History of the Trivandrum Conclave









(Prepared by Wy. Bro. J.M.I. Sait)




TRIVANDRUM CONCLAVE No. 127 which ranks 10th in seniority among the 26 Conclaves constituting the District of Secret Monitors of Southern India under the Grand Council of Secret Monitors of England and Wales and Territories Overseas, was warranted on May 21, 1954 and was consecrated at 11.00 am on August 21 that year at the Masonic Temple at Thanjavur. The ceremony was conducted by a team of Grand Council and District Grand Council Officers led by the Right Worthy District Grand Supreme Ruler, Rt. Wy. Bro. Rao Bahadur S.T. Srinivasa Gopalachari. The team comprised of :

1.                  Rt. Wy. Bro. Diwan Bahadur C. Kunhi Raman

2.                  Rt. Wy. Bro. Rao Bahadur P.S. Sivagnana Mudaliar

3.                        Wy. Bro. T. Singaravelu

4.                        Wy. Bro. Rao Bahadur P.S. Jambu Ramaswamy

5.                        Wy. Bro. Rao Bahadur P. Venkataramana Raju

6.                        Wy. Bro. Capt. Rao Bahadur A.M. Thangavelu Mudaliar

7.                        Wy. Bro. K.V. Dhanakoti Nayudu

8.                        Wy. Bro. D.D. Italia

9.                        Wy. Bro. S.S. Sankara Mudaliyar

10.                    Wy. Bro. V.S. Kothundapani


The following principal officers  were installed by Rt. Wy. Bro. S.A. Ramaswamy Iyer.

            Rt. Wy. Bro. M. Govinda Pillai as Supreme Ruler

                          Bro. J. J. Daniel as Counsellor

                          Bro. N. P. Ramakrishna Pillai as Guide

All the eleven consecrating officers were made honorary members of the Conclave and they continued as such until they were called to the Grand Conclave above. There were 30 founder members.


The Consecration Ceremony was attended by 13 Grand Officers, 21 District Grand Officers and 51 brethren from seven Conclaves (Nos. 14, 21, 42, 61, 76, 89 and 97)


The first Easel was for the Conclave was presented by Srinivasa Gopala Conclave, No. 97, Coimbatore and the first set of Bow and arrows was Presented by Nilgiri Conclave No. 89 Wellington & Ootacamund.




Nine members were proposed at the consecration meeting itself. Six of them were inducted in the first meeting after consecration held on September 4, 1954. Wor. Bro. A.P. Thampy, Past Master of Lodge Minchin was the first inductee.  The other five brothren who were inducted on that date were : Bro. Dr. S.S. Pillai,  Bro. S.V. Pandit,  Bro. C. Narayanan Nair,  Bro. P. Gunamony,  Bro. P.G. Mathew. The youngest Brother inducted during the first year was Bro. Ravi Karunakaran of Alleppey.  He was 22 years.



Membership of the Conclave over the past 50 years included many illustrious personalities. Two of them adorned the highest masonic offices.


Rt. Wy. Bro. A.P. Thampy was the Rt. Wor. District Grand Master of the Masonic District of Madras for twenty years, 1981 to 2000. He was honoured by the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England with the most coveted “ORDER OF SERVICE TO MASONRY”. He was also Grand Superintendent of the District Grand Chapter of Madras for the same period; Deputy Grand Master of the Madras District of Mark  Masonry (1982-87) and Deputy District Grand Supreme Ruler of the District Conclave of Southern India (  ).


Rt. Wy. Bro. S.S. Koder, a Founder Member of the Conclave, was the District Grand Supreme Ruler of the District Grand Conclave of Southern India during 1982 –88, District Grand Master of the Mark Masonry in the Masonic District of Madras (1982-88), Deputy District Grand Master of the District of Madras in Craft Masonry (1980-86) and Deputy Grand Superintendent of the Grand Chapter of Madras (    ).


V. Wy. Bro. N. Jayakrishnan Nair, PG Regr. was appointed Assistant District Grand Supreme Ruler of the District on Febuary 6, 2004.



