Issue 16 June 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,

We hope you are enjoying keeping in touch with what is happening in the TOS internationally. Our international electronic newsletter aims to bring you information to inspire your service work within or outside the TOS and to help you get to know TOS members outside your own country.

Remember that the newsletter is designed to be read while you are connected to the internet.

An invitation to you: We are currently compiling a collection of easy and enjoyable fundraising ideas for TOS groups. Would you be willing to share your good ideas with your TOS family? Please send us your stories of successful fundraising events and activities to the editors at:

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 to the email above.

 Some of you are asking for news of our fellow TS members in Japan after the March 11 tsnunami  and nuclear disaster. Here is an extract from a message received from Mr Taiichi Yamaguchi, the  President of Nippon Lodge in Tokyo:

I am really grateful for your heartfelt messages and deepest concern regarding the current nuclear crisis caused by the huge 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency raised the emergency alert of the Fukushima nuclear plant to level seven – the highest on the international scale of nuclear accidents – on 12 April 2011. The present situation of nuclear radiation is gradually worsening in Japan. I confirm that all 66 members of Nippon Lodge are in safe condition.
At the Nippon Lodge in Japan, we make every endeavour to survive in the current horrendous nuclear disaster. If we need further assistance in this most critical situation, I will let you know by email.

 In the meantime, our thoughts of healing and well-being are with our fellow theosophists
  and their compatriots in Japan.

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With best wishes,
Carolyn, Diana and Geoffrey


Life's most urgent question is: What are you doing for others?
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Pam Evans

Peace Mala – an initiative of a TS member in Wales

Since its inception, the TOS has promoted the ideal of service based on a recognition of the Divine in all people, and in fact, in all life. The TOS promotes mutual respect, harmonious relationships and peace and many TOS groups include peace oriented activities among their projects. We were therefore excited to hear from Julie Cunningham, the head of the Welsh Regional Association of the TS, about Peace Mala, a peace education initiative started in Wales.

Peace Mala is a multi-award winning project founded by Pam Evans, an experienced teacher of World Faiths, a long-time student of the mystical traditions of our world and a member of the Theosophical Society. Pam is committed to inter-faith dialogue for peace and she sees this as a vital process in the current world climate of fear and misunderstanding.

When describing how she came to found Peace Mala, Pam explains: "As a teacher of World Faiths, I've known about the Golden Rule for many years. In the aftermath of the events of 9/11, when some pupils in my school were being bullied because of their race or religion, I remembered the Golden Rule of all faiths. This inspired me to create the Peace Mala – a symbolic bracelet which would help young people understand the fundamental rule that all compassionate faiths share. I hoped that it would educate my pupils in a fun way and help stop the bullying. To my great joy it did! It spread through the school like wildfire.”

The central message of the Peace Mala bracelet is "Treat others as you would wish them to treat you." Its intention is to cut through all forms of prejudice, to confront bullying, to support human rights and to celebrate what makes us different from each other. Fourteen spiritual traditions, along with their individual versions of the Golden Rule, are represented on the bracelet.  

Read more….

Service work in Adyar

When members of the TS decide to visit the headquarters of the Society in Adyar, Chennai, India, they often go in December in order to attend the International Convention. In addition to listening to talks given by people from many different countries, they discover all the administrative buildings and the beautiful grounds of the estate. They can also discover the TS’s humanitarian service projects.

During their stay at the international HQ last December, George and Gailene Wester of the TS and TOS in Perth, Australia took a number of photos for us. Here we share photographs and notes about the information stands and stalls that raise awareness of social issues and project. They also photographed the speakers who presented the TOS session at the Convention and young people participating in the Order of the Round Table ceremonial.  Thanks for your excellent reporting, George and Gailene!  We look forward to sharing more of your record of the humanitarian work at HQ!  

Read more….

