No. 9 -- The newsletter of The Freemasons Chamber -- May 2000

A History Of Scottish Freemasonry In India 1838 1999 (Part III)

- With a special request to Lodges and Brethren.

(Material covering the first 150 years of Scottish Freemasonry in India, is being in The Freemason. It was compiled by the late Bro Ratan Naoroji Contractor, Rt Wor District Grand Master 1985-1987.

Bro Bomi Shawaksha Mehta, our present Rt Wor District Grand Master, added the material which covers 1978 to 1998. Bro Bomi Mehta has requested that,, in an effort to compile a more comprehensive and upto-date history of Scottish Freemasonry in India, all lodges and Brethren may send us contributions concerning the achievements of their Lodges or Brethren, which would be worth recording, culled from the histories of their Lodges or private records. Short biographies of members who have made outstanding contributions to society and the nation, would be most welcome. Material may be sent to the editor of this newsletter, who will compile and pass it on to the Rt Wor District Master. Acknowledgement will be made in this newsletter and by the District Grand Lodge of India (SC) for all material received.

(Cont. from Issue 8)

On 30th March 1867, the Provincial Grand Master presented copies of letters written to Scotland, but as no action had been taken by them, he thought it fit to resign from his office.

Bro. Capt. Henry Morland said that the Provincial Grand Master was justified in his action, but his resignation would be a signal for the dissolution of the Provincial Grand Lodge, for he was fully satisfied that there was not one member who would retain office. He suggested to the Provincial Grand Master to postpone his resignation, and a


The Masonic Lodge Structure

Leaps tall buildings in a single bound
Is more powerful than an Intercity Express
Is faster than a speeding bullet
Walks on Water
Gives policy to God


letter with a précis of all the correspondence be forwarded to Bro. J. Hodgart, Past Provincial Substitute Grand Master, who was then in Scotland, with a request to wait upon the Grand Master and represent the grievances of the Provincial Grand Lodge.


Grand Lodge Of All Scottish Freemasonry In India

On 29th June 1867, the members were informed that two letters had been received from Edinburgh and that action was being taken.

On 29th September 1867, it was resolved that "mofussil lodges" be communicated with, and requested to appoint a Proxy Master and Proxy Wardens, to represent them in the Provincial Grand Lodge, which noteworthy practice seems to have been lost sight of in these days.


Leaps short buildings with a single bound
Is more powerful than a goods train
Is just as fast as a speeding bullet
Walks on the water if the sea is calm
Talks with God


At a Communication of the Grand Lodge held on 2nd June 1870, Bro. Capt. Henry Morland of the Royal Indian Marines was duly installed as the Provincial Grand Master, his commission being dated 2nd May 1870 for the Western Provinces of British India, including the island of Ceylon, and the territories subordinate thereto, in political or friendly relations with the British Presidency of Bombay.

The District was styled as 'The Grand Lodge of the Western Provinces of British India including the Island of Ceylon, and the Territories Subordinate thereto, in Political or Friendly Relations with the British Presidency of Bombay'.


Leaps short buildings with a running start and a favorable wind
Is almost as powerful as a goods train
Is faster than a speeding airgun pellet
Walks on water of a swimming pool
Talks with God if special dispensation is given


In Calcutta, Scottish Lodges during that period were chartered directly from Scotland.

The foundation stone of Scottish Freemasonry so securely laid by Bro. Dr. James Burnes was successfully strengthened by his successors, and Scottish Freemasonry had spread throughout the length and breadth of India by formation of many Lodges, with the result that the Provincial Grand Lodge of Western India blossomed with fragrance into the Grand Lodge of All Scottish Freemasonry in India in 1875.

31st January 1875 was a red letter day in the annals of Scottish Freemasonry in India, when a large number of Brethren of the Scottish and the English Constitutions, assembled at the Hall at Gowalia Tank Road, to inaugurate "The Grand Lodge of All Scottish Freemasonry in India", and installed Bro. Sir Henry Morland as its Grand Master with 19 Lodges under its Jurisdiction. 'Aden and the Territories Adjacent Thereto' were under its jurisdiction. The territories "adjacent" were at one time extensive - from Burma to Aden, including Ceylon.

On 11th November 1875, the laying of the foundation stone of Prince's Dock by HRH The Prince of Wales (afterwards King Edward VII) according to Masonic rites was witnessed. He was Most Worshipful Grand Master of England, who was on his tour of India. This was the only Masonic Ceremony in which he took part and the proceedings excited great public interest and brought Freemasonry in further light.

An address was presented to him, signed by the Grand Master of Scottish Freemasonry in India. His Royal Highness was also presented with the Fundator's or Burnes Medal by Lodge Rising Star of Western India, which has since been exhibited at the Masonic Museum in London.


Barely clears a garden hut
Loses a tug-of-war with a train
Can fire a speeding bullet
Swims well
Is occasionally addressed by God

In 1877 a controversy arose between the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Scotland and Bro. Sir Henry Morland as he was addressed by the Grand Secretary as the 'Provincial Grand Master' instead of as the 'Grand Master' on the ground that there could not be a Grand Lodge within a Grand Lodge.

Bro. Sir Henry Morland protested and resigned, and ultimately the title of Grand Master was restored to his successor, and subsequently to him, when he once again assumed office from 1883 to 1892.

On 28th April 1877, it was announced that all the Lodges and Chapters meeting in Bombay under the English and Scottish Constitutions, should hold their meetings in one Hall, which was both economical and unifying.

By this time, many Indians were given high ranks in the Grand Lodge of All Scottish Freemasonry in India, and in the Craft elsewhere. Bro. K. R. Cama in 1886 was given the rank of Treasurer in the Grand Lodge of England. In 1887 Bro K. R. Cama was the first Indian to be installed as the Grand Master Depute of Grand Lodge of All Scottish Freemasonry in India. Our Daughter Lodge 'K. R. Cama' No. 1366 founded in 1930 in his memory, still functions today.


Makes high marks on the wall when trying to leap buildings
Is run over by trains
Can sometimes handle a gun without inflicting self-injury
Doggie paddles
Talks with the animals


Runs into buildings
Recognizes trains two out of three times
Is not issued ammunition
Can stay afloat with a life vest
Talks to walls


Falls over doorsteps when trying to enter buildings
Says "Look at the choo choo's"
Wets himself with a water pistol
Plays in mud puddles
Mumbles to himself


Lifts buildings and walks under them
Kicks trains off the track
Catches speeding bullets in his mouth and eats them
Freezes water with a single glance

With fraternal regards

Drew Grant

PProvJGD (Northumberland)

Howdon Panns Lodge 5315 UGLE


From the proceedings of the Scottish Rite Research Society on 'Kaballah and Freemasonry'.

Freemasonry was very simply described as: "A secular fraternal organization, which promulgates the principles of morality and seeks to advance the practice of brotherly love and charitable action among all persons - not simply among Masons. It is not a religion; but a society of religious men, in that it requires its members to believe in the existence of a Supreme Being. While not a religion, it is a philosophical companion of religion."

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
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.

Previous Issue Newsletter Page Next Issue