Pune, 4th February, 2007

Address of the R.W. Regional Grand Master R.W.Bro. Vasudev Masurekar
At the Annual Investiture Meeting of the Regional Grand Lodge of Western
India Held on Saturday, 4th February, 2007 at Pune.

M.W. Bro. Justice Devinder Gupta, O.S.M, M. W. the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Antient, Free and Acccepted Masons of India, M.W.Bro. Gautam Divan, OSM, M.W. Bro Hariprasad Mathur , OSM and M. W. Bro. Dilip Udeshi O.S.M., our M.W. Past Grand Masters, R.W.Bro. Vinodkumar Bhutani, R.W. Regional Grand Master of the Regional Grand Lodge of Northern India, R.W.Bro G.K.Selvarajan , R.W.Regional Grand Master of the Regional Grand Lodge of Southern India, R.W.Bro. Girish Shastri, R.W.Regional Grand Master of the Regional Grand Lodge of Eastern India, Bro. Bomi Savak Mehta, R.W.District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of India, Scottish Constitution and R.W.Bro.Lahu Chogle ,R.W. Provincial Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Ireland in India and W.Bro. Soli Daruwala , W. Deputy District Grand Master, of the District Grand Lodge of Bombay and Northern India , Distinguished Members of the Grand Lodge deputation , R.W.Brethren, V.W.Brethern , W. Brethren and Brethren all.

A very warm welcome to all of you to this Annual Investiture Meeting of the Regional Grand Lodge of Western India in this historic city of Pune , the erstwhile capital of the Maratha empire, Workstation of eminent national leaders like Lokmanya Tilak , Gopal Krishna Gokhale , Agarkar and Ranade and many others; One time pensioners paradise and now the IT hub of Maharashtra.

The Challenge we face today is not of growth or inducting new members. The main challenge we face today is to address the ways and means to keep the existing masons interested and enthusiastic about masonry. And this is highlighted by our M.W. Grand Master in his vision statement that rigorous attempts need to be made to check and prevent “drop outs”. Those who are in love with this institution and strongly believe in its principles and tenets , it is their affectionately bounded duty to work with missionary zeal to convey to the brethren the happy and beneficial effects of our ancient institution. I say ‘ Missionary Zeal’ because those who attempt to tread this path are bound to face resistance , dejection , but if you believe that this is a path to salvation , then this zeal must not wane. We see herds of people flock to discourses be it ‘ Art of living’ , ‘Spiritual Encounters’, ‘Alternative therapies’ etc. The ultimate goal is to seek happiness and peace. To my mind , a ritual book of masons is his passport to happiness provided the visa of having imbibed the teachings is stamped on it.
Freemasonry is morality. Masonry teaches the necessity of morality, requiring from its members that they be good men and true , righteous when tried by the square, upright when tried by the plumb, their passions kept in due bounds by the compasses, just in their dealing with others, patient with the erring , charitable , truthful and honourable.
The tools for having a perfect Ashler are at our disposal , but they lie scattered across lodges , hidden in fading relationships and atrophied by lack of use.
The words from William Prestons Masonic lecture succinctly informs us of our Masonic identity in terms of Action.
“By the rough Ashler, we are reminded of our rude and imperfect state by nature”
By the perfect Ashler , of the state of perfection at which we hope to arrive by a virtuous education , our own endeavors and blessings of God.

In the past, freemasonry accomplished the following :
a) Provided camaraderie
b) Created elite status.
c) Served as a stepping stone to business and social contacts.
d) Attracted leaders to its membership.
What is currently happening ?
a) No longer identified as an elite organization.
b) Current masons are not given to understand the true meaning of our fraternity and hence they loose interest.

Here is the action plan. Take action now.
1. Beginning at the lodge level , plan meaningful activities that put Masonic values into action.
2. Improve the environment of lodge based fellowship; refresh look of the lodge; welcome new members ; improve presentation skills and strengthen communication skills.
3. Initiate work-shops on personal growth topics. Tap talents of individual members.
4. Share success stories with other lodges. And ABOVE ALL,
5. HONOUR THE MASON IN YOU.

We must move forward individually and fraternally . We encourage you to think carefully how you invest your time which is everyone’s most valuable asset and we ask that you use your time on programs and actions that are uniquely Masonic.

Three disparate copmanies merged together to form Computing Tabulating and Recording company CTR LTD. Most financial analysts of that time did not give the merger much chance of surviving. At his first meeting, with all the managers of the merged companies, Thomas Watson, the new company president, showed them what he called the” Man Proposition”. He wrote this on a board :
General Manager
Sales Manager
Factory Manager
Office Manager
Marketing Manager
Finance Manager
Personnel Manager

Then Watson crossed out all the letters of the job titles except for the word
“Man”. Watson said that everybody in the company was important and every man was equal. ‘We are just men,’ Watson continued. ‘Men standing together, shoulder to shoulder, all working for one common good.’

