W.Bro. Joe Turner
Ref : 1990 Centenary Souvenir of Lodge Pandyan
Although none of my immediate family had any masonic connections, I had formed a favorable impression of Masonry and resolved to join, if ever the opportunity arose.
After I arrived in India, I found many of the expatriates were Lodge members and I often wondered why I was never asked to join, so one day I approached W.Bro. Tom Hambleton and asked him the reason. He informed me, that the masons never canvassed for members but if interested parties made a request, their case would be considered.
To my great joy and eternal gratitude Lodge Pandyan accepted my application and I was duly initiated in October 1955, however shortly after I was raised I was transferred to Ambasamudram. As a mason I felt my first 5 years in India had been wasted and now just as I was beginning to enjoy life as a junior mason, I was transferred and only attended 5 or 9 meetings in the next four years.
While in Ambasamudram I came under the guidance of Wor Bro Duncan Fraser, who as D of C of the Lodge, struck fear into the hearts of those who were ill prepared for their ritual work. Bro Fraser belonged to that class of Masons, who while keen and very sincere in their masonic duties and responsibilities did not recognise anything outside Craft Masonry and has such would not join the Side Degrees-Bro Fraser also had some objection to visiting Sister Lodges and as a consequence of this, I only visited Lodge Southern Cross once in 3 years I spent in Ambasamudram.
So it can be seen that my first 5 years in Masonry were not very auspicious and my progress had been retrograde, I was in danger of forgetting the signs etc.
I was transferred to Madurai in June 1960 and on my return I was determined to make up for lost time and resolved to attend every Lodge meeting and take an active part in the Lodge of Instruction.
I think the Minute Book will confirm that during the next 15 years I never missed a Lodge Meeting, unless I was on U.K. furlough. In the Lodge of Instruction I took up whatever work I was given and under the encouragement of Rt Wor Bro Rajasabai and Wor Bro Watt, I undertook the Second Degree Tracing Board (English Version) and to this day it remains my favourite lecture.
You can imagine my joy when the Master Elect Bro V Sakharam Rao appointed me Senior Deacon for 1961, however I had serious misgivings, apart from my limited experience, there were many senior Masons who had held office. Looking back it seems incrediable that I overstepped RW Bro V Rajendran who was my senior. However I think by and large my appointment was generally accepted and I was determined to justify the trust that had been placed in me.
1961 was the year that Lodge Pandyan voted in favour of Founding the Grand Lodge of India, while not unique, Lodge Pandyan was one of the few Lodges that voted unanimously for the formation of the Grand Lodge.
Once you have your feet on the bottom rung of the ladder the months roll by, as you pace backwards and forwards hour after hour, hoping against hope that you will be prepared for the next ceremony.
Visitors to the house in those years would ask the children what I was doing at the bottom of the Garden and they would reply “Building a Temple in Jerusalem”. I dare not reveal my thoughts after spending so many hours on the ritual, when someone would remark “It must be nice to have a photographic memory”.
Eventually I was installed in the Eastern Chair and that year was notable for two reasons, first a number of visiting Masons met in the Boat Club to discuss the possibility of holding a Lodge Meeting in Kodaikanal. The response was very encouraging, as Masons from all over India visiting Kodaikanal during the season, promised their support. Lodge Pandyan obtained a dispensation to hold its May Meeting in Kodaikanal from 1965 and the practice continued until a Lodge was consecrated in Kodai.
The second notable event was the visit of Rt Wor Bro Bhogilal C Shah, as he was the first Grand Master to visit Lodge Pandyan. It was gratifying to have the support of the Lodge in making this visit a night to remember. Rt Wor Bro Bhogilal C Shah insisted that his visit should be a family occasion, with wives and children joining us after the meeting. Alice brought the children down from school and both Susan and Janet were word parfect in delivering their poetry. The Grand Master took them to his heart and kept them amused with stories of visits to other Lodges. He recalled one occasion when one Lodge arranged a drama and after 5 hours the G. M. congratulated the only other person left in the Hall for staying to keep him company, he was told that it was his job to roll up the mat that had been provided for the G.M.
The following year the Lodge celebrated its Platinum Jubilee and it was a great relief to hand over the arrangements, in to the capable hands of the newly installed Master W Bro V Rajendran. It might be worth noting that as Immediate Past Master I was also designated Industrial Products Manager, incharge of the Industrial Products Mill, so 1965 was I.P.M. year in more ways than one.
