Raffles Institution’s Visit To Freemasons’ Hall Singapore. 12th November 2022.
By W. Bro. Manoj Sharma
On 28th September 2022, we received a request from Mrs. Cheryl Yap, Head of the Raffles Institution Archives & Museum (RAM). This was a month after the Covid-19 pandemic was declared an endemic by the Singapore government, having achieved a high vaccination rate of over 80% for over a year. The message stated:
Hope you have been well. Probably traveling quite a bit since most borders are open and traveling is almost back to pre-pandemic level.
Just trying my luck to see if you could oblige a tour of Freemason Lodge on 12 Nov (Sat) morning or afternoon for my museum club students and teachers. Its always such a treat for us to get a special privilege to enter the Lodge.
Hope to hear from you soon.
The request was forwarded to the District Communication Officer, W. Bro. Ahmalu Rajah along with some background information. Cheryl’s first interaction with Freemasonry was when she attended the guided public tours during the ‘Bicentenary’ Half Annual Communication of District Grand Lodge of the Eastern Archipelago in June 2019. The tours were part of the Singapore Bicentennial to commemorate the two hundredth anniversary of the founding of modern Singapore by an employee of the British East India Company, Sir Stamford Raffles. To mark the occasion the District Grand Master R.W. Bro. Dato’ Jeyaraj Ratnaswamy, the Ex-Officio W. Bro. Dr. Yeoh Sin Hock and the Organising Chairman W. Bro. Capt. Rajash Singh had determined Freemasonry should open its doors to the public as Sir Stamford Raffles, was a Freemason. It became very obvious to her Masonic guide, in that tour of approximately seventy people, Cheryl was a history buff. This was based on the informed questions she was asking. It was only at the end of the ninety minute tour, after she had gathered that the Father of Freemasonry in the Eastern Archipelago, W. Bro. John Colson Smith was the second headmaster of Raffles Institution that she introduced herself as the head of the RAM. She revealed that the RAM had been trying to piece together some of its early history and any information we had on the founding of the institution and their second headmaster would be appreciatively received. She was directed to the Freemasonry in Singapore book which had just been launched the weekend prior at a gala banquet at the Shangri-la Hotel. A few weeks later, upon her request, we hosted a personalised tour for the students and alumni of Raffles Institution. A couple of months thereafter, she contacted us again and indicated that a descendent of Raffles was in Singapore as a guest for a public exhibition, that he had lent artefacts to and would appreciate a personal tour of Freemasons’ Hall, Singapore to better understand his ancestor’s unknown links to Freemasonry. This request too was granted and a personal tour for two was undertaken. As Cheryl and the Raffles Institution was well known to us, W. Bro. Ahmalu Rajah not just approved the request but paved the way to ensure it took place in his distinctly succinct manner.
Hence on Saturday, 12th November 2022, thirty-four students along with four staff and four alumni arrived at Freemasons’ Hall, Singapore ten minutes to two in the afternoon, excited to embark on their ‘special privilege’. After some introductions, ground rules and questions to establish their understanding of Freemasonry, the guided tour began. On the steps of the entrance to Freemasons’ Hall Singapore our guests were given a brief account of the early history of Freemasonry, its start in Singapore with Raffles and the establishment of the first lodge in 1845 by W. Bro. John Colson Smith. It was followed by a short elaboration of its expansion in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand as well as the history of the building. Our guests were then walked through The Masons Table, via the annex building to the second floor. Acclimatising themselves via the banner room and the second temple, there was a notable hush as they stepped into the main temple and soaked in what their eyes beheld. They were invited to fill in the various positions in the lodge with a young lady taking the Master’s chair in the east and two young men filling in as Wardens in the west and south. With the Deacons, Inner Guard, Secretary and Treasurer seats eagerly filled, it was hard to find someone willing to be the Tyler and miss out on what was likely to come next. Interestingly nobody saw too much credence in the Immediate Past Master’s seat. A highly attuned and well-researched bunch, our guests already being adequately warmed up, got going with an endless stream of smile-inducing, highly pertinent questions. It led to a very candid to and fro. They exhibited their maturity and intelligence, listened attentively to answers and followed on with even more high quality questions. They knew nothing was off the table. Myths were dispelled, deeper issues of morality and the structure of society discussed and knowledge gained by everyone including their guide.
