Andhra Pradesh

Historic Masonic Temple celebrates 110th anniversary in New Year

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Newly-elected body decides to allow people to have glimpse of antiques on the premises

Lodge Nicopolis No.81, which is generally known as Vizianagaram IV Masonic Temple, is going to get special attention in the New Year, thanks to the initiatives of newly-elected body for the preservation of its rich heritage and culture.

The Nicopolis No.81 constructed in 1909 by the then Maharaja of Vizianagaram Princely State Vijayarama Gajapathi Raju-IV will celebrate its 110th anniversary in the New Year. The programmes have been planned throughout the year to create awareness about the greatness of the temple which was founded on October 1, 1909.

Poly clinic

As part of the celebration, the new team of the Masonic Temple decided to allow common people to have glimpse of antiques on the premises. An exclusive room for the display of antiques is being created, according to the Worshipful Master of the temple Motamarry Srinivas. The temple also decided to take up service activities such as running poly clinic to ensure medical assistance to poor people at very nominal charges. “Our temple was instrumental in establishment of Polytechnic College in Vizianagaram. It has allocated its prime land for the construction of APSRTC complex, adjacent to the building. We will continue to take more activities in the year 2019-20,” he added.

According to him, the then Raja Vijayarama Gajapathi Raju-IV insisted for the service activities after he was inspired by the activities of such Lodge located in Kolkata. The members of such Lodges were called as brothers. The head of the Lodge is called as Worshipful Master. After serving as a ‘brother’ in Kolkata Lodge, he bought a few acres of prime land from Thotapalem Zamindars. He obtained permission from Scotland for its establishment in Vizianagaram. After serving one year, Mr. Vijayarama Gajapathi Raju relinquished the post and allowed local dignitary C. Mangayya Naidu to take charge Worshipful Master. Only four members of Raja’s family headed the institution.

Former Union Minister of Civil Aviation P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju served as Master in the year 1973 and year 2009 on the eve of centenary celebrations.

According to Past Master D.S. Raju, free masonry is directly descended from associations of operative masons who travelled through Europe, employing secrets and skills of their crafts. The cathedral builders of the Middle Ages started to accept others ‘entry into their profession and it led to establishment of Grand Lodges across the world. Masonic Lodge is the basic unit of all Grand Lodges.

“Although the movement started with different reasons, now its primary objective is to serve the society. Honesty in business, fairness in work, love for one another and reverence for the God are promoted through the temple. All these objectives are being fulfilled by Vizianagaram Masonic Temple,” Dr. Raju said. Another Past Master G. Shiva Kumar said that the temple was offering its premises for functions, marriages and other programmes at nominal charges as part of the serving the society.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 11:27:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/historic-masonic-temple-to-celebrate-110th-anniversary-in-new-year/article25875550.ece

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