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Theo Devagnanam
Good evening Brethren,
09.04.2022

I warmly welcome you all to the Annual Investiture meeting of our District. Unfortunately, I am not able to be with you in person, on this occasion, but I assure you that I am with all of you in spirit. Having to undergo medical treatment has prevented me from attending this particular meeting. Your Deputy District Grand Master, therefore, will conduct the meeting and read this address on my behalf.

It is particularly difficult to be away in the light of the fact that we have been unable to meet for the last two years.

Although we were not able to meet Masonic activity, in the form of charity, worked extremely well during the pandemic and every Lodge in the District did its part in support of its community.  Six of our Brethren and the Lodge of Rock were honoured by the M.W.Grand Master for their Covid relief efforts.

I am sure that the Lodge of Perfect Unanimity is taking care of all of you and that you will enjoy this weekend.  I extend a warm welcome to R.W.Bro. Dr. K.G. Alexander, the Wor. Deputy Regional Grand Master of the Regional Grand Lodge of Southern India,   representative of R.W.Bro. V.G. Madhusudhan, The Regional Grand Master of The Regional Grand Lodge of Southern India and his delegation.

Grand Lodge

The Grand Lodge has been alive to the problems we have all faced during the last two years and is proud that the fraternity has pulled together all over the world.  In the words of our Grand Secretary, Dr. David Staples’ quote, “Within freemasonry we have discovered stamina and a profound ability to support each other and the wider society even in the harshest of times”.  Brethren, I trust that these Masonic qualities will continue to flourish in our District and especially educate our younger Brethren.

After many years of dedicated service to the Grand Lodge and to Freemasonry, our Pro Grand Master, M.W. Bro. Peter Geoffrey Lowndes has decided to retire.  Many of us got to know him during his tenure in office and it was always a pleasure to meet and converse with him.  We shall all miss him.   His successor, the Deputy Grand Master, R.W. Bro.Jonathan Spence is also well known to many of us.  We take this opportunity to wish M.W. Bro. Peter Geoffrey Lowndes a peaceful and happy retirement.  We look forward to working with R.W. Bro. Jonathan Spence.

On February 22, 2022 the Grand Lodge consecrated a Lodge named Lodge Sine Nomine and assigned it the number 10000. This is an unattached Lodge directly under the UGLE and will meet in difference locations. The membership of the Lodge consists of the rulers of the UGLE, other senior Masons and many younger and more junior Masons who are all drawn from the various Provinces and Districts under the UGLE. I am very pleased to say that three of our Brethren have joined this Lodge and I am sure that they will enjoy their membership.

District

On November, 11, 2020 I had the pleasure in participating, virtually, in the presentation of the 50 year citation and pins, to W.Bro. T.S. Chhabra who was initiated in Lodge Anchor of Hope No.1093, on April 17, 1970.  On April 04 this year the Wor. Master of the Lodge of Perfect Unanimity No.150 presented the 50 year citation and pin to Wor.Bro. Mritunjaya  Singh who was initiated in that Lodge on June 12, 1971.

During the pandemic the District Grand Charity was extremely active and  I must make special mention of the efforts made by W.Bro. Mathew Joseph and W.Bro. Ravi Kesavan.  Brethren,  W.Bro. Ravi Kesavan organized the start up of the DGL Kitchen and the preparation of several thousand hot meals which were distributed to the stranded migrant workers during the first lockdown in 2020.

The District administration has also continued to function during this period and those involved with administration have made sure that our District is still in good shape.  The Board of General Purposes and the Executive Council of the District Grand Charity met virtually throughout this period and have recently moved on to hybrid meetings.  We have set up high-end video conferencing facility in our library and these meetings will probably continue to be hybrid so that Brethren from outside Chennai, who are not in the position to travel to the meeting, will still be able to attend from wherever they are.

We have made two new Masonic appointments, those are, the District Grand Communications Officer and the District Grand Membership Officer. As we all know social media has become a very effective tool for communicating in general. Our Communications Officer will take responsibility for the DGL website and all social media communication. He will also work closely with the Communications Officers of the private Lodges.

The Membership Officer has his work cut out for him as he is charged with the task of bringing in younger members. He will work closely with the Membership Officer of each Lodge and together they will make an effort to increase our total membership. When I assumed the Office of the District Master we had over 1100 members in the District and today we are under 1000. This does not augur well for the institution and every effort must be made to reverse this downward trend.

