect Unanimity, 1 (Local Number), Numbered 150 in 1863.
  • Grand Lodge Warrant for Lodge Carnatic Military, Arcot, Erased 1813.
  • Grand Lodge Warrant for Perfect Harmony, St.Thomas Mount,    Erased 1813.
1787
  • Grand Lodge Warrant for Lodge of Social Friendship, Madras, whose number was given to Lodge Rock, in 1820.
  • Grand Lodge Warrant for Lodge No.V(Local Number). Coast of Coromandel.
  • Grand Lodge Warrant for Lodge of Social Friendship. Coast of Coromandel. Erased 1862
1788 Brigadier-General Mathew Horne, Provincial Grand Master, Died at Woriyur, Trichinopoly.
1789 John Chamier appointed Provincial Grand Master.
1790 Warrant for Lodge of Social Friendship, Trichinopoly.Erased 1803.
1795 Local Warrant for Lodge Strength and Beauty, 1, Vellore Not recorded in Grand Lodge.
1798 Grand Lodge Warrant for Lodge Unity, Peace and Concord, Not Stationary. Left Madras, District 1824.
1799 Local Warrant for Lodge St.Andrew Union. 19th regiment, foot, now the Green Howards, Madras. Grand Lodge Warrant, 1802. Erased 1813.
1801 Local Warrant for Lodge of Philathropists, Scotch Brigade. 94th Foot, Madras, Grand Lodge Warrant,1802. Erased 1813
1803 Local Warrant for Lodge of Unity and Friendship, 33rd Regiment Vellore. Not recorded in Grand Lodge.
1806
  • Local Warrant for Travancore Union, Quilon. Not recorded in Grand Lodge.
  • Terence Gahagan appointed Provincial Grand Master.
1810 Local Warrant for Lodge St.Andrew’s Chepauk Not recorded in Grand Lodge.
1811 Warrant for Lodge-of Universal Charity, Madras.
1812
  • Herbert Compton appointed Provincial Grand Master.
  • Local Warrant for Lodge of United Friendship, Madras. Not recorded in Grand Lodge.
  • Local Warrant for Lodge St.Patricks.
1813
  • Local Warrant for Lodge of Fortitude and Perseverance, Cannanore. Grand Lodge Warrant 1820. Erased 1839.
  • Local Warrant for St.Davids Lodge, Madras. Not recorded in Grand Lodge.
  • Provincial Grand Lodge presented an Address to the M.W. the Earl of Moira, Past Acting Grand Master, on arrival at Madras as Governor General.
1814 Richard Jebb appointed Provincial Grand Master. Lodge Carnatic Military United with Lodge St.Andrew’s becoming Lodge St.AndrewsUnion
1816 Local Warrant for the Lodge of Rock, Trichinopoly. Given Number of Social Friendship In 1820. No.260 in 1868.
1819
  • Local Warrant for Lodge of Social and Military Virtue, Madras, Grand Lodge Warrant, 1863.
  • Local Warrant for Lodge of Honour and Humanity, Madras. Grand Lodge Warrant 1836. Erased before 1863.
1820
  • George Lys appointed Acting Provincial Grand Master.
  • Local Warrant for Lodge St.John, Secunderabad. Not on Register Grand Lodge until 1836. Warrant of confirmation, 1868.
1822 Local Warrant for Lodge Hibernia and Union, Quilon. Grand Lodge Warrant, 1836. Erased before 1868
1823
  • Local Warrant for the Corinthian Lodge, Cannanore. Grand Lodge Warrant,1836. Erased 1862.
  • Lodge St.Andrew’s Union, united with Lodge St.Patricks becoming Lodge St.Andrew’s and St.Patricks Union. Erased 1832.
1826 Herbert Compton appointed Provincial Grand Master.
1830
  • Local Warrant for Lodge Oriental Star. Grand Lodge Warrant,1845. Suspended by Provincial Grand Lodge, 1841. Erased 1832.
