Andhra Pradesh

Tracing the glorious past of the Visakhapatnam Collector’s office

The Collector’s office was inaugurated on August 15, 1913, and 34 years later, on August 15, 1947, the Union Jack was brought down permanently from the flag post and the national flag hoisted.

The Collector’s office was inaugurated on August 15, 1913, and 34 years later, on August 15, 1947, the Union Jack was brought down permanently from the flag post and the national flag hoisted.   | Photo Credit: K.R. Deepak

On Saturday, the entire nation will be celebrating the 73rd Independence Day and the tricolour will be hoisted at all government offices and parade grounds, where the official State Independence Day programme will be held.

Here in the city, the State programme will be held at the Police Parade Grounds, but before that, the tricolour will be hoisted at the District Collector's office, the seat of the district administration.

The National Flag is hoisted every day at the Collector’s office, but August 15 has a unique significance.

It was on this day, exactly 107 years ago on August 15, 1913, that the building was inaugurated and occupied by the then District Collector L.T. Harris.

Little did the British know that on the same day, 34 years later, we would achieve our freedom and hoist our own National Flag on the same flag post, INTACH member and history buff V. Edward Paul said.

Mr. Paul, who has extensively researched the history of Vizag, says that on August 15, 1947, the Union Jack was brought down from the flag post for the first time since the building was inaugurated and our National Flag hoisted by the then District Collector A.H. Southern, who was also a Britisher.

A few old-timers who were present on that day on the porch of the District Collector’s office recollected that the atmosphere was vibrant with national pride and people openly rejoiced on the streets outside the Collector’s office.

As per a first hand account of senior citizens who had earlier spoken to The Hindu, sweets were distributed for free and people marched on to the road soon after Nehru’s rousing midnight speech ‘Tryst with destiny’ concluded on the radio broadcast.

Though the official programme was held at the police parade grounds back then, the Collector’s office was the epicentre for the celebrations as it was considered to be the seat of power during British rule.

The city of Visakhapatnam went into the hands of the British along with all of Northern Circars as per the firmans issued by Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II in 1756 and by the Nawab of Hyderabad, Mir Nizam Ali Khan, Asaf Jah II in 1758.

Visakhapatnam district was formed in 1803 and L.G.K. Murray was the first Collector of the district.

For many years, the Collector’s office was located in different buildings. Some were rented buildings while some were existing government buildings. Finally, after over 100 years, the present location was selected and a permanent building for the Collector’s office came up on August 15, 1913.

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Sep 29, 2020 2:49:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/tracing-the-glorious-past-of-the-visakhapatnam-collectors-office/article32348088.ece

Next Story