Charity

I have already touched upon the food prepared for charity during the first lockdown but there were many other Covid relief measures taken by individual Lodge and by the District. The District Grand Charity raised nearly Rs.50 lakhs by way of contribution and spent it on various Covid relief work. I would like to thank the Charity Stewards W.Bro. K.M. Sukumaran and W.Bro. K. Muralidhar for the efforts they have made although, as a result of the pandemic, our Charity has received less money. Despite this, none of our ongoing Charity projects were affected in any way.

I attended the installation meeting of the Lodge of Faith Hope & Charity No.1285 on March 14, 2020 and the records of the Lodge were inspected by W.Bro. T.P. George. I thank the following Brethren for having represented me at the installations of various Lodges and for having inspected the records.

I would like to congratulate all those whom I have conferred active and brevet ranks during the last two years and once again reiterate that these ranks and promotions are conferred not only for past services but in order to encourage each member to continue to serve the institution. I convey my sincere thanks to Dr. K.K. Varma, my past Deputy District Grand Master for his immediate support in stepping in to fill the gap left by the unfortunate demise of V.W.Bro. A.C Patel.

I would also like to convey my congratulations and thanks to W.Bro. Sukesh Menon, W.Bro. Sunil Koliyot, W.Bro. Mathew Joseph, W.Bro. Viji Joseph and W.Bro. K. Kannan for the support they have always given to the District and the support I can look forward to receiving from them in their new Offices.

A special word of thanks to W.Bro. Ilango Raphael, W.Bro. T.P. George, W.Bro. P.B. Shanker, and their team in the District Grand Lodge Office for their services during these difficult times.

I attended the Installation Meeting of The Lodge of Faith Hope & Charity No. 1285 on 14th March 2020 and Records of the Lodge were inspected by W Bro T P George

Now I would like to thank the following brethren for having represented me at the Installation meetings of various Lodges and for having inspected the records of those Lodges.

W.Bro.A,C.Patel, Dy DGM The Kerala Lodge No 2188 04.01.2020
The Pitt Macdonald Lodge No 1198 09.01.2020
The Lodge of Perfect Unanimity No 150 10.01.2020
The Lodge Ampthill No 3682 18.01.2020
The Lodge Minchin No 2710 07.03.2020

Records of the Lodge of Perfect Unanimity No 150 were inspected by W Bro Mathew Joseph

W.Bro.Sukesh Menon The Lodge of Rock No 260 04.01.2020
The Lodge Cochin No 4359 18.01.2020
The Golconda Lodge No 3249 31.01.2020
The Pitt Macdonald Lodge No 1198 11.01.2022
The Lodge of Perfect Unanimity No 250 20.01.2022
The Lodge of Universal Charity No 273 21.01.2022
The John Miller Lodge No 1906 22.02.2022
The St John's Lodge No 434 23.02.2022
The Golconda Lodge No 3249 24.02.2022
W Bro A K Nair The Lodge Quilon No 5839 11.01.2020
The Lodge Quilon No 5839 15.01.2022
The Lodge Minchin No 2710 19.03.2022
W Bro N Narayanan Kutty The Lodge Anchor of Hope No 1093 22.02.2020
The Lodge Anchor of Hope No 1093 26.03.2022
W Bro Dr R Arunagiri The Lodge of Rock No 260 01.01.2022
W Bro Mathew Joseph The Lodge Cauvery No 3838 19.03.2022
W Bro Dr K K Varma The Lodge Cochin No 4359 19.03.2022
V W Bro S Sampath The Archibald Campbell Lodge No 4998 30.03.2022

Inspection of the Records of the two Lodges as listed below were carried out by the following brethren:

W Bro G Unnikrishnan The Lodge Quilon No 5839
W Bro K Vinod Kumar The Lodge Minchin No 2710

Obituary

Very sadly, Brethren, since we last met the following Brethren have been summoned to the Grand Lodge above. Amongst them was our Deputy District Grand Master V.W.Bro. A.C. Patel, Past Grand Sword Bearer, who passed away on May 22, 2021 after over 50 years of distinguished service to the District of Madras and Freemasonry in general. Apart from him we lost

