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Thursday, February 19, 2015

KOLAR GOLD FIELDS DOWN MEMORY LANE - BOOK REVIEW - N.CHANDRA MOULY IPS

N.CHANDRA MOULY IPS
INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE (RTD)
VISAKHAPATNAM
Feb 14 at 10:21 PM
Sub: My feelings on your great book on Kolar Gold Fields
Good Evening Mrs. Bridget Kumar!
First things First! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your great book on” Kolar Gold Fields -Down Memory Lane -Paeans to Lost Glory”
First of all, my grateful thanks to you for bringing out such a great book on Kolar Gold Fields.you have done a great service to all of us –who were born and brought up in KGF and who can never forget the sweet and happy memories of KGF. Everyone-erstwhile residents of KGF- goes down one’s memory lane when one reads it. Reading of your book “Kolar Gold Fields-Down Memory Lane, Paeans to Lost Glory!!” gave me untold joy and excitement and took me down my memory lane.I totally agree with what you said about KGF “Memories of Our Beloved KGF are EVERLASTING and will endure forever and ever in our hearts”. “My memories of KGF are a legacy that I’ll treasure till the end of my days”. And also “This book succeeds in capturing and preserving for posterity the nuances and ethos of bygone era in that once glorious and vibrant place called Kolar Gold fields, and at the same time keeps it alive in the hearts of its erstwhile inhabitants, which still beats for it.”
Your book is a great tribute to all the people who were responsible for the birth of great city called Kolar Gold fields and its glory and all the miners and their sacrifices and their families and the all the Officers, engineers and other personnel of Gold mines and their families who lived and made it a great city of vibrant multi-ethnic culture ,secularism, equality and communal harmony .
Before I proceed further, I need to tell you briefly about me and my life in KGF.
We are from Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh State, and as you observed my grandfather was a drifter from our native place in Nellore who arrived in KGF during its glorious days around 1910 seeking his fortune and settlement and joined in as a domestic help in the house of an English Chief Sanitary Inspector. He got married there and begot children-my dad and uncle. My father Paul got educated up to 8th class in Nellore, worked with English officers as domestic help and later got job as a Time -Keeper in Champion Reefs mines office in Sanitary Department ,responsible for keeping muster rolls of Sanitary workers in Champion Reefs . My father married there in KGF and begot us –twelve children-I am the 9th child.
 I studied in KGF up to 4th class in Telugu Elementary  School in at SC Block, Champion Reefs during  the academic years 1959-60 to 1962-63 and went to Nellore and Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh state where I completed my school and college studies –I completer Masters in Commerce in 1975.By God’s abundant grace, I got recruited as Deputy superintendent of Police in the Andhra Pradesh State Police service in 1980 and got into IPS (Indian Police service), and rose to the rank of IGP ( Inspector general of Police) and retired from service on 30th June ,2013.
I was born on 10th June ,1953 at the Government Maternity hospital,Robertsonpet,KGF and lived in KGF till May 1963 and went to Nellore for my studies .But our family lived in KGF  till 1972 when my dad retired from service and then our family moved from KGF to our native place in Nellore. While studying in Nellore and Tirupati, I came to KGF and spent time during holidays during 1963-1972.
All my siblings living in different places in AP, have live and vivid memories of life and times in KGF and as you said, KGF would never leave you. We always pine to visit  KGF whenever possible, but the pathetic picture it presents today, makes us very sad.