  • Local Warrant for Lodge Neilgherry, Ootacamund. Grand Lodge Warrant, 1835, Erased 1862.
  • Lodge Universal Charity went into abeyance.
1836
  • Duplicate Warrant for Lodge Universal Charity, Madras.
  • Local Warrant for Lodge Goodwill, Bellary. Grand Lodge Warrant, 1840. Number 445 in 1863.
1837 Local Warrant for Lodge Armenia, Armenian Street, Madras. Grand Lodge Warrant, 1840. Erased 1862.
1839
  • Government grant of a site near Cappers for the New Masonic Temple.
  • Foundation-stone laid for the New Masonic Temple on the Beach near Cappers by Lord Elphinstone.
1840
  • Local Warrant for the Cantonment Lodge, Bangalore. Grand Lodge Warrant, 1842. Erased 1862.
  • (John) Lord Elphinstone, Governor of Madras, appointed Provincial Grand Master,
1847
  • Warrant of Confirmation for Lodge Universal Charity, Numbered 273 in 1863.
  • George and William Lodge No.328 S.C. was opened in Fort St.George.
1849 Grand Lodge Warrant for Lodge Pilgrims of Light, Madras Broke up 1851. Erased 1862
1852 Robert H.Williamson appointed Provincial Grand Master.
1856 Colonel Wm.Pitt Macdonald appointed Provincial Grand Mast afterwards styled District Grand Master.
1861 Local Warrant for Lodge Emulation. Nagapattinam, Grand Lodge Warrant, 1863, Erased 1868.
1862 Local Warrant for Lodge Mount, St.Thomas Mount, 1862, Number 926 in 1863.
1863
  • All the Lodges then existing re-numbered.
  • Local Warrant for Lodge Bangalore, Primrose Road, Grand Lodge Warrant 1864, No.1043.
  • Local Warrant for Lodge Western Star, Cannanore. Grand Lodge Warrant 1865, No.1049. Erased 1904.
1866
  • Local Warrant for Lodge Anchor of Hope, Wellington, Nilgiris. Gran( Lodge Warrant, 1865, No.1093.
  • Provincial Grand Lodge Styled District Grand Lodge.
1867
  • Local and Grand Lodge Warrant for Lodge Pitt Macdonald, Madre:No.1198.
  • A special meeting of the District Grand Lodge to help. His Excellency Lord Napier in laying the foundation-stone of the Presidency College Arthur MacDonald Ritchie appointed District Grand Master.  His Excellency the Earl of Mayo elected as Honorary Member of the District Grand Lodge.
1869
  • Local and Grand Lodge Warrant for Lodge Faith, Hope and Chan Ootacamund, No.1285.
  • Warrant of Confirmation for Lodge of Perfect Unanimity No.1 50.
1872 Local and Grand Lodge Warrant for Lodge Mayo, Secunderabad No. 1406.
1873 Local and Grand Lodge Warrant for Lodge Deccan, Chudderghat, No. 1444.
1874 Warrant of Confirmation for the Lodge of Rock, No.260 1875 John Miller appointed District Grand Master.
1875 District Grand Lodge presented an Address to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, the Most Worshipful Grand Master(Afterwards King Edward VI and protector of the Craft).
1877 Local Warrant for Lodge Southern Cross, Palayamcottai, Grand Lodge Warrant, 1878, No.1758. Warrant eaten by Whiteants,1886. Erased 1888.
1878
  • Local Warrant; for Lodge Coromandel, Kakinada. Grand Lodge Warrant February 1079. Erased 1908.
  • Local Warrant for Lodge Mysore. Grand Lodge Warrant, August 1876. No. 184 1.
1879
  • Local Warrant for Lodge Prudentia, Nagapattinam. Grand Lodge Warrant 1880, No.1859. Erased 1908.
  • Lieut. Col.Aubrey William Ogilvie Saunders appointed District Grand Master.
  • Local Warrant for Lodge John Miller, Royapuram, Madras. Grand Lodge Warrant 1881, No.1906.
