The Theosophical Society in Singapore
Singapore was mentioned a couple of times in the history of The Theosophical Society. Most notably, in a letter received by Mr. A. P. Sinnett in December 1883, the Master K. H. intimated that “This day week I will be at Madras en route to Singapur & Ceylon, and Burmah. I will answer you thro’ one of the chelas at the Headquarters.” (ML 117). Evidently, the Master did make the trip to Madras around 10 December 1883 after visiting Mysore where He wrote a letter to Mr. Sinnett dated 7 December 1883 (ML 120). One could only surmise that the Master visited Singapore sometime in December 1883.
Earlier in 1852, before the founding of the TS, it was stated in Volume I of The Collected Writings that “H.P.B. appears to have gone to Southern India, and thence to Java and Singapore, apparently on her way back to England. From a certain statement of hers, it would appear that she took passage on the SS. Gwalior ‘which was wrecked near the Cape,’ and was saved with about twenty others.”
The Singapore Lodge was recorded in the annals of The Theosophical Society as being formed by none other than the President-Founder Col. Henry Steel Olcott and the date on the original charter was 24 January 1889. As chronicled in the Old Dairy Leaves, Col. Olcott says “We reached Singapore on the sixth day, and were visited by some Sinhalese who are settled there, and with whom we organised, on the next day, a local T. S. Branch, with Mr. B. P. De Silva, the well-known jeweller, as President, and nineteen members.” (ODL Fourth Series, pp. 95). The Singapore lodge was known as Gautama Lodge and initially attached to the Ceylon Section.
Being formed in 1889 makes The Singapore Lodge one of the earliest branches of the TS. Looking at the date in perspective, this was
13 years after the founding of The Theosophical Society in New York
6 years after the Headquarters moved to Adyar on 19 December 1882
5 years after the known visit of the Master K. H. to Singapore
The Secret Doctrine was published 3 months earlier, 20 October 1888
Annie Besant joined the TS on 10 May 1889
HPB’s last two books were published in 1889
The Key to Theosophy (July 1889)
The Voice of the Silence (September 1889)
2 years before the passing of HPB
Col. Olcott visited Singapore again on 11 June 1889 and 23 November 1891, on both occasions on his way back from Japan.
The original charter for the Singapore Lodge was dated 24 January 1889 as aforementioned and confirmed by Dr. Hugh Gray, the then International Secretary in his reply of 14 December 1990 when we sought confirmation. Unfortunately, not much was recorded on the activities of the Singapore lodge in its infancy.
However, for some unknown reason a second charter was issued by the second International President, Dr. Annie Besant, on 1 August 1911 to Messrs V. R. Menon, K. Muthukumaru, S. Anandayah, Ong Chye Tee, J. L. Walker, A. S. Thumboo and A. J. N. Kycke, officially naming the branch The Singapore Lodge. The second charter was countersigned by J. R. Aria, the then Recording Secretary. Presumably V. R. Menon was the leader of the Singapore Lodge then. Still, nothing written was found for this period save the charter. It was noted that the earliest meetings were held at an address in Outram Road before moving a few years later to No. 36 Race Course Road.
Apparently the lodge was not very active until the beginning of 1925 when Mensen Fones took over the leadership. Regular meetings were then held at No. 48, Bras Basah Road, the home of Mr Fones. In those days, the Lodge had no fixed address, and the meetings were held at the homes of members.
For a time, the Lodge was not attached to any Section till the end of 1925 when it was thought advisable to seek connection with the Java Section, due to the close proximity of the two territories. Furthermore, there was the possibility of personal contacts with some of their members, who used to pass through Singapore on their way to/from Java. The use of the Dutch Language in their periodicals and bulletins, however, proved a stumbling block, as our members could not utilise their publications. Thus, this connection was short-lived and once again, the Singapore Lodge found itself attached directly to the HQ in Adyar.
In March 1926, it was decided to apply to the Registrar of Societies for exemption from registration, so that the work might be pushed forward more vigorously and systematically. On 12th May 1926, we received the advice of exemption from the Registrar.
