Alexandra Lodge No. 993 with Bro Soonawalla and guests

One of the greatest attributes to Freemasonry is its universal acceptance and love towards our fellow human beings and this is exemplified in Freemasonry when we have the honorable opportunity to conduct a ceremony on behalf of another Lodge, particularly when that lodge is halfway around the world.

Alexandra Lodge No. 993, in Audenshaw District had the pleasure to Pass Bro Arshan Cyrus Soonawalla to the degree of a Fellow Craft Freemason. Bro Soonawalla was initiated into Alexandra Lodge No. 1065 which meets at Jabalpur in the State of Madhya Pradesh, India. Bro. Soonawalla is a fifth generation Freemason and grandson of the Immediate Past District Grand Master for the District Grand Lodge of Bombay, RWBro Dorab Bajan, a friend of WBro Michael Holland PAGDC, the IPM of Alexandra Lodge No. 993.

Alexandra Lodge No. 1065 is an English Lodge that was Consecrated in Jabalpur in December 1864, a year after Alexandra Lodge No. 993 was Consecrated in Levenshulme, Manchester. It was when WBro Holland was attending the Sesquicentenary celebration of Alexandra Lodge No. 1065 in Jabalpur last year, that RWBro Bajan spoke to him about his grandson. He mentioned that it was his wish to Initiate Arshan into Alexandra No.1065 but as Arshan was now working in the UK, he enquired whether Alexandra No. 993 would consider Passing and Raising him on their behalf.

On his return to UK, WBro Holland discussed this matter with the Brethren of 993 and all were in agreement that this would be an excellent opportunity to help out a Lodge with the same name and with which WBro Holland had such close connections.

Bro Soonawalla was Initiated by his grandfather RWBro Bajan on 3rd August 2015 and shortly after the Secretary of Alexandra Lodge No. 993, WBro Stephen Holgate, received a letter from Alexandra Lodge No. 1065 requesting that on their behalf would they Pass and Raise Bro Soonawalla.

At the start of the passing ceremony the Worshipful Master of Alexandra Lodge No. 993, WBro William Rathbone, invited WBro Holland to take the Chair for the evening and to conduct the business of Passing Bro Soonawalla with WBro Peter Ryan the Lodge Mentor acting as Senior Deacon.

The Ceremony included the long version of the Working Tools delivered by the Junior Warden, WBro Michael Wignall; the Charge after Passing delivered by the acting Senior Warden, WBro Raymond Charlton and the Second Degree Tracing Board delivered by the Director of Ceremonies WBro Brian Wignall.

After the Lodge closed, an excellent Social Board was enjoyed wherein Bro Soonawalla responded to his toast by thanking all Brethren for their warmth and support that evening and saying how much he had enjoyed the experience.

It is expected that Bro Soonawalla will be Raised to the Degree of a Master Mason in Alexandra Lodge No. 993 on 11th March 2016 and all Brethren who would like to attend should please contact the Lodge Secretary, WBro Stephen Holgate on