A handful of the brethren of Lodge St. Andrew No. 1437 S.C. who had wandered in early to prepare for their installation meeting at 4pm, even took time off from their preparation to acknowledge and engage our guests. It must also be gratefully noted, in true brotherly fashion, they did not once complain about the intrusion, possibly feeling themselves as the interlopers. Bro. Chris Phillips, the Director of Ceremonies of the lodge, upon hearing a question pertaining to regalia, while standing in the south-east corner preparing the collars for the investitures later that afternoon, offered to step forward with an explanation. He showed and explained the masonic regalia of his lodge to our guests and gave some further distinctions as to how the Irish wear theirs slightly differently from the Scottish and English.
After about forty-five minutes in the main temple, the party was shepherded down for a tour of The Masonic Club egress area in the basement where the Freemasonry in Singapore mural and plaques are located, through the initiative of W. Bro. Robbie Hoyes-Cock who led the ‘regentrification’ project. The twenty minute long presentation on the mural which juxtaposed the past, present and future of Freemasonry in Singapore was punctuated with a most delightful interlude organised by the ever supportive Bro. Robert Craiu of Lodge St. Andrew. He had earlier in the day, when seeing the tour group, spontaneously and with remark-worthy hospitality offered up Bro. Fraser Noble to play the bagpipe for our guests. It was suggested to him that Bro. Fraser should prepare to play in the corridor that the mural is in once our guests had left the main temple, to allow for the preparation of the Installation meeting.
At the appropriate time, having been given a cue, it was announced to our guests that we had a special surprise for them. Initially hidden from sight, all they first heard was the distinct shill of a bagpipe powered by drone reeds. It boomed and reverberated down the corridor long before they caught sight of Bro. Fraser. The absorbing performance was reciprocated by a warm round of applause. The explanation of the mural then continued with a fair number of Freemasons, who were awaiting the meeting later, joining in as part of the audience. At around half past three, as the place was getting increasingly crowded, everyone adjourned back to the stairs at the front of building. There the insatiable students, teachers and alumni kept up their inquisitiveness with their questions for another thirty or so minutes.
Freemasons from all constitutions, arriving for the installation meeting, were highjacked to answer their queries, which they did in the good-natured and brotherly manner that should always distinguish us as brethren. Towards that effort Bro. Simon See, the Worshipful Master of Lodge Ailsa No. 1172 S.C. and W. Bro. Capt. Victor Lim a Past Master of The Eastern Gate Lodge No. 2970 E.C. spent some impromptu time answering questions and chimed in with their own Masonic experience. A particularly enterprising group of older students who were embarking on a project to chronicle the bicentenary of their institution in 2023, took the opportunity to enquire further about how the Freemasons celebrated and chronicled the Bicentennial. The afternoon ended just past four when their bus arrived, but not before some group and individual photographs were taken.
Subsequent to the tour, some of the students penned their thoughts on the tour. They were compiled by the teachers and staff and sent to us for our record-keeping along with a beautiful short video.
Without a shadow of a doubt Freemasonry was enriched by their presence and undeniably it is clear these young ladies and gentlemen will, in their own way, have a very positive impact on their communities and our society.
Feedback from Year 1-5 student participants and alums from Raffles Institution on their visit to the
Masonic Lodge on 12 Nov 2022 (Sat) from 2.00-3.45pm.
Secondary 1: Reflections
1. Uistean (1B)
I think that the Masonic lodge was a very interesting and enlightening experience where we got to learn more about freemasonry and the Freemasons that have helped built Singapore. I have never seen what was inside the Masonic lodge, and I am truly grateful for Mr Manoj for giving us such an awe invoking tour into a place we would not have been able to see and learn about without his help.