Golden Jubilee of the Conclave. Today (November 29, 2004) we are celebrating the Golden Jubilee of the Conclave in the august presence of the M.Wy. the Grand Supreme Ruler, M.Wy. Bro.Peter Glyn Williams and his entourage consisting of  ………………… and the Rt.Wy. District Grand Supreme Ruler, the Rt. Wy. Bro. Gopaladeskachari Rangachari and his entourage consisting of …………………….. and distinguished brethren of all the 26 Conclaves in Southern India, altogether numbering over a hundred.


Silver Jubilee of the Conclave was celebrated at an Emergency Meeting on December 29, 1979. Rt. Wy. Bro. A.P. Thampy, Past Grand Visitor and District Grand Chancellor, represented the Rt. Wy. District Grand Supreme Ruler, Rt. Wy. Bro. Lt. Col. G.S. Gill, CIE, OBE, MB, Ch(Edn), IMS (Retd.). All the honorary members who had partaken in the consecration had been called to the Grand Lodge above by that time. Of the 30 founder members only 4 were surviving, of whom V. Wy. Br. T.G. Gopalan Nair was present at the meeting. He presented a short history of the Conclave.


Chitty Conclave ofPast Supreme Rulers no. 295, Chennai, was consecrated on September 1979 at Thiruvananthapuram by Rt. Wy. Bro. Lt. Col. G.S. Gill, the Rt. Wy. District Grand Supreme Ruler.

Most Wy. Grand Supreme Ruler, Sir George Baog, visited India in January 1961.  A deputation from the Conclave attended the District Grand Conclave Meeting on February 3, 1961 at Madras and presented an ivory Nataraj to him.



Installation under Dispensation.  Two Supreme Rulers, Wy. Bro. J.J. Daniel (1955) and Wy. Bro. A. Gunamony (1962) were installed as Supreme Rulers under dispensation from the M.Wy. Grand Supreme Ruler, as they had not served one whole year as Guide or Counsellor.


Senior-most Secret Monitors in the Conclave. Wy. Bro. A.I. Abraham was inducted in this Conclave on September 7, 1957. He has put in 47 years as Secret Monitor and 36 years as a member of this Conclave. Wy. Bro. N. Vijayakrishnan Nair was inducted on June 3, 1967 and has put in 37 years as a member. In contrast to this we have the oldest member in Wy. Bro. V.K. Chacko, inducted on September 1, 1973. He is a very active mason at the age of 96 with 31 years as a Secret Monitor.


Commissioning of the Supreme Ruler It had been the usual practice of the Conclave to commission the Supreme Ruler as part of the Installation ceremony.The only exception was in the case of V.Wy. Bro. N.P. Ramakrishna Pillai (1958) who could not be commissioned because Rt. Wy. Bro. M. Govinda Pillai , the representative of the Rt. Wy. District Grand Supreme Ruler, could not be present owing to the demise of his wife. This was the only installation meeting conducted without a DG representative, in the whole period of 50 years. The commissioning was done at the next meeting in June 1958.


Past Supreme Ruler Jewel. The practice of presenting a Past Supreme Ruler’s Jewel to the out going Supreme Ruler was established in 1959, and on a selective basis. V. Wy. Bro. N.P. Ramakrishna Pillai was the first recipient. The jewel used to be presented either at the Installation meeting or a meeting which followed. In the case of Wy. Bro. Mathew Abraham (1985) it was presented at his residence by a delegation from the Conclave in March 1987, as the recipient was convalessing at home after a prolonged illness.


Absent Supreme Ruler. Wy. Bro. S. Niyogi was installed Supreme Ruler in March 1977. Thereafter he did not attend any meeting of the Conclave during his rulership or thereafter until he resigned from the Conclave on January 1, 1980.


Supreme Rulers dying in Harness. Two Supreme Rulers, Wy. Bro. N. Raman Pillai (March 22, 1964) and Wy. Bro. A.P. Ninan (Nov 1970) died while in office as Supreme Ruler. Bro. A. Ismail sheriff, was elected successor to Wy. Bro. A.P. Ninan , at the regular election meeting in December 1970. Befor installation he declined the office owing to indisposition. W. Bro. P. Velayudhan Pillai was elected Supreme Ruler at a Special meeting on March 6, 1971.


