BALDWYN LOWICK LODGE NO. 7004 EC. 1951-2021
CELEBRATES IT’S 70th Anniversary
By: Bro Sudip Thiagi
A BRIEF HISTORY
This is an age where organizations around the world promote diversity, inclusion and racial sensitivity. This was not the case in society in the 1950’s. In this context Right Worshipful Brother Baldwyn Lowick was a man ahead of his time. In the formation of Baldwyn Lowick Lodge he drove change that enabled membership of Freemasonry in Malaya (as Malaysia was known in the colonial era) to be “open to all men of sound moral character, without distinction of class, race, creed or colour”.
His beautiful vision of equality of opportunity ensured the evolution of Masonry in Malaysia.
On the day of Consecration 17th March 1951 and after RW Bro. Baldwyn installed the founder Worshipful Master, W Bro. Walter Douglas he addressed him as follows:
“In offering you, the Founder Master, my congratulations and those of the District Grand Lodge of the Eastern Archipelago, I would thank you and the Petitioners for the exceptional honour conferred on me in naming the Lodge after me. As you know W.M., I expressed my reluctance when it was mooted as I have no ambition to perpetuate my own name. You however stated that you considered it appropriate as I was keen on the principle for which this Lodge has mainly formed, that is to say the furnishing of an opportunity for non-European Masons to belong to a Lodge in this District and also for Non-Europeans to become Masons. I feel strongly that particularly in these disturbed times we should be prepared to explore every avenue that will lead to peace and harmony subject as always to the usual safeguards.
I think that undoubtedly the non-Europeans have felt diffident about applying to join and still more so about applying to become a Freemason in a Lodge in which in the past has been exclusively or almost exclusively restricted to Europeans.
If the formation of this Lodge leads to a breaking down of this exclusiveness then it will be performing a very useful service to both Freemasonry and harmonious relations between the different communities.
On the Committee of the Lodge rests a responsibility of ensuring that none but suitable persons are admitted, it is a great responsibility, but one that they should welcome and I trust that the Lodge will experience a flourishing, harmonious and an honourable existence. “
From the very beginning Baldwyn Lowick Lodge was an outstanding success. It quickly became one of the largest and most powerful Lodges in the District – a benchmark for others.
In only 8 years, by 1959, membership had grown to such an extent, it was encouraged to sponsor a Daughter Lodge. So in 1960, BLL sponsored the consecration of Sentosa Lodge. Daughter Lodges were again sponsored by BLL in 1994 (Joseph Eu Lodge ) and in 2011 ( Centenarian Lee Keng Hong)
RW Bro. Baldwyn Lowick
Past District Grand Master
(Taken from the 1955 Pentagram Vol. 40)
HIS LEGACY LIVES ON
Looking over the 2021 Directory of Lodge membership, the diversity of the approximately 90 Brethren in Baldwyn Lowick Lodge is amazing. The youngest is 32 and the oldest 99. They’re all from very different backgrounds, with at least 5 different religions and 9 different Nationalities (Australian, English, Dutch, German, Lebanese, Iranian, Malaysian, Singaporean and Swiss), yet united in pursuit of the 3 Grand principles. Were he here today, Baldwyn Lowick would be proud to see such a successful implementation of his dreams, thriving some 70 years later.
THROUGH THE EYES OF TODAYS MASON’S - A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
Today we look back on the consecration of Baldwyn Lowick Lodge from the helicopter view of the year 2021. Putting the event in its true perspective requires viewing in light of the times. In 1951, Masonry in Malaya was White, Christian, and predominantly English colonialist. Attitudes reflected those of a Colonial era. It was a Colonial era ! It would be another 6 years before Malaysia gained its Independence.
Indeed in 1951 the No 1 song in the world was “Young One” by Nat King Cole. ‘Penghidupan’ ('Life') a film classic starring Malaysian cinematic icon P. Ramlee as a villain, was released. Tunku Abdul Rahman was then the newly elected head of UMNO, soon on his way to fight for Independence and become the first Prime Minister in 1957.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1950’s)
It was also the time of the Malayan Emergency and Sir Henry Gurney, Governor of Malaya, was assassinated by Communist rebels during his vacation at Fraser's Hill, Pahang. The Garden International School was founded by Mrs Sally Watkins being the first school catering to expats and the oldest prestigious school in the Federation of Malaya, still surviving to this day.
· There were no Japanese cars and as for eating in the fifties:
· A pizza was associated with a leaning tower.
· Brown bread was something only the less fortunate ate.
· Oil was for lubricating; fat was for cooking.