  • Madras Masonic Institution started.
1883 Local Warrant for Lodge Carnatic, Mount Road. Grand Lodge Warrant,1884. No.2031
1884 Arthur Morell Saunders appointed District Grand Matter.
1886 Local and Grand Lodge Warrant for Lodge Kerala, Calicut No.2188.
1888
  • Local Warrant for Lodge Southern Cross, Palayamcottai. Grand Lodge Warrant, 1889. No.2298.
  • Lord Connemara (Governor of Madras) appointed Distinct Grand Master.
  • Local Warrant for Lodge Pandyan, Madurai. Grand Lodge Warrant, 1890 No.2356.
1891 Lieut. Col. G.M.J.Moore appointed District Grand Master.
1894 Lodge St.George, Madras No.2532, Warranted.
1895 Lodges Coorg, No.2576, and Waltair, Visakhapatnam, No.2522 Warranted.
1896 Lodge Moore, No.2604, Warranted. Erased 1903.
1897
  • Lodge Minchin No.2710, Trivandrum, Warranted.
  • Lodge St Andrew’s transferred to Bombay.
1898 Lodge United Service, Bangalore, No.2735, Warranted.
1901 (Arthur) Lord Ampthill appointed District Grand Master.
1906
  • Herbert Bradley appointed District Grand Master.
  • District Grand Lodge Office removed from Vepery to Mount Road.
1908 Lodge Southern Brotherhood No.3311, Bangalore, warranted.
1909 Lodge Salem, No.3400, Salem, warranted.
1910
  • Sir Murray Hammick appointed District Grand Master.
  •  Lodge Justitia, No.3457, Madras, warranted.
1911 Lodge Burroughs Strange, No.3565, Vijayawada, warranted.
1912 Lodge Murray Hammick, No.3636, Chittor, warranted.
1913 Lodge Ampthill No.3682, Coimbatore, warranted.
1914 Liewellyn Edison Buckley appointed District Grand Master.
1916 District Grand Lodge Office removed to Freemasons’ Hall, rented building, Egmore.
1918 Lodge Cauvery No.3848, Tanjore, warranted.
1919
  • District Grand Lodge Office removed to temporary Freemasons’ Hall, Egmore.
  • Peace Celebration by all the Madras Lodges.
1921
  • H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn. The Most Worshipful Grand Master, visited the District Grand Lodge at the Banqueting Hall, Madras.
  • Lodge Cochin, No.4359, Cochin, warranted.
1922
  • Archibald Young Gipps Campbell appointed District Grand Master.
  • The Madras Masters’ Lodge No.4487, Madras, warranted.
1923
  • Foundation-stone laid for the New Masonic Hall, Tanjore.
  • His Excellency Lord Willingdon, Governor of Madras, laid the foundation-stone of the New Masonic Temple at Madras (26th February)
  • The building of the Lodge Cauvery No.3848 was dedicated.
  •  The Madras Masters’ Lodge No.4487, consecrated.
1924 Warrant of Confirmation for the Coorg Lodge No.2576 (5th November)
1925 His Excellency Viscount Goschen, Governor of Madras, opened the New Freemasons’ Hall building (27th February).
1925 Warrant of Confirmation for the Mysore Lodge, No.1841 (19th June).
1926 Warrrant of Confirmation for the Lodge of Burroughs Strange, No.3565 (5th May).
1927 The Building of the Lodge Minchin No.2710, was dedicated (4th March).
1928
  • Visit of the Deputation from the United Grand Lodge of England to the Madras District (28th January to 16th February).
  • Dedication of the building of the Lodge Ampthill No.3682 Coimbatore (7th February).
  • The Archibald Campbell Lodge No.4998, Consecrated (15th February).
  • The Lodge Annamalai No.5015, consecrated (24th March).
1933
  • Opening and dedication of the Goshamahal Baradan, Hyderabad Deccan (8th February).