At that time, around 1926, a certain Mr. J. H. Rutthomjee, a merchant of Hong Kong, made a generous offer to the Committee to place at its disposal a spacious room in his office at Finlayson Green. The Committee accepted the offer on the understanding that it was to serve as the Town Branch of the Lodge. And so in due course, the Town Branch was used for public meetings. Mr. Rutthomjee not only gave free use of the room, but also presented 133 books to be added to the existing stock of books in our Library, and the princely sum of S$200! Much appreciation must be accorded to his representative, Mr. Shiroze Mistry, who had assisted much, and more importantly, was ever ready to help the Lodge in those early days.
In 1927, the first official election of Office-Bearers was held. Mensen Fones was elected as the President, J. R. Naidu the Vice President, Ong Lock Heng the Secretary and P. Mistry the Treasurer cum Librarian, and C. R. Menon and J. M. Jansen as committee members.
It is of interest to note that the Lodge, small though it was, had received more than its fair share of distinguished members. One of the earliest to visit the Singapore Lodge was the well-known literary figure, Dr Rabindranath Tagore, in early 1927. He was duly garlanded & welcomed warmly. Dr Tagore replied suitably expressing appreciation of the work being done by the Theosophical movement throughout the world.
In 1928 the Lodge moved to Handy Road and that year saw the appointment of a much loved and respected member Bro C. R. Menon as the Hon. Secretary.
In 1929 two of the TS leaders from the Headquarters, Dr George Arundale and his wife, Rukmini Devi (Founder of the classical Indian Dance Art called Kalakshetra), spent a few days in Singapore, meeting and speaking to the public and to members.
With the help of the Singapore Lodge members, the first Malayan Lodge, the Selangor Lodge, was formed in 1929.
Towards the close of 1929, more distinguished leaders of the Theosophical Society visited and made the link with the Singapore Lodge. They included Bishop C. W. Leadbeater, Dr & Mrs James H. Cousins, Bishop Irving S. Cooper & Miss Bell. Their lectures gave a boost to the theosophical activities then.
After the passing of Mensen Fones, a staunch and loyal member, in 1930, Bro C. R. Menon took over the presidency of the Lodge. Steady Lodge work flourished with him on the scene and this continued until the fall of Singapore in1941. Mr Menon gave fortnightly lectures and enhanced Lodge activities by his inspirational work.
After the visit of Mr and Mrs Geoffrey Hodson in 1933, we received a number of enquiries from interested persons. Geoffrey Hodson would visit the Singapore Lodge several more times over the years. Despite the economic depression at that time, membership as well as activities of the Lodge showed an upward trend.
We had our first lady President in 1935, Mrs V. L. Prior.
Many stimulating lectures and teachings were given by well-known writers and the Society’s early leaders like C. Jinarâjadâsa who visited the Singapore Lodge and thus provided further impetus to the already active and flourishing Lodge. As a matter of fact, C. Jinarâjadâsa visited on a number of occasions – in February 1936, and twice in 1937 both on his way to Shanghai and Tokyo and on his return leg. He gave talks at the Victoria Memorial Hall during his visits to Singapore. In 1940, when passing through Singapore, C. Jinarâjadâsa helped to form a children’s Golden Chain Club which was a great success. Its object was to make children as happy as possible and to follow the ideals of the Golden Chain.
In 1938 the Singapore Lodge carried out enthusiastically the Campaign for Understanding. The Lodge increased in membership and the Library in usefulness, and we appreciated the visit of Mr. and Mrs. A. F. Knudsen. Mr. Knudsen was the Presidential Agent in East Asia, who with his wife made Shanghai the headquarters, responsible for nine countries.
It was also in 1938 that Mr Fenton, one of our former Lodge members who had died in England, bequeathed the Lodge the sum of S$1000. With this sum, which was very substantial at that time, we started our Lodge Building Fund.