Move to form Grand Conclave of India

There was a move to establish a Grand Council for India in 1986 and Conclaves were asked to decide whether they would join the proposed Grand Council or continue to stay with the Grand Council of England. The Conclave unanimously decided to stay with the Grand council of England. The proposal did not materialize eventually.


Fees Though the various fees were being revised upwards since inception, in 1984 it was decided to reduce the various fee-items to the extend of 25 to 60 %. They were again increased from time to time after 1985.


Induction Ceremony by the brethren of Chitty Conclave. A visiting tteam of officers of the Chitty Conclave conducted an induction ceremony for the Trivandrum Conclave, at Thiruvananthapuram, on August 10, 1980.



There were 30 founder members. During the fifty years of its existence 184 Secret Monitors were inducted into the Conclave, 6 members joined from other Conclaves and 2 re-joined after a break. The largest single number of members inducted into the Conclave at a single meeting was nine. (in 1967). The Conclave lost 151 memebrs by way of death and resignations. With the death of V.Wy. Bro. T.G. Gopalan Nair on December 5, 1999 the Conclave had lost all the founder members. The present membership stands at 69.


Some unpleasantness among the members of the Craft Lodges in Trivandrum occurred in the last quarter of 1980, which was likely to affect the harmony among the members of the Conclave. Wisdom prevailed with the Secret Monitors and it was unanimously resolved that the Conclave shall not be influenced by the discord outside of it. In fact, the then Supreme Ruler, Wy. Bro. V.K. Chacko played a very crucial and effective role in formulating a policy for the admission and promotion in Craft and Mark Lodges, Chapter under the English Constitution.


Following the withdrawal of recognition of the Grand Lodge of India effective September 9, 1992, masons of that constitution raised on or after the cut off date became ineligible for induction into the Order. Though the Concord has been re-established since December 2003, the Conclave has not resumed accepting GLI members, for want of specific rulings regarding the status.




Members of the Conclave received their due recognition from the Grand Conclave and the District Grand Conclave all along. As of date there are, in the Conclave, fifteen brethren with Grand Ranks including two brethren with ranks as Very Worthy Brother. There are 22 brethren with District Grand Ranks.








Year                Name


1954 *             M. Govinda Pillai

1955 *             J. J. Daniel

1956 *             Sthanunatha Iyer

1957 *             R. K. Pillai

1958 *             N. P. Ramakrishna Pillai

1959 *             A. P. Thampi

1960 *             S. S. Pillai

1961 *             Sankarasubramanya Iyer

1962 *             A. Gunamony

1963 *             N. Raman Pillai

1964 *             U. Chandu Nair

1965 *             T.G. Gopalan Nair

1966 *             A. Kassim

1967 *             C. Narayanan Nair

1968 *             K. Narayanan Nair

1969 *             U. Chandu Nair

1970 *             A.P. Ninan

1971 *             P. Velayudhan Pillai

1972                N. Vijayakrishnan Nair

1973 *             S.V. Pandit

1974 *             V. Nirmalan Thampi

1975 #             M. Ramaswamy Iyer

1976                N. Jayakrishnan Nair

1977 #             S. Niyogi

1978 *             K. S. Unnithan

1979 *             K.C. Rama Varma



Year                Name


1980                V.K. Chacko

1981 *             S. Parameswara Iyer

1982                Thomas Poulose

1983                A. I. Abraham

1984 *             V.P. Velayudhan

1985 *             Mathew Abraham

1986                D.G. Nayar

1987 *             G. Appukuttan Pillai

1988                R. Ravi Varma

1989 *             S. Gangadharan Thampi

1990                V. J. Philippose

1991 *             V.K. Kurien               

1992                R. Ravi Kumar

1993                V. R. Krishnan Nair

1994                V. Sukumaran Nair

1995                G. Kumaran Nair

1996                S. Unnikrishnan Nair

1997                J.M.I. Sait

1998                M.M. Syed Ismail

1999                M.P. Manomohan

2000                A. Jayapalan   

2001                P.G. Sukumaran Nair

2002                D. Santhikumar

2003                S.K. Pillai

2004                R. Susheel Raj



*   Deceased.   #   Resigned      Grand Officers  District Grand Officers