“For as much as men at all times have made for themselves Signs and Emblems of their allegiance to their Rulers, and of their bounden duty to uphold those laws and institutions which God’s providence has called them to obey, we following this natural and pious custom and remembering that God Himself led his people of Isreal by a pillar of fire by night and by a pillar of cloud by day, are met together before God to ask His Blessings on this Banner which is to represent to us our duty to our Order, our Lodge and to one another.
Let us therefore, pray to Almighty God to grant that it may never be displayed save as a symbol of our loyalty to our Cause and that true brotherhood for which we stand. May it ever be to those in our Lodge a sign of His presence with them in all dangers and distresses and increase their faith and hope in Him who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords“.
The Minutes for the regular meeting held on 1-10-1892 records:
“The design for a Banner for Lodge Pandyan submitted by Bro V. Aravamuthu lyengar was circulated among the Brethren and the final decision was adjourned to the next meeting when the brethren were requested to submit other designs as well”.
No other recording on this subject is found. So it may safely be presumed that W Bro. V. Aravamuthu lyengar was the chief designer of the Banner of the Lodge. He was an Engineer by profession and an ardent Founder Member. The banner of Lodge Pandyan displays all the Masonic symbols and Working Tools. Prominently displayed in the centre of the Banner is the Elephant. The name “Pandyan” has made such a significant and indelible mark in the history of India and gone so deep into the minds of the historians of the world, that this great name attached to our Masonic Lodge at Madurai for the past ninety years today, is well worthy of a choice.
It is said that the eyes of the local Goddess at Madurai, MEENAKSHI resembles the fish. Fish is also the LANCHANA or DEVICE of the Pandyan banner. From the numismatic point of view, besides the fish the Elephant also plays a prominent part in the format in the early coins issued by the Pandyan Kingdom. This because, in the early days, the prowess of a Ruler was usually measured by the number of elephants he owned.
From every Tangible angle, Mythological, Puranic, Religious, Economic, Numismatic and Utilitarian, there is no animal all over the world that can be compared to the Indian Elephant. This idea has been well represented in the banner of Lodge Pandyan with the inscription of the Masonic implements. With its size, its humility and obedience, its affection and gratitude to the “Mahout” have been known all over the world. Such a great animal, to adorn the banner of the Lodge Pandyan, has been given its rightful place in every respect.
And bearing such a great animal on its banner, Lodge Pandyan and Pandyan brotherhood should be proud they have been efficiently and obediently carrying the banner “High” in the Southern Region, with Humility and Gratitude to the Most High.
May this banner fly higher and higher, with increasing strength, for generations to come. Let the Pandyan tradition nourish their minds and cherish our memories. Let Truth, Love and Harmony prevail amidst them, cementing, and adorning the craft, guiding them as the Morning Star.
The Banner had undergone repairs and renovations from time to time. With the change in Constitution and numbering of the Lodge, the Lodge took the opportunity of replacing the old Banner with a completely new one but with all other details in exact replica of the old Banner, in the month of January, 1962. The Banner has adorned the Lodge from almost its inception and has been a silent witness of this growing Lodge.
Three meetings of the District Grand Lodge (E.C.) had been held under this Banner at Madurai, Two Regional Grand Lodge Meetings (GLI) in 1969 and 1980 at Kodaikanal; and Two Regional Grand Lodge Meetings (GLI) in 1993 and 1999 at Madurai were held under this Banner. With its number changed under the Grand Lodge of India, it is witnessing the completion of 120 years of the existence of the Lodge.