Issue 22 – August 2012



·     TOS bore hole project brings water to Kitui

·     Information update on the International TOS Conference in 2013

·     A book of special interest to TOS members

·     Theosophy in action a century ago – personal memories of four English suffragettes

·     What’s new on the International TOS website?

·     New video: On root causes and symptoms

·     Insights through service

·     Invitation from the TOS healing network in the USA

·     Tanzanian TOS teens excel

·     Massacre on Midway!

·     Eyes for the blind: a final letter from Roscoe



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

We hope you are enjoying keeping in touch with our vibrant TOS community through our newsletter. As you will see, we have much to celebrate. You will also find in this issue a range of resources that could be useful and inspiring for your service work.

During the last three months, travel plans have enabled us to meet for two planning sessions in Paris to work on international publications and the TOS Conference being held in Wheaton in 2013, hence the new photograph of us below.

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

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 by email to the editors at

With best wishes,

Carolyn, Diana and Geoffrey



Taking time out from working on the
2013 TOS Conference (L. to R.) -

Michel Chapotin is the President of the TOS in France.

Diana Dunningham Chapotin is the International
Secretary of the TOS

Geoffrey Harrod is the International TOS Webmaster.

Carolyn Harrod is the past National Coordinator
of the TOS in Australia.



If you have humans who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have humans who will deal likewise with their fellow humans.

St Francis of Assisi – quoted in The Life of St Francis of Assisi by St Bonaventure




TOS bore hole project brings water to Kitui

In the face of the current acute food shortage in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, the TOS in Nairobi undertook a project on behalf of us all.  From the end of August 2011 until February 2012, 55 families in the town of Kitui, 130 kms east of Nairobi, were given enough staple foods to keep them alive pending the return of the rains.  In the meantime funds were collected for the construction of a bore hole and water pump.

When our bore hole was ready for action, news travelled fast that the water was going to be available the next day, June 29.  The whole community was stirred up and next morning a line of yellow and black and green jerry cans appeared with their owners.  Prayers were recited, the lock was opened and water gushed out.  Incredible!  Wow!  No more treks!   Read more….


Information update on the International TOS Conference in 2013

Planning is proceeding well for our three-day international TOS Workers’ Conference from the evening of Tuesday 23 July to Friday 26 July, 2013 at Olcott, the national centre of the TS in America in Wheaton, Illinois.

Information about the programme and anticipated costs of accommodation and meals is available here. A registration form will be available in due course.



A book of special interest to TOS members

N. Sri Ram  A Life of Beneficence and Wisdom, by Pedro Oliveira

If you haven’t yet come across this book, published by The Theosophical Publishing House in 2009, it’s well worth looking out for.  Pedro’s record of Sri Ram’s life constitutes a source of inspiration for TOS members.

In his biography, Pedro shares numerous examples of Sri Ram’s moral courage and his political and social activism. It’s full of stories of Sri Ram’s charitable actions and quiet but firm stands on controversial issues.

Sri Ram’s extensive experience as a journalist in his early years equipped him to write trenchant editorials, letters and lectures on public matters, ranging from the advancement of women in society to the plight of the Tibetan people under Chinese rule. On the subject of animal cruelty, he wrote to the Russian Ambassador in New Delhi regarding the sending up of a live dog with the Sputnik rocket in 1957, declaring: “Perhaps mankind would be better without knowledge obtained by such heartless methods”.   Read more….



Clara Codd and a young Radha Burnier

Theosophy in action a century ago – personal memories of four English suffragettes

A long forgotten initiative of the TOS in its earlier years was the formation, in 1914, of a League to promote the cause of women’s suffrage and to further the women’s movement generally. Its intention was to co-operate with all organisations and individuals working for the same object and to take a neutral attitude as to tactics. The outbreak of the First World War brought a suspension of the campaigns for women’s suffrage, but the contributions of women to the war effort led to some of them getting the vote in the UK at the end of the conflict, and all of them by 1928. The formation of the TOS group bore witness to the contribution of Theosophical Society members.

Fr Kevin Tingay, a theosophist and now retired parish priest and former Interfaith Advisor in the Church of England Diocese of Bath & Wells, had the privilege of meeting four of them in the latter stage of their lives. Here he shares his memories of Eileen Casey, Clara Codd, Leonora Cohen and Grace Roe.   Read more….


Mobility aid recipient in India

Seminar participants in France

What’s new on the International TOS website?

