Correspondence Part 2

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Correspondence, Part 2

3 July 2006 to 22 July 2006

From:           Terence O’Flynn

Date:            June 8, 2006 as amended July 3, 2006


My dear Corinne and Stephen,


I am attaching some pics from the archives that you may post on the KGP web site if you please .


(Begin Corinne's comments)
largegroup.jpg

Here is the group photo.


largegroupoutline.jpg

Numbered outline head guide for identification:


Identified by Corinne. Note: Our WEBsite is essentially addressed to these and other children their age!

Please help to identify the remainder, and submit similar contemporary group photos for us. These enlargements may help:

 

3 - Patsy Scott                  4 - Pam Stoker                 7 - Mrs Lawrence

8 - Sylvia Roga                11 - Zoe Lawrence          25 - Mrs Stoker (with 26 - Elizabeth Stoker)

27 - Althea Crampton      28 - Corinne Crampton    29 - Adrianne “Tiddley” Stoker

32 - Jimmy Mayberry      33 - Janet Scott                38 - Noel Minos (4 Nov)

39 - Barbara Seth             42 - Stephen Naug                    43 - Brian Seth                      12 - Joan Seth (4 Nov)


Identified by Dolores née Thorn (See her letter of June 18th below)


15 - Jean Brown (dcd), daughter of Hilda d’Cruz and Andrew Brown.

36 - Donald Thorn: son of Cyril Thorn and Bella Jansen; father of Dolores.

37 - Geoffrey Thorn (dcd), brother of Donald Thorn.



Identified by Donald Thorn.

Please help to identify the remainder, and submit similar contemporary group photos for us.

 

9 - Winnie Fink               13 - Barbara Seth             20 - Noel Minos

21 - Daphne Gasper         42 - Stephen Naug           23 - Mavis (Bobby) Gillmore


Unidentified as at July 3, 2006. That is 19 out of 43, ie 44%. Please help fill the gaps.

 

1 -                                    2 -                                    5 -                                    6 -

10 -                                  14 -                                  16 -                                  17 -

18 -                                  19 -                                  22 -                                  24 -

25 -                                                                         31 -                                  34 -

35 -                                  40 -                                  41 -

vacschool1.jpg


vacschool2.jpg


vacschool3.jpg


vacschoolbaby.jpg

(Exit Corinne's comment and return to Terence's text)

The group picture comes with a caption "Vacation school Kharagpur 1941" I do not have any further info or recognize anyone other than the elderly lady on the right who is my grandmother, I hope someone may recognize a face and know what the occasion was.


The other pics are of the damage caused by the cyclone that passed through KGP in late October 1942.


Here are the photos of cyclone damage.

Courtesy of Terence O'Flynn cyclone2.jpg

Courtesy of Terence O'Flynn cyclone1.jpg

Courtesy of Corinnecyclone2.jpg

Courtesy of Corinnecyclone1.jpg


The house is no.408 where the O'Flynn, Crampton and Brewster families once lived.


housedamaged.jpg

 


Warm regards,


Terence




From:           Clare Gordon née Johnstone              E-mail address available.. We recommend you use the CLICK HERE switch to request it.

Date:            July 2, 2006


Hi, Corinne & Stephen:


Your Website is sure keeping us up to date concerning life in Kharagpur till the end of 1950. Thanks for sharing your news with all of us.


Lambe David and his brother Stanley were close friends with my Dad, Ernest Johnstone. Both used to visit us at 345 Third Avenue.


Maybe the list of the following names will bring some of the readers of this Website towards the East side of Kharagpur.


          ANDREWS, Olive & Margaret there were two brothers.

          CARTER, Edward, Duncan, Leonard, Reg & Kathrine

          CALAHAN, Shelia (married an Evans)

          EVANS, Rex

          GAUDOIN, Darell & Inez

          HALL, Les & Nora

          HALL, Gene & Val

          HELDT, Carl, Mavis, (daughter June) Inez, Derek etc

          HOUGHTON, Dorothy

          LENNON, Dick & Olive (Peters)

          MARTIN, Mike & Buddy (Defholts)

          MEADE, Fay & brother Richard (Parents: Malcolm & Isabel)

                    Malcolm used to play in the Canteen Kats Band

          MEISELBACH, Vyvyan (married a Gaudoin)

          SEDDON, Jeanette (AKA: Maureen)

          SYMONS, ROY

          WHITAKER, George

          WOODHOUSE, Douglas


God bless, love


Clare





Mentioned in Dispatches - 245 Names (up to 2 July 2006)

 

Margaret Andrews                         Olive Andrews                            Joan Ashe (née)

Norma Ashe (née)                         Phyllis Ashe                                Rona Ashe (née)

Sam Ashe                                       Denzil Baker                               Matron-Alvina Baker

Noel Baker                                     Terence Baker                             Frank Balchandami

Frank Bannister                             Ronnie Baptist                            Dorothy Baptiste (née)

Douglas Barret                               Corinne Baxter                            Maureen Bouncer (née)

Cynthia Bourne                              David Bourne                              Freddy Bourne

Johnny Bourne                               Noella Bourne                             Hazel Brendish née Green

Barry Brewster                              Brenda Brewster (née)                Freda Brewster (née)

Gillian Brewster (née)                   Louisa Brewster                          Una Brewster

Andrew Brown                              Jean Brown                                 Lewin Brown

Lewin Brown                                 Cleone Browne (née)                  Peter Butler