Using this philosophy Watson turned the ailing CTR into the enormously successful IBM.
Likewise, Freemasons working together can make our Order thrive.We live in an age where all young professionals understand and use the concept of the ‘flat organization’ that Watson used to build IBM. Watson preached working together ‘on the level’, and this is just what our ritual teaches us to do. Freemasons ‘happily meet, happily part and happily meet again’ because the culture of masonry has an internal discipline which makes it continue. The secret force is the power of ritual, the key part of the spiritual reward of being a mason.

Western Region is thriving . Each centre is vibrant with activities. Credit goes to the brethren first who are making this happen and next to my illustrious predecessors . There are concerns expressed about Mumbai . Let me remind you the two grand events in the year 2004,one Grand Festival and one Annual Meeting was held in Mumbai which are still fondly remembered.
Year 2005 was dull , but year 2006 has seen a spate of activities.
Meeting for Master Masons was organized in April 06 at Yacht Club, chaired by then Grand Master M.W. Bro. Arun Chintopanth.
In May 06 a charitable project – ” Garage Sale” by Masonic Ladies association.
In June 06 , universal brotherhood day celebrations.
Divine Service held at Vashi ( New Mumbai) in September 06.
In October 06 a grand Masonic seminar was organized at Freemasons Hall , Mumbai.
In November 06 an open session was organized in Vile Parle suburbs in a 4 star hotel where a gathering of masons families and non-masons was held and lecture by eminent psychiatrist ” how to age gracefully” and ” Why make a will ” by eminent solicitor were organized and thereafter a lecture on freemasonry and Masonic values was delivered by M.W. Bro. Gautam Divan and M.W. Bro. Dilip Udeshi especially for the benefit of non masons and families.
In December, 06 an interesting program conducted by the Region ” Economic Revolution ” with Arthakranti Prathishtan where 3 of our senior Masons are trustees.
A joint meeting of 7 lodges for presentation of Long Term Service Jewels held in Mumbai in January 07 attended by our beloved leader M.W. Grand Master , M.W. Bro. Justice Devinder Gupta,O.S.M.
This elaborate detailing of Mumbai Centre is for those who feel that Mumbai Centre is a non performer.
Bhopal and Indore are emerging as new vibrant centers with a large number of young masons who seem to be enthusiastic and enjoying freemasonry.
And Of-course Nagpur . Each of the 9 Lodges are highly active including Past Masters Lodge. Regular initiations, charity projects and family get-togethers, Masonic seminars , work-shops , study circle meetings are conducted on a regular basis. An interesting programme ” Expression 2006″ conducted by a lodge was very high in caliber and contents.
Ahmedabad centre has its own Mark Lodge now and Rajkot a new RAM, which was consecrated in October 06. Both centers are doing fine. Vadodara is consistently pursuing its charitable activities and Surat inspite of the deluge and floods and consequential epidemic has bravely surmounted the pain and agony and continued with its Masonic advancement. The entire lodge regalia and furniture were damaged and destroyed by the floods. Brethren made new regalia and furniture within a month and lodge meetings continued unabated.
Such is the nature of the Masonic fraternity of the Western region and I am grateful to the GAOTU first and then to the past Grand Master for giving me an opportunity to serve this region.
I thank our beloved leader M.W. Bro. Justice Devinder Gupta, O.S.M, M. W. the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Antient, Free and Acccepted Masons of India for sparing his valuable time and gracing this Masonic meet.
I thank M.W.Bro. Gautam Divan, OSM, M.W. Bro Hariprasad Mathur , OSM and M. W. Bro. Dilip Udeshi O.S.M., our M.W. Past Grand Masters for honouring us by their august presence.
I also thank R.W.Bro. Vinodkumar Bhutani, R.W. Regional Grand Master of the Regional Grand Lodge of Northern India, R.W.Bro G.K.Selvarajan , R.W.Regional Grand Master of the Regional Grand Lodge of Southern India, R.W.Bro. Girish Shastri, R.W.Regional Grand Master of the Regional Grand Lodge of Eastern India, Bro. Bomi Savak Mehta, R.W.District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of India, Scottish Constitution and R.W.Bro.Lahu Chogle ,R.W. Provincial Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Ireland in India and W.Bro. Soli Daruwala , W. Deputy District Grand Master, of the District Grand Lodge of Bombay and Northern India for their august presence at this Annual Investiture Meet.

I also thank , all the brethren who have travelled long distances to attend this meeting. I thank the outgoing active officers of the region for their valuable support and I wish them all well.
I thank and congatulate the Organising Committee under the chairmanship of W.Bro. A.R. Chikaskar, the two ARGM’s from Pune, W.Bro. S.P. Sachdev and W.Bro. S.K. Sane and the Organising Secretary W.Bro. Vijay Avdhani for their excellent event management.
In the Jain community there is a noble practice once a year on a particular day to say “Michhami Dukkadam” i.e. seeking forgiveness for any hurt caused intentional or unintentional, knowingly or unknowingly by words , action or thought during the year.On this occasion of completion of one year as your RGM, may I say “Michhami Dukkadam” to each and every one.

R.W.Bro. Vasudev J. Masurekar
R.W. Regional Grand Master of the
Regional Grand Lodge of Western India.