READ LODGE INSTALLATION – A WORSHIPFUL MASTER’S PERSPECTIVE & A JUNIOR WARDEN’S INSIGHT!
By WB Geoffrey Tan Hoe Kock, WM of Read Lodge
On Saturday, 20th October 2018, I was installed as the Worshipful Master of Read Lodge, No.2337 on the Register of the United Grand Lodge of England. The whole ceremony was very dignified, meaningful, and overwhelming, with an attendance of 175, headed by the RW District Grand Master himself, Y.Bhg. Dato’ Jeyaraj Ratnaswamy and many distinguished Brethren from the District Grand Lodge of the Eastern Archipelago, RWB Thong Kian Sin, RW Provincial Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of South East Asia and his Irish delegation, the Scottish brethren led by Bro. Abel Arumugam, RW Substitute District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of the Middle East, many reigning Worshipful Masters, Wardens, and brethren from all three Constitutions.
Earlier, as we got ready for tyling just before 5pm at the door of the Main Temple of Read Masonic Centre, our outgoing Junior Warden, Bro. Tia Poh Yew turned to ask me: ‘...how do you feel? Excited?’ Receiving no reply, Bro. Tia volunteered: ‘no feeling?’ In retrospect, I should have replied I that I did went through a myriad of emotions before, during and after the installation meeting and later at the Festive Board in the evening. I would describe it like the beginning of a journey – excitement, anticipation, acceptance, belonging, and appreciation. Especially after being constantly reminded by WB Lakshmanan’s exhortation that ‘Read Lodge is a premier Lodge and we must uphold and maintain the highest standards’.
To quote Lao Tze: the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. And that first step was taken when I was nominated and duly elected in our regular meeting on Friday, 21 September 2018 as the Master Elect. After which, a whole series of events were swung into motion, starting with the constitution of an Installation Committee chaired by my predecessor, Immediate Past Master, WB Ngeoh Jian Cong and comprising of Director of Ceremonies, WB Lakshmanan N., both outgoing and incoming Secretaries, WB Chong Kuet Yoon and WB Kula Chelliah respectively, Assistant Director of Ceremonies, WB Michael Toh, WB Bernard Au, WB Koh Kia Heong, outgoing Junior Warden, Bro. Tia Poh Yew, myself as Master Elect, and overseen by our Grand Officer, WB Micheal Chua. The whole installation preparation process then commenced including inter alia confirming the date and venue of installation, three (3) practice sessions, invitations to be sent out, menu arrangements and budgets, registration of guests and brethren, toasts to be made at the festive board, and the setting up of the Board of Installed Masters. The zeal, camaraderie and collaboration of the Installation Committee members contributed to the success of the installation process and ceremony.
At the installation, I am grateful that my predecessor, WB Ngeoh performed his rituals superbly and won much accolades for his mastery. The whole process was most humbling seeing so many of the Past Masters of Read coming forward together to perform the rituals, floor workings and to finally installing me into the chair of King Solomon.
I am truly humbled and honored in taking up the mastership of this illustrious and venerable Read Lodge and pledged to do my utmost to uphold the high standards set by the Past Masters. Whilst I first saw Masonic light 34 years ago, I feel my Masonic journey has just begun.
JUNIOR WARDEN’S INSIGHT
By Bro. Tia Poh Yew
As Junior Warden of Read Lodge, I had organized 11 festive boards prior to the installation of a new Worshipful Master in October 2018. But nothing had prepared me for the immense popularity that Read enjoys within the District Grand Lodge of the Eastern Archipelago and the number of visitors that would be attending the installation.
As the date of installation kept drawing closer, the numbers of attending visiting brethren kept rising steadily, adding onto the mounting pressure and stress on the festive board arrangements. The final straw was the last-minute attendance of a dignitary and further efforts had to be made to ensure that everything would be smoothly arranged and in order. I spent countless hours sorting out the logistics with the Installation Committee members and the caterer. Needless to say, many Read brethren, especially the senior brethren within the Organizing Committee chipped in to lend a helping hand in many ways, thus relieving pressure from each other with the common goal of ensuring a smooth and successful installation.
On the Installation day particularly during the festive board, everything went very smoothly. In this respect, I must also thank our ever willing, accommodating and supportive caterer at Read Masonic Centre, Bro. Tony Anastasi, his service staff and the bar crew. All brethren attending the festive board were well fed and watered.
As the day went by, spirits were high, and the Read Installation came to a close, with nary a hiccup. That concluded my final labour as Read's Junior Warden. A big thank you to all our brethren who participated, both our Read and the many visiting brethren