Vol. 1, No. 4

North Masons’ Digest

June 2020

 

June 2020

Dear Brethren, as you know, our AIM took place in February in New Delhi and was attended by 1000 masons and families. The Highlights of the festival were as under:

  • All the Regions were duly represented
  • The M. W. Grand Master., M. W. Rajeev R. Khandelwal, OSM accompanied by Grand Officers paid an official visit.
  • 40 years LTS Jewel presentation: M. W. The Grand Master, MW. Rajeev R Khandelwal presented the 40 years long term service jewel to R. W. The Regional Grand Master, R. W. Bro. Anish Kumar Sharma in a very impressive manner.
  • R. W. Bro. Puneet Sohal was re-appointed as the Deputy Regional Grand Master.
  • All other necessary appointments to various officers were made as per protocol

We give below the text of the speech delivered by R. W. The Regional Grand Master, R. W. Bro. Anish Kumar Sharma.

-Editor

Address of R.W. the Regional Grand Master

MW Bro. Rajeev Khandelwal, OSM, MW the Grand Master, MW the Past Grand Masters, Esteemed members of Grand Deputation, RW The Regional Grand Master of West, East and South, Representatives of District Grand Lodge of Northern India and My Brethren, I welcome you all in this Annual Investiture Meeting of the Regional Grand Lodge of Northern India 2020. I am happy to announce that our Registration has crossed 900 for which I thank each and every one of you for registering yourself to actively participate in Annual Investiture Meetings 2020. I appreciate the untiring efforts of RW Bro. P.K. Sharma, who kept on motivating each and every one of us.

At the outset, I express my gratitude to MW The Grand Master for considering me to be capable to head this important North Region of The Grand Lodge of India. So far I have tried to discharge my duties to the best of my capabilities.

My brethren, a year has passed since I took over the charge of this Region. During this period we all jointly tried hard to reactivate Craft masonry in our Region and succeeded in our efforts to a good extent, but lot has to be done in the next 2 years of remaining period of my stewardship.

Brethren, for better understanding of Craft Rituals we have reconstituted Delhi Lodge of Instructions which covers about 60 Craft Lodges of Delhi & NCR Areas and concept of council of Past Preceptors is constituted of which RW the Regional Grand Master will be the ex-officio Chairman and Deputy R.G.M will be Dy- Chairman. This council is empowered to regulate the working of all Lodge of Instructions in the Region, so that the standards of its working remain perfect and no compromises made under any circumstances, therefore the preceptor will always be nominated by the council. That for the reconstituted Delhi Lodge of Instruction, RW Bro.PuneetSohal, is appointed as its Preceptor and under his Stewardship the Lodge has held its 5 successful meetings and every meeting is attended and participated by 40-50 officers and brethren of various Lodges and positive results in Lodge working are seen. A well-organized system of communication is started and officers of all the Lodges are getting regular information about these meetings. In coming years Mentors from Delhi Lodge of Instruction will visiting weak Lodges along with their In-charges to assist them improve their working. The most positive impact of this is that young masons have started taking active part in Ritual Working with understanding and  clarity.

After obtaining License from Grand Lodge of India, we have also  started 3 Roving Lodges of Instructions i.e., Dehradun Roving Lodge  of instructions- covering Lodges of West Uttar Pradesh and  Uttarakhand, Agra Roving Lodge of Instruction covering Agra,  Aligarh, Jhansi, Mathura, Moradabad, Jaipur & Ajmer and L.A.K  Roving Lodge of Instructions covering 26 Lodges at 3 locations of  Lucknow, Allahabad and Kanpur.

So far the participation in the meeting of these Lodge of Instruction’s  is excellent and it has in turn improved the working of many officers  of various Lodges and it is not only the improvement in ritual  working but the best thing, these Lodges are doing is activating  masonry in the Region.

