Issue 15 April 2011            to TOS website


(L. to R.)
Carolyn Harrod is the National Coordinator of the TOS in Australia,
Geoffrey Harrod is the International TOS Webmaster and
Diana Dunningham Chapotin is the International Secretary of the TOS.

Dear fellow-members of the TS and TOS around the world,

Welcome to this second issue in 2011 of our international on-line newsletter. We aim to keep you in touch with what is happening in the world-wide TOS family, to enable you to get to know TOS members outside your own country and to bring information to inspire your service work within or outside the TOS.
Remember that the newsletter is designed to be read while you are connected to the internet.

A great deal of our service work requires us to provide material resources as well as our time, energy and commitment. Consequently, we are often searching for new, easy and enjoyable fundraising ideas. One of our international projects is to put together a compilation of fundraising ideas that have worked for groups. We’d love to hear from as many of you as possible, sharing your stories of successful fundraising events and activities. Please put pen to paper during April and May and tell us how you went about your fundraising. If you have photographs to accompany your story, of course, we would be overjoyed to receive them.

Please also consider sending photographs of your TOS activities and news items that might be of interest to fellow TOS members. We would welcome your contributions, either through your National TOS Director/President/Coordinator/Correspondent or directly to the editors at:

Theosophists all over the world are horrified at the situation in Japan following March 11’s earthquake and tsunami and are thinking with deep concern of all its citizens, including the members of the Theosophical Society there. Our prayers are with them all. The TOS is in touch with Mr Taichi Yamaguchi, the President of Nippon Lodge in Tokyo, who will let us know if there is any specific help we can give beyond donating to recommended charities within our own countries.

Would you like to receive this on-line newsletter automatically?

  1. To sign up, you only have to send a message telling us which country you live in with ‘Subscribe TOS e-newsletter’ in the subject line to

  2. If you do not want to receive future newsletters you can easily unsubscribe. All that is needed is a blank message with ‘Unsubscribe TOS e-newsletter’ in the subject line.

Please ensure the TOS email address is not made available to Facebook or other social networking sites to automatically 'invite'. Also, please do not forward attachments to us unless they are specific contributions for the newsletter or notices of TOS activities.

With best wishes,
Carolyn, Diana and Geoffrey


Be the change you want to see in the world.

-   Mahatma Gandhi

Jean Gullo

American TOS Honorary President for Life, Jean Gullo, passes

On Friday, January 28, 2011 Jean Gullo passed away. Although her health had been deteriorating over several years, she was lucid and loving until the end.

From Jean's first days as a TSA member, the Theosophical Order of Service became a focus for her energies. She was strongly influenced by an early mentor, Lois Holmes, who at that time was President of the Theosophical Order of Service. An artist by training, Jean soon found herself head of the TOS Department of Art and Music.

In 1966 Jean became President of the TOS, a position she would hold for the next 41 years! As president she was always innovating. She and her husband, Joe, developed the idea for a magazine and in 1982 the first issue of For the Love of Life went to press.

Jean was a writer, speaker, administrator, fundraiser, motivator and constant example of love in action. She will be missed by the many whose lives she has touched over the years.

Read more….

The reward of good work is more good work, of course

Reveal too much efficiency and dedication as a rank and file volunteer and you may end up as national coordinator of TOS activities in your country! This is what has happened to two workers after the TS Congress in Rome.

Rosella Milani Fanzio acted as saleslady at the bazaar organised by the TOS in Italy at the Rome Congress last July. She and her team put in long hours at their post, remaining charming and courteous to all, even late into the evenings. The reward for Rosella’s indefatigability was to be appointed National Director of the TOS in Italy a few months later.

Usha Shah, one of the members of the Kenyan delegation at the TS Congress in Rome last July, offered to carry 30 teddy bears knitted by Italian TOS members back to Nairobi for distribution to children experiencing tragedy. Usha is diminutive in size and she bravely shepherded her bag of teddies through customs check points all the way from Rome to Nairobi.

Spending 24 hours with a bag of teddies for company apparently affords plenty of time for creative thinking. Usha ended up organising a Christmas party for 30 children at the cancer ward of Kenyatta National Hospital. Usha was appointed Coordinator of TOS activities in Nairobi in March.

