Kids Corner


The Grand Master


The Grand Lodge of Quebec (GLQ), representing more than four thousand Freemasons in the Province of Quebec, Canada, has installed a Kenya-born Sikh-Canadian, Opkar Singh Sandhu, as Grand Master. Most Worshipful Brother, Grand Master Opkar Singh Sandhu will serve GLQ for a term of two years. Historically, he becomes the first Sikh Grand Master to hold that office anywhere outside India.

Sardar Opkar Singh was born in Nairobi, Kenya on July 31st, 1946. A member of the Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, he started out as an apprentice quantity surveyor with a consulting firm in Nairobi, soon after graduating from high school. After a few years of work experience, he completed his studies in London, England in 1969.

With over thirty years of experience in Quantity Surveying, Construction Estimating and Project Management, Opkar currently holds the position of Director of Construction for a prominent developer/builder, specializing in the custom-built homes and high-rise condominiums market of Montreal.

Opkar and his wife, Deepi, are proud parents of daughter Jas and son Sandeep, both of whom are graduates of McGill University, Montreal.

Opkar was initiated in the Greenfield Park Lodge in 1983, and has held a string of positions of responsibility since then.

He is a Scottish Rite Mason of the class of 1991. He served as Commander-in-Chief of the Montreal Sovereign Consistory in 2003 and, as Thrice Puissant Grand Master of the Hochelaga Grand Lodge of Perfection in 2004. He was coronated an Honorary Inspector General in September 2005.

He was made a Knight of the Royal Order of Scotland in May, 2006.

A proud member of the Sikh Community of Greater Montreal, Opkar takes an active role in the Gurdwara Sahib Quebec, where he continues to serve on the Board of Directors.

In addition to his busy Masonic and cultural activities, Opkar has served his local community through his participation in the Kinsmen Club of Montreal South Shore since 1978. During his long tenure in District Six of the Association of Kin Clubs of Canada, he acted first as the District Deputy Governor in 1985-86, and then as District Treasurer in 1990-91.

What is the Grand Lodge?

Freemasonry, or more precisely, The Order of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, is an initiatory and a philosophical society, whose origins are lost in time. The ancient manuscripts date from the 14th century, but Masonic tradition harkens back to the schools and mysteries of antiquity. The modern foundations, however, began in 1717, when four lodges in London developed an administrative structure (called the Grand Lodge) to organize the evolution of the movement more efficiently. After that, there was a phenomenal expansion of the Order, first in Europe, next in the British Colonies, and then around the world. Freemasonry in Quebec has British origins - the first Lodges appeared about the middle of the 18th century.

In 1723, the Grand Lodge of England published its "constitutions" in which the first article stipulates:

"A Mason is obliged by his tenure to obey the moral law and if he rightly understands the art, he will never be a stupid atheist nor an irreligious libertine."

But, though in ancient times Masons were charged in every country to be of the religion of that country or nation, whatever it was, yet it is now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that religion in which all men agree, leaving their particular opinions to themselves, that is, to be good men and true, or men of honour and honesty, by whatever denomination or persuasions they may be distinguished, whereby Masonry becomes the centre of union, and the means of conciliating true friendship among persons that must otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance.

A secret society, by definition, is one which tries to hide its own existence. Freemasonry is not that. Its headquarters is well known, as are the meeting places of its Lodges. Freemasonry is, however, discrete. It does not recruit members, nor does it publicize its charitable works. The Masonic oath is not incompatible with the moral, civil, or religious duties of any citizen of the world.

Even though it is not primarily a charitable organization, the monetary contributions of North American freemasons amount to more than 500 million dollars per year. In fact, each branch of Freemasonry selects one or several works: the Shriners maintain  hospitals for children with orthopaedic problems (there is one in Montreal) and the Burn Care Center in Boston; the Scottish Rite contributes to research in mental health and cancer, as well as clinics for speech problems; the York Rite maintains a foundation for eyes and is active in biomedical research; the symbolic lodges favour homes for old people and orphans.


Freemasonry is not a monolithic organization. Each jurisdiction operates under the authority of a Grand Lodge. Each of the Grand Lodges is independent of each other and is sovereign within its jurisdiction. They are linked with one another through a system of mutual recognition. Quebec Freemasonry is governed by the Grand Lodge of Quebec with headquarters located in Montreal.

The Grand Lodge is composed of representatives of all Lodges and has as its head a Grand Master elected by the members annually. The Grand Master's mandate normally does not exceed two years. The Grand Lodge of Quebec comprises approximately one hundred lodges, spread over the four corners of the province.

[Courtesy: Grand Lodge of Quebec]



Conversation about this article

1: w. bro. Ajmer Singh Jandu (Arusha, Tanzania), June 28, 2007, 12:41 AM.

Congrats and best wishes.

2: Sati Gata-Aura (Nairobi, Kenya), July 02, 2007, 10:52 AM.

Congratulations! Wow, what a fantastic achievement. Wishing you the very best! We are proud of you.

3: Jas Chase (U.S.A.), July 23, 2007, 11:53 AM.

Congrats! We are very proud of you and wish you all the best!

4: Herman Mathias (Mwanza, Tanzania), August 25, 2007, 6:57 AM.

I am always looking for joining a freemason society. How does one go about it?

5: Darren Botham (Kelowna, British Columbia. Canada), August 26, 2007, 3:25 AM.

Hello and fraternal greetings. I am the juinior deacon within the St. Georges Lodge #41 B.C. and Yukon Grande Lodge. I am very interested in bringing as many V.O.S.L. on the A. that I can and have made a proposal to put the top 5 V.O.S.L on our A. as I have read and agree with the basic tenents of all of these and more. To which, I have made a great effort to bring people of varied backgrounds to the Lodge ... without much success, I might add. This would be mostly due to our demographic here within the Kelowna area, and not to any limited perspectives of our members. Along with my utmost respect and admiration for your career is a request to contact a friend who, for time constraint reasons, has yet to commit to knocking on the door even though he has filled out an application and the Lodge has accepted him as worthy of initiation. His name is Harpreet Kangura. This is his email address: Harpreet is the one who sent me the link to this url as he is interested in not only the Sikh culture but how it relates to masonry. A quick note would go along way and it would be very much appreciated by myself, Harpreet and our Lodge. Thank you for hearing my request and please accept my most humble respect for your position as Grande Master, as well as a good man made better. Sat Sri Akaal. Pax vosbicum. Fraternally yours, Bro Darren Botham, 18 degree Scottish rite, 4 degree Rosicrucian, and a humble servant of the light.

6: Kioko Mulli (Nairobi, Kenya), August 28, 2007, 8:17 AM.

Congratulations, and all the best. Who can I contact in Nairobi to introduce me to this brotherhood?

7: M. Washuma (Kenya), September 03, 2007, 7:41 AM.

Wow! that's great ...keep it up. Wish you all the best!

8: Jeremiah Mumo Kisangau (Nairobi, Kenya), November 04, 2007, 3:05 AM.

Congratulation on your achievement. May God bless you so much. I will be visiting Canada from 7th November, 2007 upto 15th November, 2007 to meet with Kenyans and Friends of Kenya in Ontario and Quebec. Therefore, I am interested in meeting with you to discuss our Brotherhood. Kndly confirm to me as soon as possible ... Tel +254.722.304.787.

9: Goodo (U.K.), June 27, 2008, 12:53 PM.

Well done. You should be proud of yourself.

10: Baraka (Ttanzania), November 06, 2009, 6:55 AM.


11: Benard Joseph (Nairobi, Kenya), January 04, 2011, 9:31 AM.

It's great. Keep it up, guys. Congratulations, and all the best.

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