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Article # 244
Inaugural Address

Author: R.W.Bro.S.Krishnan P.Dy.G.M.    Posted on: Friday, May 18, 2007
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[The learned author, is the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of India. He was installed as the R.W.Regional Grand Master of the Northern India on 10 th February 2007. His Inaugural Address is posted here]

 

M. W. the Grand Master, M. W. Past Grand Masters, R.W. Bro. V. K. Bhutani, my Brother Regional Grand Masters from the Western, Eastern and Southern Regions, R. W. Brethren, V. W. Brethren, W. Brethren and Brethren all,

 

I am grateful to M. W. the Grand Master for the confidence he has reposed in me and installing me as the Regional Grand Master of the Northern Region.  Coming as it does, after he had earlier appointed me as the Grand Secretary, only a few months ago, it has placed on me an added responsibility for ensuring that I prove worthy of that confidence.

 

It would be appropriate and I hope you will pardon me, if at this moment, when I stand before you, in my present capacity, I recall nostalgic memories, when about 53 years ago, I was initiated when I was still a student, in this very premises, in Lodge East and West, as its first initiate and recall my Masonic mentors, and pay my homage to late M. W. Bro. P.M. Sundaram and my father, late W. Bro. S.Sivaraman, who as Founder Members of the Lodge, had proposed and seconded me, as also the other senior Brethren of Lodge East and West of those days who had always been a great source of inspiration to me in the early years of Masonic career.

 

I have been closely associated with 4 Lodges in the Northern Region. First and foremost of course is my Mother Lodge East and West, which, as one of the premier Lodges in the Region had always set high standards of Masonic traditions. Lodge East and West has the honour of having had as its Members two Grand Masters in the person of M. W. Bro. Nawab Raza Ali Khan of Rampur as its Founder Master and one of its initiates M. W. Bro. Justice Prakash Narain, who followed him later and served as Grand Master for a record period of over six years. It also had as one of its Founder Members, our First Grand Secretary, M. W. Bro. P. M. Sundaram the only Freemason to be conferred the rank of Past Grand Master, without serving as such. The Lodge has also the honour of as many as three Regional Grand Masters in the person of late M. W. Bro. Justice Prakash Narain, R. W. Bro. Justice P. N. Khanna and R. W. Bro. V. M. Bali. It is with an utmost sense of humility that I consider myself honoured to join such an illustrious group and to stand before you as the 4th RGM from that Lodge. The other Lodges with which I was associated are Lodge Elysium where besides occupying the Eastern Chair I was also Secretary for over 9 years, Lodge Rajadhani where also I occupied the Eastern Chair and Lodge Mayur of which I was Founder Master. I therefore consider my appointment as RGM more as an honour for the Lodges with which I have been associated than as a personal achievement.

 

Brethren, I find that on my appointment as the RGM, I have a few dubious distinctions to my credit. Firstly, like M.W the Grand Master, I am the thirteenth incumbent for the office of the RGM, but just as he observed in his address after his installation, a few of his predecessors as well as mine, had more than one tenure, and so perhaps the number thirteen may not I hope have any adverse effect. Secondly, I thought I had the distinction of being the oldest person to be appointed as RGM, but fortunately or unfortunately, that credit goes to one of my predecessors, R. W. Bro. Baldev Nand, who beat me to it, by quite a few months! Thirdly, though senior in age, I happen to be the junior most of the four RGM’s present here, as I am the last to be installed as such.

 

Brethren, I did not have the benefit of hearing the address by my predecessor a little while ago. However, I have had occasion to go through the printed Report of the salient features of his 3-year tenure. It not only makes impressive reading, but also reflects his dynamic and business like qualities, due to which it has been possible for the Northern Region, to achieve significant progress, particularly, the two major Masonic projects, namely the General Williams Masonic Polyclinic and the Masonic Public School. The third Project namely the Amrit Masonic Spastic Society has also made significant progress as it now has a renovated building, a Physio Therapy Centre and a good Masonic Temple. In fact it has all the potential of developing into an East Delhi Masonic Centre, though it is located in NOIDA, UP. I may also add a word of praise about the various visible changes he has brought about in the ambience and the general upkeep of the Masonic premises, as also the vibrancy he has brought about in the various Masonic events during his tenure. I must also add that if he has left one task unfinished it is the establishment of an Old Age Home, regarding which discussions are going on and it will be my endeavour to take it forward. 

 

In handing over the management of these institutions to me, in the fine shape they are, R. W. Bro. Bhutani   has made my task that much easier, but I do realize that these institutions need continuous attention and nurturing, to ensure that they not only maintain the high standards that they have achieved, but also progress further. I am well aware of these and my other Masonic responsibilities in the Region. At the same time, I am equally well aware that though age and agility are not in my favour to the extent I wish I had, I have full confidence in the capacity and capabilities of the brethren from all over the Region, from many of whom, letters of congratulations and support have been pouring in from various parts of the Region, ever since M.W. the Grand Master made his announcement a few months ago. I am therefore confident that I along with their cooperation and support will be able to face the challenges of my Office with confidence. I cannot but recall on this occasion, the spontaneous and overwhelming support and encouragement I got from the Brethren of this Region, a few years ago, when I needed it most. I am therefore very much encouraged to stand before you in all humility, as your Regional Grand Master, for the next three years and dedicate myself wholeheartedly, not only to serve this Region to the utmost of my skill and ability, but also pledge my loyalty and support to M.W. the Grand Master and the Grand Lodge of India.

