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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Indianapolis' Murat Shrine Celebrates 125th


With 8,000 members, Indianapolis' Murat Shrine, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, is the largest Shrine Temple in the world. It's magnificent building downtown is a city landmark, and its enthusiastic membership has done much to support the Shriners Hospitals.

Murat was chartered on June 4th, 1884, just twelve years after the Shrine was founded in New York by Walter Fleming.

This year, Murat will celebrate its 125th anniversary. One June 6th, a Masonic parade will start at 11 a.m. at the Scottish Rite Cathedral, stopping to lay a wreath at the Indiana War Memorial, then onward to the Shrine Temple. (The following weekend, on June 13th, another will go in the opposite direction to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Indiana Freemasons' Hall!). After lunch, the Shrine will hold a ceremonial and initiate new members.

Murat is the only Shrine Temple with a French name. When Napoleon's armies were in Egypt between 1798 and 1800, the general in charge was Marshal Murat, who later became King of Naples. One of the Nubian desert water holes, called "Bir Murat," quenched the thirst of those armies of Napoleon, and the Indianapolis Temple bears its name.

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