Renée Butler (née)                         Philip Carroll                              Duncan Carter

Edward Carter                              Kathrine Carter                          Leonard Carter

Reg Carter                                    Leslie Castel Nuovo                    Miss Caster (Miss Netto's niece)

Rev.Derrick Catley                        Rolly Chapman                           Sonna Chapman

Gloria Clement                              Owen Clement                            Horace Corks

Kathleen Corks                              Vernon Corks                              Althea Crampton (née)

Corinne Crampton (née)                Ernest Crampton                         Eyleen Crampton

Hope Crampton                             Jill Crampton (née)                     Annie Dandapat (née)

Dr. Dandapat                                 Raja Dandapat                             Ann Davenport (née)

Colin Davenport                            Joan Davenport (née)                  Patrick Davenport

Ann(Sweetie) David                      Lambe David                              Stanley David

Hilda DeCruz                                 Mike Dedombal                          Buddy Defholts

Buddy Defholts née Martin           Kulwant Dogra                            George Dunkelberg

Billy Enright                                  Johnny Enright                            Rex Evans

Shelia Evans née Calahan              Teacher-Miss Fernandez             Winnie Fink

Julian Finnimore                            Keith Finnimore                          Peter Finnimore

Daphne Gasper                              Darell Gaudoin                              Inez Gaudoin,

Vyvyan Gaudoin née Meiselbach    Mavis(Bobby) Gillmore              Mr.(Institute) Goldsworthy

Clare Gordon (née) Johnstone       Eric Gordon                                Owen Graham

Alan Green                                    Barbara Green (née)                    Boysie Green

Derek Green                                  Eyleen Green (née)                     George Green

Gerry Green                                   Gloria Green (née)                      Joan Green

Michael Green                               Millie Green (née)                       Sheila Green

William Green                               Gene Hall                                    Les Hall

Nora Hall                                       Val Hall                                       Charles Harbin

Jimmy Harbin                                Joyce Harbin (née)                      Rankin Harbin

Rona Hatherall                               Daphne Heldt (née)                     Carl Heldt

Derek Heldt                                  Inez Heldt                                  June Heldt

Mavis Heldt                                 Dorothy Houghton                      Booboo Howe

Bunny Hustin                                 Peter Ince(Rev)                           Alwyn James

Norma James (née)                        Dunnie Jansen                             Derek Johnson

Ian Johnson                                    Ronny Johnson                            Ernest Johnstone

Freddie Jones                                 Geoff Jordan                               Helen Jordan (née) Meade

Vivian Jordan                                Alwyn Jordon                              Denzil Jordon

Helen Jordon                                 Martin Leake                               Colleen Lee (née)

Dick Lennon                                  Mr Lionel Kidd                           Dolly MacFarlane (née)

Don MacFarlane                            Dorothy MacFarlane (née)          Doug MacFarlane

Sadie MacFarlane (née)                 Mrs. Manley                                Daphne Manuel née Heldt

Denise Manuel                               Dennis Manuel                            Mike Martin

Stanley Martin                               Lulu McFarlane (née)                 LooLoo McGuire

Barbara Meade (née)                     Bill Meade                                  Cyril Meade

Daphne Meade (née)                     Dezil Meade                                Fay Meade (née)

Harold Meade                                Honey Meade                              Kathleen Meade

Leslie Meade                                 Lovey Meade                              Marjorie Meade

Maurice Meade                              Russell Meade                             Terence Meade

Noel Minos                                    Glenn Mitchell                            Keith Mitchell

Bishop-Arabindo Mukherjee         Roy(Hindi) Munchie                   Archie Naug

Bob Naug                                       Butch Naug                                 Cheryl Naug (née)

Duncan Naug                                 Johnnie Naug                              Olive Naug

Patsy Naug (née)                           Peter Naug                                  Rex Naug

Stephen Naug                                Susan Naug                                 Dolores née Thorn

Teacher-Miss Netto                       Colin O'Flynn                              Holly O'Flynn (née)

Terence O'Flynn                            Tony O'Flynn                              Rev.Russel Payne

Olive Peters née Lennon                Teacher-Olive Peters                   Mr. Pharoah

Mr.(Institute) Phillips                    David Pinto                                 Ralph Raymond

Teacher Raymond                          Mr.(Institute) Richards                Osborne Robbie

Brian Rosemeyer                           Mr. Rosemeyer                           Alex Saldanha

Jeanette(Maureen) Seddon             Lionel Sellars                              Rajib Sen

Barbara Seth                                  Anne Shea                                   David Shea

Roxy Shea                                     Terrence Shea                             Bain Singh

George(Podgy) St.Clair-Paul         Adrienne(Tiddley) Stoker           Elizabeth Stoker

Rita Strong (née)                           Mrs Sweeney (Music teacher)    Roy Symons

Family Texiera                              Cyril Thorn                                 Donald Thorn

Geoffrey Thorn                              Isabel(Bella) Thorn née Jansen   Trevor Tucker

Gwen Upshon                                John Upshon                               Paul Upshon

Peter Upshon                                 George Whitaker                         Bobo Williams

Diana(Tootoo) Williams                Maureen(Bouncer) Williams      Sunbun Williams

Winnifred(Mamaji) Williams        Douglas Woodhouse                   George Woodhouse

Lena Woodhouse                           Norma Woodhouse                     Gordon Wright

Randolph Wright                            Lou Xavier




REMINDER FROM CORINNE


At this juncture we have registered a community of some 250 names. Amazing! A veritable village of ghosts inhabiting a Kharagpur-of-our-memories in the 1940s and 1950s that we had the privilege to know personally!


