No. 2 -- The newsletter of The Freemasons Chamber -- October 1999

Bringing in the very best candidates.

The first step, obviously, is to convince our friends by our own example, that Freemasonry is an excellent organisation for the young, aspiring executive to join. For here, he can begin to learn the art of speaking and debating in a civilised society. He can begin to hone other skills which are required by executives to progress their careers.

In short, we are now talking in marketing terms, because this is what the future is coming to. The positioning of the Lodge as the best "fraternity" in which an executive can start his career, because it will afford him social contact and management responsibilities of the kind which will take much longer in coming to him within his organisation; and therefore make him better prepared for his career.

The sticking point in this approach comes when one considers the sorry state of the working in the Lodge to which he will be exposed. The average Indian corporate executive is invariably an MBA from a good school and those in the professions are highly qualified. They are thinking people, and can recognise the positive or negative values which any fraternity can have on their career goals.

Which brings us back to square one. Unless we are confident that the person we bring into our Lodge will be exposed to working, ritual and general conduct of a high standard, how can we initiate him, without lowering ourselves in his esteem?

In conclusion, let us admit that, how we restructure ourselves to regain the glory and discipline lost within the Temple, will dictate our way forward towards the next century.

 

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On interacting with the external world

A majority of Brethren have joined Freemasonry in recent decades; during an unfortunate period age in which Freemasonry in India has become more introverted and diffident.

Therefore, it is not merely a question of debating how we can once again be more outgoing and communicative with society, about our Fellowship. This we can do. The problem is how?
Here again, there is need to revert to the basics. A need for Grand Lodges to prepare guidelines on the kinds of activities which would suit our self-image and be in keeping with the Masonic landmarks. Lodges require guidelines on the roles they can take on in public life, and even suggested grids for public announcements on Masonic functions, activities and achievements. With firm directions, that it is incumbent on Lodges to play a role in the life of the community.

There should be guidelines to Brethren asking them to mention their Masonic affiliations, where appropriate, when being interviewed by the media.

A series of articles are required for the press, which can be carried by local media, after being adapted to include local history and achievements. Realistic articles on the origins and growth of Freemasonry would be of great interest to the lay reader; and help allay uneducated conjecture which frequents the press.

Are we talking about "professionalising" our communications approach? Most certainly. Even small steps forward, such as guidelines on wearing Masonic lapel pins, and encouragement to do so, would be welcome. The present law regarding the display of Masonic insignia has been taken to mean that there should be no display of Masonic affiliation whatsoever in public. Surely, this was never the intention?


A bit of Masonic history

Paraphrased from

"The History of Freemasonry"

By Robert Freke Gould

(continued)


INDIA

The Lodges in the (Calcutta) Presidency are thus described in the Freemasons' Calendar for 1774:-

Nos.

70. Star in the East, Calcutta, 1st L, of Bengal.

143. Lodge of Industry and Perseverance, Calcutta, 2d Lodge of Bengal.

288. Lodge of Unanimity, Calcutta, 3d Lodge of Bengal, constituted 1771; revived -then consisting of handicraftsmen in Calcutta-1787.

292. Anchor and Hope, Calcutta, 6th Lodge of Bengal.

According to the Grand Lodge Records, the Lodge was placed at this No. in 1793.

293. Lodge of Humility with Fortitude, Calcutta, 5th Lodge of Bengal. Constituted 1774, but became dormant. Constituted anew by Acting P.G.M. Williamson as No. 14, given the local No.11 in 1787.

316. Lodge of True Friendship, with the 3d Brigade, 4th Lodge Bengal. 1773, constituted by Middleton; 1787, composed of non-commissioned officers and privates belonging to the 3d Brigade, and called No. 10; 1788, the 3d Brigade moving to Berhampore, a new warrant-No. 12-granted to seven members remaining in Calcutta. Whether Nos. 10 or 12 survived in the Lodge above is uncertain; but the latter supposition is the more probable.

399. At Futty Ghur, Bengal, Constituted by Williamson; dormant in 1788; erased 1791.

464. Lodge of the North Star, Fredericks-nagore,7th Lodge of Bengal. The Danish Factory in Bengal constituted as Lodge No. 13 of Bengal-by the Prov. G.M., March 8, 1789.

528. At Chunar, in the East Indies, 8th Lodge of Bengal, Lodge of Sincere Friendship. Dormant 1796-1812. Erased from the English roll 1813, though, according to the records of the Prov. Grand Lodge, "doing well, and their members daily increasing," Nov. 23, 1814.

529. Lodge of Mars, Cawnpore, 9th Lodge of Bengal. Originally formed by persons employed in the marine service of the Government.

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BY CANDLE LIGHT

The candle has long been used as a means of illumination, but it is also used as a Spiritual Emblem. At the Medieval Altar and Shrine it carried with it the idea of consecration, of making and keeping a promise, and of thanks for mercies received.

In days gone by, Craft Guilds maintained an Altar in a nearby chapel, and kept it supplied with candles paid for by fines and fees from members.

The Lodge custom of burning three candles has come from Church and Guild - whatever the modern interpretation might be.

The burning of candles in Holy Places was an outward sign of fidelity, and a symbol of that Light, of which we read in the psalm, "Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet and a Light unto my path."

In the 18th century, the `Moderns’ regarded their three big candles, carried in high candlesticks, as `The Three Great Lights’. Their purpose was not only to show the course of the Sun rising in the East, reaching the meridian in the South, and setting in the West, but as a light to, at and from Labour, and also to represent the Sun, Moon and Master of the Lodge.

To the Ancients, the Three Great Lights were the Volume of the Sacred Law, the Square, and the Compasses, while the Three Lesser Lights were the Master and his Wardens.

To the Moderns, the Volume of the Sacred Law, the Square, and the Compasses were known as the Furniture of the Lodge.


Mysterious score

A frantic football match is in progress on Cross Maidan. An office goer crossing over to Churchgate Station, stops and asks, "Who’s playing?" Reply: "English Constitution vs. Scottish Constitution." "What’s the score?" "Sorry, I’m not allowed to tell you."

Editorial Board: Bro Tofique Fatehi, Bro Ahmed Bharucha, Bro Larry Grant.
Published for The Freemasons Chamber by Larry Grant, Post Box 1610, Mumbai 400001, India
Phone 91-22-2151001. E-mail
larry@vsnl.com.
Master Masons are welcome to request free copies. Please send full name, name and number of lodge, and address. Copies also available by e-mail.
FOR PRIVATE CIRCULATION ONLY


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