The Pitt Macdonald Lodge
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Pitt Macdonald Lodge

The Pitt Macdonald Lodge, No.1198
( Chennai )

Date of Warrant: October 25, 1867. Meets: Second Tuesday every month Except in February and August when meeting is on Fourth Tuesday. Election: December. Installation: January.

Officers For 2018 - 2019 (Installed: 09th January, 2018)
Worshipful Master P.Rajnarayanan
Senior Warden E.C.Kurian
Junior Warden Venkatesh Hariharan
Chaplain S.Manoj Babu
Treasurer K.M.Sukumaran
Secretary Prasd I Menon
Director of Ceremonies Georges L.C.Baekelmans
Almoner G.Dijendranath
Charity Steward Kishore Reddy
Mentor P.S.Varghese
Senior Deacon  Premkumar Kora
Junior Deacon Sankaran Menon
Asst.Director of Ceremonies V.Surendran Menon
Asst.Secretary A.Sudarsanam
Inner Guard Sridhar Chandrasekar
Steward V.Periannan
Steward A.C.Shaiju
Steward A.Krishnananda Pai
Tyler Gopi Vijaya Kumar
Members
G.S.Gay D.C.Goodlad
C.K.Prabhakaran (1986,87 & 91) P.S.Varghese (1990)
Suresh Muthaiya (1992) Jacob Xavier
K.M.Sukumaran (1996) Sabbir K.Dhanaliwala (1999)
T.V.Srinivasan (1994 & 95) Gopi Vijaya Kumar (2001)
E.K.Jeevaraj Taher Huseny Bhagat
R.Raghunath G.Dijendranath (2002)
Kishore Reddy P.Rajnarayanan (2003 & 2018)
T.G.Gopinathan (2004 & 2015) Sankaran Menon
V.Surendran Menon P.Shankar Menon (2005)
N.Ramamoorthy L.Anandan (2007)
S.Ponnaiya (WM1285 -1978) P.R.Prasanna Varma (2013)
N.Bhardwaj (WM 3682-1990) C.S.Ravichander (2009)
V.Periannan (2011) M.Nachiappan
George L.C.Baekelmans (2010&2016) Sandeep George Varghese
Frank De Smedt Ashwin Sukumaran
E.C.Kurian A.Sudarsanam
Anand K.Antur (2014) Naveen Mathew
Girish R.B.Nair Venkatesh Hariharan
Prasad I Menon Dr.Raneesh Kumar
S.Manoj Babu Premkumar Kora
Kameswaran Papuraj K.Gowtham
Ganesh Doari Rajan Siddarth Baekelmans
Zachariah Ashok Alexander N.Ganesan
Sridhar Chandrasekar A.C.Shaiju
A.K.Pai Babu Krishnamoorthi

Date of Warrant: October, 1867. Meets: Second Tuesday every month Except in February and August when meeting is on Fourth Tuesday. Election: December. Installation: January.

The Past

Lodge Pitt Macdonald was formally opened under a provisional warrant issued by the RW District Grand Master on Tuesday, 10th September 1867 in the august presence of R.W.Bro.Macdonald Ritchie and a galaxy of District Grand Officers.

After the customary reading of the Provisional Warrant, Bro. W.F.Hooper who was then the Junior Warden of the Lodge of Perfect Unanimity was installed as the Worshipful Master of the Lodge. He then appointed and invested his officers among whom there were two Indiand. No further Indiand could join the Lodge until 1875. Interestingly the first Bye-Law of the newly consecrated Lodge has been digitized and included in the Google e-books. A copy may be accessed at the following url: http://books.google.co.in/books?id=bXYIAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

The Lodge was set up to perpetuate the memory of R.W.Bro.Maj.Gen.Pitt Macdonald who was the last Provincial Grand Master and the first District Grand Master (1858-1867). That the Lodge was st up in his name within a few months of his being summoned to the Grand Lodge above would show the high esteem at which the Brethren of the District had kept him. The Lodge meets on Second Tuesday of every month being the day of his passing away.

Some of the luminaries of the District who were members of the Lodge were:

R.W.Bro.John Miller was the Founder- Member of the Lodge. He rose to becom the RWDGM in 1875 and ruled the District for 4 years.