In January 1939, the Singapore lodge issued its first quarterly Journal with the title of ‘The Malayan Theosophist’. Mrs Jane Clumeck, who was the mother of Dr Jean Raymond, one time International Recording Secretary, was its first editor and our old member Bro V. Rajagopal was her assistant. This publication ceased when Singapore fell to the Japanese. Later on in 1939, the lodge was located at 8 Cairnhill Road, the house of a Japanese watch-maker, and meetings were held three times a week, Sundays being reserved for members, Thursdays for the public and Tuesdays for study classes. Apart from these activities, the members performed the RITUAL OF THE MYSTIC STAR once a month. The GOLDEN CHAIN CLUB for little children was started in our Lodge to make children as happy as possible and to ‘open up to the child, the beautiful side of life and to follow up and put into practice the words of the CHAIN INVOCATION: “TO THINK PURE AND BEAUTIFUL THOUGHTS, SPEAK PURE AND BEAUTIFUL WORDS, DO PURE AND BEAUTIFUL ACTIONS, & TO BE ALWAYS KIND & GENTLE TO ALL LIVING CREATURES”.
Apart from these, we had a Social Gathering now and then and a President’s Tea Party once a month. In this connexion, Dr P. W. van den Broek comes to mind.
The Japanese attacked Singapore in December 1941 and work became difficult. During the Japanese occupation, meetings were not allowed and members could not meet officially. Instead, they held picnics, or gathered at a member’s house to which Lodge things were moved, though books and furniture were lost. The war time activities were chronicled by Elsie Tan. Elsie used to live near the TS in Cairnhill Road at that time and first stepped into the Singapore Lodge in 1935 when she was invited to attend a tea party there. She joined the Society in 1939 and met Tan Ah Peng who was then the secretary and married him in 1940. Her husband was taken away in 1941 by the Japanese, never to return, leaving her with a daughter then 11 months old, and she was 3 months pregnant with a son.
On February 15, 1942, the Japanese entered Singapore. Andre Batiha, a Russian member of the TS, was afraid the library books would be destroyed. He was a supervisor of a plantation and had many coolies working for him. He, together with two other members, V. Rajagopal (Gopal) and D.C. Dasaratharaj (Raj) and the coolies, brought all the books to Andre’s house in Siglap for safekeeping. The tenants had all fled and no one was staying there. It must have been very laborious and difficult for them to do this, as all the Lodge books and furniture had to be transported by push-carts because all Singapore motor vehicles had been requisitioned by the Japanese Army and Andre’s house in Siglap was about 7 miles away from Cairnhill Road. Andre Batiha was a hero of the Singapore Lodge for it was he who saved the library books. This is very significant as many lodges around the world lost their entire library collection during the Second World War. Elsie went to the countryside to take refuge for a while. She then went to stay with her sister-in-law in Grange Road but could not afford to pay her share of the rent. She appealed to Andre Batiha for help. He said she could stay at his house in Siglap and take care of the TS library books. Her cousin Charlie Lee also stayed there with her for a few months. Elsie later moved out as Andre wanted to sell the house. The books were later moved back to the Lodge at No. 8 Cairnhill Road. We realize today that the greatest asset of the Lodge is our collection of the 2,000 odd library books, many of which are already out of print. Indeed, we have some books that even larger lodges do not have. Thanks to Andre Batiha, Gopal, Raj, Elsie and other workers with their foresight, we have the library more or less intact for posterity. Elsie says:
“During the war years we kept our contacts with each other by Sunday meetings in Siglap; informal in nature, they were in the form of picnics and parties. Though there was hardship, the spirit of brotherhood was stronger then than at any other time, FOR A COMMON BOND OF SUFFERING BROUGHT US CLOSER TO EACH OTHER.... “
Even before the official cessation of the war with Japan, three Singapore theosophists were elected to form a Rehabilitation Committee. They were Bros. Batiha, Chan Chim Lim and Lim Hock Chuan. This was the year 1945. When Bro. Batiha fell ill and left for Sydney, it was left to Bros. Chan Chim Lim, Tan Siow Hee and others to continue the rehabilitation work. When news of the collapse of Nazi Germany came, Ned Clumeck came into the picture. He was Jane Clumeck’s husband and an Air Force Squadron Leader assigned to allocating units formerly occupied by the Japanese. He did the needful during the British Military Administration and finally the Singapore Lodge was moved back to No. 8 Cairnhill Rd.