  • The Carnatic Lodge No.2031 , celebrated Its jubilee (27th October).
1934 George Townsend Boag appointed Distinct Grand Master.
1936
  • The Kerala Lodge No.2188, celebrated its Jubilee (1st October).
  • The Building of the Salem Lodge, No.3400 was dedicated (21st October).
1937
  • The Waltair Lodge No.2592, celebrated the Silver Jubilee of the Hamilton Memorial Masonic Temple (21st August).
  • The St.John’s Lodge No.434, celebrated Centenary (27th December).
1938
  • The Murray Hammick Lodge No.3636, celebrated its Silver Jubilee (26th February).
  • The Mysore Lodge No.1841, celebrated its Diamond Jubilee (15th October).
1939
  • The Southern Cross Lodge No.2298, celebrated its Golden Jubilee (1 6th September).
  • The Building of the Pandyan Lodge No.2536, was dedicated (30th December).
  • The Lodge Ampthill, No.3682, celebrated its Silver Jubilee (23rd August).
1941
  • The John Miller Lodge No.1906, celebrated its Diamond Jubilee (18th March).
  • The Quilon Lodge No.5839, consecrated at Bangalore under a Provisional Warrant (23rd August).
1942 Freemasons’ Hall removed to Kelly’s Road, Kilpauk (8th April).
1943
  • The Lodge Cauvery No.3848, celebrated its Diamond Jubilee (24th July).
  • The Carnatic Lodge No.2031, celebrated its Diamond Jubilee (18th December).
1944
  • The Lodge of Goodwill No.465, celebrated its Centenary (22nd January).
  • Assistant District Grand Master appointed for the first time (19th February).
1946
  • Freemasons’ Hall moved back to Commander-in-Chief Road, Egmore (26th August).
  • The Lodge of Universal Charity No.273, celebrated its Centenary (20th December).
  • Tiruchendurai Venkatarama Muthukrishna Aiyer appointed District Grand Master.
1947
  • The Minchin Lodge No.2710, celebrated its Golden Jubilee (23rd August).
  • The Lodge Anna malai No.5015, was revived (18th November).
1950 The Pandyan Lodge celebrated its Diamond Jubilee (23rd September).
1954 The Archibald Campbell Lodge celebrated its Silver Jubilee (27th October).
1955
  • Dedication of the Building of Lodge Cochin (21st May).
  • The Waltair Lodge No.2592, celebrated its Diamond Jubilee (20th August) 70th Year Jubilee of the Kerala Lodge No.2188 (20th October) The Minchin Lodge celebrated its Diamond Jubilee (7th December) The Salem Lodge celebrated its Golden Jubilee (23rd January) The Golconda Lodge celebrated its Golden Jubilee (26th February) The Lodge Justitia celebrated its Golden Jubilee (12th November) The John Miller Lodge No. 1906, celebrated its Platinum Jubilee (1 5th March).
1961 Grand Lodge of India Constituted. Lodges of Madras District which opted to affiliate: Goodwill No.465; Mount No.926; Bangalore No. 1043; Mayo No. 1406; Deccan No. 1444; Mysore No. 184 1;  Carnatic No.2031; Southern Cross No.2291; Pandyan No.2356; Coorg No.2576; Waltair No.2592; United Service No.2735; Salem No.3400; Justitia No.3457;  Burroughs Strange No.3565; Murray Hammick No.3636; Madras Masters No.4487; Annamalai No.5015; University No.7690. The Lodge Anchor of Hope No.1093, celebrated its Centenary (12th August).
1966
  • The Lodge Quilon No.5839, celebrated its Silver Jubilee (12th November).
  • R.W.Bro. TV.Muthukrlshna Iyer, D.G.M., called to the Grand Lodge above on 9th October.
1967
  • The Lodge Kerala celebrated the 80th Year Jubilee (7th January).
  • Lt.Col.G.S.Gill, CIE,OBE.IMS (Retd.), installed District Grand Master (11th February).