2. Kang Bo (1G)
For the morning Explorer’s Trail, I learnt a lot about the buildings in Raffles City and Fort Canning Park and the history behind them. In the Freemason tour, I got to see lots of interesting things and learn about their different rooms. I was also intrigued by the mural that was shown at the end of the tour as it looked really nice. Overall i had lots of fun in today’s ram camp and i learnt a lot of stuff
3. Nay Wun (1K)
First off, I have to say the Freemason Lodge tour was hands-down one of the most coolest, to put it bluntly, and enriching tours I’ve ever partaken in! As cliche and hackneyed as it sounds, Thanks so much to Mr Manoj Sharma and the rest of the Freemasons who helped make the experience so spellbinding! I really went away being enthralled by the Freemason community and the tour itself, and gleaned a whole lot. I had bona fide fun there!
A bit more in depth, in terms of the speaker (tour guide), Mr Manoj was excellent. He was poised, confident and presented splendiferously. I reaped a lot from him, and am now inspired to perhaps join in the future:333. He was practically an encyclopaedia on Free Masonry and again, I can’t emphasise the amount I learnt from him! Respect!
In terms of content and the flow of the tour, I think it was a very organised one, felt natural and the procession seems logical. I think spending more time in the temple was very strategic and cool too.
I'm not gonna write an essay, so all in all, in an unsatisfactorily small nutshell, the guided tour was of the absolute zenith and highest standards, and I really hope to visit it again in the future. Thanks again and good day!
4. Zheng Xue (1L)
Thank you for taking time off to give us a tour of this highly secretive place! I appreciate the effort that was put into it and a detailed description of everything while making it fun and interesting. You have showed us the lodge in a way that managed to capture our attention and entertain us. Thank you!
5. Russell (1F)
I felt that the visit to the Freemason Lodge was very insightful and I have learnt many new
interesting things from the visit. For example, I found the Temple very interesting especially
the small dome at the top of the roof. I also like that the lodge has a place that the public
can access so more people can come to know of the Freemasons. All in all the tour was very
informative and engaging and I enjoyed it very much.
6. Jiawei (1F)
The freemason lodge visit gave me insight into a culture that I knew little off, that also being the case for the public. I thought they would be a very secretive group, but what I did not expect was that they were a close group who would be very willing to share about their group. I have also learnt a lot about the group and gained a deeper understanding into their ways, as well as a greater appreciation for people like them.
7. Yee Kai (1A)
This experience is very enriching for me, since I have never heard of a freemason before and do not know much of it. After coming to this lodge and learning more on what is a freemason, as well as how the lodge system works and the activities the freemasons do, I have learned a lot about the freemasons. The tour was interesting and enriching and I had a good experience there.
8. Junius (1D)
Dear Mr Manoj, first of all, thank you. Thank you for inspiring us. Not inspiring us to become a freemason, but inspiring us to do good and believe in the good of men. Second, thank you for taking your time and effort to ensure this tour could take place. I have heard that you had made a lot of arrangements, which were troublesome, to make sure we could tour this grand lodge of freemasons. I have definitely learnt a lot from this tour and I am honoured to have met not only a freemason, but a freemason who was once a head of the lodge! Lastly, I just want to say that I am motivated to do good just by seeing all the work the freemasons are doing. I do hope that the next few generations of freemasons will uphold the legacy that the past and present freemasons have put their blood, sweat and tears into building. Thank you Mr Manoj once again!