Stories and anecdotes surrounding these lively, courageous people of yesteryear, whom we have named, must abound and reside somewhere in the memories of our readers – and there is so little time left to preserve them. So let's share and preserve them by resurrecting them here, even if we have to dig deeply into our memories to retrieve them while there is time.


We tend to forget that, for our parents in Kharagpur – in the late 1940s and early 1950s – the times were very turbulent and worrying.


We, the readers of this WEBpage were then only children, unknowing of the then-unfolding new politics, but excited mainly at the prospect of a once-in-a-lifetime cruise aboard a ship to the Homeland, or to elsewhere in the then expansive British Empire. Our elders always spoke of Homeland in glowing terms from afar, and many were shocked at the reality facing them upon their repatriation.


The riots, hunger marches, demonstrations of “Indian-ness,” and other crises that were going on around us, together with concerns for our female progeny that we never seem to acknowledge, were endemic.


Challenge by Corinne to our Readers


So please, when you have a moment to reflect, and perhaps have your memories jogged by what you read and see here, jot them down to share with us the events and attitudes of this long-lost era. And do keep those old photos coming - they are pure gold!


Perhaps that “CLICK here...” switch of mine in this WEBpage could be considered as somewhat limiting. It is fine for providing a first contact to us, but among other things, it can leave you with no copy of what you have sent to me. It certainly is limiting if you have some photos to send me.


If this is true for you, please send me an note using the CLICK HERE... switch.


Corinne


From: Clare Gordon née Johnstone  E-mail address available.. We recommend

                                                      you use the CLICK HERE switch to request it

Wednesday 5, July 2006



Look what I came across Corinne & Stephen:


The group photo taken at no other place but the Band Stand in the Institute on 25, December 1948. Three months before Eric and I got married.


bandstandeditedlargewebview.jpg

From left to right are: Jeanette (Seddon), Blossom (my sister), Fay (Meade), and my Eric (Gordon).



This photo was taken at Shirley Seddon's (Jeanette's cousin) house 6th Avenue, Kharagpur 1947. Standing are:

5girls.jpg

Cynthia (Woodward..my cousin) Clare, Fay (Meade)


Sitting: Blossom (my sister) and Jeanette (Seddon).


And, my favourite photo of our beloved servants...the Methrani is missing in the photo.

servants.jpg

Barbara was so helpful in scanning these three photos for me. Hope they bring you a smile or two.

God bless, love ,


Clare





 

From:           Brenda Naser née Brewster      E-mail address available. We recommend you use the CLICK HERE switch to request it.


Wednesday 5, July 2006


Hi Corrine and Stephen


Am enjoying your website immensely!


A couple of names from Clare Johnstone's list are familar....


a.. Olive Andrews was in Perth in 1995 when I first got there; Irene (Paul) Tobin was going to arrange a get together, but it never happened.


b.. Carl Heldt (brother of Daphne Manuel) is in Mississauga, Ontario;


c.. Mavis (Heldt) Glewis, was a nurse in the South Block. She was in Perth, but I believe she has now passed on.


d.. My cousins, Vernon and Dorothy Corks, knew Les Hall very well; I believe he was instrumental in organizing the first A-I reunion in the U.K. in 1989. The names Carl Tapsil and Dick Carr (in Terence's submission) are very familiar. Although I have no memory of the people themselves, I remember Mum and Dad talking about them. Dick Carr was married to one of the Brinkhurst girls (either Baby or Girlie !) - a cousin of Dad's. They (the Brinkhursts) went to Melbourne about 1950, and we totally lost track of them.


You mention Bill Hill. I remember there were two Hill brothers, one was Mooloo. The son of one of them was Kevin; he was in school in Victoria, Kurseong in the early 50s.


Desiree Hoare's name is very familiar - she may even be one of the little girls in the picture of Gillian's second birthday. Also Priscilla Carrol. Mum used to talk about them.


I hate to be picky, but a couple of corrections in the Dispatches segment.... (I'm sure it's not easy for Stephen dealing with all these names, and nicknames, that are not at all familiar to him.)


a.. Maureen Bouncer (nee) is the same as Maureen (Bouncer) Williams;


b.. Dolly MacFarlane was a spinster;


c.. Lulu McFarlane - my sister Gillian's memory was playing tricks on her - the person she was thinking about was LooLoo McGuire;


And, lastly, it was amusing to see the word 'shifted' .... I had forgotten that we used to 'shift' from one house to the other, rather than just 'move'. When I first came to Canada I used the word 'leave' instead of 'holiday' and was asked if I came from a military family.


Enough for now, Kindest regards,


Brenda




From:          Terence O'Flynn            E-mail address available. We recommend you use the CLICK HERE switch to request it


Wednesday 5, July 2006


Hi Corinne and Stephen,


You are quite right Philip has two sisters: Marlene and the younger Priscilla. Both reside in Sydney.