Elsie took her cousin, Charlie Lee, to the Lodge after the war in 1946 when she heard him saying that he was going to live a religious life and find a true religion. In Charlie’s own words, “So it was, from the moment I stepped into the Lodge, I became a theosophist, and had all along been very active in a variety of ways, inside and outside the Lodge.”
In 1946 Ned Clumeck became the first Post-War President and Chan Chim Lim the Secretary of the Singapore Lodge. We were fortunate in that many Lodges overseas sent us books and periodicals to re-start our Library on a firm footing. The onerous work of cataloguing the books fell upon Bro. Peter Seng who did a good job.
After the long period of hibernation during the Japanese Occupation, Lodge activities resumed with greater vigour and in 1948, the 1st Presidential Agent for Malaya, Singapore and Thailand was appointed by the International President of the T.S., Mr. C. Jinarâjadâsa. Mrs Hilda Moorhead filled the post with the dignity and distinction that such an office brought. She resumed publication of The Malayan Theosophist. In 1952, Bro V. Rajagopal succeeded Mrs Moorhead as Presidential Agent.
The Singapore Lodge joined the Federation of Theosophists in Malaya & Singapore in 1957. In 1968, 3 years after Singapore became an independent sovereign state, the Lodge seceded from Malaysia and once again attached itself to the International HQ at Adyar, India.
Other ardent and dedicated members of the Singapore Lodge in that period included Heng Seng Chiang, Peter Seng, Lim Choon Huat (whose son Lim Kim San became the first Minister of National Development in 1963 and held various ministerial portfolios until 1981), Dr. A. C. Weerekoon, Mr & Mrs Rie von Krusenstierna, Mrs Elizabeth Flinter and her daughter Margaret Flinter, Dr C. Murugiah, Chan Chim Lim, Tan Siow Hee, Teo Geok Leng, Shu Thai Che, Charlie Lee, Bette Heng Siang Keow, Rose Weerekoon and her daughter Gertrude Weerekoon, Ho Seng Hee, M. K. Dutta, A. P. Pillay, , Kwee Sim Djiang, Puncha Bandara, Lim Khay Guan, Lian Gan Hoe, Donald F. d’Souza, T. Gulabrai, Edwin J. d’Souza, Ang Beng Siong, Oon Kok Chat, Leonard P. Rodrigo and Tan Khiong Khoo.
In the seventies, the Singapore Lodge was still located at No. 8, Cairnhill Road. The premises were rented and we had to find alternative accommodation as the government was going to re-possess the buildings for re-development. After a long search, a house was found in Moulmein Rise which seemed suitable except for the fact that we did not have the funds to purchase it. The purchase price was far more than what the Society had in the kitty at that time. What transpired thereafter is best described as a miracle.
We had been paid some $15,000 as compensation by the government but that still left a huge deficit. At that time, Bro. Oon Kok Chat headed up the fund-raising committee. He pledged two months of his salary and invited other members to follow suit. Among the donations received, he recalled that $2,000 was donated by Justice W. D. Ambrose, an ex-High Court judge who was the unofficial patron of the Lodge and $500 donated by Bro. M. I. A. Khalik. In the meantime, we encountered some difficulties as the seller wanted to back out of the deal after receiving the option money. He had thought that property prices would rise and wanted to hold out for better profits. A threat to sue him quickly settled the matter. However, the question of the deficit loomed ominously over the future of the Lodge. How could we ever raise enough money? Unconscious to us though, the guardians of the Singapore Lodge were preparing the stage for a drama that would unfold …
Out of the blue, on a fateful day around Chinese New Year, the then President of the Lodge, Mr. Edwin De Souza, received an anonymous phone call from Kuala Lumpur. The mystery man enquired about the Society and suggested a meeting with the officials of the Lodge. An appointment for afternoon tea was arranged at the Mandarin Hotel. Bro. K. C. Oon, Justice Ambrose and the President met the stranger who said that he was a Rosicrucian and had been receiving lessons during his meditation sessions from a kindly gentleman with a white beard. He had been instructed by this mysterious incorporeal teacher to contact our Society to see if he could help in any way. Upon enquiry, although he requested anonymity, he divulged that he was in fact a Singaporean who was the owner and Managing Director of Ka Wah Bank in Hong Kong. He was brought up to steam about the circumstances surrounding the relocation of the Lodge and that we had in fact paid the deposit but were desperately short of $75,000 or so to complete the purchase and for minor renovations. The stranger at once made out a cheque to the Society for that amount! Can you imagine the great joy and relief our officials then must have felt? This was even better than striking a lottery! Bro. K. C. Oon remembers gladly paying $24 for the refreshments that serendipitous afternoon. Thus, the property at Moulmein Rise was purchased on 20th June 1979 in the names of three members as joint-tenants for $82,000, 91.5% of the amount being financed by the hitherto unknown benefactor.