Secondary 2: Reflections
1. Ivan (2B)
The RAM trip to the Freemason lodge was really fruitful and I learnt more about what the Freemasons do and their ceremonies as well as the prerequisites to becoming a Freemason. The trip allowed me to have a non biased view about what the Freemasons actually do, such as philanthropy work etc, compared to what the media and the fake news portray them. Mr Manoj was a charismatic and eloquent speaker, and I was truly captivated by what he has to say. I wish to improve on my oral skills and speak as well as Mr Manoj in the future, and I also wish we could do another tour of the Freemason lodge with him as our guide. Thank you Mr Manoj for making this trip to the lodge a fun and enriching experience
2. Murugesh (2I)
The trip to the freemasons lodge has been enriching to say the least. Going into the freemasons' building, I had no clue as to what a freemason did nor how to become one. Mr Manoj's calm and composed docenting helped to clarify a lot of misconceptions I had about the freemasons lodge. I feel privileged to be able to be to step foot in the lodge and I thank you for the opportunity.
3. Vijay (2I)
Hello Mr. Manoj,
Firstly, I would like to thank you for organising a tour of the Masonic lodge and for doing such am excellent job of educating us about the freemasons and dispelling our misconceptions. Before the tour, I knew little about this important and historical society and therefore viewed it with suspicion. Thanks to your engaging, informative and amusing sharing, I not only gained insight into the society, but also learned that not everything that is mysterious is dangerous. For opening my eyes as detailed above and for taking time out of your busy schedule to do so, I thank you. I hope to come again.
4. Jordan (2J)
The Freemason Lodge has exposed me to a whole new experience in the history of Singapore. Mr Manoj has splendidly and vividly explained the places very efficiently and he is well-exposed to the nature of freemasons not only in Singapore but also those in other countries. He is also able to answer all of our questions fluently and is also able to use unique ways to make us understand more easily. Throughout the tour, I now know what it takes to be a Freemason, the process towards being one, as well as the criterion to become one. For example, I now know that special conditions may be applied to the sons of Freemasons. With Mr Manoj’s guidance throughout the tour, I have been able to be exposed to a confident way of speaking, which is way beyond being able to understand the history and information of Freemasons.
5. Nicholas (2J)
Thoroughly enjoyed the RAM trip to the Freemason Lodge. It was a very eye-opening experience, and I learnt and saw many things that are usually inaccessible by the public. I appreciated that we were allowed to go into the various rooms as well as the detailed docenting of the whole place by Mr Manoj, and I found the knowledge shared interesting. For example, the fact that Freemasons were not allowed to speak about politics or religion in the Lodge. This trip offered a very unbiased perspective of the Freemasons and I believe that it was one of the best and most interesting RAM trip so far.
6. Xavier (2J)
I learnt a lot about the Free such as Raffles being a Freemason in the past and them being recognised and respected as their own individual. I love that Freemasoners are able to be respected for their individual beliefs and having a strong friend circle with them. I know a few people who have told me personally that they were Freemasoners but I didn't really go in depth to find out about it. Now I know how it works and I find it really cool and amazing.
Secondary 3: Reflections
1. Rian (3M)
Personally, the tour in the Masonic Lodge was a huge eye-opener to me, as I learnt many interesting things about freemasonry and what freemasons do. I felt very lucky to be able to participate in this tour as not many people can say that they were able to experience this tour. Mr Manoj was also very charismatic and knowledgeable , and while docenting he was also very humourous which engaged all of us.
2. Sivaraman (3H)
I am very grateful for being able to visit the Freemason Lodge. I want to thank Mr Manoj Sharma for taking everyone on such a fantastic tour around the Masonic Lodge, and for graciously and generously sharing the way of life of a Freemason at their house, the Freemason Lodge. The many characteristics of Freemasons and their values such as being a good man, service to the community and placing a high priority on humanity’s peace and togetherness really inspired me. Thanks to Mr Manoj’s insightful and informative sharing, I was able to learn so much from him. The Freemasons have contributed so much to the development of our country, and still, put service to the community as their core value that they live by. From Mr Manoj’s sharing, I learnt why the lodge is designed in such a way and the many reasons that back why they do certain things in that particular manner. From the geometry present in every corner to the depiction of the Sun that benevolently and charitably shares its light with everyone and the Moon’s reflection of goodness, I was awestruck due to the immense detail on every wall. Thank you for sharing with us all the best-kept secrets of the Masonic Lodge and our history, such as Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles being a Freemason himself. If given the opportunity to revisit the lodge, we will be more than delighted and grateful to do so. We truly feel honoured to be able to join this tour around such a sacred and historically rich place like the Freemason Lodge of Singapore, and we would like to deeply thank Mr Manoj for arranging the RAM club visit to the Lodge.