Lodge Pandyan is fortunate in many ways and has always enjoyed an excellent reputation in Masonic Circles, however in respect of Past Masters, the Lodge was a disaster area. Many Past Masters had left the country and others were transferred or changed job and had to leave the district. The lack of Past Masters seriously affected the Side Degrees and in my case I was deeply committed in all the Side Degrees in addition to being Lodge Secretary.
It was during this period that the question of a second Lodge was raised, as some of the junior brothers would have to wait 20 or even 30 years before going through the Eastern Chair and the pressure on the Lodge to perform more than two ceremonies in one evening was not welcome.
While many brothers were favorably disposed there was a significant number, who were against a new Lodge, as they sincerely felt it would spoil the harmony and fraternal friendship that existed in the Lodge. It was to the credit of all those concerned that it was agreed that no new Lodge would be proposed unless it was unanimously agreed. Finally the unanimity of thoughts converged.
The Grand Master graciously agreed that the new Lodge could be named Lodge Rajasabai although in principle he was opposed to naming Lodges after individuals he was prepared to grant our request in recognition of the service rendered by RW Bro Rajasabai and his family to Masonry in general and Madurai in particular. During the 9 years I was Lodge Secretary I never really mastered the correct pronunciation of many of the names and I was always conscious of the amusement I caused while reading the minutes. I hope no one took offence.
Each month as I read the minutes, it became obvious that we were approaching the one thousandth meeting of the Lodge and after some discussion it was decided that we should celebrate the 1001st Meeting in a special way. The brothers again rose to the occasion andtheG.M and nearly 300 Masons enjoyed a superb weekend in Kodaikanal. The reputation of Lodge Pandian and all those connected with the arrangements was greatly enhanced.
Unfortunately all good things come to an end, after 25 years in India, Alice and I decided it was time to return to the U.K. to be with our family. It was a difficult decision, as we felt we were leaving so many friends. I was presented with a model of an apron displayed between two Silver Columns representing the Pillars of King Solomon’s Temple and when the Brothers raised their glasses and proposed the toast to “Bro Joe” I felt f was an accepted Brother amongst true and trusted friends and knew at that time, the past 20 years on the square had been fruitful and rewarding.
MY ASSOCIATION WITH LODGE PANDYAN
As Lodge Pandyan reaches its hundredth year, the W.M. has suggested that I recall some of my memories of the Lodge. I have been initiated into Free Masonry in Lodge St. Patrick S. C- in 1928 and on taking up a sea – going career, found myself based at Calcutta.
There I joined Lodge Albion, No. 1309 S. C. However, “swallowing the anchor” in 1937 I came to Madurai where I was quickly introduced into Lodge Pandyan, where I was very warmly welcomed and impressed by the workings of the Lodge.
At this time, the sale of the Lodge building and the construction of a new Lodge, which had been under review for some twenty years, was finalized and I found myself appointed to the building committee which was headed by W. Bro. Shenbaga Nadar. It was with great satisfaction that the new Lodge building was constructed by direct labor and within the cost and time scale.
However, World War Two 1939 -1945 began, and I was called up for service with the Royal Indian Navy. In the following years I was able to convey fraternal greetings from Lodge Pandyan to several Lodges from Aden to Sydney. It so happened that I did not return to Madurai until the early fifties when I held various offices. I was honored by being installed W.M. for 1957. Later I was appointed Secretary in which office I served until I retired from India in 1962.
W.Bro. A Watt
Ref : Centenary Souvenir of Lodge Pandyan, 1990
It was of great satisfaction to me that Lodge Pandyan voted in favour of a G. L. of India, proposed by W. Bro. Rajasabai and seconded by myself and that the vote was unanimous.
Finally, words cannot express how much support and friendship that I received from all the Bretheren of Lodge Pandyan during my period with them and my appreciation of being presented with a P. M. Jewel and a set of R.G. L. Regalia on my retiral from India in 1962.
I have every confidence that Lodge Pandyan will continue in true Masonic principals for another hundred years.
R.W.Bro. C.A. Ramakrishnan, ICS (Retd.,) OSM, PDyGM, AGM
Initiated in Lodge Pandyan in March 1940
When I look back on my Masonic career of over 30 years, I am surprised that I became a mason under what may well be regarded as purely accidental and coincidental circumstances.