  • W.Bro.S.Chadwick was invested as Deputy District Grand Master (11th February).
  • W.Bro.S.Chadwick, Deputy District Grand Master called to the Grand Lodge above on 24th August.
  • Lodge Pitt Macdonald No.1198, celebrated its Centenary (10th October).
  • W.Bro.G.Morley invested as Deputy District Grand Master (15th November).
1968 Golden Jubilee celebrated by Lodge Golconda No.3249 (23rd February).
1969 Diamond Jubilee Celebration of Lodge and Chapter Southern Brotherhood, No.3311 (13th September).
1970 The Dedication and Consecration of New Temple of Lodge Ampthill (6th January).
1972 Platinum Jubilee celebrated by Lodge Minchin No.2710 (October).
1974 The Lodge Ampthill, 3682 Celebrated its Diamond Jubilee.
1976 Lodge Kerala No.2188 celebrated the 90th Anniversary on 2nd October.
1978 R.W.Dy.Grand Master R.W.Bro.Hon.Fiennes Cornawalis, O.B.E., D.L paid an official visit to this District between 15-19 November 1978 and Attended the Installation Meetings of John Miller Lodge No. 1906 and Lodge Southern Brotherhood No.331 1.
1979 W.Br.G.Morley, Deputy District Grand Master called to the Grand Lodge above on 11 th December.
1980
  • W.Br.S.S.Koder invested as Deputy District Grand Master (9th February).
  • R.W.Bro.Sir James & Lady Stubbs visited this District between 25th 30th November.
  • Centenary Celebration of John Miller Lodge No.1906 on 22nd December.
  • R.W.Bro. Lt.Col. G.S.Gill resigned as DGM (December).
1981
  • W.Bro.A.P.Tampi installed District Grand Master on 11th September.
  • W.Bro.S.S.Koder invested as Deputy District Grand Master on 11th September.
  • Assistant District Grand Master’s office revived. W.Bro.C.Rajaraman invested as Assistant District Grand Master on llth September.
1982
  • Diamond Jubilee Celebration of Lodge Cauvery No.3848 (loth April) R.W.DGM unveiled a Tablet and also a photograph of R.W.Bro. Lt.Col.G.S.Gill, PDGM.
  • R.W. Bro.Lt. Col.G.S. Gill PDGM, called to Grand Lodge above (10th May 1982).
  • Platinum Jubilee celebrated by Lodge Southern Brotherhood No.3311 on August 11, 1984 along with the half-yearly meeting of the District Grand Lodge Colloquium held on the theme “Me & Freemasonry” Proceedings published.
1985
  • Centenary celebrated by Lodge of Faith, Hope and Charity No.1285 on 9th August,1985 along with the half-yearly meeting of the District Grand Lodge. Workshop held on select Masonic topics.
  • District Grand Charity set up by merger of various Charity Funds of the District on 9th February, 1985.
  • Lodge Ampthill No.3682, Annexe to the Temple opened by R.W. the DOM on 20th April, 1985.
  • Lodge Cochin celebrated W.Bro.S.S.Koder’s completion of 50 years in Masonry (27th April, 1985).
1986
  • M.W. Grand Master H.R.H. the Duke of Kent, was honoured with the Distinction of Knight of the Garter by Her Majesty the Queen. M.W.Bro. the Rt.Hon. Lord Cornwallis, O.B.E., DI., M.W. the Pro.Grand Master United Grand Lodge of England and Lady Cornwallis visited the District of Madras between 15th and 20th November,1986.
  • M.W.Bro.Rt.Hon.Lord Cornwallis attended the meetings of the Anchor of Hope Lodge No. 1093, Wellington and The Lodge of Faith Hope and Charity No.1285, Ootacamund on 17th November, 1986. He also met the Brethren of the Lodge Ampthill No.3682 Coimbatore and the Brethren of the Lodge Cochin No.4359, Cochin at the halts during his journey.