All the three parts in your book are a great reading, as they evoke our memories and furnish us with lots of information unknown to us about many things in KGF and the great community of Anglo-Indians in KGF .As we lived in KGF, we are familiar with Anglo-Indians and their culture.
Knowing about you and your family and life and times in KGF also brought out many memories of our life in KGF as the Places and food and festivals are familiar to me.
As you observed, there were no means of public transport in the city, except for tangas. We, as children, moved all over the length and breadth of KGF and all the places mentioned by you are familiar to us. We have moved around all the mining areas-Mysore mines, Champion Reefs, Oorgaum and Nundydroog and the famous shafts, Gifford’s shaft, Edgar’s shaft Bullen Shaft and Henry shaft.
During my childhood I moved in KGF and saw all famous clubs and halls viz., Gymkhana Club, Oorgaum Hall, and Skating Rink.
The following chapters in your book impacted my  memory very much and brought joy and took me back to my life in KGF.
1.      The start of a golden chapter in history
2.      A new Railway Line.:
We travelled with in KGF from place to place to visit friends in Marikuppam and Oorgaum and Coramandel and also attend churches and also to go to Madras and Bangalore cities. There was a minor accident on one  evening train, when I was going towards Bangalore in our local train with my dad and my dad received a minor injury and the train service was suspended for that evening and we took bus on the next day for our journey.
3.      Water works at Bethmanagala for Piped water to KGF:
 Though we never visited Bethmanagala, but, as children, we visited the water reservoir and meter house at champion Reefs and tried to climb up and see the water and the watchman warned us and sent us away many times.
4.      Townships in Robertson pet and Anderson pet:
 My uncle worked in Municipal Health office, at Robertson pet and we frequented the Town for several purposes –going to shopping and hotels, Cinema theatres like Gay Talkies, Krishna Talkies, Olympia Theatre and going to bus station to go out to outstations in AP.My cousins lived in Robertson pet only.Andersonpert was close to our residence in Champion Reefs and we frequented this place almost daily .I used to go with my dad   to Beershop    to purchase beef and vegetables and clothes. We purchase newspapers and magazines in Anderson pet.Your book threw light on the origins of these town areas and Beershop. It was not clear for me as to why it was called Beershop though I had a faint idea about it, but your book brought out   the reason as to why it was known as Beershop.
5.      Churches and Schools:
The church of Our Lady of Victories at Champion Reefs is my favourite church to attend the 24th December Christmas Mass and on other occasions. The depiction of the birth of Lord Jesus Christ in beautifully decorated place in the church is always my source of joy and faith as a child. I have warm memories of attending 24th December Mass and returning home in the cold weather and eating sweetmeats prepared by my sisters at home. I hardly slept on that night. Our friends and a few cousins studied in St. Josephs Convent at Champion Reefs .So I went there several times including on school functions and school days.
6.      Establishment of Clubs and institutes:
The KGF Gymkhana Club ,Mysore mine Club Nundydroog Club, The Catholic Club in Champion Reefs ,The king George Hall Club in Robertson pet are our frequent jaunts and  my  brothers ‘wedding reception was also held at Mysore Mine Club.
8.The other Side of the Coin:
We are aware of the underground accidents including air blasts etc. ., we used to wake up to the jolts caused by the underground blasts and there were quakes and the housed used to vibrate due to the blasts. All the tragic mining accidents caused gloomy atmosphere in our neighborhoods and any serious accident was the talk of the town, as everyone comes to know such accidents. Now I feel sad for the serious exploitation of mining workers by the John Taylor and Sons Company during the hey days of Gold mining.

