Mark Masonry came to South-East Asia in 1887 with the founding of Gottlieb Mark Lodge No. 382 EC by Felix Henry Gottlieb, one of the dominant Masonic figures in Singapore and Penang in the 19th Century. Four years later in 1891, The Edaljee Khory Lodge No. 436 was founded in Singapore by another remarkable Freemason, Edaljee Jamsetjee Khory, a Parsi Barrister. The Lodge had a century of uninterrupted working except for the years 1943, 1944 and 1945, when its Brethren were incarcerated by the Japanese as British civilian internees in Changi Gaol, Singapore. Even so, the Brethren managed in two meetings in a prison cell to elect and install a Master in 1942.
After the liberation of Singapore in 1945 and with the problems of rehabilitation, the Brethren held a meeting in 1946 and in 1947 installed their first post-war Master. The Lodge lost all its records, including its original Warrant dated 11 August 1891, during the Japanese Occupation and what the Lodge has now is a Warrant of Confirmation issued on 18 December 1947.
Edaljee Khory had been a Worshipful Master of Lodge Rangoon (since erased) in 1886 and a Worshipful Mark Master of Lodge Victoria-in-Burma No. 68 in 1888. He arrived in Singapore in 1888 at the age of 31. Soon, he became a joining member of The Zetland in the East Lodge No. 508 EC and The Lodge of St George No. 1152 EC.
With the support of the Brethren from The Zetland in the East Lodge No. 598 and The Lodge of St George No.1152, a Petition dated 30 June 1891 to the Grand Lodge prayed for the formation of the Lodge, to be named ‘The Edaljee Khory Lodge’. In the event, The Lodge was consecrated and Edaljee Khory was installed as its first Master on 7 August 1891 – in fact four days before the date of the Charter – by Sir Charles Warren, who was then the District Grand Master of the Eastern Archipelago, whose Mark Rank is not available owing to loss of records.
Over the years, the Lodge grew in strength and it is the first Mark Lodge in the District of Mark Master Masons of South-East Asia to be granted a Centenary Warrant by the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Master Masons of England and Wales and its Districts and Lodges Overseas. It has also had the proud privilege of fostering eight of its members to be amongst the eleven Rulers of the District, namely: F.M. Elliot, T.O. Mayhew, Sir George Trimmer, Baldwyn Lowick, E.G. Holiday, A.J. Wilton, R.I. Rawlings, and Justice (Ret) MPH Rubin.
As we reach the Centenary of the District, Mark Masters should be reminded of the Parsi Lamp of Light, that used to be before the Worshipful Master of the Lodge at every festive board, of the enthusiasm and dedication of Edaljee Khory and the Brethren gathered around him.