December 2013 Newsletter

The following articles are reproduced from the December 2013 Newsletter to members. Non-members may or may not be able to relate to the contents.

The Passing of an Era

Mrs. Radha Burnier, the International President of the Theosophical Society, passed away peacefully on 31 October 2013 in her home at the TS International HQ in Adyar. Radhaji was the seventh and longest standing International President (33 years). Read more about Radhaji at .


12th Triennial Conference of the Indo-Pacific Federation of the Theosophical Society

By Tan Bee Kheng

The 12th Triennial Conference of the Indo-Pacific Federation of the Theosophical Society was held from 1 to 6 November at Bali, Indonesia.

Twelve of us from the Singapore Lodge attended this conference. We met many delegates from other countries, namely Australia, New Zealand, India, Malaysia, Philippines, India, Brazil and the host country Indonesia. The total number of delegates came to about a hundred.

The opening night was dedicated to honour Mrs Radha Burnier, the International President who passed away peacefully just the night before the conference. Many long serving members who had known her shared their personal memories about her and paid tributes to her tireless work in the society.

In the true spirit of Theosophy, the prayers of different faiths were recited before the dinner began.

As the theme of the conference was “Practising Theosophy”, members from different countries took turns over the next few days to show us the activities in their lodges and how theosophy was applied in their local context.

Our President Brother Sanne gave an insightful and interesting presentation on “A short history of the Theosophical Society in China”. He also shared the translation work done by our Chinese team and the Chinese website.

With the advent of social media, the past IPF President Pedro Oliveira explored the challenges and opportunities of using these popular online platforms to make theosophy better known.

In the same vein, Brother Vic Hao Chin also urged members to consider the pressing need to popularize theosophy, in face of the growing population across the region.

We were honoured to have Ravi Ravindran, a well known speaker from the School of the Wisdom at the International Headquarter of Adyar. He flew from as far as Canada to join us for this conference. With his disarming sense of wit he made topics like intuitive awareness sound so lyrical.

There was a day for sightseeing. The first stop was at the Taman Ayun temple at Mengwi where we admired very nice sculptured gardens with many tiered pagodas. We then went up a hilly and scenic road to the famous Ulundanu temple with its flowering gardens overlooking beautiful Lake Beratan. The air was refreshingly cool. We stopped for lunch at a hillside restaurant with spectacular views of rice terraces. Then on to Monkey Forest to see hundreds of wild but tame monkeys. The grand finale was seeing the beautiful sunset at Tanah Lot with its temple situated on a large rock in the middle of the ocean about 100m from the beach.

On the final day, all participants were formed into groups to brainstorm the various initiatives for the Indo-Pacific Federation.

The closing ceremony was a buffet dinner under the starry sky by the breezy and serene Sanur beach, where our hotel was located. We had a sumptuous buffet dinner, with live band music followed by a local Balinese kecak dance in their rendition of the famous Hindu epic Ramayana.

Some of us made new friends and some forged old ties. It was a memorable time spent to build fraternity among the members of the various lodges in this region.


New Executive Committee of

The Indo-Pacific Federation of

The Theosophical Society

President John Vostermans (New Zealand)
Vice-President Chong Sanne (Singapore)
Secretary Vicki Jerome (New Zealand)
Treasurer Dianne Kynaston (Australia)
Council Members:
  S. Sundaram (India)
  Roselmo Doval-Santos (Philippines)


Typhoon Haiyan

Thanks to the generosity of members, the Singapore Lodge Theosophical Society collected $23,800 in donations to aid the TOS/TS in the Philippines in the relief operations for the victims.

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