Brethren, during this period we have not proposed any new lodge and tried to consolidate the existing Lodges, 4 Non-functioning Lodges have been activated by changing their locations with new membership. It is noted with concern that during last year in some Lodges there were no initiations. In such Lodges no meaningful Masonic objective is being achieved. Brethren, we say in freemasonry that we make Goodman Better. This cannot happen by only Opening & Closing of the Lodges and having refreshments, without any working.

Brethren it is only by regularity of our initiations, passing and raising of candidates in our Lodges regularly and in the process giving and receiving various charges. Meaningful messages of these charges is being understood by us and over a period of time it becomes part of  our thought process making us a better human being. Our endeavor  in the coming years would be to see that in all such Lodges degree  working must happen. I would like to inform all my Assistant  Regional Grand Masters and other Lodge In charges that all of them  will be allotted one such Lodge in which there was no initiations in  the last year and all of you must ensure that there must be at last 2  initiations in these Lodges in next one year and they are made  Master Masons. Another important point of concern is that  percentage of Past Masters in our Lodges is growing in comparison  to growth of Master masons due to which sufficient candidates are  not available to complete the ladder and Past Masters are being  again and again used in ladder. All such Lodges must take the matter very seriously and start taking steps to reverse this situation and it  can happen only by atleast 2 initiations every year. All our Assistant Regional Grand Masters should look into this matter and guide the Lodges to come out of such situations.

Brethren in the last year we had appointed 30 Lodge In charges including 15 of our Assistant Regional Grand Masters. They were given training organizing 2 workshops and through them we could receive detailed report about the working of Lodges and based on these reports corrective measures were taken.  Our A.R.G.M’s and Lodge In charges during workshops were  specially instructed that their job is not to find faults with the Lodges but to assist them as friend and guide with a firm approach, so that they could come out of their short comings and I am very happy and  feel proud of my ARGM’s and Lodge In charges, they have done an exemplary job. In some Lodges they assisted to organize their records, Accounts and ritual workings and in some Lodges where officers were afraid of doing degree working some of them have created an atmosphere by training them and 

 

June 2020

working with them in such a way that now they can do 3rd degree working also comfortably whereas I appreciate each and every one of them for their commendable jobs. I would like to recognize VW Bro. Sanjeev Suri as Best A.R.G.M and VW Bro. J.J.S.Bhalla Best Lodge Incharge. I also appreciate the efforts of our senior most ARGM RW Bro. P.K. Sharma for doing exemplary good job.

Lodge Ligonier No.51 at Mathura was active on record but not active in real sense as a Masonic Lodge. A small motivation of our officers lead by our Dy.R.G.M, while on way to Agra, has charged the brethren of that Lodge to the extent that they had one meeting of Agra Roving Lodge of Instructions in their temple and participated in it and now the brethren of this Lodge are very active, participating Regional Grand Lodge of Northern India Meetings in large number and after 25 years invited RW The Regional Grand Master for presentation of Long Term Service Jewel. I appreciate the contribution of W Bro. Dr.Kuldeep Bhargava and Worshipful Master, W.Bro. D.P.Sharma for taking the initiative. I will request these brethren to please rise to be recognized.

MW Sir and my Brethren the net effect of all these efforts are as against only 35 inspection of Lodges last year out of 130 Lodges. This year about 60% of Lodges have already been inspected and rest will be completed in next 4 months and our endeavor would be to have 100% inspection of Lodges this year. In most of the Lodges it is ensured that signatures in Bank are changed.

Brethren, we are extremely happy and appreciate the thought of our visionary, MW The Grand Master MW Bro. Rajeev Ramakrishna Khandelwal, OSM for having taken a revolutionary step for the first time in Grand Lodge of India of Training all the Dy.R.G.M’s, A.R.G.M’s and Presidents of the Boards and 3rd Principal for their well informed and organized, efficient and effective working and development of our organization. Brethren, this step will not only motivate our senior officers but also will lay a solid foundation for strengthening and development of freemasonry in India.