But who was the gentleman who had appeared to our benefactor in his dream and influenced him to seek us out to make Moulmein Rise a reality? The answer was not to be known till months later when we eventually moved into No. 20, Moulmein Rise. The benefactor was invited to attend the opening celebration. As he walked into the premises, he stopped dead in his tracks, excitedly pointed at a picture that hung on a wall facing the entrance and exclaimed, “That’s him! That’s the man who has been teaching me in my dreams and who asked me to help your Society!” The picture was that of none other than our beloved brother and teacher – the Reverend Charles Webster Leadbeater. And may it also be known that this is not an isolated case of help from C. W. Leadbeater. At least one other member was psychically influenced and personally inspired by CWL to devote his time to be of service to The Singapore Lodge Theosophical Society. That CWL should have a special interest in the Singapore Lodge is curious but not entirely a surprise. The Singapore Lodge was very active in the pre-war days and has spawned many dedicated theosophists who devoted their lives to work for the Society in other parts of the world.
Fact is stranger than fiction. We call this episode “The Story of the Invisible Helper of The Singapore Lodge”. The Singapore Lodge is indeed extremely fortunate and blessed to be watched over by The Great Ones, Their pupils and the invisible helpers! May we ever be deserving of their help and continue to fulfil the purpose for which the Society was formed. May we continue to bring the Light of Truth into the lives of truthseekers and also to the ignorant so that their journey through life would be illuminated and helped.
The property at Moulmein Rise served us well for 17 years till 1996 when certain circumstances forced us to reconsider the viability of our continued use of the premises for Society meetings. According to the prevailing legislation at that time, a landed property could not be used by a foreign Society. Our property at 20 Moulmein Rise was a landed property and The Theosophical Society was a foreign Society. As such, we had to find appropriately zoned premises. This we did and after an arduous search, we found our present premises at #03-04, Sims Avenue Centre located at 540 Sims Avenue. The property at Moulmein Rise was sold for $1,388,000 on 27th September 1996, again not without invisible help and a series of fortuitous coincidences! The Title Deed to the new premises was transferred, coincidentally, on 17 November 1997 – the 122nd Anniversary of the founding of The Theosophical Society.
Although the Singapore Lodge has been in existence since 1889, the Registry of Societies shows that it was only registered on 4 May 1961 although the reference number of 282/1947 would seem to indicate that it was previously registered in 1947. The officers at the Registry of Societies could only speculate that records were lost during the war years. 1961 was probably a re-registration, bearing in mind we also had an exemption from registration in May 1926.
We do not have records of membership prior to 1961. From the annual returns filed with the Registrar of Societies we know that the average membership for the years 1961 to 1985 was 45. For the years from 1986 to 1999, the average membership was 87. The average membership for the years 2000 to 2014 jumped to 315. The membership for 2010 to 2013 hovered around 400 and stood at 411 as of 2014.