9.The birth of a new community: Your book brought out clearly about the birth of Anglo-Indian Community in India and threw light on this aspect.
 10) Their way of Life in KGF.As residents of KGF and having seen them in our neighbourhood    and as officers, and nurses in KGF Hospital, I have a glimpse of their culture and your book gave more detailed account of their life style .One evening, while I was going with my cousin to my cousin’s house in Robertson Pet, we stumbled upon  a wedding function at a roadside   house of Anglo-Indians .We stopped there for listening to the orchestra music ,but later we had the opportunity to watch their dancing and merry making and we were spellbound by their dances as it was our first time to see  such performances.
The Anglo-Indian women excelled in the fields of teaching and nursing-as they were excellent teachers of English language and caring, patient nurses due to their skills and dedication to their duties.
As a child, when I was admitted in KGF hospital for a week, and I had had an opportunity to experience the care and affection of a lovely Anglo-Indian nurse who showed utmost care and love and patience while treating me in the hospital ward. She was a Nightingale personified.
11.Christmas and Festivities
12.Vendors and Hawkers and Other service providers;
Since we shared the same space and times in KGF, the vendors were the same and the service providers were the same to all the Miners’ Lines and Officers bungalows except a few.
13.Cotton Candy ,Iced Candy ,and Bombay muttai ,Glass bangles ,Bamboo Flutes and violins,Namakara Hawkers :
These details in your book are very vivid and brought out lot of interesting memories out of my faded memory and I thoroughly enjoyed reading these chapters, as the other chapters.
14.Familiar Landmarks:
Of particular interest to me of all the familiar landmarks of KGF are “The Cyanide Dumps” and “The KGF Mining Hospital “.We had our own dumps in Champion Reefs area and they were our favorite spots   for playing and gathering for us. They have a special appeal for us all and we can’t imagine KGF without these dumps. When I saw them in Telugu and Tamil movies, I was proudly saying to my friends in Andhra Pradesh that they belong to our KGF City.
The Ming hospital at Champion Reefs which we saw as Children and the same now give us lot of sadness .I was in that hospital as an inpatient as a child and witnessed the praiseworthy services of the staff, especially the Anglo-Indian nurses and always compare them to the abysmally poor conditions and services prevailing in Government Hospitals in Andhra Pradesh .Even the nurses in corporate hospital are no comparison to those service oriented and dedicated nurses in the KGF MINING HOSPITAL.
15.Our Local Train: It brings me sweet memories of my journeys from Nellore to KGF via Bangarapet during school holidays.
16.All souls Day:
We used to spend half a day to decorate the graves and bring flowers and offer prayers at the graves of our grandparents. The area wears a festive look on that day .I have never observed such observation in any place /town/cities of AP as was seen in KGF. We miss the event always.
Other Communities in KGF …Festivals.
There was a sizable population of Telugu people from the Districts of Nellore, Chittoor, and Anantapur Cuddapah of Andhra Pradesh, who came and settled there-not as underground miners but -as sanitary workers in all the mines and sweepers in KHG Mining hospital who lived in Marikuppam, Champion Reefs, Nundydroog area, Coramandel area and Oorgaum areas. Most of them were Hindus .A few families belonged to Christianity and we are also Christian. Among them a few are Catholics while the rest are Protestants. We celebrated Christmas with lot of fervor and joy. Bu as you observed in your book, we also participated in the festivals of Hindus and Muslims-especially Pongal and Bhogi (bonfire) and Deepavali and our Hindu friends’ also celebrated Christmas festival.
Thanking you!
Yours Sincerely!
N.CHANDRA MOULY IPS
INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE (RTD)
VISAKHAPATNAM

