By Lily Chong
Originally printed in the NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2005 issue of Quest magazine.
Citation: Chong, Lily. "The Invisible Helper: The Story of the Lodge at Moulmein Rise." Quest 93.6 (NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2005):230-231.
In the 1970s, the Singapore Lodge was located at No. 8 Cairnhill Road—until the government decided to repossess the buildings for redevelopment. After a long search for alternative accommodations, we found a suitable house in Moulmein Rise. The purchase price was far more than what the Society had in the kitty at that time; we had been paid some $15,000 as compensation by the government, but that still left a deficit of more than $90,000. Brother Oon Kok Chat, who headed up the fund-raising committee, pledged two months of his salary and invited other members to follow suit. Donations of varying amounts soon began to arrive. These positive developments were offset when the seller of the Moulmein Rise property tried to back out of the deal after receiving the option money. He thought that property values would rise and wanted to hold out for a better offer. A threat to sue him quickly settled that matter, but the question of the remaining deficit loomed ominously over the future of the Lodge. How could we ever raise enough money? Little did we know that the guardians of the Singapore Lodge were preparing the stage for a drama that would unfold.
On a fateful day around Chinese New Year, Mr. Edwin De Souza, then president of the Lodge, received an anonymous phone call from Kuala Lumpur. The mystery man on the line inquired about the Society and suggested a meeting with the officials of the Lodge. An appointment for afternoon tea was arranged at the Mandarin Hotel. Brother K. C. Oon, Justice Ambrose, and the president met the stranger, who said that he was a Rosicrucian and had been receiving lessons during his meditation sessions from a kindly gentleman with a white beard. He had been instructed by this mysterious incorporeal teacher to contact our Society to see if he could help in any way.
Although he requested anonymity, the stranger divulged that he was in fact a Singaporean and the owner and managing director of Ka Wah Bank in Hong Kong. He was brought up to speed about the circumstances surrounding the relocation of the Lodge and that we had in fact paid the deposit but were desperately short the $75,000 needed to complete the purchase and make minor renovations. The stranger at once made out a check to the Society for that amount! Brother K. C. Oon remembers gladly paying $24 for the refreshments that serendipitous afternoon.
Thus the property at Moulmein Rise was purchased for $82,000 on June 20, 1979, in the names of three members as joint tenants. The property served us well for seventeen years until it was sold for $1,388,000 on September 27 1996, again with invisible help and through a series of fortuitous coincidences. (But that is another story!)
After the purchase of the property we often wondered the identity of the kindly gentleman who had appeared to our benefactor in his meditations and influenced him to make Moulmein Rise a reality. The answer was not known until the benefactor was invited to attend the opening celebration. As he walked into the premises, he stopped dead in his tracks, excitedly pointed at a picture that hung on a wall facing the entrance, and exclaimed, "That's him! That's the man who has been teaching me in my meditation sessions and who asked me to help your Society!" The picture was that of none other than our beloved brother and teacher—the Reverend Charles Webster Leadbeater (CWL).
This is not an isolated case of help from C. W. Leadbeater. At least one other member was psychically influenced and personally inspired by him to be of service to the Singapore Lodge.
Truth is stranger than fiction. The Singapore Lodge is indeed extremely fortunate and blessed to be watched over by the Great Ones, their pupils, and the invisible helpers! That CWL should have a special interest in the Singapore Lodge is curious but not entirely a surprise. The Singapore Lodge was very active in the prewar days and has spawned many dedicated theosophists who devoted their lives to work for the Society in other parts of the world.
May we be ever deserving of their help and continue to fulfill the purpose for which the Society was formed. May we continue to bring the light of truth into the lives of truth seekers and also to the ignorant so that their journey through life will be illuminated.
Sanne Chong is President of the Singapore Lodge Theosophical Society.