 

Brethren each RGM brings his own style of working and endeavours his best to do his bit for his Region during his three-year tenure. I will be no exception to the rule. However, I would like to take this opportunity to announce that I expect the Deputy and the Assistant RGM’s to play a more important and active role and to take their Masonic duties more seriously. This is not to mean that they were not doing so earlier, but I would like them to share the responsibility of managing the Region, to a much greater extent than earlier. There are basically two important reasons for this. The first is a somewhat selfish reason, to make up for my lack of mobility to the same extent as my predecessor. More importantly, as leaders of tomorrow, I am of the firm view that they must gain experience and confidence and develop leadership qualities, in guiding Lodges, so that they can take up higher responsibilities in the future.  This is not to say that I will be remaining static and not move about at all, but I would like to manage my movement during my tenure, in such a manner that I visit all the 100 lodges of the Region as on date, at least once in my three - year tenure. I also take this opportunity to request the Lodges to bear with me in this regard, while at the same time, I would like to emphasize that the visit of a Deputy, or an Assistant RGM, does not in any way, either reduce the importance of the occasion of their visit, or is in any way a reflection of the status accorded to the Lodge by the Region. They are as much the representative of the Region as the RGM is a representative of the Grand Master. I would like to emphasize in this connection that the Institution and the respect due to an Office, is more important than the individuals. I therefore expect the lodges to accord them the same respect and courtesy, as they would extend to the RGM.

 

M. W. the Grand Master has made my task for the management of the Region easier by formulating his Vision for the Grand Lodge of India during his tenure, based on which the Grand Lodge of India has issued a circular to all Regions on the lines on which action is to be taken for implementing his Vision. Since the author of that circular is none other than me as the Grand Secretary, it will be my constant endeavour to ensure that every effort is made to carry out those instructions. I am already aware that many Lodges have taken note of its contents and are considering further action on it. I look forward to drawing up an action plan in this regard in consultation with the recently appointed Deputy and Assistant RGM’s. I also look forward to the active support, guidance and cooperation of my predecessors in office, four of whom are present here today. Three of them are already actively involved in the management of various projects of the Region and I look forward to the support and assistance of my immediate predecessor R. W. Bro. V. K. Bhutani also in some active capacity.

 

I must mention that I am overwhelmed greatly encouraged by the enormous response from the brethren of the Northern Region who have turned up in such large numbers. I also welcome the brethren from other Regions, who have honoured us  by their presence. I thank them all from the core of my heart for taking the trouble of traveling long distances to make this event a success. I also take this opportunity to thank the RGM’s of the Eastern Western and Southern Regions for gracing the occasion. Last but not the least I must thank the untiring effort of the Steering Committee headed by V.W. Bro. H. R. Suri, who have worked hard for the success of this event

 

In the end I thank you for your patient hearing.