· Tea was made in a teapot using tea leaves.
· Sugar enjoyed good press in those days and was referred to as “white gold”.
· Cubed sugar was regarded as posh.
· Fish didn’t have fingers.
· Eating raw fish was called poverty, not sushi.
· Water came out of the river, or a tap.
· If someone had suggested bottling water and charging more than petrol for it, they would have been a laughingstock !!
· And the one thing never seen on a Dining Table in 1951: Mobile Phones!
OUR 70th YEAR - CHARITY ALWAYS AT THE FOREFRONT
To commemorate our 70 Years of brotherhood and fellowship in this esteemed and historical lodge, 70 "Care Bears" were delivered by our Junior Warden Bro. Ashok Rudy & Past Master W Bro. Russell Stuart. They were very well appreciated by the Subang Jaya Medical Center (SJMC) and are to be given to the children currently receiving Cancer Treatment. The "Care Bears'' were organised by the BLL Charity Committee as part of the celebration of BLL's 70th Birthday.
Additionally, a donation to District Charity (DBB) of RM1,000 and the establishment of a Joint Charity Contribution of RM 7,500 for education of children in remote areas of Sabah (together with our "Sister" Lodge Kinabalu was made. In conjunction with this joyous occasion, BLL also raised RM 2,000 from the sale of Care Bears during the evening. These funds were then donated to the “Samaritan Hope Home”, an organisation committed to support of the homeless.
THE 70th YEAR ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION - FIT FOR THE TIMES
On the 17th of March 2021 , seventy years from the date of our consecration , thirty-five (35) Brethren gathered at a Colonial themed restaurant, “The British Raj”, to celebrate (with social distancing!) seven decades of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth within the Masonic Brotherhood of Baldwyn Lowick Lodge No.7004.
The festivities were organised by the BLL Management committee spearheaded by the Junior Warden Bro Ashok Rudy. Bro Ashok’s Good Lady, Jini Seelan donated the beautiful and delicious cake in the shape of the Baldywn Lowick Lodge coat of arms.
The joyous occasion was hosted by the current Worshipful Master, W Bro. Ikhram Merican and was attended by, amongst others, our District Grand Master RW Bro. Dato Jeyaraj Ratnaswamy, Grand Visiting Officer W Bro. Khoo Boo Kean and Datin Jeannie , the wife of the late W. Bro. Dato’ Dr Lim Say Wan.
Well delivered speeches for the night were given by the Worshipful Master, W. Bro. M Ikhram Merican and RW Bro Dato Jeyaraj, followed by a toast to the memory of our founder, the late RW Bro. Baldwyn Lowick, PDGM given by Bro. Sajeet Soudagar, who being the youngest member is symbolic to the future of our Lodge.
Beautifully Decorated 70th Anniversary Cake – donated by Junior Warden, Bro. Ashok Rudy’s Good Lady, Jini Seelan
(L-R) RW Bro. Dato’ Jeyaraj Ratnaswamy, Datin Jeannie (Wife of the Late W Bro. Dato’ Dr Lim Say Wan) and BLL Worshipful Master Ikham Merican
Our youngest Mason Bro Sajeet Soudagar receiving Care Bear from W Bro Dr Hardeep Singh
(L-R Lalli, W Bro. Seelan Chlliah, Jini, Junior Warden Ashok Rudy
“Perpetual” Immediate Past Master W Bro. Russell Stuart and his Good Lady Cindy
(L-R) W Bro David Oakley, W Bro Vincent Tang, Visiting Officer, W Bro Khoo Boo Kean and Junior Warden Bro Ashok Rudy
(L-R) Mrs Khoo and Datin Jeannie Lim
(L-R) Bro Stephen Francis, Bro Gerald, Bro Syed Abu Bakar, RW Bro Dato Jeyaraj Ratnaswamy
Masonry in Malaysia has evolved far from the exclusiveness of the Colonial Era. The catalyst and forerunner for breaking this pattern within our District was RW Bro Baldwyn Lowick . We are ever grateful for his vison and the courage he displayed some seventy years ago in the formation of this Lodge that has brought harmonious relations between the different communities that form Malaysia and the Eastern Archipelago.
Success has many fathers but beyond doubt RW Bro Baldwyn Lowick and our founder members were powerful influencers of their day. Our beloved Lowick Lodge No. 7004 founded so long ago carries his name with pride. It behoves us, the Brethren of Baldwyn Lowick to maintain and advance the spirit and principles they so ably demonstrated. We must never rest on our past laurels and must be ready to meet all future challenges that may come before us with the same conviction and courage as our founders.