Marlene is about your age, and Priscilla is about 5 yrs younger. Coincidently I was talking to Priscilla today and she remembers Gillian, Brenda and Freda Brewster, and has a couple of great photos of herself and Gillian, and also of the three sisters . (I suspect she may be one of the faces in Gillian's birthday photos ). [The Brewsters should be able to confirm this. Corinne]


I have sent an email to Gillian giving Priscilla's email address. Brother Colin (who knows all!) agrees "it was the Hoares" who were caretakers of the Apprentices' Home, and he asks, "Do you remember the Hartleys - 5 girls and a boy?"


The Bourne family: they moved into the Police Inspector's bungalow after the Smiths. Johnny Bourne paid my mother a visit in Sydney a number of years ago. Colin also recalls a Colleen who lived near the Apprentices' Home and was a favourite with the boys because of her great beauty!!


terence1949.jpg


I am attaching a photo of myself taken in 1949 cropped from the college hockey team. So now you can see the "boy behind the beard, " but not to be published on your WEBpage. [Sorry, Terence, but you were far too handsome to be relegated to File 13. Besides, this is how you are remembered by us all. Corinne]


You may agree I have changed little ! ... I hear my wife laughing hysterically ... she can be so cruel!


Warm regards,


Terence



Notice Regarding Security Precautions


To save our readers from unwanted attention from the various unsavoury tricksters, scam crooks, and vendors of pornography always to be found lurking on the InterNet, we have decided to implement a simple security precaution on your behalf.


Often you'd like us to include with your replies published in our WEBpage your e-mail address so that readers can make contact with you directly. This could be dangerous because it might be found by spammers. Spammers have robots that cruise the web looking for 'mailto' and text that looks like an e-mail address. They then add those addresses to their marketing lists, resulting in lots of unwanted 'spam' e-mail to your mailbox, or worse.


The "CLICK HERE..." switch can be used to get around this problem safely. When you see a posting in which you might be interested in contacting the author directly, use it to tell us so. We will then forward your e-mail address, that can be safely included in your related comment, to the author. Meanwhile we will remove from our WEBpage all references to e-mail addresses.


We do hope you will approve of this measure. May it also provide an additional incentive for you to communicate with us while knowing that your e-mail address is being securely safeguarded.


Corinne




Anecdotes from a Miscellany of

Messages between Corinne and Clare Gordon née Johnstone


Hello Claire, (3 May)

Counting Sheep

Stephen and I are having such fun from your letters and those of other KGP folk who seem so excited about getting in touch after all these years. Isn't this "alumni lark" amazing! Somehow or other all the old school have stuck together through our vivid memories of our very colorful youth and unique experiences. I am thrilled at the way it all began.

I have got into a "counting sheep" habit, when sleepless (and I've had a few of those nights of late.) But instead of counting sheep, I recall names of KGP folk; where they lived; who our neighbours were; their entire family; the lay-out of KGP, and so on!

It works! It's a wonderful way of inducing sleep and, at the same time, keeping the "memory banks" alive. So, on this premise, I asked my husband, Stephen, to search the WEB for anything on KGP with the idea of getting things down on paper before my memory finally folds up with old age! Hence the beginning in early May 2006 of this exciting new chapter that is our WEBpage. As a result, names and memories are rolling in, new friendships are developing, and old ones are being re-established.

Corinne

 


 

 

Dear Clare, (9 May)

Gossip

We have been reading all incoming mail with interest and excitement, though sometimes it gets ahead of us.

You really do write beautifully. You should take this up and put all your memoirs in novel form.

I picked up a book at a book sale recently called "The Raj." It was all about Calcutta. I am just completing it, and when I have finished it I will send it to you, as I am told it is out of print.

So sorry to hear about Miss Morgan ("Bubbles") who was engaged to my cousin Terence Meade at one time. I do not know what happened between them, but I heard it was "off" which saddened me very much since Bubbles was a regular visitor to our home. She was as fond of my mother as my mother was of her, and she truly lived up to her nick-name!

Olive Peters was the classroom teacher for the 2nd Standard. She was never my teacher, but we knew her, of course, because she was so active on the games field.

The name Lennon rang a bell, and then I recalled the context. On our way to UK (via S.S Mooltan), we had a family on board by the name of Lennon that included two charming girls. But they were restrained by an ultra-strict father who made their lives a misery. The poor things had no fun during the entire voyage since he controlled them so ferociously.

[Ha! Not so restrained as to preventing you so obviously from having your own "fun," to which your on-board picture "Leaving India" attests, I am sure! Stephen]

My parents were strict, [But not, as I attest from personal experience, so very strict as to prevent some flirting. Stephen] but nothing like that! Could this be the same family Olive is married to? I shall certainly write to her, though she may not remember me at all.

I am searching out pictures of me at the age of 14, or thereabouts, and shall send you copies, and perhaps of another as I am now - with my dashing RAF Officer, Peter Stephen Baxter. I'd love to have some from you with Eric Gordon.

'Bye for now, Dear Clare, I shall write again tomorrow.

Many kind thoughts,

Corinne.

 


 

 

Hello Clare, (12 May)

Various

Your snail-mailed photos of Kharagpur-as-it-is now have finally arrived. They have been so beautifully captioned, Clare. Well-done! I can now place them all in my mind and try to imagine how things might have been in the 1950s.

I want to make up a map of the place as I remember it. Is there such a thing as a Street Map of Kharagpur-as-it-was? [I hereby ask our readers to send us such a map. Corinne] Could you help me? It may then be scanned and put on the WEBpage for anybody else to add to it.

What a shock to see your photo of today's dear old Institute, the scene of so many happy events, declining to such a terribly neglected state.