A new chapter for the Singapore Lodge began with the active contributions of Chong Sanne and his wife Lily Chong from 1998. They were in fact responsible for the sale of the property at Moulmein Rise and the purchase of the new property at Sims Avenue Centre. The increase in membership from 1998 is attributed to a revival of the movement led by them. Significant activities of the lodge initiated by them included A Course in Theosophy & Meditation (ACTM) which are free public courses conducted two to three times a year to popularize a knowledge of theosophy and weekly meetings on Saturdays with talks focussed strictly on theosophical subjects, a departure from the eclectic nature of past meetings. Thousands of enquirers have attended the ACTM since its introduction in 1998. A great number of attendees of ACTM joined as members of the TS. As membership grew, programmes were introduced to sustain the interest of the members. This included Study Classes on Tuesday evenings in addition to the weekly Saturday programmes. Study Classes were conducted on the following books:
The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett – 27 Mar 1999 to 25 Mar 2000
The Key to Theosophy – 12 May 2001 to 15 Sep 2001
At the Feet of the Master – 20 Jul 2002 to 12 Oct 2002
The Voice of the Silence – 15 Feb 2003 to 2 Aug 2003
Light on the Path – 14 Feb 2004 to 24 Jul 2004
A Study in Consciousness – 5 Mar 2005 to 16 Jul 2005
The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett – 19 May 2009 to 25 Jan 2011
The Key to Theosophy – 5 July 2011 to 22Nov 2011
A Study in Consciousness – 8 May 2012 to 18 Dec 2012
At the Feet of the Master – 9 Jul 2013 to 4 Feb 2014
The Voice of the Silence – 15 July 2014 to . . .
Theosophical retreats were organized in resorts outside Singapore to give members a change of environment and to participate in workshops in a resort setting. The retreats organized included the following workshops:
1998 Sebana Cove Golf & Marina Resort, Sungei Santi, Johor, Malaysia; Theme: Daily Challenges in Life with workshops on “Worries, Fear and Anxiety”, “Anger and Irritation” and “Self-centredness and Selfishness”.
2002 Nongsa Point Marina, Batam, Indonesia; Theme: Self-Realization and Development.
2003 Turi Beach Resort, Batam, Indonesia; Theme: Courage, Patience and Hope.
2005 Sebana Cove Golf & Marina Resort, Sungei Santi, Johor, Malaysia; Theme: The Three Poisons and the Five Obscurities.
2009 Turi Beach Resort, Batam, Indonesia; Theme: Self-Realization and Development.
Under the leadership of Chong Sanne, the Singapore Lodge Theosophical Society sent official delegations to the following international events
1999: 124th International Convention in Adyar with 14 delegates
2001: 9th World Congress in Sydney, Australia with 17 delegates
2004: hosted the 9th Triennial Conference of the Indo-Pacific Federation of the TS, Singapore with 54 delegates
2007: 10th Triennial Conference of the Indo-Pacific Federation of the TS, Quezon City, Philippines, with 21 delegates
2010: 135th International Convention in Adyar, with 36 delegates
2013: 12th Triennial Conference of the Indo-Pacific Federation of the Theosophical Society in Bali, Indonesia, with 12 delegates
The Singapore Lodge hosted the 9th Triennial Conference of the Indo-Pacific Federation of the Theosophical Society from 5 to 7 November 2004. The conference was held at the SEAMEO Regional Language Centre (RELC) in Orange Grove Road which also has a hotel where most of the overseas participants stayed in. The theme of the conference was “Working Together for Theosophy” which was explored through workshops, panel discussions and talks. A total of 121 members representing 12 countries participated in the event. Singapore was represented by 54 members. Of the 67 overseas members, the largest delegation came from India with 21 participants. Following closely was Australia with 19 members. Next was Indonesia with 8 delegates. New Zealand and Malaysia were each represented by 6 participants and we had a representative each from the Philippines, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan. We even had three guests coming from afar - Joy Mills and Steve Walker from the United States of America and Terezinha Kind from Brazil. The Guest of Honour was Mrs. Radha Burnier, the International President, who gave a public lecture on 6 November 2004 which attracted a good crowd.
The website of the Singapore Lodge Theosophical Society was launched in March 2004 to facilitate the hosting of the 9th Triennial Conference of the Indo-Pacific Federation of the Theosophical Society in Singapore.
