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Theo Devagnanam
Greetings Brethren,
11.08.2018

I trust that all of you are comfortably accommodated and I am sure that the Cauvery Lodge is taking good care of you. It is always a pleasure to get together at our District Grand Lodge meetings and these gatherings are made more special when there is a major event, such as a centenary to be celebrated. I warmly welcome R.W.Bro. Abraham Markos, The Regional Grand Master of The Regional Grand Lodge of Southern India and his team of officers. No stranger to us, R.W.Bro. Markos is a member of our District but is, however, visiting us for the first time as the Regional Grand Master for Southern India. Welcome R.W. Bro. Markos and please join us at the banquet after the meeting. I extend an equally warm welcome to W.Bro. Ganeindran Sinnathamby, Asst. District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of Eastern Archipelago who is visiting us from Kuala Lumpur.

I invite you and your officers to join us at the festive board after the meeting. Also a warm welcome to V.W.Bro. Pichumani Venkatraman, PGSwdB, Deputy District Grand Master, who is here representing R.W.Bro. Percy Driver, District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of Bombay.

At the Annual Investiture meeting of Grand Lodge V.W.Bro. Dr. David Staples took charge as the Grand Secretary. We have sent him a message offering our congratulations and wishing him success.

In commemoration of the completion of 50 years as Grand Master, a bronze bust of the Grand Master, sculpted by Frances Segalmann, has been put on display in the Kent Room of Freemasons Hall in London.

A few months ago an article, derogatory to Freemasonry, was published in The Guardian newspaper in the UK. The Grand Lodge, supported by the various Provincial Grand Lodges, responded very strongly by taking out full page advertisements in the major daily newspapers in the UK and by holding meetings with the press and the public in various provinces. The entire campaign was most successful as is evidenced by the greatly increased interest in the UGLE website. The Grand Lodge has encouraged all District Provinces to establish more contact with the press and the public and to educate them on the benefits of Freemasonry so that such disreputable articles about Freemasonry are not published.

In recent times Freemasonry has been faced with a new challenge that of gender reassignment. The Grand Lodge has done a lot of work on this issue and now have come up with clear guidelines or rules on this subject. These have been circulated to all the Lodges and I strongly recommend that every single member of our District makes himself familiar with these rules as the subject of gender reassignment can be extremely sensitive and the last thing that any Lodge needs is for any of its members to be treated insensitively.

The District Grand Lodge continues to function well and our finances are sound. The rental of Cornwallis Home has given us a steady stream of income to continue our charitable activities and the District Grand Charity has been busy in identifying and catering to the needs of those in distress. Since we last met I had the honour of presenting the 50 year lapel pin and citation to W.Bro. Gopal Madhavan and my illustrious predecessor R.W.Bro. K.R.N. Menon both at meetings of the Archibald Campbell Lodge. I would like to congratulate both of them, once again, and thank them for the service they have rendered to Freemasonry and for the wonderful celebrations we had at these meetings.

Brethren, I am very happy to inform you that our District Grand Mentor and our District Grand Orator have been extremely busy visiting various lodges and conducting various programmes. The programmes being conducted are of great interest are an education in themselves. I would request the Worshipful Masters of all Lodges to please take advantage of their dedication and further spread Masonic knowledge throughout the District.

I am sure you will all agree to what I have said after having seen the performance we had this morning.

My congratulations to W.Bro. M.S. Duleep who was awarded with the grand rank at the Annual Investiture meeting in London in April this year.

I had the pleasure of attending the installation meetings of

Lodge Anchor of Hope No.1093 14th February 2018
Lodge of Faith Hope & Charity No.1285 10th March 2018

The records of these Lodges were inspected by W.Bro. Sunil Koliyot and W.Bro. T.P. George respectively.