None in my family had been a mason before me. I had read in the newspapers about the existence of a Freemasons’ Hall in Madras City, where important public functions sometime used to take place. For example, at an Annual Dinner of the Caledonian Society in 1938 or so, held at the Freemasons’ Hall, the then Chief Minister of Madras (Sri C. Rajagopalachari – ‘Rajaji’) had been the Chief Guest, and his speech received very wide publicity. But I could hardly realise then that there was an organisation such as Freemasonry, much less that I could hope to secure admission thereto.
During 1939-40, when I was a junior I.C.S. Officer of about six years’ service, I was working as City First Class Magistrate at Madurai. Towards the end of December 1939, there was a lot of excitement in certain social and official circles in the town at the forthcoming visit of the then Chief Secretary to the Government of Madras, Sir George Boag (He was at the time the District Grand Master of Madras, English Constitutions, a fact which I came to know only much later, of course). It was talked about that apart from his other engagements, the Chief Secretary was going to consecrate the newly constructed Masonic Temple at Madhurai.
As a junior I.C.S. Officer, I was naturally curious to know something about the institution in which the Chief Secretary (the Senior most I.C.S. officer in the state and the Head of the Civil Services)was taking so much interest. One of the local Government Assistant Surgeons (Capt. C.S.S. Sarma) was already a good friend of mine, and he told me that he was himself a Mason, that it was a very good institution, and that if I was interested he would take the necessary steps for my joining the local Lodge Pandyan. I naturally accepted the offer immediately, as I had no hesitation in deciding that an institution in which the Chief Secretary was taking so much interest could not but be a good institution. I was also persuaded by the fact that my friend Capt. Dr. C.S.S. Sarma who was always of a cheerful and helpful disposition, was in the institution, and that I would keep company with him in the Lodge.
I was initiated in Lodge Pandyan (then in the English Constitution and now No.49 G.L.I) in March 1940, and passed to the Fellow Craft’s degree in April 1940. However, a few days later, I was transferred form Madurai to distant Narasapatnam in Vizagapatnam District, with the result that I could not take my third degree in Lodge Pandyan. There was no Masonic Lodge at Narasapatnam, and I had to wait till I was later transferred to Vizianagaram, where in Lodge Nicopolis (now No,81 G.L.I.) I was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason. By this time, my good old friend Capt. Dr. C.S.S.Sarma had also been transferred as District Medical Officer, Vizagapatnam, and I was soon to realise what a true Mason he was.
In 1945, when I was still at Vizianagaram, my only child and daughter was about 6 years old. One day she developed sore throat, and the local Sub-Assistant Surgeon was treating her. She was not responding to the treatment even after two or three days. As chance would have it, Capt. Dr. Sarma happened to talk to me on the phone from Vizagapatanam on some official matter, and he casually inquired about the health of the family. When I told him about my daughter’s sore throat, he immediately evinced anxiety and instructed the local Sub-Assistant Surgeon to take a swab from the throat and send it urgently to the Headquarter Hospital at Vizagapatam for bacteriological examination. This was done, and a few hours later, Capt. Dr. Sarma rang me up from Vizagapatam to say that the swab test showed that my daughter was suffering from diphtheria and the she must immediately be brought to the Headquarter Hospital for necessary treatment. I received his message at about 10 p.m., and proceeded immediately to Vizagapatam with my sick child, and reached there at about 1 a.m. Inspite of the inconvenience of the hour, Capt. Dr Sarma met me and arranged for all the facilities for the immediate treatment of my daughter. My wife stayed in his house for a number of days till my daughter fully recovered from the diphtheria illness.
It was only subsequently that I learnt that diphtheria in the case of small children is a deadly and often fatal disease, and that the time factor is most important in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. There is small doubt that but for the timely and competent help of my friend Capt. Dr. Sarma, my daughter would not be alive today, happily married and the mother of two children.
It is quite possible that what Capt. Dr. Sarma did not me is what any true friend would do in similar circumstances, but in this case the friendship was hallowed by the bonds of Freemasonry, and the friend was none other than the brother who had brought me into the Order. I feel sure that the teacings of Freemasonry had whetted and quickened the naturally helpful and friendly instincts of this fine gentleman.
Years later, I was able in some small measure to repay the debt I owed him. He became involved in some official trouble as District Medical Officer in some other district, and when he mentioned the matter to me, I did all that I could to mitigate his difficulties. This true Mason was called to the Grand Lodge. Above about 6 years ago, leaving behind many to regret his passing way.