Since taking up the presidency, Chong Sanne was supported by a dedicated group of co-workers including Lily Chong, Kwee Sim Djiang, Kam Chai Heng, Nancy Teo Nguan Hwee, Vivekhananthan, Serena Lee Mei Lyn, N. C. Raghava, Tang Kwok Choon, Lee Suit Fun, Djimmy Rahardja, Choong Tsui Wei, Choong Chi Pin and Hauw Tio Hiong. They formed the Executive Committee under the leadership of Chong Sanne.
One of the great benefactors of The Singapore Lodge was Bro Kwee Sim Djiang. He joined the Singapore Lodge in 1957 and served as the Vice President from 1999 until his passing on 13 December 2002, aged 84. He left a substantial bequeathal to the Singapore Lodge in the form of blue chip stocks. In gratitude, we dedicated and named our library Kwee Sim Djiang Library in memory of our benefactor. This was appropriate as Bro. Kwee was an avid reader and a frequent user of our library.
Another dedicated worker of the Singapore Lodge was Bro Kam Chai Heng who devoted much of his time to the Society and its cause. With a charitable heart, he was one of the biggest donors in helping defray the operating expenses of the Singapore Lodge. Kam Chai Heng joined in 1998 and served as the Vice President from 2003 until his passing on 17 August 2014, aged 79.
One of the most important developments was the formation of the Chinese Project Team in December 2011. Headed by Hauw Tio Hiong, the team undertakes as an on-going project, the translation of theosophical literature into Chinese for the benefit of the Chinese-educated enquirers. An integral part of the project is the development of a dedicated Chinese website with the domain name of chinesetheosophy.org which we hope will prove useful and potentially beneficial not only to the over 1.4 billion people in Greater China but all the Chinese-literate population in the world including the over 50 million overseas Chinese. We see popularizing a knowledge of theosophy to the Chinese population as our responsibility until such a time when a branch is formed in China itself. The website chinesetheosophy.org is also linked to the Chinese domain names of zhengdaoxue.org and shenzhixue.org.
Chong Sanne, the President of the Singapore Lodge Theosophical Society, was appointed on 7th November 2013 as the Presidential Representative for East and South-East Asia, including Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Myanmar, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan but excluding the countries where Sections already exist, for the purpose of developing theosophical work in the region and conducting the business and administration of the Theosophical Society.
Partial list of Presidents of the Singapore Lodge Theosophical Society:
1889 - B. P. De Silva
1911 - V. R. Menon
1925 1930 Mensen Fones
- - C. C. Halling
1931 - C. R. Menon
- - Emil Galiston
1935 - Mrs V. L. Prior
1938 1939 Dr. P. W. van den Broek
- - Hilda Moorhead
1946 - Ned Clumeck
- - Andre Batiha
- - V. Rajagopal
- - Teo Geok Leng
1961 1964 Margaret Flinter
1965 1970 Chan Chim Lim
1971 1973 Lim Khay Guan
1974 1975 Chan Chim Lim
1976 1976 T. Gulabrai
1977 1978 Edwin D’Souza
1979 1984 Len P. Rodrigo
1986 1991 Tan Kiong Khoo
1992 1996 Manize A. J. Sait
1997 1997 Annabella Devaraj
1998 1998 Rose Weerekoon
1999 Chong Sanne
Compiled by Chong Sanne, President, Singapore Lodge Theosophical Society, in 2014
Acknowledgement and References:
Oral history contributions by:
Charlie Lee, with notes of Chan Chim Lim
Oon Kok Chat
Kwee Sim Djiang
A Short History of The Theosophical Society – Josephine Ransom
The Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Book of the TS – Josephine Ransom
The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett
Collect Writings of H. P. B. – Volume I & Volume X
Old Diary Leaves, Fourth Series – Col. H. S. Olcott
Registry of Societies, Singapore
Go to Overview
Address: The Singapore Lodge Theosophical Society
540 Sims Avenue, #03-04
Sims Avenue Centre
Visit the Singapore Lodge website