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Historic solar eclipse turns day into night across the United States

NEW YORK, Aug 21: Millions of Americans gazed in wonder through telescopes, cameras and disposable protective glasses Monday as the moon blotted out the sun in the first full-blown solar eclipse to sweep the US from coast to coast in nearly a century.

"It was a very primal experience, it really was," Julie Vigeland, of Portland, Oregon, said after she was moved to tears by the sight of the sun reduced to a silvery ring of light in Salem. "I've seen other really magnificent things, but there is nothing, nothing like this. Absolutely nothing."

The temperature dropped, birds quieted down, crickets chirped and the stars came out in the middle of the day as the line of darkness raced 2,600 miles (4,200 kilometers) across the continent in about 90 minutes, bringing forth oohs, aahs, shouts and screams.

In Boise, Idaho, where the sun was more than 99 percent blocked, people clapped and whooped, and the street lights came on briefly, while in Nashville, Tennessee, people craned their necks at the sky and knocked back longneck beers at Nudie's Honky Tonk bar.

Passengers aboard a cruise ship in the Caribbean watched it unfold as Bonnie Tyler sang her 1983 hit "Total Eclipse of the Heart."

At the Nashville Zoo, the giraffes and rhinos started running around crazily when the sun came back. Several minor-league baseball teams - one of them, the Columbia Fireflies, outfitted for the day in glow-in-the-dark jerseys - briefly suspended play.

Gaurav Dhamija Masonic Centre celebrates I-Day in Karnal

By Deepak Arora

KARNAL, Aug 15:

Independence Day was celebrated with great enthusiasm in the premises of Gaurav Dhamija Masonic Centre and Polyclinic in sector-33, Urban Estate. Besides some well-known personalities, over 100 destitute children of KR Classes, a local school, attended the function.

Chairman of NIFAA (National Integrated Forum of Artistes and Activists) Naresh Barana, Advocate, and VW Bro. Subhash Katyal, Worshipful Master of Lodge Karan No. 244, Karnal jointly hoisted the National Flag.

Notables of those presents were G S Virk, a leading businessman in food industry in Seattle, USA; RW Bro. Inderjit Dhamija, W Bro. Navjot Singh Warraich and the Director and the Staff Members of JD Universal Infra Ltd. and Aegis Value Homes Ltd, in which Gaurav Dhamija was the Founder Director in his life time.

The children of KR Classes were told of the ethics of free masonry by RW Bro. Inderjit Dhamija in very simple words.

The organizers distributed sweets to all those presents.

It may be mentioned that Gaurav Dhamija Masonic Centre and polyclinic has been built exclusively by the Gaurav Dhamija Global Foundation in memory of its master Gaurav who left this world on the fateful day on August 24 last year in an accident.

A plot of 800 sq. yd. area was gifted to Gaurav Dhamija Global Foundation by the family of Gaurav.

The Foundation (Trust) is registered with the sub-Registrar Karnal and the prominent trustees of the Foundation being Inderjit Dhamija, father of Gaurav; Gurbhagat Singh Virk and A. P. Kapoor, both from the USA; and family friends besides Reem, wife of Gaurav.

The main objects of the Foundation are to impart education and health services and to aid and set up health and educational institutes in India and abroad.

Gaurav Dhamija Global Foundation (Trust) has set up a Masonic temple and polyclinic on the plot gifted to the trust to provide medical services to the under privileged and weaker sections of the society at most affordable cost.

Gaurav Dhamija

Chairman of the Foundation (Trust) Inderjit Dhamija explained that free education to the children of underprivileged section of the society are being sponsored by the Foundation for higher education so as to make them able to join the mainstream.

Gaurav Dhamija had studied at the John Hopkins University in Washington D.C. (USA) and specialized in financing system and real estate business before he left the USA to join family business in India.

He remained fully involved in handling the finances of the business of the family till the fateful day of August 24, 2016 when he breathed his last in an fire accident in the building where he resided in Hauz Khas area of New Delhi.