3. Sujith (3H)
I think that the learning journey to the Freemason Lodge was really insightful and many of us do not really recognise these people. It also gave us a lot of information about freemasons and the link between them and our school. I think Manoj was a really good guide as he was able to capture every one’s interest and attention and keep everyone engaged by involving the audience. He was able to teach in the most fun way possible without boring anyone out. I think his guiding really made the learning journey much better.
4. Matteo (3A)
Perhaps the most important thing I learnt was to never judge something by appearances. Prior to visiting the Lodge, I had done some research on the Freemasons and found some negative opinions about the society and allegations about what it does. However, when I visited the Lodge and was introduced to its rich tradition and genuine beliefs, I found out that I had believed too easily in the rumors that are spread online which were mostly conspiracy. We should never come to a singular judgement of something without firsthand witnessing it ourselves. Most of all, I thoroughly enjoyed the activity and was amazed by the Freemasons and their graciousness in giving us a tour.
6. Michael (3D)
Firstly I'd like to give my most sincere thanks for having us at the Freemasons Lodge. It was truly a pleasure being able to experience and appreciate the Freemason community, and even let me get some interesting insights into the freemason philosophy. I would really love to be able to experience this again and be able to learn more about the freemason culture. It was really an eye opening experience, and I especially enjoyed that QnA session in the Masonic temple, as it had this elusive and mysterious perk to it. Once again, thank you so much for making some time out of your busy schedule to educate us.
7. Norman (3C)
Dear Mr Manoj,
Thank you so much for bringing us on the tour of Freemason's Lodge! It was extremely enriching for all of us, and the opportunity to talk to a Freemason such as yourself and be brought on such an indepth tour of the lodge is something that we truly cherish. I've managed to learn much more about the history behind Freemasonry in Singapore, and all the different lodges around the world. Sitting in the temple and listening to you share your knowledge and experience about Freemasonry was fascinating for me, and I really appreciate the time you have taken out for us. We were able to glean information from your first hand account which is far more valuable than what any amount of research could have granted us. Once again, thank you so much for your tour! We hope that future Rafflesians will have the chance to tour the Lodge and learn as much as we did.
8. Yuxuan (3L)
Hi! I’d like to share on my takeaway from Day 2. I found the entire itinerary very well planned, but I greatly enjoyed the hike and the freemason tour. Firstly, I found the hike to be very well thought out by the planning committee, and they were able to generally keep the activities organized. It was very fun and informative to look through the various landmarks of our old school site, and I visited sites that I didn’t even know existed. The civilian war memorial was truly a wonder.
In addition, I’m greatful for the effort that the adults put in, and I greatly enjoyed your explanations of the different memorials.
In addition, the freemason tour was probably one of the best tours I have ever attended. I understand how controversial the topic of freemasons are, but Mr Manoj’s detailed and calm explanation has earned my deepest respects. I look up to his speaking skills and his unwavering confidence, and I have much respect for freemasons in general as well. I hope to be able to visit them in the future and learn more about the freemason culture.
Secondary 4: Reflections
1. Ethan (4D)
I think the visit to the freemasons lodge is an interesting and meaningful visit for all the RAM members.
The freemasons seem to be quite a secretive fraternity so to be allowed into their private space so that we can learn more about their customs, symbols, activities and the requirements to become a freemason is very interesting for all.
In addition, the freemasons are also quite intricately linked with both Singapore and the school’s history, with the one of the local lodges named after Raffles and the father of freemasonry in Singapore being our 2nd principal. The freemasons also engage in philanthropy, having helped to fund the construction of buildings like the Raffles lighthouse.