I am very happy to announce that after overcoming of initial problems our E-Portal is being used by many lodges and about 40% of our returns are being filed online and we are trying to take it to 100%.

Brethren, encouraged by the generous response from all of you we had already setup our fully equipped Masonic Eye Centre at a total cost of Rs.1.60 Crore in our Prestigious Project of General William Masonic Polyclinic which was inaugurated by our beloved MW Bro. Rajeev Ramakrishna Khandelwal, MW The Grand Master, on the eve of our Half Yearly Meeting on 22nd September, 2019. Brethren, since then a Mobile Eye Dental and Health checkup clinic is added to this centre. This mobile clinic was inaugurated by MW The Grand Master on 2nd February, 2020, same day an Eye and Dental checkup camp was organized by Lodge Dronacharya No. 285 at Earth Saviors Foundation at Gurugram. Where about 500 destitutes are being looked after and taken care of. During camp spects were distributed and 18 cases of cataract were detected where surgeries will be carried out in due course of time. State of the art. Operation Theater of our Masonic Eye Centre after having all the clearances and employing Technicians has started Cataract Operations. In the next week we will have Eye and Dental Checkup of the students of our Masonic Public school by using our Mobile Clinic. Our other two charitable projects e.g., Amrit Masonic Special School is taking care of about 40 special children. Most of them are free and some are paying a nominal fee. The total fee and other collections are about Rs.70,000/- pm and the total monthly expenditure is about Rs.3.50 Lakh p.m., which is being mainly funded by the donations of our generous Brethren and Lodges.

Our Masonic Public School with 2400 students is maintaining excellent result. We are proud of this Masonic Institution which with a nominal fee providing best education to its students. I place on record our sincere appreciation to RW Bro. M.K.Mahajan for his selfless contribution in Development of school and The Principle Mrs. Neelam Kumar.

Sir our brethren are quite generous in supporting our charitable institution, some of them are very generous. We have decided to recognize W Bro. Jetinder Pal Singh Johar of Lodge Takhat-I-Suliman No.65, who for the last 6-7 years regularly organizing donation for our Charitable Projects and so far contributed about more than 40 lakhs.

Brethren, the Regional Grand Lodge Fund of Benevolence is now a Registered Charitable Trust and very soon you will be entitled to Income Tax benefits of Section 80G for your donations to this fund.

Brethren, after successful launching of Masonic Eye Centre, we now plan to launch at least 2 more Masonic Eye Centres and Polyclinics at 2 other active Masonic Centres one at Dehradun and other at Gurgaon for which funds shall be required. Therefore, I call upon you to announce generously your donations to the Regional Grand Lodge Fund of Benevolence.

At the end I would like to express my Gratitude to RW Bro.M.K. Mahajan our outgoing President of his continuous advice and active participation. I also thankful for our outgoing ARGMs for their actively discharging their duties.

Above all I thank RW Bro. Sanjeev Gandhi, Chairman, Steering Committee for excellent organization of this Annual Investiture Meeting 2020.

 

June 2020

Northmason Cares : An RGLNI Initiative to provide Covid ‘ 19 relief

As we all know, at the beginning of 2020, an unprecedented crisis descended upon society due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The subsequent lockdown wreaked havoc on the economy and brought to the forefront the issue of feeding thousands of homeless migrants, jobless daily-wagers & slum dwellers across the country.

Our RGM realized quite quickly that the front-line soldiers of this pandemic, the doctors, nurses, health-care workers and police personal were fighting the battle in very difficult circumstances. There were thousands of migrant workers who were either walking home or were stuck as refugees, without much sustenance.

On the medical front, facilities in both the government & private sector were proving inadequate because of the huge magnitude of the problem.

In view of this situation, Freemasons of Northern India, under the dynamic leadership of R.W. Bro A. K. Sharma, RW the Regional Grand Master, launched a Relief Programme – “NORTHMASON CARES”, a programme unprecedented in the history of the Region.