During the 1950s and early 1960s, Masonry in South India was dominated by three Masonic giants – R.W.Brethern T.V. Muthukrishna Iyer, Dewan Bahadur D. Sreerama Sastri and Rao Bahadur S.T.Srinivasagopalachari. It was my unique privilege to have known all these three eminent Masons intimately. The first taught me to take Masonic duties and responsibilities seriously; the second taught me to be always loyal to the Order and never think of leaving it, and the third impressed upon me the need to be very careful while selecting persons to constitute one’s team in any Masonic effort. I would deem Masonry worthwhile if it brought me nothing more than the esteem and affection of such persons as these three.
Looking back, I have to admit that I happened to join Masonry owing to a combination of adventitious circumstances. But this was so because of those days, information about Masonry was not so easily made available, and perhaps Masons were under the impression that they should be secretive about the institution. The policy adopted by the Grand Lodge of India – namely, to encourage Lodges to invite non-Masons to the social side of Masonry – has marked a healthy and welcome departure from previous convention. The institution is too good, and there is such a vast reservoir of potentially good candidates outside that every mason should feel it his sacred duty to pass the good word about the Order to all non-Masons in his circle of trusted friends, so that more and more persons in this country may see the Masonic light.
WHY I BECAME A MASON
“Why I became a Mason” is a question posed to me by very many of my friends and relatives. sometimes even Masons – a question which though looks simple it indeed complex and leads to contemplation – contemplation over a period of 40 years. It cannot be denied that a vast number of candidates had approached and continue to approach the portals of our Order in absolute ignorance of the nature of our institution, than out of sheer curiosity, or at the least, for the more acceptable, though equally nebulous reason of being blessed with Masonic relatives and friends. I was however a little more fortunate or blessed in being a Lewis-though this special privilege in my younger days had not helped in removing that fearful apprehension of sordid ordeals attached to Masonry prevalent commonly amongst not only the lay public but even amongst the educated class.
I am reminded of a practical instance which had affected my mother Lodge to a considerable extent on this score. Lodge Pandyan had, as early as in 1920, felt the need to remove it Temple to the outskirts of Madurai City due to developing congestion within the inner precinct of the city where the Temple was situated. All endeavors to sell the Building to any individual having proved a failure, in 1920 an offer was made to Madurai Municipality to sell the building.
R.W. Bro. A. S. Rajasabai, OSM, P.A.G.M., P.DV. R. G. M., A.R.G.M.
The Municipal Chairman, in all good faith, offered to purchase the property for not less than Rs. 25,000, but nothing had happened in the succession of Councils for years. This process was oft repeated till 1937, when the offer was again made to the municipality, as by then the Lodge’s abode in the city was engulfed on all sides by squalid quarters; and it became imperative for the Lodge to move out.
A letter finally came from the Commissioner of the Municipality, an I.C.S. Officer, setting out the reason for this inordinate delay on the part of the successive Municipal Councils to have averted the purchase of the Lodge Building. He had explained in the letter that ever since the initial offer was made to the Municipality in 1920, the successive Municipal Councils had been periodically considering the subject of purchasing the Building for use of a Municipal School, and that each time, the subject had been shelved unanimously by the Councillors, for the reason that the building was a haunted place and that most of them believed that the building was an abode of black magic and sorcery.
Hence the Councilors had, for a period of nearly 17 long years, championed the cause of saving the poor innocent school children from occupying such an abode. The Municipal Commissioner, had, however, volunteered that if the price be reduced from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 15,000, he hoped to convince the Councillors to venture out to make the purchase, as very many of the then Councillors believed that the building could be sanctified by special poojas. The Lodge, after much deliberation, had no alternative but to accept the offer to the Municipality, for a loss in price amounting to Rs. 10,000 and that too, after a lapse of 17 years – only because of the unfavorable image that Masonry had projected in the community. I understand that similar atmosphere prevails in many places where Masonic Temples are situated. This is indeed a sorry state of affairs.
If a census were taken within the Lodge, not only in India, but throughout the world of Freemasonry on the subject of the treatment of aspirants for initiation, it is probable that result would show that despite the advancement made in Masonic thinking in the matter, a vast majority still have their candidates not only in a state of complete and utter darkness but also in a condition of anxiety which is quite unwarranted.