Remember Mr. Richards who ran the place, and Mr. Goldsworthy. And then there was a Mr. Phillips who collected the tickets at the door leading to the movies (the "Pictures").

I used to collect the posters which were displayed on the West verandah - Mr. Richards kept them for me after each showing - all rolled up so neatly, and would say "Here, little "Ginger-Pop," (how I hated that name!) "this is for your collection. Your Daddy tells me you love collecting things!"

So, I had a huge box filled with all the posters, going back for years, which my mother decided to throw out when we were packing to move to UK. What would they be worth today?

Talking about collecting things, I had a most wonderful surprise when my old music teacher from McGill University (where I took my Pedagogy exams) recently moved into a Senior's Residence in Westmount, Montreal.

Unloading her "stuff", as she termed it, she came across a package which she delivered to me as "a surprise for you, Corinne.." It turned out to be bound copies of "The Times of India" and "The Illustrated Weekly" magazines circa 1935 - 1945. A surprise, indeed! All the old advertisements brought back memories, not to mention the articles and illustrations.

I am now wading through them with great interest. She could not have given me anything more precious apart from her thoughtfulness. Who wants scanned extracts of them? Just ask us using the "CLICK HERE..." switch in the Home Page..

The Meades are my cousins. Harold Meade was my mother's cousin, and I was bridesmaid (flower girl) at Daphne's wedding to Don. Daphne was flower-girl at my parents' wedding. Barbara and Fay used to go to dances with Althea. I hear that Russell died. I know that they are in Kalamazoo, but do not know their address. Do you?

You look absolutely gorgeous in the photos. Stunning !. Eric must have been so proud of you, as must be your boys today. More photos, please, Clare, when you have a moment. I will look out some of us and send them ASAP.

I am almost afraid to go back to Kharagpur in case my memories are dashed. I know that it is their country now, but it dose not alter the fact that everything as we knew it is ruined, and worse, that they take great pleasure in destroying anything that smacks of the RAJ. Is it a wilful demonstration, or just bad management? Whatever, how awful to see all the lovely gardens destroyed, saris hanging on the balustrades to dry, no care of the roads and on and on....

I shall write again, Dear Clare, though we have never met outside of Kharagpur.

We are just going to sit down to an early supper before heading off to a Mozart concert in downtown Ottawa. We are greatly blessed here in the coldest Winter capital in the World with the Arts. We are tonight treating my son, Nicholas (our #2) and his son, Christopher (his #1, 12yrs-old), tonight, so I had better get dinner out of the way and get dressed!

Thank you once again for the lovely thought, Clare, it means so much to us...

Love from,

Corinne

PS.    Stephen says that it would be wonderful if you and your contemporaries had some old photos of Kharagpur taken during the '40s and '50s, or thereabouts. Then at your PC workshop, that you mentioned, you could get them scanned on to a CD which you could send him for publication on the WEBsite. Of course, commentaries and anecdotes on those photos would be most important, and could be added as a textfiles with the CD. Is that possible?

He is meanwhile asking the others named on the WEBsite to do the same. He says that while your photos received today are gripping, he is afraid that to publish them, willy-ninny, may do the opposite of what is intended of the WEBsite, ie, to enhance memories, not to destroy them. He gathered that from my cries of "What a Shame" at the ramshackle state of things today. The same goes, I suppose, with contemporary shots of the people. Do they really want to see what we look like today, or would they rather have us enhance the images of their memories? I think the latter is true

 


 

 

Hello Claire, (20 May)

Dating in the 1950s

The photos you sent are going to be of tremendous interest to a lot of people, so when I have a moment next week, I shall start sifting through and "posting" some of them on our WEBpage for all to appreciate your input.

You mention Bunty Brown. I had a few dates with her brother Gary Brown, when I was in my early teens. I was very fond of their mother, Billie Brown, whose husband - Bunty Brown's father - drowned at a picnic in Mahawnpur - a terrible tragedy. She eventually married Horace Taylor and went to Australia. But for years she was a neighbour of my parents in North London, and a regular visitor to our home.

I seem to recall that Booboo Howe's name was Walter, but he is still known as the old familiar "Booboo!!"

Love, and many thoughts -

Corinne.

 


 

 

Clare dear, (June 2)

Teachers Remembered

Congratulations to your son Howie on his most recent academic accomplishments, you are justifiably proud of him. I wish that I could sit in on his tutorials.

Shakespeare defeated me until my last two years at school in London. I was lucky enough to have a most wonderful Literature and History teacher. She had been an actress and joined our school staff on a cyclical basis - in between plays - and she brought her characters and events so much to life that I became so immersed in both subjects I couldn't read enough about them. We did Hamlet, A Midsummer's Night Dream, Macbeth and Henry V all in one year, although we were only required to do one a year, but such was our avarice to learn! History, too, came alive for me, and she would go the extra mile in taking us to the theatre - The National, or The Old Vic - London's best - and give us a "run through" on the main plot and characterization before we embarked on the adventure, and what an adventure! And what a change from dear old Eardley Pharoah laboriously taking us through R.L. Stevenson and Mr. Rosemere struggling through "The Counter Reformation in the Tudor Period."

