Near Anna Nagar Tower Park at Second Avenue stands the building of Anna Nagar Club as a reminder of India International Trade Fair.
Anna Nagar Club was started as a social club when the residential locality was being developed in the early 1970s. The place where the building stands is exactly where FACT (Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore Limited) had its pavilion in the name “Kerala House” at the Trade Fair, say members of the Club.
An engraving on a stone at the Club premises is proof of that. It reads: “Donated to the Government of Madras by the Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore Limited, Uduogamandal, Kerala.”
FACT was one of the participating companies in the Fair organised by All India Industrial Manufacturers Association. The Fair designed like a township had 156 pavilions with 20 of them representing other countries. Reports in The Hindu Archives underline that the beautiful structures erected by delegates for housing their exhibits generated healthy competition. No two pavilions looked alike.
After the fair concluded on February 25, 1968 many of the temporary pavilions were dismantled, except the one representing Kerala, say reports from The Hindu.
The Club was registered in 1971 when the Tamil Nadu Housing Board started developing the area into a well-planned residential zone with social infrastructure as one of its top priorities and that is how the club found space, says AV K Umapathy, president of Anna Nagar Club. E Ravichandran is the secretary of the Club.
Anna Nagar Club was started by long-time residents of the area. The Club, which now has more than 1000 members, continues to pay rent to the Housing Board.
Since then the Association members have taken care the slice of Kerala that continues in the 7.5-ground space.
Two life-size elephants that stood as a symbol of the Kerala pavilion are intact to this today.
“We have not brought any structural changes in the building but only developed the open space with provisions for playing tennis and other sports,” says TN Mehta, treasurer of the Club and a member since 1975. In fact, many people refer to the Club as “yaanai club”, he says. Members have also incorporated the two elephants in the logo of the Club.
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