Living in an Islamic Country like Pakistan, it becomes really difficult to belief on what you really can’t handle knowing. Freemasonry and the city of Karachi, not two opposite things to be discussed. The details about the Freemason hall in Karachi were previously highlighted in the first part of this post. From their spell of being an independent free organization to the ban put against it, it has been a long and happening journey. The then most important and affiliated person associated with the freemasonry actions was none other than ‘JEEVAN’. He is renowned as to be a freemason of Karachi.
Jeevan- reflecting the true image of freemasonry in Karachi
The game began in 1905 when Jeevan’s father, ‘Prabhu’, migrated to Karachi. He served his 45 years of service at Hope Lodge. After his death, his elder son got his office in the freemason lodge which was then transferred to Jeevan after his brother passed away. He was the then resident of the Hope Lodge when they faced the ban on their organization and their properties being confiscated in 1972. That is the reason why researchers and interviewers are much keen to talk to this guy in this regard.
As per the information provided by Jeevan, whether it’s an interview or a loose talk, some general revelations evolved in regard with the happenings, activities and official life of the Freemason Hall.
Routine activities of members
The rooms located besides the passage of the lodge used to be the offices of the members. The members included a large number of foreigners as compared to the local ones. In the beginning, they were in a great number but it gradually fell to just 6 to 7 foreign members.
They had a routine office work, a dining room for their daily lunch and kitchen. the organization was running under secretory, treasurer and care taker who used to visit the place very often.
‘House of magic’ being magical
As it was mentioned in previous part, the lodge was also known as ‘Jaadu ghar‘. Their were different perceptions about it like one of them was related to black magic. Also, people assumed it to be a place for Holy activities or any kind of pray. Some said it was a haunted place. But for the closest guy like jeevan, there was nothing like praying, magic or fiction sort of activities conducted in the lodge. Though he had an interesting title given by locals as ‘idle house guy’ and he was known by this name on a considerable level.
The consequences of Ban on Freemasonry
After the freemasonry was banned in Pakistan, the members and workers at the Hope Lodge were jobless at once. The accounts and assets of them were frozen and the lodge was taken over by the government. Jeevan also suffered the pain of the time. Some of the dues are still remaining and the cases are there in court. The building ended up to be useless.
Jeevan talks of his British ccompanions
“These British knew that they would only be here for a couple of years, and then someone else would come. But we would continue to stay here. They never once pointed a finger while talking to us. We had free use of the place. They would allow us to put up a tent and hold wedding ceremonies here.”
Now and then
People still visit the Hope Lodge occasionally from around the countries like India. They are just visitors and hide their identities for whether they are freemasons or not. There are also visits from film makers for the research and information about the mystery of the place and the fraternity.
The building is now supposed to be reconstructed as a museum named as Wildfire. The then ‘Hope Lodge’ would now be ‘wildfire museum’. That’s how history turns its pages.
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