My recollections of the Teaching Staff at KGP are as clear as ever, but I can't quite remember who taught where. The ones I do recall are:-

Kindergarten - Miss Moore - a most wonderful teacher, with such advanced methods, and a "Hoot" with her Baboo impersonations - especially "The Charge of the Light Brigade" (Cunnon to the right of them, cunnon to the left, cunnon to the front and even cunnon in the backside...."). Lionel Kidd nearly fell off his chair laughing at the performance given at my 13th birthday party as she regaled us with anecdote after anecdote!!

Miss Stone was the other Kindergarten teacher. "Bubbles" Morgan took the 1st STD. Then, I think, Olive Peters. Miss Jansen (Dunny's sister), Fred Jones, Bernie Goodwin (tiny feet, I always thought, with a "ten-to-two" walk - he kept tripping over his own feet), Miss Castor (tiny little thing, who always wore platform heels almost as big as herself!); of course, Miss Netto and Miss Fernandez (along with her bloomers); Mr. Roy (the Hindi Munchi with his lob-sided walk and his utter contempt of the RAJ).

There were so many others but you'll have to help me out here. Oh yes, I forgot Mrs. Sweeney with her two daughters, Sylvia was one of them, I forget the other girl's name, but could see her in my memory). Mrs. Sweeney was very musical and played the piano well. She also produced some of the plays - "HMS Pinafore" was the last one in which Pam Meade played Buttercup, and Noel Wainwright, Captain. We finished the evening's performance with some Hawaiian farce in which we all sang and swayed to a Hula-Hula and loved oogling the boys as we did so. A whole swarm of dates followed - to do what?! Go to the "Pictures" and hold hands!!! What an innocent world it was then!

Thinking about all our school friends and class-mates, you would probably not remember my own group, but I'll name the ones who come to mind anyway, and you may remember an older sibling?

The most clear are, Jackie Boland, Halycon Ross. Mona Massek. Carmen Hall, Colleen Pope, Douglas Barraclough, Carlyle Edwards, Ronnie Seaman, _ Stanley, Eddo Keith, Randolph Wright [Who was our first contact at the outset of this WEBpage in May. Corinne], Billy Enright, and here, I fade out.....

We had Prep. from noon to 1PM, after which we all fled to the gate where the "Chunna walli" had ensconced herself with her wares which included sesame-seed "ladhus" and some sticky toffee which was as hard as rock, and upon which I broke a tooth!

For my pains I was taken to the only dentist in town, a Dr. Singh - who had only one workable eye, the other was glass, and while he worked I was fascinated by the light shining THROUGH the eye! After all the agony of the removal of the offending tooth - all without anaesthetic! - I was taken home by my father on his cross-bar, and assured me that I would have a good night's sleep that night.

Did I, indeed! It ached like mad until we realized our one-eyed friend had removed the wrong tooth! After all that it was no difficulty to obey my mother and not buy the Chunna-wallis wares again! We never wondered if she had washed her hands before preparing all her sumptious fare, did we!

Well, Clare dear, please help by filling in the blank spots - you have such an amazing memory - and I love reading your letters, and so does Stephen. So keep on...

Many kind thoughts and love -

Corinne

 


 

 

Hello Clare, (2 Jul)

Hardware and Carl Heldt

I am quite certain you must have given up on me...I was so sorry to have missed your 'phone call last week. I must have been walking Rafe, our little Corgi doggie. [That's the kind that is half-a-dog-high but twice-a-dog-long, so beloved of Her Majesty, the Queen (but much better behaved: our Corgy - that is). Stephen]

You must have seen Terence O'Flynn's note to us informing us of making contact with "Sweetie" David through our WEBsite. Isn't it exciting! I was floating "on air" when we received his message. Then, Donald Thorn's communication telling us he was about to telephone you. You had been in class together.

We are so happy to hear that people are "shaking hands" again, after all these years. More and more photos are appearing, and again, I have to say that we are filing them in subject headings, and that they will appear in due course.

[Subject Order? For crying out loud! My place as publisher, regardless of what I may hear, (but thank-you, Clare for your championship) is as though I were an observer at a Bridge tournament listening to all the gossip. It's all over the place; no order at all, but every one knows what's going on, regardless. And that's the way I have to organise this? Give me a break! Stephen]

We are both keeping well, in response to your kind enquiry, Clare dear. I am glad to say that I have finished teaching piano for the Summer, and just as well, as I was due to have surgery to one of my fingers. This was done on June 28, the day after my last student did her exam, and so it was all well-timed. I am thoroughly "bandaged" at the moment, and relatively free of pain, thanks to modern medication, but it will be a bit awkward for a few weeks. [Now, dear Readers, I shall have to do all of her profuse typing for her. "C'est la vie" of a dedicated husband. Stephen] We enjoy receiving your colourful life and the letters, so keep them coming,

Have you treated yourself to the new Printer-Scanner-Fax which you felt you wanted? [Stephen was particularly concerned at your idea of its including a fax capability that has become virtually obsolete. I suppose he is fearful of you sending him faxes that he could not read! Corinne]

In your June 14th letter you mentioned several names, all of whom I recognized. Did you mean "Sylvia" Greenwood. You mentioned "Silver" (is it a typo or a different Greenwood?) There was a Greenwood family who attended the Baptist Church. Mrs. Greenwood taught Piano, and played at the Church. She had two daughters, as I recall, one of whom was Sylvia, and I think the other was Maureen. I might be wrong, I was so young...

Also, I was very interested in the host of other names you Mentioned...

