LODGE OF ST. GEORGE COMMEMORATES THE COMMONWEALTH REMEMBRANCE DAY
By” W Bro Saptak Santra, Lodge St George
Sunday 13th November, Singapore
The Lodge of St. George commemorated the Commonwealth Remembrance Day on Sunday 13th November by, as is tradition, attending en masse at the Kranji War memorial for the annual commemoration organised by the British High Commission, the Singapore Armed Forces Veterans League and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The address was given by Her Excellency Kara Owen, the British High Commissioner for Singapore, who later posed for a photograph with the attending members of the Lodge. The Lodge was joined by wives, children and W. Bro. Alexander Maroske (PM of Sir Stamford Raffles Lodge No. 7444) and RW. Bro. Col. (Ret.) Lau Kee Siong (Past Provincial Grand Master of the Provinicial Grand Lodge of South East Asia of the Grand Lodge of Ireland). The Lodge’s Senior Warden, Bro. Dominik Poignee, had his daughter participating in the combined schools’ choir. A few more resilient brethren were then hosted to a champagne breakfast at the Tanglin Club by recently Raised MM, Bro. Michael James Quin-Harkin.
The annual commemoration falls on the Sunday closest to Armistice Day, 11th November, where at 11am (the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month) the guns on the Western Front fell silent marking the end of the First World War.
In Singapore it is marked by a dawn service at Kranji War Memorial which is attended by numerous guests and the diplomats, ambassadors/ High Commissioners of a variety of nations, as well as veteran and serving members of the Armed Forces of Commonwealth nations. The Lodge’s team was led by its Worshipful Master, W. Bro. Prof. Thomas Larry Dawson Jr. his wife Tanya ad Senior Warden Bro. Dominik Poignee and his family, accompanied by the following brethren, Richard Vargo, Thomas Graeff, Sebastian Giebel, Doug Irvine, Mike Gray, George Wall, Michael James Quin-Harkin and Saptak Santra.
The act(s) of remembrance are particularly poignant to The Lodge of St. George. The torture and hardship suffered by the brethren of the Lodge (and other Lodges) during the Japanese occupation of Singapore are an example to us all. Despite all the hardships and threats they endured, they managed to keep the Craft alive. Relying on that great Masonic charge of secrecy, they showed how deep their feelings were to keep alive the burning flame of our Masonic art. In their recognition, The Lodge now regularly remembers their sacrifice and honours their achievements at its October Regular Meeting (that being closest to Armistice Day), where a memorial procedure is followed and the attention of the Brethren is directed to those of The Lodge's forebears who made the ultimate sacrifice. This is followed by attendance at the Remembrance Sunday commemoration. As the generations who endured those conflicts come to the end of their earthly pilgrimage, The Lodge ensures their sacrifices are remembered and honoured.