Distinguished brethren and Brethren all,
On this our 81 st Annual Communication, it is with hearty fraternal greetings, I welcome you all this afternoon.
To all of you, for having sacrificed your precious time to be here for which I do appreciate & thank you. My special thanks to the Master Masons. You are the future of this District and I bid you a very special welcome.
To the heads of our Sister Constitutions & their accompanying brethren, not only do I thank you for your presence here today, but also more so, for the support you give to our District on a continual basis by visiting our various lodges both at the Installation & regular meetings.
This afternoon not only would I like to share the events of the past year, but also to dwell on the areas that need more attention on the future of our District. Our District had the honour of hosting the Most Wor Pro Grand Master, Very Wor. Grand Secretary cum Chief Executive, Very Wor. Grand Director of ceremonies and Worshipful Grand Assistant Director of ceremonies, who came to install me as the District Grand Master of the District of Zambia. The ceremony was well attended not only by the brethren of our constitution, but overwhelmingly by the distinguished brethren of our sister constitutions. On this occasion the Grand Lodge made a substantial sum of charity contribution of GBP 5,000.00 to Fountain of hope orphanage, through our District Grand Lodge.
On 14th September last year, I attended the installation of new Pro Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, Assistant Grand Master and Grand Secretary. I was accompanied by our Deputy District Grand Master, Wor Bro Vashee, President of the District Board of General Purposes, Wor Bro Ramanlal Patel and our District officer Wor Bro Rashmi I. Joshi. I thank these distinguished brethren for accompanying me on this special occasion. I also place on
record that I was honoured by seating on the top table with the newly installed Pro Grand Master, out going Pro Grand Master, Grand Master of Irish Constitutions and other distinguished guests. Considering the size of our district, I consider it as the Great honour to our District.
I am pleased to report that the District has revived Victoria Falls lodge No.5327 which had for many years delayed their installation due to the pandemic and other logistics reasons. The District is closely monitoring the situation of Victoria Falls Lodge and if it becomes necessary, to move the charter to Lusaka.
I am also pleased to note that Konkola Lodge No. 7549 had their meetings after a long period, and had their installation meeting at the end of September. Lodges on Copperbelt are generally having difficulties to have their regular meetings. This can only be overcome by getting more members into the lodge. I take this opportunity to delegate this task to my Deputy District Grand Master and the Assistant District Grand Master who are based on the Copperbelt. I am aware that it is a difficult task. But if one thinks positive you always achieve success.
UGLE has brought in a programme, to zero the gap in membership, and I am fully committed to implement their programme through our membership officer. I hereby urge Wor Bro Mulenga to spare more time and ensure that Members pathway programme is fully implemented by every lodge in our district, so that the loss of membership in the early years of someone joining could be avoided.
Our District is small in terms of number of lodges and number of masons. The Grand Rank allocation is done on the basis of numbers in the District. Grand Lodge allocated one appointment to our district with no promotions in the rank. I had a lengthy discussion with the Rulers and I am pleased to announce that I managed convinced them to offer us one additional appointment. My hearty congratulations to these two worshipful brethren, who have worked very hard to get their lodges going. Wor Bro Secretary will notify the names of
these worthy brethren as soon as he is notified by the Grand Secretariat. Investiture of Grand Rank takes place on Wednesday 26 th April 2023.
Let me congratulate those Brethren honoured by being appointed and invested with District Grand honours. Your new ranks are recognition of your contribution to your Lodges, and now afford you a further opportunity for future sustained participation in your Lodges and all other Lodges in the District.
The Grand Lodge has now introduced a new office in Lodges and Districts “Communications Officer” who would be communicating with the media and outside world. He would be responsible to promote or present a good picture of masonry to the outside world, so that more people would be aware of the benefits and advantages of masonry. I have not yet filled up this post, but will do so after discussion with the members of the Board of General Purposes.
As I mentioned at the RA Convocation earlier this morning, it is my wish to promote RA Masonry in Zambia. I expect all Master Masons to join Royal Arch Masonry, which is considered as the completion of Master Masons degree. This progression is not unreasonable, it follows the declaration of our Constitution that Royal Arch is an integral part of Regular Masonry culmination of the Master Mason’s Degree, and without it, a Brother cannot trulyand genuinely call himself a Master Mason.
