Historic milestones for an institution are often few and far between and people only usually experience one or maybe two such occasions in their lifetime. As such, for the Brethren of the Corinth Lodge No.1122 in Nagpur, the planning and organising of their Sesquicentennial celebrations was a thrilling and most satisfying experience.
The preparations commenced in earnest a year ago in order to commemorate the grand event which was planned for Saturday 15th October 2016. Early in the process a special postal stamp was released by the District Grand Master, RW Bro. Percy Driver to mark the occasion. Also, commemorative stickers for displaying on vehicle windshields were released and distributed to the members of the Lodge to raise awareness within the community.
Various sub committees were formed involving the participation of many Brethren under the leadership of W Bro. Suresh Dixit, Assistant District Grand Master. Several activities were planned throughout the year to promote the event and raise funds. The aim was that local charities as well as individuals within the community would be involved and benefit from the Brethren’s efforts. The fact that the original target of raising Rs. 1,50,000 was ultimately more than doubled, demonstrates the significant hard work and dedication displayed by all involved.
Included amongst the many social and charitable projects to benefit were financial aid to physically and financially challenged individuals to continue their educational studies; holding a health and medical diagnostic camp; environmental conservation and protection, with the distribution and planting of seeds and plants in city; financial grants to assist in education, health and welfare; the provision of benches and bicycles for school children and many other community projects including sporting activities and the development of sustainable and beneficial agricultural practices.
Early in the planning process, the RW District Grand Master was invited not only to attend the Sesquicentenary Celebrations on 15th October but also to hold the Half Yearly Communication of the District Grand Lodge on the evening of the 14th October with Corinth Lodge acting as the host. This allowed Brethren from outside of the immediate vicinity to meet in Nagpur and enjoy a very special weekend.
As such Brethren travelled from across India and as far away as UK to be graciously welcomed by the Brethren of Corinth Lodge with drinks, snacks and a sumptuous buffet lunch. During the day, journalists and broadcasters from the press and TV were invited to meet and interview the District Grand Master. They were also given a tour of the premises and informed about the Lodge’s 150 year history.
Later that evening RW Bro. Percy Driver presided over the Communication of the District Grand Lodge after which the Brethren and their Ladies enjoyed an outdoor banquet along with musical entertainment.
The events of Saturday 15th October began with a most prestigious and memorable event. The Nagpur Municipal Corporation had agreed to a request to rename a major road junction near The Masonic Hall as “Freemasons’ T Point” to honour the 150th Anniversary of The Corinth Lodge. Hence, in the presence of many local dignitaries, Masonic Brethren and the media, City Mayor Pavin Datke and RW Bro. Percy Driver, unveiled a plaque to commemorate the occasion.
That evening W Bro. Praveen Sahni , Worshipful Master of Corinth Lodge received and welcomed the RW District Grand Master along with his distinguished visitors and members of his deputation. To the Sesquicentennial Meeting of the Lodge.
There then followed a rededication ceremony with the Corinth Brethren pledging their allegiance to the Lodge and to principals and tenets of Freemasonry. A detailed history of the Lodge was given in excellent form and the Worshipful Master presented every member of the Lodge a personal memento in appreciation of their efforts towards making this special occasion such a success.
The District Grand Master, RW Bro. Percy Driver accompanied by RW Bro. K. David and RW Bro. V Nagarajan, District Grand Masters for Bengal and Northern India then presented certificates of recognition to Brethren who had served the Craft for milestone anniversaries of 25 years and beyond. Thereafter, the District Grand Master addressed the Brethren and formerly released the official souvenir marking the occasion.
On closing the Lodge, the Brethren retired to join their Ladies and enjoy another evening of fine food and drink and entertainment, during which Rs. 1,00,000 was raised by means of an auction for further charitable purposes of the Lodge’s choice.
So concluded a very special two days for Corinth Lodge and all who attended this auspicious occasion. The planning and organisation by the Worshipful Master and the Brethren of the Lodge under the experienced guidance of W Bro. Suresh Dixit was exceptional and well recognised by all who attended.
To view the photos of the occasion, click on this link