W.Bro.J.T.Greatorex, Master of the Lodge in 1881, served as District Grand Secretary for 33 years.

W.Bro.Eardley Norton, Master of the Lodge in 1904-1905, was a renowned Barrister and a well known social figure. He was one of the eminent Englishmen who was associated with the founding of the Indian National Congress along with A.O.Hume. Despite being a busy lawyer and a social activist, W.Bro.Eardley Norton built up this Lodge to a position of great strength in the District. The membership of the Lodge crossed 100 for the first time in its history. He initiated 32 brethren in a year, a magic figure that remains unsurpassed till date.

W.Bro.Sir Alexander MacDougall, Master in 1922 and 1935, served as the President of the District Board of General Purposes. It was during his tenure of office that the present Freemasons’ Hall was completed and dedicated. He created a corpus of Rs.7000 for the Lodge in 1943 which has been built up to Rs.1 lakh by the brethren in the last decade. He has donated the furniture for the Second Temple.

R.W.Bro.T.V.Muthukrishna Aiyar, the first Indian to hold the office of RWDGM was for several years the Honorary Member of the Lodge and became a full member in 1961. His tenure as the RWDGM is the longest till date. The Lodge has instituted a Silver Rolling Cup in his name to be awarded to the Best Mason of the Lodge each year.

The Lodge celebrated its centenary in a grand manner in 1967 in the esteemed presence of R.W.Bro. Lt.Col.Gill, RWDGM and a galaxy of Masonic luminaries of the District.

Post Centenary

Only two brethren who were members of the Lodge who were members of the Lodge when it celebrated its Centenary in 1967 continue to be members of the Lodge till date. Interestingly they never became Masters of the Lodge. They are Bro.G.S.Gay who was initiated on 9th August 1955 and Bro. D.C.Goodlad who was initiated on 19th July 1957. Both are resident in England now.

Post Centenary, two brethren who became Joining Members of the Lodge in 1982 wielded considerable influence in shaping the destiny of the Lodge in the 80’s. One is W.Bro.B.Balaji Singh and the other W.Bro.C.K.Prabhakaran. W.Bro.B.Balaji Singh did not occupy the Eastern Chair of this Lodge but became the much noted District Grand Director of Ceremonies for seven years and rose to become a Grand Officer in 2004. He also became the R.W.DGM of the District Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Madras.

W.Bro. C.K.Prabhakaran was held in such high esteem that the brethren elected him Master of the Lodge for three times in 1986, 1987 and 1991. He is the moving force of Acacia, the prestigious Masonic Study Circle of the District and has become its synonym.

Among the present crop of members, the oldest initiate of the Lodge is W.Bro.V.Vijayan who was initiated in 1982 followed by W.Bro.P.S.Varghese who was initiated in 1984. W.Bro.Vijayan continues to render active service of the Lodge as its inimitable organist.

The Lodge celebrated its 1500th Meeting and the 125th Anniversary in 1992 when W.Bro.Suresh Muthaiya was its W.Master.

From 1994 onwards, the Lodge started focusing on Charity coming out with large projects. At the Annual Investiture Meeting held under the banner of this Lodge in 1995 when W.Bro.T.V.Srinivasan was the Master, the Lodge donated an X-ray equipment costing Rs.85000/- to Blue Cross Society which was switched on by R.W.Bro.A.P.Tampi. In 2001, the Lodge donated equipments worth Rs. 30,000/- to Kakkum Karangal, a home for destitute children. The Lodge started the Pitt Macdonald Trust in 2001 for the welfare of the brethren and their families. Charity collections touched a new high of Rs.120495 in 2002. The Lodge provided 20 toilets and a water tank of 20000 litre capacity at a cost of over Rs.3 lakhs to the District Higher Secondary School in Mambakkam. This was inaugurated by R.W.Bro.K.R.N.Menon.