  • M.W.Bro. Rt. Hon. Lord Cornwallis attended the meeting of the Kerala Lodge No.2188, Calicut and joined the Centenary Celebrations. He inaugurated the new Hall and unveiled the Centenary Plaque on 18th November 1986.
  • M.W.Bro.The Rt.Hon.Lord Cornwallis attended the Bi-Centenary Meeting of the Lodge of Perfect Unanimity No.150. He also declared open the reno vated air-onditioned Temple No.3 and unveiled a BiCentenary Tablet.
1987
  • W.Bro.C.Rajaraman was invested as Deputy District Grand Master 14th February.
  • W.Bro.TA.Devagnanam was invested as Asst.District Grand Master 14th February.
  • M.W.Frank Gamblin, Past Grand Master of Western Australia attended the Disthct Grand Lodge Half-Yearly Meeting, held at Calicut on 12th September,1987.
  • W.Br.TA.Devagnanam and W.Br.M.S.Chintamani were present at the Annual Investiture Meeting of the United Grand Lodge of England on 29th Apdl, 1987
1988
  • R.W.Bro.A.P.Tampi was felicitated on his completion of 50 years of Masonry on 12th February,1988 at Freemasons’ Hall, Madras.
  • The first issue of the District Newsletter ‘Coromandel Courier’ was released on 12th February,1 988.
  • The Lodge Ampthill No.3682, celebrated the Platinum Jubilee of the Lodge which coincided with the District Grand Lodge Half-Yearly Meeting under banner on 13th August,1988 at Coimbatore.
  • W.Bro.T.A.Devagnanam, Asst.District Grand Master attended the Annual Convocation of the Grand Lodge of Western Australia on 31 st October,1988.
  • R.W.Bro.A.P.Tampi installed R.W.Bro.Archibald Edwards as Distinct Grand Master of Bengal at Calcutta on Ist April,1989.
  • R.W.Bro.A.P.Tampi unveiled the Portrait of the M.W.Grand Master H.R.H. the Duke of Kent in the premises of Freemasons’ Hall, Madras on 18th May, 1989. This is the first portrait of a Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge adorning the walls of Freemasons’ Hall, Madras.
1989
  • W.Bro.T.A.Devagnanam, Asst.District Grand Master called to the Grand Lodge above on 14th October.
  • W.Bro.George Gnanadickam, District Grand Secretary attended Grand Lodge Communication on 13th December. Met the Grand Secretary and was later taken through the different departments of Grand Lodge.
1990 W.Bro.S.Chellappa invested as Asst.District Grand Master on 10-2-90.
1991 The Lodge of Rock No.260 celebrated its Centenary on 9-8- 91 at 1996.
1992
  • W.Bro.P.Mukundan invested as Dy. District Grand Master on 8-2-1992.
  • The District Grand Lodge celebrated its 225th Anniversary.
  • The United Grand Lodge of England celebrated its 275th Anniversary.
  • The United Grand Lodge of England withdrew recognition of the Grand Lodge of India.
1993
  • Chapter Benson No.1093 celebrated its Centenary on 13-8-93. Unveiled a Commemorative tabel.
  • Chapter Pitt Macdonald No.1198 celebrated its Centenary on 16-10-93.
1994
  • M.W.Bro. the Rt.Hon.Lord Farnham and Lady Farnham accompanied by W.Bro.J. M. Hamill attended a function hosted in their honour by the City Lodges at the Taj Coromandel Hotel in Madras. The RWDGM was in attendance.
  • M.W.Bro. the Rt.Hon.Lord Farnham attended a meeting of Lodge Southern Brotherhood No.3311 on 2-3-94 at Bangalore and  meeting of the Lodge Cochin at Cochin on 3-3-94.
1995
  •  Lodge St.George No.2532 celebrated its Centenary on 14th January’95-RWDGM unveiled a Commemorative tablet. R.W.Bro.J.K.Chande, RWDGM. of East Africa was present.