February is generally the wettest month in Zambia. Some of the senior members of the District may recollect, that District Grand Lodge used to meet twice a year until 2004. It was decided by the Board to hold only one communication, as travelling became more and more difficult and unaffordable. Until then every second Saturday of February and 2nd Saturday of August were earmarked dates for English District Grand Lodge. Weather conditions in August in Zambia are usually favourable to travel, and I am proposing to have our next Communication on 2nd Saturday in August 2023 and continue holding our annual convocations on 2nd Saturday of August every year thereafter. This may see larger attendance at our district communications.
Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to our Deputy District Grand Master Wor. Brother Ajay Vashee, the Past Assistant District Grand Master Wor Bro Steve Dyson, The President of the District Board of General Purposes Wor Bro Ramanlal Patel, the District Grand Secretary Wor Bro Bharat Nayee, the Dist Grand Director of Ceremonies Wor Bro Ernest Zebron, the District Grand Treasurer Wor Bro H. K. Patel and all the Officers of the District for your continued assistance & cooperation.
Brethren travelling from far, I wish you a safe return journey. May the Great Architect of the universe keep you all safe and strong.
Rt. Wor. Bro. Ganapati N. Pai
District Grand Master
Excellent Companions & Companions all,
On this our 32 nd Annual Convocation, it is with hearty fraternal greetings, I welcome you all this morning.
To all of you, for having sacrificed your precious time to be here for which I do appreciate & thank you. My special thanks to the Companions. You are the future of this District and I bid you a very special welcome.
This morning, not only would I like to share the events of the past year, but also to dwell on the areas that need more attention on the future of our District Grand Chapter.
Our District had the honour of hosting the Most Excellent Pro Grand First Principal, Most Excellent Grand Scribe “E”, Ex Comp. Grand Director of ceremonies and Ex Comp. Grand Assistant Director of ceremonies, who came to install me as the Grand Superintendent of the District Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of in and over Zambia. The ceremony was well
attended not only by the companions of our constitution, but by the distinguished Companions of our sister constitutions.
Chapters under our district are three of which two, hold their convocations regularly and third has difficulties in holding their convocations. United Grand Lodge of England and the Supreme Grand Chapter of England have come closer today in an attempt to close the gap with Master Masons Royal Arch Masons. There is a big gap in the numbers, and these two institutes are aiming to reduce that gap. I am therefore committed to improve that ratio in our District. Which I am sure can be achieved by commitment by the rulers of the District Grand Chapter. I have therefore given this responsibility to our Deputy Grand Superintendent Ex. Comp. Ajay Vashee and District Grand Third Principal Ex Comp. Ramanlal Patel to revive Jubilee Chapter No. 5582 which has not met regularly for some time. There are many Master masons, in Kitwe, Mufulira and Chingola, who are very keen to join Royal Arch Chapter but have not joined Royal Arch Chapter, because, some of the older members have lost interest in Royal Arch Masonry. I am hoping that there will be some positive outcome in the coming months.
Every year, the Grand rank allocation is made to each district on the basis of number of members. Regrettably, the allocation to our district was Zero. I had to put forward our case with the Rulers of the Supreme Grand Chapter. It was very hard to convince but after many deliberations, the Supreme Grand Chapter has agreed to offer our District two new appointments. The new appointments will come into effect from Thursday 27th April 2023, when the
investiture of the Grand Chapter officers takes place. The names will be announced by District Grand Scribe “E” once he receives the names from Grand Secretariat.
My hearty congratulations to these Ex. Companions for achieving the Grand Chapter rank.
May I remind the members of Royal Arch chapter, that it is mandatory for you to wear the Royal Arch Jewel in the craft meetings as a visible sign of the indissoluble link between RA and craft Masonry.
I have noticed the low turnout of members attending today. The weather has not been very kind for the companions from the far distances to attend this convocation. February is generally the wettest month in Zambia. Some of the senior members of the chapter may recollect that District Grand Chapter used to hold their convocations twice a year until 2004. Until 2004, every second
Saturday of February and 2nd Saturday of August were the dates of English District Grand Lodge and Chapter. Weather conditions in August in Zambia are usually favourable to travel, and I am proposing to have our next Convocation on 2nd Saturday in August 2023 and continue holding our annual convocations on 2nd Saturday of August every year. This may see larger
attendance of our companions at the district convocations.
Finally I wish all those companions, who were promoted in various ranks and hope to work closely with you all, for the development of Royal Arch Masonry in Zambia. I have been reminded that a light lunch has been organized by the Junior Wardens of Eagle & Falcon Lodges, for a small charge to reimburse the cost.
Thank you all
Most Ex Comp Ganapati N. Pai