Lodge Good Fellowship No. 71 GLI, The Sir Andrew Fraser Lodge No. 72 GLI and The St. Mary Lodge No. 75 celebrated their Centenary at Calcutta on 27th and 28th December, 2008 organised by a Joint Organising Committee which had W.Bro. Raja Mookerjee as it’s Chairman and W.Bro. Ambarish Singh Roy as it’s Convenor.
These celebrations were presided over by M.W. Bro. Justice Devinder Gupta, OSM, Most Worshipful the Grand Master. R.W. Bro. Capt. Dr. Balaram Biswakumar, OSM, Deputy Grand Master and the Grand Master –Elect, R.W. Bro. Ashok Mehrotra, Assistant Grand Master, R.W. Bro. Sisir Kumar Ghosh, Right Worshipful the Regional Grand Master of Eastern India, R.W. Bro. Krishna Kumar Gautam, M.E. the Third Grand Principal, R.W. Bro. Dr. John Reginald, Grand Senior Warden, R.W. Bro. K.K. Gaur, Grand Director of Ceremonies and a host of other Masonic dignitaries and Brethren from far and near graced the two-day celebrations with their presence.
The celebrations commenced on the morning of 27th December, 2008 with the Inauguration of the new Dental Clinic at the Masonic Polyclinic Association of Eastern India dedicated to the memory of Late Rai Bahadur Lalit Mohan Singh Roy CIE, JP by W.Bro. Ambarish Singh Roy. The Dental Clinic was inaugurated by M.W. Bro. Justice Devinder Gupta, OSM, Most Worshipful the Grand Master in the presence of R.W. Bro. Sisir Kumar Ghosh, the dignitaries and the inauguration was attended by an overwhelming number of Brethren and their families. Most Worshipful the Grand Master inspected the Dental Clinic’s facilities and hoped that it would run successfully in the near future. He also praised the brethren for taking this initiative in the right direction. The inauguration was followed by a lunch jointly hosted by the three Lodges in honour of the dignitaries, guests and members of the Masonic Polyclinic Association of Eastern India and their families.
The ceremony of re-dedication began the same evening at 5.30 PM. The Officiating Centenary Officers as nominated jointly by the three participating Lodges were - Worshipful Master: W.Bro. Bharat V. Epur, I.P.M: R.W. Bro. K.P. David, Senior Warden: V.W. Bro. Banshi Badan Dutt, Junior Warden: W.Bro. Prakash Khanna Senior Deacon: W.Bro. Pervez Kaikobad, Junior Deacon: Bro. Prakash Sipani, Inner Guard: W.Bro. Nurul Hasan, Tyler: W.Bro. Anil Khullar, DOC: W.Bro. Asish Kr. Ghosh, Chaplain: W.Bro. Dr. C.B. Nanjappa, Secretary: W.Bro. Ambarish Singh Roy, Treasurer: W.Bro. D. N. Banerjee. The Lodge received, welcomed and greeted R.W. Bro. Sisir kr. Ghosh, Right Worshipful the Regional Grand Master, Eastern India along with the members of his deputation. The Lodge then received, welcomed and greeted M.W. Bro. Justice Devinder Gupta, OSM, Most Worshipful the Grand Master, Grand Lodge of India, along with the members of his deputation of Grand Officers. The officiating Worshipful Master, W.Bro Bharat V. Epur then delivered the welcome address which was followed by a reading of the brief history of each of the three Lodges by the Secretary. Most Worshipful the Grand Master then took charge of the Lodge on request of the Worshipful Master. After the reading of a prayer by the Acting Grand Chaplain, the Centenary Warrants were read out by V.W. Bro. Shantanu Mazumdar, Acting Grand Secretary. Various Past Masters read out select portions of the Volumes of Sacred Law and their translations. W.Bro. D.N. Banerjee read a portion from the Bhagvad Gita, W.Bro. Nurul Hasan recited a portion from the Holy Quran; R.W. Bro. K.P. David read a portion from the Holy Bible, W.Bro. Indu Chatrath recited a portion from The Granth Sahib and W.Bro. Pervez S. Kaikobad recited a portion from the Zend Avesta. Thereafter the Worshipful Masters, Senior Wardens, Junior Wardens, I.P.M’s, Past Masters and Brethren of the 3 Lodges lined up in three separate lines to take the Oath of Re-dedication. After this Oath, Most Worshipful the Grand Master addressed the Brethren present at the Joint Meeting and handed over the Lodge to the officiating Worshipful Master. The Three Secretaries of the Lodges then read their individual Roll of Past Masters. Thereafter, the Worshipful Master called on the Brethren present to pass by acclamation the proposal of Honorary Membership for M.W. Bro. Chief Justice Devinder Gupta, OSM, Most Worshipful the Grand Master. This being done, Most Worshipful the Grand Master rose to address the Brethren and thanked the Three Lodges for bestowing the honour of Honorary Membership on him. On a request from the officiating Worshipful Master, Most Worshipful the Grand Master then released the Centenary Jewels of all the three Lodges. The Worshipful Master then presented one jewel of each of the three lodges to M.W. Bro. Justice Devinder Gupta, OSM, Most Worshipful the Grand Master, R.W. Bro. Sisir Kr. Ghosh, Right Worshipful the Regional Grand Master and one set each to the Central Masonic Library and Museum. Thereafter, on a request from the Worshipful Master, Most Worshipful the Grand Master distributed the Centenary Jewels of all three Lodges to all members who were present.