Bro.C.R.Krishnan, MM, The John Miller Lodge No 1906 01.01.2020
W.Bro.T.A.Krishnamoorthy, PDAGDofC, The Lodge Minchin No 2710 23.01.2020
Bro.C.Ayyappan Pillai, MM, The Lodge Quilon No 5839 08.03.2020
W.Bro.S.Vasudev, PDG Swd Br, The Lodger of Perfect Unanimity No 150 14.03.2020
W.Bro.K.P.Surendran, PDSGW, The Kerala Lodge No 2188 23.03.2020
W.Bro.V.R.Bakthavatsalam, PDG Std Br, The John Miller Lodge No 1906 05.05.2020
W.Bro.U.Rajkumar, PDSGW, The Kerala Lodge No 2188 14.05.2020
W.Bro.R.Ramachandra, PDG Swd Br,The Lodge Southern Brotherhood No 3311 11.06.2020
W.Bro.P.S.Pratheep Kumar, PDG Std Br, The Lodge Quilon No 5839 25.07.2020
W.Bro.I.Varkey, PDJGW, The Lodge of Universal Charity No 273 11.09.2020
W.Bro.T.R.Ramarathinam, PDJGW, The Lodge of Rock No 260 16.10.2020
W.Bro.David T Mookken, PDJGW, The Lodge Cochin No 4359 19.12.2020
W Bro P P Thomas, PDJGW, Lodge Quilon No 5839 20.02.2021
Bro V J Philipose, MM, Lodge Minchin No 2710 24.02.2021
W Bro N Chandrasekharan Pillai, PDDyGDofC, Lodge Quilon No 5839 26.02.2021
Bro P Thiyagarajah, MM, Lodge of Rock No 260 08.03.2021
W Bro R Sunder, PDJGW, Lodge of Faith Hope & Charity No 1285 20.04.2021
W Bro Raajeev Narain, PDG Std Br, Lodge St George No 2532 18.03.2021
W Bro A T Matthan, PDG Pursuivant, Lodge of Universal Charity No 273 & Lodge of Southern Brotherhood No 3311 23.04.2021
W Bro Mainak J Parekh, PDAGDofC, St.John's Lodge No 434 & Golconda Lodge No 3249 06.05.2021
W Bro Lodd Satyanarayanadas, PDSGW, John Miller Lodge No 1906 15.05.2021
W Bro T Santosh Kumar, WM, St.John's Lodge No 434 28.06.2021
Bro Suresh Colla, MM, Lodge Southern Brotherhood No 3311 30.08.2021
W Bro S Ponnaiya, PAGDC, Past Asst District Grand Master, Pitt Macdonald Lodge No.1198 12.10.2021
Bro Iype Mathew, MM, Lodge Quilon No 5839 28.10.2021
W Bro Dr M Krishnan Nair, PDG Std Br, Lodge Minchin No 2710 28.10.2021
W Bro K K Sreedharan Nambiar, PDG Swd Br, Kerala Lodge No 2188 12.11.2021
W Bro Col K S Muthukrishnan, PDJGD, Lodge of Universal Charity No 273 17.11.2021
W Bro L Ashok, PDG Supdt of Wks, John Miller Lodge No 1906 17.01.2022
Bro Ratan C Sharma, MM, Lodge Southern Brotherhood No 3311 06.04.2022

Brethren I request you to rise and observe a minute's silence in memory of our departed Brethren.

God speed and thank you once again, Brethren, for your presence this evening and I wish you all well till we meet again in August.

Most Excellent. Grand Superintendent's address at the District Grand Chapter Annual Investiture Convocation at Chennai on 9.4.2022 – Morning

Good morning, Companions and welcome back to Chennai and the warm hospitality of the Lodge of Perfect Unanimity. As this meeting had to be postponed, from February, it has been called with very short notice which is why the host Lodge has been unable to assist you with reservations for accommodation and with transport.

It is gratifying to see that after two long years of waiting we have eventually been able to meet this year. Unfortunately I am unable to be with you.

Supreme Grand Chapter

At the last quarterly communication of the Supreme Grand Chapter, in March this year the Pro First Grand Principal M.E.Comp. Peter Geoffrey Lowndes announced his retirement after 13 years in that office. We wish him a happy, peaceful, and healthy retirement. E.Comp. Jonathan Spence will succeed him as a Pro First Grand Principal from September this year.

District Grand Chapter

The Royal Arch is governed well in our District and the Committee of General Purposes has actively supported the District during the pandemic. The outgoing President of the Committee, E. Comp. Mathew Joseph has done a tremendous job of spreading awareness of the Royal Arch and its activities by way of virtual meetings, during the lock downs. I congratulate E.Comp. S. Sundaresan who has been appointed as President of the Committee for the current year and wish him all success. I have great pleasure in announcing the appointments of E.Comp. Sukesh Menon as my Deputy District Grand Superintendent and E.Comp. Sunil Koliyot as District II Grand Principal and E.Comp.Mathew Joseph as District III Grand Principal. I offer them my congratulations and charge them with improving the working and membership of all Chapters in our District.