As we all know, at the beginning of 2020, an unprecedented crisis descended upon society due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The subsequent lockdown wreaked havoc on the economy and brought to the forefront the issue of feeding thousands of homeless migrants, jobless daily-wagers & slum dwellers across the country.

Our RGM realized quite quickly that the front-line soldiers of this pandemic, the doctors, nurses, health-care workers and police personal were fighting the battle in very difficult circumstances. There were thousands of migrant workers who were either walking home or were stuck as refugees, without much sustenance.

On the medical front, facilities in both the government & private sector were proving inadequate because of the huge magnitude of the problem.

In view of this situation, Freemasons of Northern India, under the dynamic leadership of R.W. Bro A. K. Sharma, RW the Regional Grand Master, launched a Relief Programme – “NORTHMASON CARES”, a programme unprecedented in the history of the Region.

Food Relief

Since the immediate problem we saw around us was that of hunger, RGLNI initially we took up providing relief to the distressed daily-wagers, construction workers, rickshaw pullers etc. by providing them dry rations and food packets. This effort was undertaken at the Regional, City, Lodge & individual Mason levels.

 

Medical Relief

As the pandemic progressed, RGLNI soon realized that on the medical front, facilities in both the government & private sector were proving inadequate because of the huge magnitude of the problem.

Hence it was decided to divert the Region’s efforts towards this cause.

Medical Relief

As the pandemic progressed, RGLNI soon realized that on the medical front, facilities in both the government & private sector were proving inadequate because of the huge magnitude of the problem.

Hence it was decided to divert the Region’s efforts towards this cause.

Ongoing Contribution

RGLNI has so far contributed upwards of Rs. 70 lacs as part of its Northmason Cares Initiative.

A sum of Rs. 9.33 lacs has been distributed to various Masonic Centers across the Region to aid their eforts.

 

 

June 2020

Northmason Cares – In pictures

 

June 2020

Northmason Cares – In pictures

 

June 2020

Masonic Centers of Northern India

Dear Brethren, Northern India has many gems in terms of Masonic Centers some dating back to the 19th Century. In each issue of the Northmasons’ Digest, we endeavour to highlight a couple of these Temples/Centers.

Mussoorie

Mussoorie in Uttrakhand is a famous Hill Station and we are proud of having one of our most oldest and very well maintained Masonic Temple and is owned by Lodge Dalhousie NO.10…Narration Lodge Dalhousie No.10 is situated in Near Bus Stand ,Mussoorie. This lodge was consecrated in the year of 1854 and warrant was on 31st August,1854.The regular meeting of this lodge takes place on 1st Saturday(March to December) and installation takes place in month of October.

Qudsia Garden, Delhi

Lodge Jamuna No.18 is situated in Qudsia Garden. This lodge was consecrated on 15th March,1872 and warrant was on 15th January,1872. The regular meeting of this lodge takes place on 1st Saturday of every month and installation takes place in the month of January.

 

June 2020

Masonic Information and Trivia

Some Trivia from the history of Lodge Charity #8 :

‘JUMAN’ OF LODGE ‘CHARITY’ NO:8
Probably the person, who knew more about Lodge “Charity” No.563E.C. (now 8 GLI at Ambala) than records can show, passed away in the latter part of the year 1891. He was the Lodge peon, “old Juman,” and had been engaged when the Lodge was in its earliest infancy, and for upwards of forty-three years retained his post. There is a story about him, generally accepted as true, that on the outbreak of the Mutiny, in 1857, he buried the jewels, clothing &c., and so preserved them until the lodge was re-opened. His wife was awarded a small pension in recognition of his long and faithful service, after his death….

And some more….

These lines were recorded in the minutes of a meeting of Lodge Charity # 8:

“Until Late November, 1866, candles were used in the Lodge. It was proposed to give a trial to the new substance called “KEROSENE” as an illuminant. As nothing was known about it, one of the Brethren wrote to a friend in Calcutta to try and obtain details. As the report was favourable, “KEROSINE LAMPS” were brought into use in November 1866, for the first time.”