The Lodge always participated in the District endeavours with gusto. The Lodge contributed over Rs.1 lakh to the Cornwallis Senior Citizens Home at Bangalore besides a personal contribution of Rs.3 lakhs fro W.Bro.P.Shankar Menon. The Lodge also contributed Rs.230000 to the Masonic and Heritage Buildings Trust. The Lodge contributed Rs.50,000 towards air conditioning of the Dining Hall

Some of the other notable Projects executed by the Lodge are:

  • Donation of a lathe and milling machine costing Rs.50000 to the Corporation School, Nungambakkam to offer vocational training to the students
  • Donation of Rs.300000 for the Poorna Vidya Project of bringing quality education to Corporation schools of which Rs.2,25,000 was a personal contribution from W.Bro.Gopi Vijayakumar
  • A Rupee a day Rice Bag Scheme launched in 2004 under which rice bags are donated every month to deserving institutions. This is an on-going Project
  • Free shoes to the children of St.Georges School and Orphanage costing Rs.20000
  • Uniforms and study materials costing Rs.50000 to Balawadi in Kanathur Village
  • 20 bags of rice costing Rs.30000 to the Tsunami affected areas on the day following the devastating tsunami.
  • Construction of first floor for Anbaham costing Rs.50000 entirely contributed by Bro.Frank de Smed
  • Construction of first floor for Chinna Pookkal, an orphanage in Maraimalainagar costing over Rs.1 lakh
  • Educational materials for the Arundatiyar Self Help Group costing Rs.50000

The Present Team

W.Bro.George Horace Lamoury took over as W.Master in January 2012 with a young and self motivated team of officers. Some of the brethren who were initiated barely few months back have already executed charity projects worth Rs.1 lakh. The new team is planning to have meetings with The John Miller Lodge and Lodge Minchin in the next few months and are looking for such joint endeavours thereafter.

The present team comprises of the following brethren:

Officers For 2017 - 2018 (Installed: 10th January, 2017)
Worshipful Master Km.Venkatachalam
Senior Warden P.Rajnarayanan
Junior Warden E.C.Kurian
I.P.M. Georges L.C.Baekelmans
Chaplain Prasad I Menon
Treasurer K.M.Sukumaran
Secretary Venkatesh Hariharan
Director of Ceremonies T.G.Gopinathan
Almoner A.Sudarsanam
Charity Steward Gopi Vijaya Kumar
Mentor T.V.Srinivasan
Senior Deacon S.Manoj Babu
Junior Deacon Premkumar Kora
Asst.Director of Ceremonies Ganesh Dorai Rajan
Organist V.Vijayan
Asst.Secretary V.Periannan
Inner Guard Sankaran Menon
Steward G.Dijendranath
Steward Kameswaran Papuraj
Steward N.Ganesan
Steward Sridhar Chandrasekar
Tyler P.Gajendran
Members
G.S.Gay D.C.Goodlad
C.K.Prabhakaran (1986,87 & 91) V.Vijayan (1989)
P.S.Varghese (1990) Jacob Xavier
Suresh Muthaiya (1992) Sabbir K.Dhanaliwala (1999)
K.M.Sukumaran (1996) Gopi Vijaya Kumar (2001)
T.V.Srinivasan (1994 & 95) Taher Huseny Bhagat
E.K.Jeevaraj G.Dijendranath (2002)
R.Raghunath P.Rajnarayanan (2003)
Kishore Reddy Sankaran Menon
T.G.Gopinathan (2004 & 2015) P.Shankar Menon (2005)
V.Surendran Menon N.Ramamoorthy
Capt. M.S.Nair  (2006) K.Madhavan (2008)
L.Anandan (2007) P.R.Prasanna Varma (2013)
S.Ponnaiya (WM1285 -1978) Km.Venkatachalam (PM 549 & 944)
N.Bhardwaj (WM 3682-1990) C.Rajan
C.S.Ravichander (2009)          M.Nachiappan
V.Periannan (2011) Sandeep George Varghese
George L.C.Baekelmans (2010&2016) Ashwin Sukumaran
Frank de Smedt A.Sudarsanam
E.C.Kurian Naveen Mathew
Anand K.Antur (2014) Venkatesh Hariharan
Girish R.B.Nair Dr.Raneesh Kumar
Prasad I Menon Premkumar Kora
S.Manoj Babu K.Gowtham
Kameswaran Papuraj Siddarth Baekelmans
Ganesh Doari Rajan N.Ganesan
Zachariah Ashok Alexander Vasanth Raj Guru
Sridhar Chandrasekar A.C.Shaiju