Our Latest News this month comes from India where Mr Jatindra N. Patowary, the tireless President of the TOS in the Assam and Arunachal Region reports that he and his fellow workers have had the joy of learning that the State Bank of India has made a grant to the TOS for the provision of mobility aids, educational kits and school uniforms.

The new Featured Article is by Pamela Zane Keys, the current editor of TheoSophia, the magazine of the Theosophical Society in New Zealand. “While we may think of the latent powers referred to in the Third Object of the Theosophical Society as extraordinary and spectacular, I have recently realised that they may also be small and outwardly indiscernible yet inwardly life changing,” she writes.

In our Featured Project we bring news of a seminar conducted by the TOS in France on an unusual and rather delicate theme: Burial, cremation and alternative funeral services.  The seminar attracted more than fifty participants keen to gain a theosophical perspective on cremation in a predominantly Roman Catholic country where burial is the traditional practice.  Participants said that they found the seminar helpful in making choices for themselves and their loved ones and in organising ceremonies reflecting their own spiritual perspective.  They were enthusiastic at seeing Theosophy made directly relevant to essential life choices.

You’ll also find additions to the TOS photo gallery and the Inspiration section.

Go to


New video: On Root Causes and Symptoms

An outstanding talk by Vicente Hao Chin Jr, entitled “On Root Causes and Symptoms”, has just been made available for public viewing on the internet by the Audio-Visual Department of the TS in America.  It is of direct interest to TOS members in their work. We cannot recommend it too highly! 
Read more….




Insights through service

In the third article in this series, Ananya Rajan, a Board Member of the TOS in the USA, shares an insight into her relationship with her disabled sister who now lives in a care facility.

She writes, “One day as I was feeding her, I could feel the guilt/shame I sometimes have.  As I watched her chew her food, I suddenly saw past my sister into the face of the being that held her body.  It was this incredible being who radiated compassion. The being did not feel angry or upset, but joyful.  I was ‘shown’ that there was no reason for guilt or shame because the being chose Rani’s body and circumstances; the soul had lessons to learn.  While my sister's physical condition had nothing to do with me, I was fortunate enough to be given the insight as to why she was in my life. From a visceral level I understood Rani was a sacred gift to me and I was a gift to her.   Read more….


Invitation from the TOS healing network in the USA

The coordinator of the healing network of the Theosophical Order of Service in America invites us to send her the names of those we know to be suffering and in need of healing.  She will immediately forward the names to the many groups and individuals across the USA regularly performing the TOS’s healing ritual.   
Read more….




Tanzanian TOS teens excel

“The great aim of education is to bring out of the child who comes into our hands, every faculty that he brings with him and then to try to win that child to turn all his abilities, his powers, his capacities, to the helping and serving of the community of which he is a part,” wrote Annie Besant.

Indeed, TOS Tanzania upholds this great philosophy in nurturing its youth.  There could be no greater evidence of this than the excellence exhibited by the teens of ‘World Care Way’, in both their community involvement and their academic work.

Vidushi Yadav, Krunalika Mutha and Khyati Dubal are this year’s top achievers in the high school examinations in the CBSE stream of education and have places in Indian universities.  Malaika Kapur, having completed an International Baccalaureate, has won an ‘International Leader of Tomorrow’ scholarship from the University of British Columbia in Canada.   Read more….




Massacre on Midway!

Midway Films has produced a video that everyone who is interested in the wellbeing of all life on our planet should see.

“…we first-world humans find ourselves lacking the ability to discern anymore what is nourishing from what is toxic to our lives and our spirits,” writes one reviewer. Through its powerful images, the video challenges us to re-examine our choices, both inwardly and outwardly.   
Read more….


Eyes for the blind: a final letter from Roscoe

In the last two issues of the newsletter we shared letters from Roscoe, the Guide Dog who lived with Ann Davis, a member of Pretoria Lodge, and her family.  Roscoe has told us about his adventures as a puppy, his training and his graduation to the life of a working Guide Dog.

In this issue we share a third and final letter from Roscoe, originally published in The South African Theosophist in June 2009.  In it, he tells us about an incident with his partner, Annemie, now a lecturer at Cape Town University.  He goes on to share the news that Ann and Tom have another black Labrador guide dog puppy in training called Angie.  She has all the normal puppy attributes and is keeping them busy.

“Angie’s puppy walking is great and she is progressing well,” writes Roscoe.  “She has passed all her tests so far at the puppy school.”   Read more ….


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