The Director of Ceremonies then presented V.W. Bro. Banshi Badan Dutt to Most Worshipful the Grand Master. W.Bro. Ambarish Singh Roy, Secretary, gave a compendious description of V.W. Bro. Banshi Badan Dutt’s eminent career as a Mason over the past 50 years. Most Worshipful the Grand Master was then pleased to bestow upon V.W. Bro. Banshi Badan Dutt the 50 Years Long Term Service Jewel and the citation thereof. He also congratulated V.W. Bro. Dutt and commended him on his estimable masonic journey of over half a century. V.W. Bro. Dutt then addressed Most Worshipful the Grand Master, R.W. the Regional Grand Master and members of their respective deputations as well as the Brethren of the Lodge. He expressed his deep gratitude for the honour the Most Worshipful the Grand Master had been kind enough to bestow upon him. He also thanked the Brethren of his own lodge The Sir Andrew Fraser Lodge No. 72 GLI (one of the three participating lodges), for their unstinting support and encouragement.
The Worshipful Master, W.Bro. Bharat V. Epur then delivered his thanks giving address. He thanked Most Worshipful the Grand Master, Right Worshipful the Regional Grand Master, and the distinguished members of their respective deputations for honouring us by gracing this unique joint lodge centenary meeting with their presence. He also thanked brethren who had travelled from different parts of India, especially from the Southern Region and one V.W. Bro. Roger Hansel who had travelled from the Grand Lodge of Canada and made it convenient to attend our Centenary Celebrations. He also praised the work of the organising committee which had worked sincerely to bring the dreams of their Brethren to fruition.
Thereafter a collection was made in the aid of charity. Most Worshipful the Grand Master then retired from the Lodge along with members of his deputation of Grand Officers. The Regional Grand Master then retired along with members of his deputation of Regional Grand Officers. The Lodge was thereafter closed in due form.
The fellowship started along with the strains of a String Quartet hired from the Calcutta School of Music http://www.csm.org.in/ . A brochure on Calcutta School of Music, a charitable organisation which helps financially challenged but talented musicians, was distributed by members of the Lodge. The members of the three lodges added a fillip to the evening by un-corking numerous bottles of champagne and used the contents to fill wine glasses to be used for toasting.
A formal banquet was laid out at the Northampton Hall and after all the dignitaries and members were seated, the Grand DOC called out a list of toasts which were taken with due solemnity and grace. Over 100 brethren sat along the dignitaries at the banquet and a five course meal was enjoyed by the brethren amidst the continuing performance of the Calcutta School of Music String Quartet.
A Free Eye Camp which was sponsored and organised jointly by the three Centenary Lodges at the Masonic Polyclinic Association of Eastern India was then inaugurated by M.W. Bro. Justice Devinder Gupta, OSM, Most Worshipful the Grand Master. Over 200 patients from the general public who had registered earlier were treated and diagnosed for their eye-related ailments and free spectacles were given to those in need of them. A few cases were found serious enough to warrant surgery. They were given appointments for such surgery to take place free of cost at an eye hospital under the supervision of W.Bro. Dr. Amit Paul. Many family members and wives of the Brethren of these three lodges participated in the eye camp. Food packets were also distributed to all the patients who had participated in the eye-camp. The eye camp which was under the direct supervision of W.Bro Prakash Khanna was a resounding success.