  • RWDGM completed 84 years in September an event called  “Sahasra Chandra Darshana” (Thousand Moons). The four Lodges in Kerala viz., Kerala Lodge No.2188, Lodge Minchin No.2710, Lodge  Cochin. No.4359 and Lodge Quilon No.5839 jointly hosted a Gala get together at Kovalam, on 28th October attended by RWDGM and Mrs.Tampi. A large gathering of brethren from the four Lodges were present.
1996 On 9th January, Lodge Pitt Macdonald gifted a mobile X-Ray  Machine costing Rs.65,000 to Blue Cross of India, a society devoted to the care and treatment of sick and wounded animals. RWDGM attended the function and handed over the equipment. Later that evening  he attended the Installation Meeting of the Lodge. W.Bro.G.Swaminathan was invested as Asst.DGM on 10th  February. The District Grand Lodge of Madras Annual Investiture Meeting/ Convocation was for the first time held outside Madras, the venue being Ootacamund. (8th February, 1997) W.Bro.M.S.Chintamani invested as Deputy District Grand Master  and W.Bro.Mathews Philip invested as Asst.District Grand Master at the DGL Annual Investiture Meeting held on 8-2-1997.
1997
  • Tiruchirapalli along with the D.G.L. Half-Yearly meeting.RWDGM was felicited on his having completed 10 years as DGM.
  • R.W.Bro.A.P.Tampi, District Grand Master was conferred the ‘The Grand Master’s Order of Service to Masonry” a first for this District, and the presentation was made on behalf of the MWM by R.W.Bro. Fulford Dobson Sir John Welch, accompanied by V.W.Bro. Captain MichaelFulfodn Dobson, at a memorable function held in Bangalore. “Coromandel Courier’ – revived after a gap of five years with issue No. 11 of September 1997.
1998 An Especial Convocation of the District Grand Lodge of Madras was held on 25th October 1998 at Bangalore under the banner of Lodge Southern Brotherhood No.3311 at which M.W.Bro. The Rt.Hon.Lord Cornwallis, Past Pro Grand Master and R.W.Bro A.E.G.Gilbert, District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of Bombay and Northern India attended. 
The ceremony of laying the foundation stone for the Senior Citizens’ Masonic Village at Boilahalli, Bangalore was performed by M.W.Bro.The Rt.Hon.Lord Cornwallis ably assisted by R.W.Bro.A.P.Tampi, O.S.M. District Grand Master, District Grand Lodge of Madras.
Present also at this solemn ceremony were R.W.Bro.A.E.G. Gilbert, Lady Cornwallis and a large gathering of Brethren and their wives.
1999 W.Bro.K.R.N.Menon, PAGDC, District Grand Secretary attended the Quarterly Communication of United Grand Lodge of England on 8th September,1999  .Bro.K.R.N.Menon was well received by M.W.Bro.The Rt.Hon.Farnham, Pro Grand Master.
2000 R.W.Bro.A.P.Tampi, O.S.M. resigned as DGM (December).
2001 W.Bro.K.R.N.Menon installed District Grand Master on 10th February. W.Bro.S.Chellappa invested as Dy DGM on 10th February. W.Bro.K.Krishna Pillai invested as Asst DGM on 10th February.
2002
  • DGL connected to Internet on 29-1-2002 and placed on website
  • R W Bro J W Daniel, Past Grand Secretary and W Bro T J Lewis visited Chennai between 7th to 9th May 2002 Masonic And Heritage Buildings Trust was established 3.7.2002 to facilitate renovation of Madras Freemasons’ Hall Trust property as well as other Masonic and Heritage Buildings. R.W.Bro.K.R.N.Menon, R.W.District Grand Master, accompanied by W.Bros K.V.Srinivasan, DGS and B.Balaji Singh, DG D of C proceeded to Mumbai and installed W Bro Dorab Cowasji Bajan as the Grand Superintendent and District Grand Master of Bomaby and Northern India on 27th and 28th September 2002 respectively.
