Rajah Temple had its beginning in 1892, but the year 1893 brought the actual setting up of the Mystic Shrine organization in Reading and the beginning of work in the Order. The minutes of the first Recorder, Philip Bissinger, shows that the first meeting of Shriners to plan establishment of a new Temple, Yemem it was to have been called, was on January 4, 1892.
The first organization was that of “Lu Lu Club of Reading”, so named because most of the members, if not all, were members of Lu Lu Temple, Philadelphia. On August 24, 1893, Lu Lu Club of Reading dissolved and all its records and members became part of the proposed new Rajah Temple. On December 5th, Imperial Potentate Melish visited the new Temple and on December 14, 1893, the first regular meeting of Rajah Temple was held.
Rajah Shrine carries jurisdiction in Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Schuylkill, and Lebanon Counties. It shares jurisdiction of Lancaster County with Zembo Shrine, of Harrisburg, and Chester and Montgomery Counties with Lu Lu Shrine, of Philadelphia.
This piece serves as a great example of some the deterioration that is commonly seen among fezzes from the early to mid 20th Century. The tarnish is very evident, but the fez is in good shape otherwise.