It is indeed a fundamental principle in our order that no “improper solicitation” be made to entreat or petition a person to become a member. But it is common knowledge that many of our friends and relatives, who could be considered as suitable building materials for Masonry, lie languished simply because they are not aware of the very existence of our beautiful institution and in certain cases, they do not know the nature of our order. I feel that a discreet and casual enquiry put to a close friend or relative, who could be considered to be suitable material, to ascertain if he has ever given any thought of the Order, should in no way offend the Constitution.
I know of very many cases, where worthy men, who could have adorned our Order with distinction, had expressed rather very late in their lives that, as is the rules in several associations, they were under the impression that it would be polite to await an invitation rather than seek admission, to avoid the possibility of causing embarrassment. This added to the reticence of their Masonic friends, had made them keep away from the subject, rather than thrust themselves.
The strange and repugnant wall of reticence is unfortunately found even between the fathers who are Masons and their sons. Many stones of luster and beauty and strength have thus been left unturned.
It is my firm conviction that there need not be any secret with regard to the basic principles of Freemasonry, Are we not to tell the educated men that Masonry is a fraternal Association for just, upright and freemen of mature age, sound judgment and strict morals ?
While I would strongly champion the fundamental principle that no ‘Improper solicitation” be made to attract men into Masonry, I would like to see that proper steps be taken to dispel the fearful apprehensions and anemic misunderstanding of Masonry that are prevalent in our society, to endeavor to project true image of Masonry in the eyes of the public, to become integral part of the society and this Nation, without shedding any of its tenets and dignity, and to attract into our exalted order, proper and precious materials which remain unturned and which would prove to be ornaments to our Order.
I consider myself most fortunate not only in being a Lewis but in having had an opportunity to know during my adulthood that it was worthwhile to become a Mason, to be aware that Masonic brotherhood was worldwide, that Masonry is meant to make a man a better man and that the principles are sound and based on moral principles. It may be that I had gained these thoughts in my conscience and inner self, by fleeting images of the Masonic relationship of my father with the other members of his Lodge.
It may be, the grand and the edifying passages of the Masonic Ritual which I had wantonly or unwantonly overheard or eavesdropped when being recited by my father, in preparation for ceremonies, had presumably prepared me in my mental approach to become a Mason,
Though my resolve was received by many friends and relatives with sympathy, I am happy I had the courage to approach my father and to express my desire that I would like to be Mason.
“Why I became a Mason ?” Well, it is amazing that I have become a Mason in spite of all the wall of utter secrecy. I am happy I have become a Mason.
PREPARATION AND DELIVERY OF THE RITUAL
V Rajendran, OSM
When M.W. the Grand Master, M.W.Bro. G. R. Divan graced the annual meeting of the Regional Grand Lodge (SI) in February 1992, he said in his address: “….the ritual contains a message not only to the candidate, but also to the Brethren listening to its delivery, and the person reciting the ritual…..”
There can be no better way than what M. W. the Grand Master had stated to stress the importance of proper delivery of the rituals.
One of the major obstacles which a new Master Mason faces is the preparation for the delivery of the Rituals inside the Lodge. It can be a frightening experience the first time we are asked to learn some ritual and present it in open Lodge. Often it is years since we have had to memorize anything, and we’ve forgotten how to go about it. The following observations may prove helpful to some brethren in such circumstances.
(a) What does the Passage Mean ? :
First read it aloud two or three times, to determine what the words mean A language is a precise toll for expressing thoughts. Here we are concerned, not with our own thoughts, but with the intention of the persons who wrote the ritual. This preliminary interpretation is not really difficult if you pay attention, and read with your mind as well as with your eyes.
You should decide what it means to you. In general terms, this will correspond to the meaning intended the writer, but there may be a few passages in which the words could have more than one interpretation. For example, in the sentence.
“At my In, n, I was taught to be cautious, …I will either I… ..or h…. .. it with you” Consider the worlds “with you”. Should you say “with you” (but not with others) ? Or “With you” (but not by myself) ? What you take out of the passage is one method of getting variety, and hence of keeping the interest of your hearers. If you have not decided what it means, then you cannot give it any meaning at all. It becomes a monotonous recitation of words, and your hearers will either half heartedly ascribe their own meaning to it, or, more likely, pay no attention at all.
(b) Aids to memory :
There are several little tricks that will help to fix the words in your mind.