Read more….


TOS news from around the world

Read the report of the annual colloquium of the TOS Mumbai Region in India and how it included a practical expression of the ideals of brotherhood and service by involving delegates in activities with a local school for the handicapped. Learn how the TOS in France is working with the Liberal Catholic Church to support a school for disadvantaged children in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. Find out about the work of the TOS in Sweden with orphans in neighbouring Latvia and the support the TOS in Wales is giving to animal welfare..

Read more….

  Annie Besant

Making the most of our website – Who are we?

The first area on our homepage menu is Who are we? You’ll find a brief history of the founding of the TOS, the purpose for which it was established, and its relationship with the Theosophical Society. While this section provides information for enquirers and new members, it is also worthwhile for established groups to return to the purpose for the TOS as they plan and review their activities. Do we, for instance, make the most of the framework that the TOS offers to:

  • work along self-selected lines of service for the uplifting of humanity and the protection of the planet;

  • apply theosophical principles in a practical way to issues of contemporary concern; and

  • honour and nurture social action as spiritual practice?

Take a look at this material at


What’s new on the International TOS website?

We’ve added an inspirational article, Self-transformation: from egoism to altruism in service, to the For Members section. Annie Besant is the key player in a conversation that explores some of the issues surrounding self-transformation or inner growth in the context of service. All of the words attributed to her are her own and have been extracted by Dorothy Bell from her teachings that appear in the compilation Annie Besant… on Service, Duty and Sacrifice.

In our new Featured Project we share the extensive educational and social welfare work of the TOS in Pakistan. You’ll find details and photographs of their Education Sponsorship Program, their Literacy Centre Home Schools and the Jamshed Memorial Montessori School. We are very happy to be sharing this update. It takes a great deal of courage for our members in Karachi to maintain the excellent and extensive work they are doing there and if anyone deserves our interest, caring and moral support, they do!

Joy Mills invites us to participate in the ‘Divine Lunacy’ of a commitment to brotherhood in the new Featured Article. She challenges us to consider that in a world in which so many corners are in need of light, even a tiny glow of neighbourliness, of loving thoughtfulness, of patience, courage, tolerance and faith, may serve to diminish the dark around us. lf we cannot sustain at every moment the 'divine lunacy' of enduring compassion, can we at least participate in the glow-worm lunacy of trying?

Our Latest News features Joy Mills who has been awarded the Subba Row Medal by the General Council of the Society in recognition of her extensive contribution to Theosophical literature and understanding.  Joy is one of the most outstanding teachers of theosophy the Theosophical Society has ever had in its ranks. We congratulate her warmly on this richly deserved award.

There are also additions to the TOS photo gallery and the Inspiration section.

Go to


Passport for Service

Pedro Oliveira shares a story from the 9th World Congress of the Theosophical Society held in Sydney, in January 2001, about one of the guest speakers, Ven. Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche. The Rinpoche, which in Tibetan means ‘precious one’, is today the Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government in Exile. In August he will be handing over to his successor.

The story tells how the Rinpoche, one of the most respected persons in the world, an acclaimed scholar, a reincarnated Lama and a teacher in his own right, sees his profession and occupation just as service to the suffering humanity.

Read more …


United Nations Day celebrated at Golden Link College

The Golden Link College celebrates United Nations Day by holding a program in October on the Sunday nearest the UN Day. The children usually wear the costumes of different nations, with a sash mentioning the name of the country. Parents and relatives of the students are invited to attend the program.

The program starts with a parade around the community, with the flag of the UN in front and a person who beats a small drum. The community people usually watch the parade because of the beautiful costumes.

Then a program is held in the school hall where students deliver speeches on subjects related to the UN, World Peace, Universal Brotherhood, etc.

Read more …


Simple acts of kindness

It goes without saying that many, not to say all, Theosophists perform acts of service regularly that no one gets to hear about. They do it as a natural and routine part of their lives. We would like to celebrate these small acts of kindness. Perhaps they will give us inspiration and practical ideas.

In this issue we introduce Canadian TOS member, Elizabeth Smith, who adopted an old Shetland sheepdog when his former family were no longer able to take care of him because of circumstances beyond their control.

Read more …