There was also much to learn from Mr Manoj, he was a very entertaining speaker and commanded everyone’s attention, as well as engaging the audience with questions well. I’m very grateful to him for taking the time to show us around as well as all the local freemasons for allowing us into their space.
2. Muhamad (4A)
I think the most meaningful part of the tour was that I was able to actually talk to a Mason himself and understand some of the traditions of the fraternity and the roles/work they do. The organisation is often viewed as one that is shrouded in mystery and there are a lot of misconceptions that surround the organisation, and by speaking to Mr Manoj and seeing the Lodge in person, I got to understand the Freemasons better and clarify some of my doubts.
Year 5: Reflections
1. Xiyue (Y5)
The visit to masonic lodge is truly inspiring. I’ve been very interested in the freemason society even before the visit, after watching a freemason documentary series on Netflix called “Inside The Freemasons”. It felt like the freemason society is such a secretive and mysterious organisation that really interested me. However at the same time, I felt very much disappointment as to my imperfect knowledge, I thought that the freemason societies only accept male membership and being a girl, I thought that I would never ever have the chance to step into this “mysterious” place at all. Hence when I was told about this opportunity to visit the masonic lodge, I was absolutely thrilled and really grateful for it. The visit to the lodge has also proved me right as I’ve learned so much about freemasonry, and was totally delighted when we were told that there are freemason societies that accepts females too. I truly appreciate this visit and it really intrigued me to look up for even more information about freemasonry.
2. Yaowei (Y5)
In general, I feel very fortunate to be able to visit the Freemason Lodge, and really want to thank Mr Manoj about this wonderful opportunity. Mr Manoj’s openness to share about the inner workings of the Freemasons has piqued my curiosity about a subject that I was previously unaware of and know little about. My only knowledge of Freemasons prior to the visit was that it is a secret society that comprises of many influential members and has been subject to discussion in many conspiracy theories. This is the first chance I had the chance to understand the purpose of the organization, as well as the activities that are done here.
Personally, I feel very inspired by the key tenets of Freemasonry. I was surprised to learn that one of the most important rules of Freemasonry was to keep strict boundaries between members – Politics and Religion cannot be discussed – but on closer thought, I realized that this is a very smart way to maintain respect and inclusiveness towards each other despite enormous and even fundamental differences. From my impression of the tour, the Freemasons generally take this notion of personal boundaries very seriously – while they are allowed to share their identity freely with others, they are completely barred from revealing that anyone else is a Freemason to keep the sanctity of his view of his Freemason relationship. I believe this really changed my concept of personal boundaries – previously, while I thought its purpose is solely to prevent misunderstandings between strangers and in general tend to keep people further apart – and this experience made me realise that close bonds can be formed even in the presence of hidden private spaces.
Another thing that fascinated me was the Freemason’s fixation on the concept of geometry. Many of the symbols of Freemasonry are highly geometric in nature – from the representation of the divine with spheres and orbs and the terrestrial with cubes and blocks, to the “G” between the ruler and compass in the Freemason symbol – and it really fascinated me that Freemasons can take something that is rational (and honestly, very very dry) and ascribe rich meaning to it, and I find this a really fascinating connection between the Arts and the Sciences.
My experience at the Lodge was generally positive. Mr Manoj was very knowledgeable and is open to answer any questions that we asked. We are given the opportunity to enter the different chambers, and even sit on the chairs to really feel the place physically. Members at the knowledge was very welcoming to our presence and really took special efforts to accommodate us, even quieting down at their bar during our visit to the mural. We even got to enjoy a special performance by the Lodge members and that is really a pleasant surprise to me.
However, outside the Lodge, I find it difficult to find credible sources of information on the Freemason Lodge. While there are newspaper articles, blog posts and websites about the Lodge, research on this area is generally quite sparse and is mostly limited to paper sources. As such, I feel that in addition to physical outreach programs, digital outreach, in the sense of digital exhibitions and documentaries about Freemasonry would go a long way in further clarifying current misconceptions towards the organization. Of course, it may be quite difficult to engage in such outreach programs because of the financial and physical efforts involved, but I personally feel that it would be able to reach out to a much wider group of people in a very short period of time.