Installation Convocations

I would like to thank the following Companions for having represented me at the installation convocations of various Chapters during this period, which are as follows:

E.Comp.Sukesh Menon Chapter School of Plato No.150 21.01.2020
Chapter Universal Charity No 273 23.01.2020
Chapter Southern Brotherhood No 3311 30.01.2020
Chapter School of Plato No 150 18.01.2022
Pitt Macdonald Chapter No 1198 22.03.2022

Records of the Chapter Universal Charity No 273 were inspected by E. Comp Mathew Joseph.

E Comp A. K. Nair Chapter Quilon No 5839 15.02.2020
Chapter Quilon No 5839 05.03.2022
E.Comp.Sunil Koliyot Golconda Chapter No 3249 02.03.2020
Chapter John Miller No:1906 06.04.2022
E Comp S Sampath Chapter Universal Charity No 273 25.02.2022
E Comp Mathew Joseph Chapter Cauvery No 3848 19.03.2022

Companions, I wish to place my appreciation for the efforts of the above Companions some of whom have travelled substantial distances at their own expense, to fulfill their Masonic duties.

In Memoriam

It is with grief that I inform you that on 22nd May, 2021 E.Comp. A.C. Patel, Deputy Grand Superintendent, was called to the Grand Chapter above. He will be sorely missed. Apart from E.Comp. A.C. Patel the Companions who have passed away since we last met are

Comp C.R.Krishnan, Chapter John Miller No 1906 01.01.2020
Comp.C.Ayyappan Pillai, Chapter Quilon No 5839 08.03.2020
E.Comp.S.Vasudev, PDG Ch Steward, Chapter School of Plato No 150 14.03.2020
E.Comp.K.P.Surendran, PD III Gr Pr, Kerala Chapter No 2188 23.03.2020
E.Comp.V.R.Bakthavatsalam, PDDyGDofC, Chapter John Miller Lodge No 1906 05.05.2020
E.Comp.U.Rajkumar, PDG Sc N, Kerala Chapter No 2188 14.05.2020
E.Comp.R.Ramachandra, PDG II A Sojr, Chapter Southern Brotherhood No 3311 11.06.2020
Comp.P.S.Pratheep Kumar, Chapter Quilon No 5839 25.07.2020
E.Comp.I.Varkey, PDG Sc N, Chapter Universal Charity No 273 11.09.2020
E.Comp.T.R.Ramarathinam, PDG Reg, Chapter Rock No 260 16.10.2020
E.Comp.David T Mookken, PDG Sc N, Chapter Cochin No 4359 19.12.2020
E Comp P P Thomas, PDG ScN, Chapter Quilon No 5839 20.02.2021
E Comp N Chandrasekharan Pillai, PDG Org, Chapter Quilon No 5839 26.02.2021
Comp P Thiyagarajah, Chapter Rock No 260 08.03.2021
E Comp A T Matthan, PDG Pr Sojr, Chapter Universal Charity No 273 & Chapter Southern Brotherhood No 3311 23.04.2021
E Comp Lodd Satyanarayanadas, PD II Gr Pr, Chapter John Miller No 1906 15.05.2021
E Comp T Santosh Kumar, PDAGDofC, Golconda Chapter No 3249 28.06.2021
E Comp S Ponnaiya, PG Std Br, Past DG Scribe E, Chapter Pitt Macdonald 12.10.2021
E Comp Col K S Muthukrishnan, PDG Swd Br, Chapter Universal Charity No 273 17.11.2021
Comp Ratan C Sharma, Chapter Southern Brotherhood No 3311 06.04.2022

Companions, please be upstanding to observe a minute's silence in their memory.

Companions, there will be another address this evening and I shall therefore conclude with my sincere thanks and appreciation to E.Comp. S. Sundaresan, President of the Committee of General Purposes, E.Comp. Ilango Raphael, Dist. Grand Scribe Ezra, E.Comp. Viji Joseph, District Grand Treasurer, E.Comp. George Pius, Dist. Grand Director of Ceremonies, and the entire team in the District Grand Chapter Office for working so cheerfully to see that our District is well administered.

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 !