R.W.Bro.S.Krishnan, was born in Vizianagaram, on 14th October 1933, then in the Madras Presidency, now in Andhra Pradesh. He had his entire education in Delhi and after graduating in B. Sc Physics, did his Post Graduation in Mathematics, from Delhi University in 1956. He later joined the Civil Services as a Member of the Indian Audit and Accounts Service in 1957. He retired from Service in October 1991, at the level of Secretary, Government. of India after holding many important and high positions, in the Government of India and in the Public Sector, which included a stint as Chief Financial Controller, Hindusthan Aeronautics Ltd. Bangalore. He saw the Light of Freemasonry, on 28th April, 1954 in Lodge East and West, then No.1491, S.C. as its first initiate, at the third meeting after its constitution. He was proposed by late M. W. Bro. P. M. Sundaram and seconded by his father, late W. Bro. S. Sivaraman, both of whom were Founder Members of Lodge East and West. As a Lewis, his age then was 20+ and he was still a student studying for his Post Graduation at that time. Soon after his initiation, he had the rare privilege of attending an all India Convention of Freemasons at the Palace of the Nawab of Rampur, for which a special train was run from Delhi to Rampur, exclusively for Freemasons. Also by virtue of his being a Member of Lodge East and West, at the time of its opting to come over to the Grand Lodge of India at its formation in November 1961, he is a recipient of the commemorative Original Member Jewel and Certificate, of the Grand Lodge of India. Due to the transferable nature of his Service, he did not progress fast, in the Masonic ladder, in his early years. However, on his posting to Shillong, in Assam, he joined Lodge Shillong, in November 1961, then No.2566, S.C. and later No.63, GLI in the Eastern Region, and steadily progressing through all the active offices, became its Worshipful Master, in 1967 and continued as such, for a second term as well, in 1968. On his transfer back to Delhi in 1969, he joined Lodge Elysium No.67 and besides occupying its Eastern Chair, in May 1982, served as its Secretary, for over ten years. He was also a Member of Lodge Rajdhani No.197 of which he later became Worshipful Master. He was also a member of Lodge Raza Jubilee No.132, and served as its Director of Ceremonies. On the consecration of Lodge Mayur No.333 in September 2002, he became its Founder Master and continued as such for two terms. Thus he has had the privilege of being installed as Worshipful Master on 6 occasions in the craft. He has been an active members of the Regional Grand Lodge of Northern India and starting from his first rank of Past Regional Grand Steward in February 1972, has had the distinction of holding most of the active ranks in the Region, right from Regional Grand Inner Guard to Assistant Regional Grand Master, which office he held from 1983 to 1986. Though he had been conferred the Past rank of Deputy Regional Grand Master, as along ago as in 1987, he also later held the office, as active Deputy Regional Grand Master in 2002. He had also earlier held the important Offices of the Regional Grand Treasurer, Regional Grand Registrar and the President of the Regional Grand Board of General Purposes, in the Northern Region. He has also been equally active, in the affairs of the Grand Lodge of India and served as Grand Secretary, from April 1998 to September 2000. Rising steadily from his first Grand rank of Past Grand Tyler, in December 1973 through various other active and Past ranks, he currently holds the rank of Past Deputy Grand Master in the Craft. He has also had occasion to accompany some of the Grand Masters, as acting Grand Director of Ceremonies. He is presently once again serving as the Grand Secretary w. e. f. October 2006. He is currently also holding the Office of the Regional Grand Master of the Regional Grand Lodge of Northern India and thus has the unique distinction of holding two Active Ranks in the Grand Lodge of India viz. Grand Secretary and Regional Grand Master. He was exalted in Royal Arch Chapter in Scottish Chapter, 1526 in Shillong on 25th May 1963 and later became a Member of Chapter Shillong No.49 in June 1965. Later, on his transfer to Delhi he joined Chapter Sundar Heera No.40 and became its Principal Z, in 1976. In the Regional Grand Chapter of Northern India, he rose steadily through various active and Past ranks and after serving as active 3rd Regional Grand Principal, was later conferred the rank of Past 2nd Regional Grand Principal in 1991, which office he also served in an active capacity, in the year 2002. He has received both his 25 years and 40 years LTS Jewel in the Chapter. In the Supreme Grand Chapter also he was conferred many active and Past ranks from time to time and also served as Grand Scribe Ezra from April 1998 to September 2000. Presently he holds the past rank of 2nd Grand Principal and is also serving as Grand Scribe Ezra. He is also currently the Grand Superintendent of Regional Grand Chapter of Northern India. He was advanced in Mark Lodge Mallet and Chisel No.7, and later became its Master. Likewise he was elevated in RAM Lodge P.M.Sundaram No.30, in May 1972 and later became its Worshipful Commander. He rose steadily through the various active and past Regional Grand ranks in Mark Masonry and became Past Deputy Regional Mark Master in 1993. He also served as active Regional Grand Registrar in Mark in 2004. He is also a Senior Regional Grand Officer in the RAM in the Region. In the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons also, he steadily rose through various ranks and besides serving as Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons from April 1968 to September 2000, and after serving as Active Assistant Grand Mark Master in 2003 became Past Deputy Grand Master in Mark in 2004. He is also the Regional Grand Master of the Regional Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Northern Region. He has had the unique honour of receiving his 25 years Long Term Jewel in October 1986 at the hands of M.W.Bro.Justice Prakash Narain, OSM who himself was an initiate of Lodge East and West. He later received his 40 years Jewel in February 1999 from M.W.Bro.H.P.Mathur, OSM and the 50 years LTS Jewel from M.W.Bro.Arun Chintopanth, OSM in October 2004. He has the distinction of holding the first ever Masonic Quiz in India and perhaps in the Word, in 1974, which was quite a success in those days. He also organized one of the earliest Masonic Workshops in India in Kanpur in 1978, where he presented a paper on ‘Freemasonry as a Way of Life’ and has also participated in various other Masonic Seminars and Workshops. He has to his credit several thought provoking and interesting Orations at the Consecration of several Craft Lodges and a Masonic Temple, as also many Chapters, Mark and RAM Lodges. He has contributed several articles on various Masonic topics, in Regional Grand Lodge and Grand Lodge Souvenirs, as also in the Masonic Magazine Square & Compasses, of which he is currently the Editor. Further on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of Lodge East and West, he had taken great pains to compile the History of the Lodge. He was also the first Secretary of the Amrit Masonic Spastic Society on its being taken over as a project by the Regional Grand Lodge of Northern India. He is a very keen ritualist and is always ready to come forward and deliver any part of the ritual, whether in the Craft, Chapter Mark or RAM. He is a popular and well-known Freemason, not only in the Northern Region, but also in all other Regions as well, being a great Masonic Scholar, able administrator, great thinker and a brother, living as per the Masonic tenets, Rule and Line. We are very thankful for his gracious permission to post his article.


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