3. Keevan (Y5)
Visiting this lodge has been an eye-opening experience as I had no prior knowledge of the existence of societies like these and the rich history of it. I feel that looking into the history and the contributions of these freemasons would be a worthy endeavour and I am looking forward to reading Mr. Manoj’s work on this subject. The actual physical history of the building and its many lodges makes this experience even more valuable as I found it such a joy to walk through the old wooden rooms with the flags of each lodge hanging on the wall.
4. Coen (Y5)
Freemasonry can be misunderstood a lot of times, but visiting the masonic lodge has provided me with an insight into how freemasons really are like; the entire fraternity of freemasons prides itself on being virtuous and respectful, making sure to do charitable work and prizing harmony in their discussions and the handing of matters, which can be contrary to what others thing about it. in addition, i have gained a deeper understanding of Singapore’s past, and about freemasonry in Singapore, past and present.
5. Francine (Y5)
I think it was a very fun and interesting experience for us to get to go into the lodge as well as learn more about freemasonry. I am glad that I could see for myself how the lodge looks like and the different elements of the lodge. The highlight was definitely getting to sit in the temple and asking questions. Previously, I didn’t even know that freemasonry was a thing but now, I know more about it through the trip! I am very thankful for this experience!
The masonic lodge is a very interesting place that’s rich with history and I was fascinated by the involvement of freemasons in the significant events over the years. As I personally did not know much about fraternities, I found it really cool that there are so many different lodges across different countries and how there are slight differences between each lodge.
I was surprised to learn that this masonry has existed for so many years and is still very active today. I learnt about john coulson smith and how he was actually the second headmaster of RI and also a freemason. It gave me insight that maybe masonries were a big part of past colonial life.
8. Yurong (Y5)
I'm very grateful for this opportunity to delve deeper into Freemasonry - the Hall has been so lowkey that not many people know it. I love the vintage wooden smell of the room of lodge flags. Sitting on the president's chair in the meeting room while listening to what goes on there was a totally interesting experience!!
s/n Alums: Reflections
1. Dr Yeo (alum 1990 (‘O’ level-1992 ‘A’ Level)
“It was a privilege to be given a rare oppertunity to view the interior of the Freemason Lodge. An excellent overview of Freemasonry, which allowed us to clear common misconceptions and gain a deeper understanding of Freemasonry”
2. Surya (alum 2016-2018)
An immensely eye-opening view into the life and history of the Freemasons of Singapore.
Mr Manoj is an extremely engaging speaker who is able to provide an objective and balanced, yet noteworthy and insightful lens into the lives, traditions, customs, and history of the Masonic Order, and who is unafraid to field all types of questions regarding the Order. The opportunity to engage him and clarify any longstanding doubts about the activities of the Freemasons, especially in view of the scarcity of information available publicly about them, is truly a blessing. Would love to visit again if possible!
3. Ian (alum 2018-2020)
Learning about the hidden contributions of the Freemasons to Singapore's development was very enlightening. I was intrigued by how intertwined these two parallel narratives were. It's a reminder that there are numerous narratives out there, most of them unheard of, but all of them intrinsic to our country's fabric.
Larger concerns aside, this exclusive visit was definitely an opportunity to die for. Few can boast that they visited the Freemason's Lodge, even venturing into the temple. All of this was made possible through the hospitality of Manoj and his Brethren, to which we owe many thanks! His sharing was sincere and forthcoming, which greatly added to the enriching experience.
4. Jun Yan (2011-2013)
“I am tremendously grateful for the opportunity to visit the Masonic lodge. The visit helped debunk my preconceived notions about Freemasonary, and enabled me to appreciate the continued relevance of this age-old tradition in the contemporary world. I also gained a better appreciation of the the historical significance of freemasonry to Singapore’s colonial and post colonial development. Thank you, Manoj, for your hospitality and generosity with your time and expertise!”