[Message to Carl Heldt: I am eager to hear all about the long-admired "Kanteen Kats..." Note the alliteration that is so appealing today; or was it really "Canteen Cats?" We all want to know who the other performers were? And what became of them? What instruments did you use? Who did the arrangements? Where did you manage to purchase the music - it was war-time after all? Who was your leader?

You can see, Carl, we all need your input to our WEBpage! So, do let's hear from you and your lovely wife, Kate. Yes, I've seen your photo, both of you!! Corinne)]

..And that goes for all the other "Silent Observers" who are reading this but are so reticent about making a contribution of their own memories.

I am doing the writing, [Note: not the typing that he is doing just now! Stephen] and my darling Stephen is working the "postings" to the web, and the photo-scanning and together we work on the layout. Thank you for all your encouragement: it means a great deal to us.

How sad to hear of the passing of so many old friends and former neighbours. It makes us all realize how vulnerable we all are, and how "prepared" we have to be in order to meet our Lord. "Life is but a vapour that disppeareth in the morning.." Having come so close to it twice in the last two years with my own husband's sudden heart-attacks, and my younger sister's sudden death, I am so very aware of our human frail condition.

Many thoughts go out to you,

Love and blessings,

Corinne and Stephen.

 


 

 

From:          Clare Gordon née Johnstone

Date:           Monday 3, July 2006



Hi Corinne & Stephen:


Thanks, Corinne, for your phone call that has made my day. Thanks for inviting me to join you on your visit to Kharagpur today. It has left me lighter and happier, a nice way to begin a new week.


I spoke with Barbara (my daughter in law) in regards to the book by Stanley Edward Brush..."Farewell the Winterline." You are going to love the book AND it has a photo of the church WITH that STEEPLE which you mentioned in your Website photo - the missing steeple. Below this photo of the church (page 8) is a smaller photo of the house beside the church, they lived in, it was in this house Stanley Brush was born.


Reading this book will take you back on a journey of beloved Kharagpur through the eyes of Stanley Brush. He mentions Puri in the book which I thought was so interesting. I refer to Puri as a miniature Oahu, Hawaii.


There is also a photo of Lewin and Irene Brown (page 37) taken when Mr Brush visited them in London, England 1966. On the opposite page is an addressed envelope to Mr Brush from Lewin. On the right hand lower corner of the envelope is Lewin Brown's signature profile (a good likeness) to match George V1's profile on the stamps. (per Mr. Brush). A shame Mr Brush did not complete his book with a map of KGP of that era. You are going to enjoy this book that mentions so many names which will open those closed windows of days in KGP for you.


Thanks once again for the phone call and thanks to you Stephen for alllllllll the work you have done to make soooooo many of us ex-KGP people happy. I am going to brag here, I am "THE" most happiest person for the Website. Thanks heartful (if there is such a word).


God bless, love


Clare



 

 

From:          Corinne

Date:           July 5


Dear Clare,


Just a quickie to let you know that the snaps of you, Eric and your sisters were received and are so clear and just lovely - you all look so happy. Would you believe it, I even recognized Cynthia and your sister Blossom, and Fay Meade, Malcolm's daughter. Eric looked so happy and friendly, but then, you were about to be married!


The background of the Bandstand was clear. The Seddon family had a big doll's house in their garden, (is this the same family?). Now, if it is, then "Chickie" Seddon's aunt, Dorothy Carroll, was my mother's best friend, and had been from their schooldays to the end of their lives - very touching. Friendships meant so much more then, than they seem to these days, with all the movement in our crowded lives.


Had a very welcome call from Donald Thorn yesterday afternoon. What an amazing memory he has. I thought I had a good memory, but he beats all!


Take care - have a good day, as they say in this country - and all love-


Corinne




 

From:          Clare Gordon née Johnstone

Date:           Thursday 6, July 2006


Dear Corinne and Stephen:


Thanks for your prompt reply.


Chickie Seddon was married to Berty Seddon (6th Avenue) and are the parents to Shirley and Nevile (sp).


Leslie and Nora Seddon (347 Third Avenue) were Jeanette Seddon's parents. There were three children to this family; Jeanette, Keith and Dudley.


The only person whom I recall having a doll house in their yard was Margaret Stanley. The Stanleys lived on Second Avenue close to the Head Master's house on the same side of Second Avenue.


We were a truly happy group and always hung around with each other. I am still in touch with Fay. After Jeanette's divorce she stopped writing me, a great shame as she was truly my best and closest friend and our neighbour for years.


I don't hear from Cynthia. Her dad Ted Woodward was my Mum's cousin and worked for the Control Office, opposite All Saints Church on Third Avenue.


Yes, Eric was a very happy person. I have to say Howard our son has taken after him, though Howard thinks he is more like his Mummy.


I can't believe those photos are so old 1947 and 1948 (59 years old). These same photos in the album are losing their colour, very poor processing. Had them developed at Pujar's (sp) his shop in the KGP market.


[Whatever you do, dear Readers, do not give up on those old photos. They may seem to be past it, but it is amazing what digital processing can do in restoring them. Most of the old pictures you see here were in deplorable condition, but see how much detail and colour they have yielded! It is highly likely that yours could be similarly restored, however faded they may seem to be. If you would like to trust me with them via snail-mail, I'll process them for you and send them back with updated copies. Just use the "CLICK HERE..." switch in the Home Page to get our address. Stephen]


Take care. God bless.


