JUN 2011        > News-index  

 Welcome to the TOS in Hungary

TOS Hungary people

We extend a warm welcome to our youngest TOS group. It was started recently in Hungary under the coordination of Viktoria Toth and now Csilla Kiss.  The group is a particularly interesting one in several respects.

First, it came into being specifically to support the work of a new branch of the TS, called Forrás (meaning ‘source’ or ‘spring’), whose special focus is on showing theosophical teachings in action and on reaching out to other brotherhood-centred organisations. The TOS group is designed to lend support to both of the TS’s Lodges in Hungary in fact, and welcomes members and friends from both. (The first Lodge’s name is Sziddhartha.) It is very nice that the TOS is perceived as a source of support to the Hungarian TS in its work.  Already a number of probing questions relating to the philosophy of service have been sent to the TOS International Secretary for exploration and key resource material has been sent in return.

Secondly, the groundwork for the TOS group has been done exceptionally conscientiously. Members first informed themselves thoroughly on the nature and functioning of the TOS as an international organisation working within the embrace of the Theosophical Society.  Information on the spiritual side of service was translated into Hungarian and selected ideas integrated into the group’s stated philosophy.  Members participated in the formulation of formal statements of mission and objectives, as well as a plan for group training in the spiritual side of service.  It is good to see such an in-depth approach at the birth of a group.

In fact the TOS group is not really our youngest one but more like a re-birth! Long time TS member, Adrienne Nagyiday, found an article by Annie Besant on the TOS in a 1924 Hungarian magazine Teozofia and learned that over eighty years ago the TOS used to operate in Hungary. Since then, more interesting historical material has come to light.  It would appear that the TOS in England sent aid to Hungary after World War I to help in its rebuilding process.  Mr Arthur Burgess, the organising secretary of the Theosophical Order of Service at the time, visited the TS in Hungary and encouraged the members to consider setting up their own TOS group – which they did.  The records show that a meeting was held in early 1925 at which a Mr Alfred Reisch outlined Annie Besant’s inspiration in setting up the organisation and her perception of the nature of its work.  He explained Mr Burgess’s approach and summarised what he himself had done to date in speaking with interested members and identifying the lines of service that attracted them. 

The ‘reincarnated’ group’s first activities include the adoption of Borsodnádasd, a flood-affected town in northern Hungary.  After discussion with its municipal officers, it was decided that the collection of donations and clothing would be a most helpful initiative.  A day-boarder summer camp and TOS participation in a local environmental protection project are also planned with the blessing of the municipality.
Last Christmas, TOS members sent gift packages for no fewer than 45 families in Borsodnádasd, following content suggestions made by the town officers. The parcels contained clothing, long conservation food items, toys for children, etc.
During the past several weeks, members have been busy preparing another lot of clothes for needy families in Borsodnádasd.
They also got together to make craft items for a fundraising sale at the open day of Sziddhartha Lodge on April 10.  A full day’s programme of theosophical lectures was scheduled and the TOS group, MATESZ, ran the sale and prepared vegetarian sandwiches for participants.  The money raised has provided basic working funds for MATESZ.  The next activities will be selected according to the service interests of the members.


Workers take a well-deserved tea break.
Last October during a toxic mud slide ecological disaster, TOS members helped save animals.

We wish the TS and TOS in Hungary dynamic and fruitful work together.

The name of the new TOS group in Hungary is MA-TESZ -

This is an abbreviation of three words:
  MA = MAgyar     meaning Hungarian
  TE = TEozófiai   meaning Theosophical
  SZ = SZolgálat   meaning Service


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