USA - computers for Native Americans

TOS news from around the world

In this issue you’ll find news from the fledgling TOS group in Mexico about their activities in getting started, a letter from Miles Standish in the USA about how he is providing computers to Native American Indians as a TOS project and news from the Queensland TOS groups in Australia about their recent help at the Australian TS’s Education and Retreat Centre. The TOS in New Zealand extends its thanks to those who sent donations following the earthquake in Christchurch. There is an accompanying photo-story of animal rescues from the earthquake. The New Zealand TOS also shares news of an enjoyable social meeting with Vicente Hao Chin, Jr and his family during their visit to New Zealand from the Philippines. Finally, the TOS in Orissa, India reports on its educational work with children, promoting kindness to animals.  

Read more….

Cynthia Trasi, the Secretary of the TOS in England. She is thanking the Italian members for their first big batch of teddies.

Making the most of our website – Photos

Have you ever wondered what other TOS groups do or wished you could put faces to the names you read about? If you go to the Photos option on the top menu bar on our homepage menu, you’ll find photographs and stories about members of our TOS family around the world and some of the service activities to which they give their time, energy and enthusiasm. The photos are organised by the year in which they were put on the website and every couple of months we add new ones.

Be inspired by your fellow TOS members and the range and variety of their service work!

Take a look at this material at

Susan Skarsholt

What’s new on the International TOS website?

Our Latest News this month focuses on the work of the new TOS group in Hungary. This group came into being specifically to support the work of a new branch of the TS, called Forrás (meaning 'source' or 'spring'), whose special focus is on showing theosophical teachings in action and on reaching out to other brotherhood-centred organisations.

We’ve added a short biography of an inspirational Australian theosophist, Bessie M. Rischbieth, to the For Members section. Bessie was a champion of the underprivileged in the early 1900s who was inspired by hearing Annie Besant talk about her vision for the TOS. Bessie later helped found the Women's Service Guild and was its president for many years. The motto of this group was, 'By Love We Serve' and its focus was on improving conditions for women and children in particular.

In our new Featured Project we share the work of the TOS in Finland. They are energetically raising awareness about three spiritually oriented educational projects members have chosen to support: a children’s home in southern Finland, the Olcott Memorial School and the Social Welfare Centre at Adyar, Chennai, India. Members have conducted two main fund raising events this past year: a spring festival concert with the theme of the love of nature and a Christmas bazaar with beautiful sale items hand-made by the members, along with organic food.

The new Featured Article looks at Theosophy in the workplace. In an interview format, Susan Skarsholt, a New Zealander who specialises in teaching deaf children aged three to six, is asked how she applies Theosophy in her job. Susan explains how Theosophy influences the way she works with children and shares several touching stories.

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

Go to


Quotations for reflection and inspiration

Every couple of months we add new quotations to the Inspiration section of the International TOS website and we hope you enjoy dipping into them.

This month, we bring you a collection of our favourite quotations. These quotations are only a few of the many available on our website. We invite you warmly to look at all the others and use them freely in your own work.

Some of them may already be very familiar to you but we’ve included them as perennial favourites and you’ll find others that may be new to you. We hope you’ll take pleasure in using them in your private reflections and for reflection, discussion and inspiration in your TOS group. They are provided as a file for printing on A4 paper.  

View or download


Help end the seal cull in Canada

Every year the government of Canada continues to sanction the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of seals. In 2011, they have agreed to the slaughter of 400,000 harp seal pups. This is extraordinary, when you consider that last August the European Union ban on seal products took effect and significantly reduced the demand for seal pup skins. This government supported slaughter also comes at a time when hundreds of thousands of pups are dying from poor ice conditions.
The Canadian government tells the world that the slaughter of seals is humane, but videos taken this year show that it is cruel and inhumane and that government officials are not enforcing the regulations for so-called humane slaughter.

Seals need our voices NOW to stop this unnecessary and inhumane slaughter once and for all.  

Read more …


Simple acts of kindness

When long-time American TOS members, Dinshaw and Hutoxy Contractor, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary two years ago they requested donations to their favourite TOS service projects instead of gifts.  Their friends were very generous indeed, donating over US$5000 to the projects!

What a wonderful act of kindness, and also an excellent fundraising idea.  

Read more …