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The following articles are reproduced from the April 2024 Newsletter to members. Non-members may or may not be able to relate to the contents.

World Congress



The term “World Congress” refers to international gatherings of the Theosophical Society (TS) held at least seven years apart in various cities of the world. This is in accordance with the Memorandum of Association and Rules and Regulations of the Theosophical Society as incorporated at Madras, India, in 1905. In Article 47 “World Congress,” the rules state: “Not more than once in every seven years a World Congress of The Theosophical Society may be held at a place and date to be fixed by the General Council, but so as not to interfere with the Annual Convention.”


The First World Congress was held in Paris, France, in 1921. Clara Codd wrote of Annie Besant’s lecture: “When she spoke to the Sorbonne at the First World Congress we held in Paris, we all gave up our seats to accommodate the thronging French crowds, for Mrs. Besant spoke in French.” B. P. Wadia spoke on Will the Soul of Europe Return? The Rapp Square headquarters building of the French Section was dedicated during this congress. Professor Jean Émile Marcault “was one of the outstanding features of the World Congress” in his excellent translations of speeches from French to English and English to French.


In 1925, being the 50th Anniversary of the Theosophical Society, the convention at Adyar was called a Jubilee Congress.


The Third World Congress was held at the Hotel Stevens in Chicago, United States, in 1929. Speakers included Annie Besant, George S. Arundale, Rukmini Devi Arundale, C. Jinarājadāsa, Geoffrey Hodson, Dorothy Jinarājadāsa, Clara Codd, A. P. Warrington, L. W. Rogers, and Mrs. C. W. Dykgraaf. The meetings of the World Congress were held in the Ball Room of the Stevens Hotel. It was combined with the Convention of the American Section. As the United States was so far away, the only European delegate was the veteran Russian, Madame Kamensky. Mr. Hodson was the star speaker after Dr. Besant, and the Congress and Convention closed as was the custom with the American Section in those days, with a huge banquet, at which everyone had to tell a story.


The Fourth World Congress was held in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1936. Clara Codd described that event:.

“This time we met in the Hall of the League of Nations, generously lent to us for the occasion. We each sat at a large table. Underneath it a disc could be turned and ear phones were attached. There were eight points to which one could turn the disc and at each, one heard through the ear phones a current translation of the speech being delivered, in any one of eight languages. This was done by an interpreter sitting in a little booth under the stage, and speaking the translation into a telephone simultaneously with the speaker...


At Geneva I saw again some of my American friends. The American General Secretary, Mr. Sidney A. Cook, had brought over such a lovely blue and silver car that it attracted Swiss crowds wherever it was parked.”


The Second World War prevented the holding of a World Congress in the next decade. In 1949, the General Council decided that 1954 would be a suitable time for a World Congress, but none was held as planned. It was not until 1966 — or thirty years after the last one — that another Congress was held. The Fifth World Congress was held in Salzburg, Austria, in 1966. John B. S. Coats was the principal organizer of this congress. Other participants were International President N. Sri Ram, Bhagirathi Sri Ram, James S. Perkins, Kathrine Perkins, Clara Codd, Felix Layton, Eunice Layton, Geoffrey Hodson, and Sandra Hodson.


The Sixth Congress or Centennial World Congress was held in 1975 to commemorate the centenary of the Theosophical Society. It was held in New York City where the TS was founded a century before. It was attended by the leaders of all three independent Theosophical Societies: the TS (Adyar), TS (Pasadena) and United Lodge of Theosophists. According to one observer, the lecture by Boris de Zirkoff called “The Dream that Never Dies,” was “truly a high point of that week-long gathering.”


The Seventh World Congress was held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1982, followed by the Eighth in Brasilia, Brazil in 1993. The Ninth World Congress was held in Sydney, Australia, in 2001 and the 10th World Congress was held in Rome, Italy in 2010.


Singapore hosted the 11th World Congress and the 4th TOS International Conference on 4th to 10th August 2018 with the theme “Consciousness, Contemplation, Commitment: The Future Is Now”.



168 delegates from 24 countries participated in this historic event, held for the first time in Asia. Participants came from Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Costa Rica, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Sweden, U.S.A. and, of course, Singapore. Officers who came from the HQ in Adyar included our International President, Tim Boyd, International Vice President, Deepa Padhi, International Secretary, Marja Artamaa and International Treasurer, Nancy Secrest.


Leaders of the Theosophical movements who came to Singapore for the 11th World Congress included Heads of the Australian Section, Linda Oliveira; Belgium Section, Sabine Osta; English Section, Jenny Baker; German Section, Manuela Kaulich; Hungarian Presidential Agency, Janos Szabari; Indian Section, Pradeep Gohil; Italian Section, Antonio Girardi; Dutch Section, Wim Leys; New Zealand Section, John Vostermans; and from the Swedish Section, Ing-Britt Wiklund. Heads of Federations who came included Trân-Thi-Kim-Diêu, Chairperson of the European Federation; Isis Maria Borges de Resende, President of the Inter-American Federation and Gerard Brennan, President of the Indo-Pacific Federation. Former Section Heads included Vic Hao Chin (Philippines), Marcos Luis Borges de Resende (Brazil), Ricardo Lindemann (Brazil) and Els Rijneker (Netherlands).


XII World Congress


The XII World Congress and 5th TOS Conference will be held in Vancouver, Canada, next year from 23rd to 29th July 2025 with the theme “Toward Insight and Wholeness: Our Role in Shaping the Future”.

The 12th World Congress will coincide with the celebration of the 150 Anniversary of the TS and the 100 Anniversary of TS in Canada.

The venue of the World Congress (23-27 July 2025), as well as the 5th TOS International Conference (27-29 July 2025), will be in the campus of the University of British Columbia (UBC). You may attend either or both of them. The link to register for TS WC and TOS IC will be provided on 15 July 2024.

Accommodation is available in the campus of UBC. The two accommodation buildings are located at a walking distance from the Congress Hall. To allow your planning in advance, more information including costs is given in the XII World Congress Flyer.



53th Edition of A Course in Theosophy



As part of our continuing effort to achieve our twin-object of popularizing a knowledge of theosophy and induction of new members, we will be starting our 53rd Edition of A Course in Theosophy on Saturday, 1 June 2024.


Theosophy encompasses the science of life and the philosophy of living and has helped many people in the world. All members can help in the mission of popularizing a knowledge of theosophy. You will be doing humanity a great service by reaching out and bringing newcomers to the Society, to expose them to the theosophical teachings. As the Master has said, “Spheres of usefulness can be found everywhere. The first object of the Society is philanthropy. The true Theosophist is a philanthropist who—‘not for himself but for the world he lives’…” “This, and philosophy—the right comprehension of life and its mysteries—will give the ‘necessary basis’ and show the right pathway to pursue.”


The schedule of the 53rd ACT is as follows. It is also posted on our website at singaporelodge.org/btc_dates.htm.


1/6 (Sat.) 3-6pm The Different Planes of Nature

3/6 (Mon.) 7:30-9:30pm Man’s Evolution

6/6 (Thu.) 7:30-9:30pm Death & After

8/6 (Sat.) 3-6pm The Astral Plane

10/6 (Mon.) 7:30-9:30pm The Mental Plane

13/6 (Thu.) 7:30-9:30pm Thought-Forms

15/6 (Sat.) 3-6pm The Noble Eightfold Path

Please forward this to your relatives and friends. Get your them to enroll for A Course in Theosophy by sending an email giving full name and contact no. to act@singaporelodge.org. You would have done a great service!


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