 

FREE AND OF GOOD REPORT

“Free and of good report” was formerly as “Freeborn, and of good report.” It is traditionally said that the Masons who built King Solomon’s Temple were not free by birth, but declared free, and exempted from payment of all taxes, by them and their descendants. That the Masons who built the Second Temple were declared by King Darius to be free, and exempted from taxation, is historically true. After the extinction of Negro slavery, it was resolved by Grand Lodge, on the 1st of September, 1847, that the phrase should, in future, be ‘free-man,’ and the words ‘free-born’ or ‘free by birth,’ should be cancelled.

……..R.W. Bro. Kulwant Singh

Last Night I Knelt Where Hiram Knelt

Last night I knelt where Hiram knelt And took an obligation.
Today, I’m closer to my God And I’m a Master Mason.

Though heretofore my fellow men Seemed each one like the other;
Today, I search each one apart I’m looking for “MY BROTHER.”

And as I feel his friendly grip It fills my heart with pride;
I know that while I’m on the square That he is on my side.

His footsteps on my errand go, If I should such require;
His prayers will plead in my behalf; If I should so desire.

My words are safe within his breast, As though within my own;
His hand forever at my back, To help me safely home.

Good counsel whisper in my ear, And warns of any danger.
My square and compass, Brother now, Who once would call me
stranger.

I might have lived a normal life And risen to distinctions;
Without my brothers helping hand, And fellowship of Masons.

But God, who knows how hard it is To resist life’s temptations,
Knows why I knelt where Hiram knelt; And took an obligation.

Author unknown

List of New Initiates from January

1. Bro.Praveen Bhargawa, Lodge Irish Friendship No. 128
2. Bro.Ramesh Sharma, Lodge Irish Friendship No. 128
3. Bro.Pranav Gupta, Lodge Rising Star No. 366
4. Bro.Dev Raj Sharma, Lodge Irish Friendship No. 128
5. Bro.Kinshuk Kumar, Lodge Rising Star No. 366
6. Bro.Raman Sethi, Lodge Star Delhi No. 328
7. Bro.Harish Chawla, Lodge Raisina No. 97

In Memoriam…

We pay our respectful homage to those Brethren who have ascended to the Grand Lodge above between March & May 2020.

17.03.2020

W.Bro.Pradeep Kapur, Lodge Indraprastha No.124

10.04.2020

W.Bro.M.K.Kehar, Lodge Formanite No.155

24.04.2020

W.Bro.H.B.Misra, Lodge Comrades No.66

17.05.2020

W.Bro.Jatinder Lal Sood, Lodge Prospect No.92

29.05.2020

Bro.Dhanish Kohli, Lodge Sindhuvan No.216

 

The Editor……….
………………. Is short of words.

The present situation need not be dwelled upon. But under the Patronage of the Grand Master and Direction of the Regional Grand Master and the Dy. RGM, R. W. Bro .Puneet Sohal, the Region has been able to motivate the Lodges to hold Virtual Meetings and these have become very popular for Formal Meetings and Family Gatherings.

Our Region, Daughter Lodges, ARGMs and Lodge Incharges have rendered commendable service to the needy in this hour of distress. The Lodge is missing us as much as we are missing it and God willing we shall soon overcome this hindrance and get together to meet on the Level.

Till then Brethren……. Take Care.


Editor : R.W. Bro. Suman Kapur
Co Editor : R.W. Bro. Bhuvesh Pasricha
Member : R.W. Bro. Thomas Philip
Advisors : R.W. Bro. Madhvan Chakravarthy, R.W. Bro. Satish Kapoor

Annual Investiture Meeting of RGLNI

New Delhi, 10th & 11th February 2024

Register now at Register AIM 24