Issue20 - FEB 2012       Back to newsletter | to TOS website

TOS News from around the world


Teaching vegetarian cooking in Lisbon

  Every two weeks, the TOS’s Correspondent for Portugal, José António Machado Alves, is giving cooking classes in premises belonging to the city hall in Lisbon. As a guest Theosophist committed to a compassionate way of life, his aim is to communicate to the public the ethical and spiritual reasons for vegetarianism and the increasing harmony between body and soul that is a natural consequence of a more balanced and healthy diet. José António gives out recipes and shows how to make dishes for those who wish to join the workshop sessions.  Participants are delighted with the classes and enjoy tasting the food they make together. 

José António

Last May at TS HQ in Lisbon, at the invitation of the General Secretary of the TS, José António gave a public presentation on the work of the TOS within Portugal and around the world.  The immediate past coordinator of the TOS, Alida Rodrigues, also participated in the session.



A fundraising concert in London, England


The European School of Theosophy is an annual one week event that takes place in different countries around Europe. 2011’s school was held in St Albans in the outskirts of London.  One evening, to entertain the students, a concert was organised in aid of the TOS’s famine relief project in Kenya.  It was well attended, people were generous and no less than £250 (US$385) was raised.

The concert was given by two inwardly and outwardly beautiful young ladies, one playing flute and the other piano.  Sarah Waycott and Hannah Mitchell are not members of the Theosophical Society, nor had they heard of Theosophy, but they were so moved by the plight facing the people in Kenya that they accepted the request to play at the European School of Theosophy. They drove from Wales, a journey of three hours, gave the concert of one hour and thirty minutes, had dinner and then drove all the way home again. They were offered accommodation, but as teachers they had to work the following day.

The TOS is touched and delighted by Hannah’s and Sarah’s kindness and thanks them heartily.  Thanks also go to the organisers of this event.


Acknowledging dedicated Qandeel school teachers in Pakistan


Fareeda Amir reports that despite the unrest and violence in Karachi, the teachers at the literacy home-schools continue their work in an exemplary way. These schools are known as Qandeel home schools, symbolising the light of learning spreading out from a lantern.

Fareeda tells us that the TOS recently held a function to acknowledge the work their teachers are doing for the home schools despite the many hurdles they encounter (including getting shot in the leg! Thankfully the teacher involved has made a full recovery.) Each teacher was given a bonus equal to the salary for a month. A letter of appreciation from the International Secretary of the TOS was also given to each teacher. Of course the letter had a translated Urdu version attached.

The function went very well and there was much excitement amongst the teachers and children. It was supposed to be a concert, and the children of each school had prepared songs, small plays etc. The bonus and letter were a surprise!

One of the Qandeel teachers being presented with her certificate and cheque


Students singing the Pakistan National Anthem

Students performing the Dil Dil Pakistan song

Getting into recycling in Brisbane, Australia

Members of the Brisbane TOS group have been exploring ways of reducing their environmental footprint for several years. They have also been promoting practical ways that people can help the environment by reducing their general consumption, energy use and water use.

They are committed to recycling because of the energy it saves and the consequent reduction in carbon dioxide production. For instance, the energy saved recycling one plastic bottle can power a computer for 25 minutes.

Members have recently been learning how to make carry bags from recycled newspapers, magazines, cardboard and fabrics. They are now in the process of making several hundred bags of various sizes for use in the Brisbane TS library and bookshop.

Members learning how to make carry bags
out of newspapers and magazines.



Celebrations in Paris, France

The TOS in France held a lively and enjoyable meeting in Paris in early January at which photos were projected of all the service projects the TOS in France supports. This power point programme inspired several spontaneous donations. A small fundraising sale of home-made items was held and live music was played. The members then sat down to share what are known as Twelfth Night cakes. These are a traditional part of Epiphany, a Christian Holy Day celebrating, amongst other things, the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus. In each cake, a little porcelain figurine is hidden. Those who find the figurine in their slice of cake are crowned king or queen for the day, symbolising their mission to maintain peace and unity in their kingdom.

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