Hyderabad: As the world mourns the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Hyderabad remembers the monarch's visit to the city of pearls on the 20th November 1983. During her visit to India, Queen made a stopover at Hyderabad and visited the revered Holy Trinity Church, Bolarum also known as `The Queen's Church'. She also visited Nasar school and Golconda fort.
Records show that special invitation passes were printed and every seat was marked and reserved for the guests in the church. The Queen along with her royal convoy and security leaves back a historic moment. During her visit, she unveiled a 'Tablet'. This is still intact in the church.
The electric harmonium which was used by the British officials at the time of prayers is still adorning the church. The Queen was seated on the very first bench opposite to the pulpit, while the message was delivered by Bishop Rt. Rev. Victor Premsagar.
The Queen celebrated her Wedding anniversary in the Holy Trinity Church in Bolarum, as per the records. The Church service was officiated by Bishop Premsagar and ministerial colleagues Rev. Prabhakar, Rev. B.P. Sugandha the then Bishop-in-Medak were the moderators of the Church of South India. Given the Queen's visit and her grandmother's attachment to this Holy Trinity Church, Bolarum, it was also referred to as `The Queen's Church'.
In fact, The Queen had visited Hyderabad twice. During one of her visits, she made a brief stopover at the All Saints Church, Secunderabad.
Background of Holy Trinity Church, Bolarum
The Holy Trinity Church in Bolarum was built in the1847 by her Royal Highness Queen Victoria out of her own purse. The Church was the place of worship for the then British army officers and families, following an Anglican way of worship. The interior of the Church adorns the Tablets of dear and loved ones of the British army officers who died during their tenure in the Hyderabad contingent. The land for this historic church was donated by Nizam's government.
One can still see the original pews, which despite the passage of time have retained their sheen, the stained glass at the altar, the pulpit, and the bell are all in their original eloquence, reflecting an era gone by.
There are 44 Tablets adorning the Church interior, erected by the loved ones of those who died. According to the records, the following Regiments were stationed at Secunderabad during 1847-1947 and were a part of the worship. The greatest jewel adorning the church altar is the great Pipe Organ.
One can hear the magical sounds of nature during the worship service. This Pipe Organ was built by Misquith & Co. Organ builders, a company from Madras that was installed by public subscription. The pipe organ has been retaining its original melody and music.
It consists of a swell Organ, a Great Organ, and the Pedals. This Pipe organ has a total of 392 pipes, 112 wooden and the rest are lead pipes. When the pipe organ was built, the bellows were pumped by human hands on the strike of a bell from the organist, and now uses a 3 HP motor. During the late 1960s, the Organ was in continuous maintenance. The repairs were made by late C. Paul Satyaraj and now over by his son Mohan Satyaraj and also the present organist, a proud reason for us to have the pipe organ still going. Since, the take over in 1947, the organists like C. Paul Satyaraj, Venkat Rao, Williams, V.S. Obed, and Mohan Satyaraj dedicated their talents and played this great Pipe Organ in the worship services of this historic Holy Trinity Church.
Frosty white spires and stained glass windows reflect the architecture of this church which makes it one of the places worth visiting while on a tour to Hyderabad. Considered to be amongst one of the most sacred churches in the Deccan region, hundreds of worshipers come to offer their prayers in this church every Sunday. Located at a very prominent place in Secunderabad, this church can be easily reached from any part of the city.
The author of this report is Mr Frederick Michael- Former Senior Public Relations officer -South Central Railways