Grand Lodge of India meet concludes in Chandigarh

By Deepak Arora


A successful meeting of Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of India, the parent body of over 25,000 Freemasons in India, concluded here on Sunday afternoon.

The half-yearly two-day meeting of the Regional Grand Lodge of Northern India, which has over 5000 members in the northern region, also held its meetings on the same days.

Freemasonry is the world’s largest fraternal organisation spread all over the world with a membership of over 5 million of which a large number of Freemasons across the globe are of Indian origin.

Freemasons in India come from almost all walks of life. Among these are judges, government officers, bankers, lawyers, doctors, chartered accountants, architects, journalists and businessmen etc.

Some of the prominent Freemasons in India were Swami Vivekanand, President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, Pandit Motilal Nehru, singer Kishore Kumar, industrialists Dadabhoy Nowroji Tata, JRD Tata, Dr. Gaur Hari Singhania and Sitaram Jaipuria, actors Ashok Kumar and Parikshit Sahni, former India cricket captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, Madhav Rao Scindia.

Speaking at the meeting, M.W. Bro. Harcharan Singh Ranauta, Grand Master of Grand Lodge of India, said “Freemasons believe in the Fatherhood of God and Brotherhood of Mankind. Charity is the distinguishing characteristic of Freemasons. The money we spend on such large scale charitable projects is contributed by our members out of their savings from their hard earned money.”

Freemasons, under the guidance of Grand Lodge of India and their respective regional grand lodges, run a large number of charitable projects all over the country.

A unique project being taken up by the Grand Lodge of India is to provide pure drinking water generated out of air to people living in remote areas.

The drinking water machine can run on both electricity and solar power. Each machine will cost around Rs. 30,000 and over Rs. 1 lakh with solar panels.

The project, known as MARG (Masonic Amrut Ras Generator), would be of immense use for people living in drought prone areas where ladies have to walk several kilometres to fetch drinking water.

The water machine generates water from the humidity in air and can generate about 15 litres of drinking water in a day.

The first project is being set up in Pench forest reserve area near Nagpur, Maharashtra for the officers on duty in the forest.

Other prominent charitable projects being run by Freemasons in India include a 150-bed paediatric hospital in Coimbatore; General Williams Masonic Polyclinic in New Delhi which has branches in more than 10 cities including Noida, Roorkee, Gurgaon and Faridabad; Masonic Public School in New Delhi having over 1400 students; Amrit Masonic Spastic School in Noida.

General Williams Masonic Polyclinic in New Delhi is equipped with latest equipments for blood tests, X-rays, CT scan, dental and physiotherapy treatment. These services are provided at one-third of the market price.

The Regional Grand Lodge of Northern India, with the support from Grand Lodge of India, also reconstructed two schools in Uttarakhand and two schools in Srinagar which were completed destroyed in the devastating floods that struck these two states.

Freemasons were also the first charitable organisation to reach Kathmandu after the recent earthquake in Nepal and have decided to set up a Masonic Polyclinic in the city besides adopt a village near the capital of Nepal.

Freemasons in the northern region under the dynamic and visionary leadership of Regional Grand Master Rt. Worshipful Bro. NS Sodhi have achieved many land marks.

It is running a school in jail premises in Ludhiana for young children who are forced to accompany their mothers in prison.

Similar schools are proposed to be set up in other cities in north India. These children are provided with elementary education, nutritious food and toys to play with. Futher artificial limbs are donated to the needy people once in a year.

Branches of General Williams Poly Clinic are opened in cities of Ludhiana, Patiala and Kalka providing charitable services to needy and general public at very affordable cost.

Latest addition coming up in Karnal is Gaurav Dhimija Masonic temple and Gaurav Dhimija Masonic Poly clinic which will cater to the needs of brethren and affordable medical services to the people of Karnal and around.

Many more charitable projects are in pipeline in coming year. The funding of all projects comes from contribution from its members exclusively.



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