I was represented at other installation meetings by the following Brethren who also inspected the records of these Lodges:

V.W.Bro.Abdul Jifri, Dy DGM Kerala Lodge No.2188 06.01.2018
Lodge Quilon No.5839 13.01.2018
Lodge Cochin No.4359 20.01.2018
W.Bro.D.Rajasekaran, ADGM Pitt Macdonald Lodge No.1198 09.01.2018
Lodge Rock No.260 06.01.2018
Lodge of Perfect Unanimity No.150 12.01.2018
W.Bro.Chanduru Rajubettan Lodge Ampthill No.3682 20.01.2018
W.Bro.N.Madhusudan Golconda Lodge No.3249 02.02.2018
W.Bro.Sukesh Menon Lodge Minchin No.2710 03.03.2018

It is with grief that I inform you that we have lost ten of our Brethren since we last met. They are:

W.Bro.V.R.Krishnan Nair, PDJGW, Lodge Minchin No.2710 25.02.2018
W.Bro.Km.Venkatachalam, PSGD, Pitt Macdonald Lodge No.1198 10.03.2018
Bro.V.K.Rajaram, MM, Lodge Anchor of Hope No.1093 17.03.2018
W.Bro.S.K.Pillai, PDJGW, Lodge Minchin No.2710 02.04.2018
Bro.Ram R Lulla, MM, Lodge Ampthill No.3682 08.04.2018
W.Bro.K.V.Shankar, PDG Std Br, Lodge Cauvery No.3848 09.04.2018
Bro.M.R.Dilip Kumar, MM, Lodge Quilon No.5839 04.06.2018
W Bro. S.M.Nadkarni, PDJGW, Lodge Southern Brotherhood No:3311 06.07.2018
W.Bro. Dr. K.Janardanan, PDJGW, Lodge Kerala No:2188 21.07.2018
Bro. K.J. Ramasamy, MM, Lodge of Perfect Unanimity No.150 25.07.2018
Bro.C.Thomas, MM, Lodge Minchin No.2710 07.08.2018

Brethren, please be upstanding to observe a minute’s silence in their memory.

Brethren, our collective thanks are due to W.Bro. Ilango Raphael, District Grand Secretary, W.Bro. Viji Joseph, District Grand Treasurer, and W.Bro. P.B. Shankar and the entire team at the DGL Office for all that they have done to ensure the smooth functioning of the office and the general administration of the District. Our thanks are also due to W.Bro. Sukesh Menon, President, District Grand Charity, W.Bro. Sunil Koliyot, District Grand Director of Ceremonies and V.W.Bro. S. Sampath, President of the Board of General Purposes, and Chairman of the Premises Committee, where he has been actively ensuring that the Madras Freemasons Hall Trust is managed well.

Until we meet under the banner of Lodge Faith Hope & Charity in February, 2019, Brethren, I wish you God Speed.

Archives

Message for July 2011

Brethren,

It’s time to say ‘farewell’ – as this will be my last message as your District Grand Master – and as you will have my worthy successor installed in this Chair, next month.

I have conveyed more than one hundred such thoughts since it was first launched on our website in January 2003, with messages to the end of 2007 having been reproduced in a volume, and distributed to as many Brethren as asked for a copy, with a contribution of Rupees Fifty only each, for our Charity Fund.

My address at the last District Investiture Meeting in February in Chennai conveyed all my thoughts and completed tasks, and which anticipated my demitting office, as I had by then, already indicated to the Rulers of our Grand Lodge, my desire to step down, when I was still in good health. To depart when one is too ill to hold this prestigious office was not an option I wished ever to exercise, and as I had already accomplished all the tasks and objectives I had set out on assuming office in 2001 – it was time to bid good-bye.

I do not, however, propose to fade out into the good night, but will continue to participate in such Masonic activities, as my Lodges of which I have been a subscribing member for more than four decades, may require and to continue to make a daily advancement in Masonic knowledge.

My successor Bro. Theo Devagnanam, will be the fifth District Ruler since Independence, and by far the youngest to hold this office. I am sure you will all render him your unadulterated loyalty and support to continue the efforts to put the District of Madras, and its Masonic achievements up there with the best in the fraternity. Bro. Theo brings with him not only relative youth but a well-recognised record as a successful corporate chief, and above all, a solid record in charitable initiatives. May the GAOTU bless him, his charming lady Vasanthi and the Brethren of this District who have all given me their love and affection. Any success that has devolved upon the District as a Masonic enterprise has been almost entirely due to those sentiments having been translated into harnessed team-work by its Brethren. Thank you one and all !