Issue 26 – June 2013


  • Celebrations at the Golden Link College in the Philippines
  • The TOS salutes Krishnan Lal Gupta
  • Welcome to our new Singapore Correspondent
  • New friends
  • TOS news from around the world
    • New Zealand
    • Australia
    • USA
  • What’s new on the International TOS website?
  • Serving communities in the Assam & Arunachal Region
  • Service to Kumbha Melā pilgrims
  • Respecting the creatures
  • Invitation to read the magazine of the TOS in America
  • The TOS’s Spanish language newsletter on UN related activities
  • The power of music as an element of social transformation



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

July is getting very close, so if you’ve been thinking about joining your TOS colleagues at our conference at Wheaton, but have not yet sent in your registration, you’ll need to act very soon. You’ll find the program and registration form linked from the front page of our international website here. It’s not too late to send in your registration!!

To those of you who have registered, we’re looking forward to welcoming you and sharing the vibrant conference days with you. Look out for some pre-conference homework that we’ll be sending to you shortly. It will help you marshal your thoughts and contribute as fully as possible to the conference and the future work of the TOS.

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy reading the varied material in this issue of our newsletter. The range of activities in which our TOS community engages is truly remarkable and inspiring. Altruistic action is certainly alive and well!

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 in putting theosophical principles into action,

Carolyn, Diana and Geoffrey






The editorial team (L. to R.)

Diana Dunningham Chapotin is the International Secretary of the TOS

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

Geoffrey Harrod is the International TOS Webmaster.




If you are yourself full of happiness, that radiant joy is poured out upon all who come near you, and you become a veritable sun, showering life and light and love in your small circle on the earth…

C.W. Leadbeater




Celebrations at the Golden Link College in the Philippines

The Golden Link College has opened a branch campus in Cortes, Bohol province in central Philippines. As usual when the TOS opens a new school in this country, a free summer class was offered for the local community. About 140 students attended, aged 3-8. Formal classes at nursery, kindergarten and preparatory levels have now started.  A new level will be added each year. The school is under the supervision of Mrs Cora Ponteres, former President of the Bohol Lodge of the Theosophical Society.

Meanwhile, at the main campus of Golden Link College in suburban Manila, the annual graduation ceremonies have been held, with former Chief Justice Reynato Puno of the Supreme Court as guest speaker. He was very impressed by the school and its students.  Read more


The TOS salutes Krishnan Lal Gupta

We salute the passing on January 20, 2013 of Mr K.L. Gupta, a long time TOS worker in the city of Orai, in Jalaun district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.  Till his last breath at the age of 90, all Mr Gupta’s thoughts revolved around the underprivileged children whose education he had supported throughout his life.

He was greatly influenced by the teachings of Dr Annie Besant and Jiddu Krishnamurti.  Many times during discussions he commented that he was always ready to do the service work of the TS.  This started with the formation of a ‘Lotus Circle’ providing children with instruction in Theosophy and then with educational sponsorship work through the TOS Group in Orai. He was also a facilitator of the Foundation for Excellence (USA), a non-profit organisation formed to help underprivileged students get a university education. 

For over ten years, the TOS in France has been sponsoring the schooling and coaching of 22 of the children under Mr Gupta’s guidance.  The French members have been delighted to receive reports and photos of the special events conveying theosophical values and ideals organised for the children, in addition to the daily after-school tutoring and weekly cricket matches or other games.  Read more


Welcome to our new Singapore Correspondent

We wish a warm welcome to Mr Vivekhanathan Mariappan as the new Correspondent for the TOS in Singapore. Vivek has been cooperating with the service endeavours of the TS in Singapore for many years, notably in the sending of theosophical books to Asian countries like the Philippines and Myanmar (formerly Burma) where there is a need for our literature.





New Friends

New Zealand TOS member, Stephanie Bretherton, shares a personal story. “I have made some new friends over the summer months.  They all knew each other long before I made their acquaintance but they still welcomed me into their close-knit group and we are getting to know each other more and more each time we meet.

Queen Elizabeth II once said, "Grief is the price we pay for love" and I fear I will have to pay-up sooner than I know.  You see my friends are blissfully unaware that they are on death row.  Their only crime they were born cows….

The herd grazes peacefully on the hillside, right beside the wooden pens and ramp that will ultimately lead them onto a truck which will take them to their death.  They will then know how brutal humans can be, but I would like to think that they will take with them the knowledge that we're not all like that.  That they will remember an experience of human contact, love and kindness and the lingering taste of apples.  Read more




TOS news from around the world

In this issue you’ll find news from the TOS in New Zealand about their participation in the open day held by the HPB Lodge of the TS in Auckland. The TOS had information and sale stands, a PowerPoint display and talks about its projects. The TOS in Australia reports on its well-attended session on the work of the TOS during the national convention of the TS in Australia and the Houston TOS group in the USA shares its rewarding involvement with their local Food Bank that provides donated food for needy members of the community.  Read more



Kenyan women learning hairstyling

What’s new on the International TOS website?