  • United Grand Lodge of England accorded restoration of recognition (which was withdrawn in 1992) to Grand Lodge of India on 11th December 2002.
2003
  • R.W.Bro. A.P.Tampi, O.S.M. Past District Grand Master called to the Grand Lodge above On 31 st January 2003.
  • Archibald Campbell Lodge No. 4998 Celebrated its Platinum jubilee.
  • Celebration on 7th February 2003. R.W.Bro.D.C.Bajan, R W District Grand Master of Bombay and Northern India with his deputation, was present and attended the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations, W Bro.Dr.James Campbell, grandson of Sir Archibald Campbell (IPM of the Middlesex Lodge No 143) was present and attended the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations.
  • W Bro M.A.Chacko invested as Dy DGM on 8th February 2003.
  • W Bro Dr.K.K.Varma invested as Asst DGM on 8th February 2003.
  • August : Golconda Lodge hosted the DGL Half-Yearly Meeting at Secunderabad, attended by more than 275 Brethren.  The R.W.Regional Grand Master, R.W.Bro. Dr.B.Biswakumar attended with a deputation after a gap of more than 12 years.
  • November : DGM visited London – called on Pro Grand Master M.W. Bro. Lord Northampton, Asst. Grand Master R.W. Bro. David Kenneth Williamson and Grand Secretary V.W. Bro. R.A.H. Morrow and also visited some Lodges and Chapters in Warwickshire and Wales (SWWD).
  • The Asst. Grand Master, R.W. Bro. Williamson, accompanied by V.W. Bro. Morrow, Grand Secretary attended the installation of M.W. Bro. Arun Chintopanth as  M.W. Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of India at Bangalore, and later visited the headquarters of the District and met with RWDGM and Senior Brethren.
  • Lodge Golconda requested the Asst. Grand Master, whose Grand-father was an initiate of that Lodge, to accept an Honorary Membership of the Golconda Lodge which R.W. Bro. Williamson was pleased to accept.
  • The opportunity was taken to hand over the keys of the new Regional Grand Lodge Office at F.M. Hall Chennai, built by donations of the members of the English Craft through the Masonic Heritage Buildings Trust in the presence of the visiting dignitaries from the U.K. to the Regional Grand Master, R.W. Bro. Dr. B.Biswakumar.  The Chairman, Premises Committee, Wor. Bro. S.L. Chitale hosted the lunch that  followed.
2004
  • February : The Annual Investiture Craft Meeting was held under the banner of Lodge Pitt Mcdonald at the Taj Coromandel Hotel attended by more than 280 Brethren, as well as by the Representative of the R.W. Regional Grand Master of Southern India, R.W.Bro. Prabhat Kumar.  A grand banquet followed the meeting.
  • March : The ground-breaking ceremony for the CORNWALLIS SENIOR CITIZENS HOME was performed in Bangalore by W.Bro. M.S. Chintamani, Past. Dy. D.G.M, in the presence of a number of Brethren of Lodge Southern Brotherhood, and members of the Executive Council of the D.G. Charity.
  • Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, E.Comp. K.R.N. Menon was offered the Honorary Membership of Chapter Amity, in the Province of Warwickshire which he was pleased to accept.
  • An air-conditioned Dining Hall at the F.M. Hall was inaugurated by the initiative and contributions of the Pitt Macdonald Lodge, assisted by the Archibald Campbell Lodge and Lodge Universal Charity.
  • By the contributions of the Masons of the District through the Masonic Heritage Buildings Trust, a sum of about Rs.40 Lakhs was donated to effect various improvements in the F.M. Hall, Chennai, such as the RGL Office, Asst. Secretary’s Quarters, Kitchen, Air-conditioning of Dining Hall, and other infrastructure requirements of stand-by power, power systems, sanitation, water treatment, rain water harvesting etc.  With the earlier contributions by the Brethren of GLI on the building and its superstructure, the F.M. Hall is now an excellent example of our fraternal co-operation, and is of great benefit to the Brethren of all Constitutions of the City.