Visual : Always use the same ritual book.
Book to book, and edition to edition the location of the words may be in a different place. Your eyes must get used to seeing the same word at the same place whenever you refer to the Ritual book. Your eyes get used to the actual printing. It will help to stamp the words on your mind.
Auditory : Get a good pronouncing dictionary or glossary, and learn the correct way to pronounce the words and names. There is a right way. and a wrong way, to say, such words as “heinous” “beneficence” and “sublunary”. If you have trouble with some of them, say them over and over again, until they slip easily and naturally off your tongue. You have already decided what the passage means to you. As you read aloud to learn the work, always try to use the emphasis and shading that will convey that meaning to your hearers.
Subconscious : If you have a mental picture of the text, and if your cars are used to hearing your voice say the words, and if you have repeated them enough, there will come a time when, once you have started to speak, the words will come without conscious effort on your part. Most of us do this with certain sets of sounds we have learned in our childhood, such as the letters of the alphabet or the multiplication table. Perhaps it is partly a sort of “muscular” memory; your organs of speech get used to saying the words in the same order. This may be akin to the memory which is in the fingers of a typist.
(c) Mechanics of Memorizing:
There are various techniques which are suitable for different people. Few of us have an almost photographic memory; after reading the passage over from beginning to end several times, we know the whole thing right off. Most of us have to work harder at it than that, and memorize it a bit at a time. Once way to do it is as follows:
Begin with the first sentence, or as much of it as you can repeat immediately without peeking. (In time you will be able to do this with longer sentences) Keep repeating it until you can say the sentence naturally and without hesitation.
Take the next sentence or group of words and get them to the same state of perfection.
Then read the first and second sentences together (always aloud). Then try them together without reading and keep at it until you can repeat all of the first topic or heading. When you first succeed in doing to, then read it aloud once (to make sure no errors have crept in, and say it from memory.
Do not start on the next topic until you have mastered the first. Then take the last sentence of the first group and the first of the second topic, and proceed in the same way until you come to the end of the passage. Now, tie it together. Read the whole thing aloud two or three times, and then try your luck. If you get stuck, glance at the copy and go on. Then go back to the place where your memory failed, and say the words before and after the failure several times.
If it is a long piece of ritual, this will likely take quite a few sessions in your private room.
Always begin each session by reading what you have already learned, and then reciting it.
(i) Posture : It always helps in the control of the voice to stand perfectly erect (not necessarily with your feet in the form of a square). Stand easily erect, balance evenly on both feet. Do not be afraid to shift your position a little if the work is long. It will help you, and relieve your audience.
(ii) Gesture : A few gestures may well he used to emphasize certain passages. They should be so natural and inevitable that your audience is not specifically aware of them, but only of the cumulative effect of your presentation.
(iii) Projection : Your audience is supposed to here what you are saying. Therefore, speak so that you can be heard in every corner of the room. Do not let your voice drop in volume at the end of a sentence or paragraph.
(iv) Pace : Do not hurry. A good many ritualists (especially those with good memories) speak too rapidly. Your audience is always a few words behind you in their understanding and you may lose them completely if you go too fast.
(v) Enunciation : Pronounce the consonants in the words distinctly. Remember there are only five vowels, but twenty one consonants. If you slur them, the word is likely to be unintelligible. Do not run the words together, particularly if one word ends with the same consonant with which the next one begins, as for example in “dedicated and devote”, “moral or religions”, “meant to represent” Pronounce the short words clearly and distinctly. These are mainly the prepositions, conjunctions, articles, pronouns – the framework on which the sentence is built. Without them, there is usually no meaning.
(vi) Tone and pitch of the voice : Avoid monotony. The tone of the voice should be appropriate to the words you are saying. Quite different tones are used in an obligation from those suitable for dialogue or instruction. Proper word stress will help to prevent monotony.
(vii) Dramatic pause : Do not start in a hurry. Stand up and wait for a moment. This will focus attention on what you are going to say, Then, as you proceed, a pause or two will enable your audience to catch up with you, and will make the next thing you say more impressive. A pause, short or long as the occasion demands, should precede a statement which you wish to drive home.
It should be long enough to make your audience conscious of the silence, but not long enough to make them wonder whether you have forgotten the next word.
All this advice can be summed up in a single sentence. “Know you ritual, say it so you can be heard, and try to make it convey to your audience what its meaning is for you”.