Friday, February 13, 2015

A FOOTBALLER FROM KOLAR GOLD FIELDS - LATE MR. M SUBRAMANI

LETTER RECEIVED FROM MAGESH SUBRAMANI 

Dear Mrs. Bridget
My father Mr. M. Subramani  (Late) was born and bought up in KGF  He lived in Nandydroog Mine, close to Nandydroog Club and Skating Rink. . He studied in KGF School and started playing foot ball from childhood. He represented KGF in various tournaments across India. He was part of the first Kolar District Football Team that was  inaugurated by then MD of Kolar Gold Fields Mr. J T M TAYLOR. His siblings too were footballers and created history of sorts when all 7 brothers represented a football team in KGF!
 He got an opportunity to play for the Railways when  he was playing in Trivandrum and he then  shifted base to Madras  and joined the Railways in 1965. He played number of matches for the Railways and Clubs in Madras. He represented various teams in a Career span of 25 years. He died on 30th March 1990 at the age of 54 years of Cardiac Arrest.

Pic 1: This pic was taken in kerala in early 50's at the age of 18.

Pic 2: He was also part first kolar district food ball team inaugurated by then MD of kolar gold fields Mr JTM TAYLOR. My father facing the camera standing next to the person wearing the cap.

Pic 3:This photograph was taken in vellore after defeating the madras team in the final.The person who his standing first in the top left was my dad's elder brother Mr M.Krishnasamy and next to him was my dad (both in jersey).

Pic 4:This photograph was taken in Trichy when he was playing for railways, my dad was sitting second from left.

Thanks & Regards
Magesh Subramani



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

KOLAR GOLD FIELDS DOWN MEMORY LANE - PAEANS TO LOST GLORY - By Bridget White - Avail 25% Discount



















KOLAR GOLD FIELDS DOWN MEMORY LANE - PAEANS TO LOST GLORY  - By Bridget White 

History abounds with tales of mankind’s fascination with Gold. The yellow metal has been considered precious from times immemorial and this fascination is reflected in various references of mining the world over.

Kolar Gold Fields, affectionately known as KGF had a very sizable European and Anglo-Indian population who lived and worked there for generations. Messrs. John Taylor and Sons a British Mining Company owned the K G F Mines for more than a century since 1852. It was well known for its Colonial ambience with elegant bungalows replete with huge gardens, green lawns, and many Clubs with Tennis and Badminton courts, Golf courses, Dance Halls, Swimming Baths, etc. It was called “Little England” and was unique for its secular and egalitarian society not found anywhere else in the world.
 It was one of India’s earliest industrialized towns, which had electricity supplied to it from a captive power plant, good water supply, well-equipped hospitals, schools, etc. The 19th and the early 20th century saw the KGF mines booming and flourishing and it employed almost 4500 employees in its hey days.
 In what was once a desolate, waste, rocky terrain, a large and flourishing town sprang up which was provided with most of the conveniences and comforts of life at that time. All this was possible due to the perseverance and foresight of a group of British pioneers who were successful in their quest for gold.
 Kolar Gold Fields – Down Memory Lane” undertakes a nostalgic journey right from the days of the origins of the Kolar Gold Mines, its historical and mythological connections, the arduous and difficult lives of the miners in those early days, the growth of the mines under the British Company of John Taylor and Sons, its gradual decline, and the ultimate closure of the once prosperous Kolar Gold Mining Company in 2003 after it was taken over by the Government of India. Thus ending a golden chapter in History, which now lies buried in the annals of time. 
 It then moves on to give the reader a brief insight into the lives of the Anglo-Indian Community (a living legacy of the British Raj) in the early days of KGF. It brings out vividly the glorious and cosmopolitan life led by that tiny vibrant community in KGF who lived in sprawling bungalows with beautiful gardens and domestic helpers at their beck and call. It recalls the grand Christmas Balls and Dances held at the Skating Rink and the Jam Sessions and Pound Parties in Buffalo Lodge.
 It finally focuses on my own childhood memories of growing up as a young Anglo-Indian child in KGF in the 1950s and 60s - home, family, school, playmates, entertainments, games, picnics, etc. It recalls memories of old familiar haunts and landmarks of KGF and the people who were an indispensable part of life in those days. This golden period of KGF post Independence was the period of transition, when the influences of the best of old Colonial India merged with the new emerging independent India.
 This book succeeds in capturing and preserving for posterity the nuances and ethos of a bygone era in that once glorious vibrant place called Kolar Gold Fields, and at the same time keeps it alive in the hearts of its erstwhile inhabitants, which still beats for it.

This Book is a small attempt on my part to record for posterity, the story of this once vibrant place and keep it alive in the hearts of its erstwhile inhabitants, which still beats for it. It is a small Legacy that could be passed on to future generations.


Published by:
AUTHOR HOUSE UK LTD
ISBN 9781452044590

Reprinted at MATHA PRINTS, Bangalore
Price Rs 260.00 (India only)

Contact Bridget White-Kumar for copies : Ph 9845571254 

Copies also at available at Gangarams Book Bureau, M G Road, Bangalore.
Also available online from Amazon.com, Author House.com and other online Book Stores