The new Featured Article is by Carolyn Harrod, the past National Coordinator of the TOS in Australia. This article comes from a talk she gave at an annual convention of the Theosophical Society in Australia. In it, she discusses the particular characteristics of service that flow naturally from our work of inner transformation.

In our Featured Project we bring news of another project organised in Kenya by the Nairobi TOS Convenor, Usha Shah. This time she’s focusing on teaching women hairstyling skills. As she explained to the women, having their own money assures them of dignity, self-respect and assistance with the material needs of their family.  Hairstyling is work that can be done in their own home, enabling them to be present for their children.

The For Members section has a number of new additions. Check out our new material for parents, ideas to celebrate UN Peace Day, new posters to promote the work of the TOS, posters on Dr Annie Besant and a brochure on the TOS that you can adapt for your own group or country.

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







Serving communities in the Assam & Arunachal Region

In February, TOS members in Assam and Arunachal Region were welcomed by Sissugram Children’s Home, 35 km from the city of Guwahati, where they distributed stationery, fruit, sweets and flip-flop-style sandals for inside wear.

Two months later, in April, in cooperation with the National Rural Health Mission, Mr Patowary’s team organised medical checks for six or seven villages in the Rangmahal area.  Supported by two mobile units fitted with X-ray, ECG and blood testing equipment, doctors and nurses examined around 200 people and distributed free medicines where appropriate.

As is their habit on such occasions of TOS service outreach, Mr Patowary, his Regional Secretary Mr Anil Barua and other TOS and TS associates organised a public meeting to talk about Theosophy and the TOS. 

This event attracted keen media coverage.  Read more





Service to Kumbha Melā pilgrims

What is the largest religious gathering on earth?  Any idea? It is considered to be the Kumbha Melā, a Hindu pilgrimage that takes place every three years in four holy sites in India successively, forming a 12-year cycle.  Each cycle includes a Mahâ Kumbha Melā, a gathering of tens of millions who flock to the city of Allahabad over a period of three weeks to bathe at the confluence (Triveni) of three sacred rivers – the Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati.

Allahabad has a fine TS and TOS presence.  The members are delighted to help host the pilgrims, particularly those with reduced means. This year in March, they provided “alav” (fire) at times of biting cold.  Blankets, shawls and clothes were distributed and tea served to hundreds. One thousand “puri sabji” packets were offered to the needy. At the same time “dana” was distributed to thousands of Siberian birds on the banks of the river as they also are considered guests.  Thousands of TS and TOS folders were distributed through book stalls.  The team was aided by members of the TS at Anand Lodge, Mohila Dharm Lodge and Sandhyadeep Study Centre.  Read more


Respecting the creatures

Service takes many forms. TS and TOS member Alan Harris, of Tucson, Arizona, in the USA might be said to serve through his poetry.  One of the societal evils he helps combat is cruelty toward animals. We are happy to share here a selection of Alan’s poems, all expressing respect for animals and their habits.  Read more



Invitation to read the magazine of the TOS in America

We draw your attention to For the Love of Life, the very fine magazine of the TOS in America.  The latest edition contains some splendid articles on the nature of service.  Read the magazine here.





The TOS’s Spanish language newsletter on UN related activities

Can you read a little Spanish?  Since 2008, the TOS’s Spanish language coordinator, Fernando Pérez Martin, has put out an electronic newsletter presenting information to the members about UN aspirations in the realm of world peace, unity and the relief of suffering.  Fernando’s ardent desire is to inspire TOS members to support the work of the UN at local, national and international levels.

The entire series of newsletters – 28 to date can be found here




The power of music as an element of social transformation

Here is the touching and uplifting story of how orchestra director, Luis Szarán, took music to slum children in Paraguay and transformed their lives.  Faced with too few instruments for the many young people wishing to make music, Luis and his band of volunteers recycled items from Paraguay’s largest rubbish dump to make violins, flutes, cellos, saxophones…  Luis was amazed to discover that children could start their lessons on these instruments with dignity.  The Landfill Harmonic was born!

Turn your computer’s sound on and  View the video   It gets increasingly inspiring as it goes along.

Thanks to Argentinian TOS member, Maria Rosa Martinez, for drawing this link to our attention.


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