Love Clare



From:          Clare Johnstone née Johnstone

Date:           Thursday 6, July 2006



Dear Corinne and Stephen,


Now how should I start this e-mail to our happily married couple, Corinne & Stephen who have re-opened that shut door to our Raj days, where most of us had lost that key.


Truly, I for one, cannot find words to express how I truly feel here Corinne & Stephen.


All we have to do is to switch on our computers, click on to your Web site, and we are taken one half century back in time, to Kharagpur Land, reliving our happy memories through your Web site, of days gone by. Thanks, thanks and many thanks Corinne & Stephen.


Stephen, new to these Raj folks names, hats off to you for your Input here. I vote to keep you on as our Number One IT man and thank you for your time given here for us Raj folks.


Re-reading Brenda Brewster's 5, July 2006 e-mail to you Corinne she mentions a few names on which I can shed some light.


Olive (Andrews) Cachard (widow) lives in Kewdale, Perth, Australia. She is not doing too well. I have her mailing address.


Carl and Randolph Heldt are the only Heldts alive. Carl and Kate live in Canada. I have their mailing address.


Randolph and his family live in Australia.


Les Hall (deceased) and his wife live in Perth, Australia. I met them at the 1995 AI Reunion in Perth, Australia. They invited me to their home for dinner. I have the mailing address.


I received a couple of e-mails from Vivian Jordon. We don't know each other, if it were not for your Web site, beside he is of a much younger generation. However, he does know a few of my friends, like Olive (Peters) Lennon and Bunty Vanjour living in rentals in the Jhapatapur, Hilji or Jholi areas, where most all Anglo Indians are now living. Every Officer's quarters are occupied by Indian employees of the Railway.


Vivian has promised he will visit with Olive, Dick, Megan and Bunty to give them my love, and to take as many photos of the haunts of KGP.


I just love the photo of my beloved servants. How I wish the Methrani was in that photo. We were waiting for her to bring the cleaned Top Hats for this photo. Guess she got caught up with her friends at the Black & White house.


The young girl you see in that photo is Agnis (sp), our neighbour's cook's daughter. She was an Indian Christian, and followed me around like a leach. When she would see me coming home she would start calling out to me, "Miss Clay Miss Clay". The young boy in that photo was the Mali's son named Chimma. When Eric Gordon and I went back to KGP in 1989, I asked after him and was told he died, he fell into a fire and that was it for him. Chimma used to hang on to my youngest brother Stanley Johnstone. My Dad used to refer to them as "Robinson Caruso and Friday"


Take care of each other, have a restful happy weekend.


God bless, love Clare

 



 

From:          Derrick Hogermeer (Forwarded by Michael Green)

Date:           July 6, 2006



Dear Corinne and Stephen,


(I received this from Derrick Hogermeer this morning. Michael)


I am REALLY devastated that Corinne has no recollection of me!


Honestly...... I am not surprised... because I usually try to blend into the background. Corinne on the other hand had this flaming red hair which hung down her back and could not be missed. I am also a Catholic and most of the folk made friends either in school or through the church.


The last memory I have of Corinne was standing next to Wendy Burns and her just outside the door of Miss Fernandes's lounge where Althea was playing her exam pieces to a few relatives and friends. This was usually done before an exam so that one could get used to playing in front of people! Althea was stunning! I cannot remember what she played. Corinne and Wendy were about the same standard in music as me at the time around 1948/49? Althea was playing 'Grade 8' or 'Higher Local' stuff. I think they did the Trinity College of London exams and had to go to Calcutter. I did my exams at the Royal College of Music in London.


Yes! Colleen Lee and Althea were friends. Colleen has two sisters, Joan Lee and Margaret Lee. Their Mum is my Aunt Edna. They did live opposite the Apprentices' Home and Colleen knew she was beautiful. This was obvious every time she cycled past the Apprentices' Home in her shorts! The poor lads would all be whistling and shouting and offering proposals of marriage and other interesting things which she heard but pretended to ignore! Aunt Edna died last year. She was 95 years old.


Bert Hogermeer looked after them after Edna and her husband separated. Mr. Lee went to live in Chittagong and work for the Jute Mills. Aunt Edna and Joan and Margaret are in Adelaide South Australia. Colleen is in Cheam, Surrey and is actively involved with her local parish church. They are Church of England.


I can give you Colleen's address. She does not seem to be interested in keeping up with relatives but may be interested in her old friends from KGP.


Keep smiling too and give my love to Corinne, Althea and anyone else who may be from KGP.


Derrick



Notice from Stephen to our Readers about Pictures


As you can see from my rendering of readers' photos throughout our WEBpage, I do a lot of digital processing to get the best possible resolution, from the images sent to us, of identifiable features such as the all-important facial characteristics.


From most of those images of old, faded and abused, tiny prints of yesteryear that would normally be considered as "lost causes,” I have extracted, through the magic of digital photography, some remarkable results for our WEBpage. So, please, do not give up on them.


But your pictures of 250 kBytes each, or less, give me very little to work with, and limit what I can do to eliminate imperfections such as cracks, spots and folds. I really need at least twice that resolution; more if possible up to, say, 1 MB per picture transmitted to me in separate e-mails.


Those who have already sent me pictures that can be improved by finer scanning are encouraged to re-send them at their highest resolution up to 1 MB per picture by separate e-mail, and I will upgrade our presentation of them accordingly in our WEBpage.


If your equipment cannot do better, perhaps a trip to a specialist computer store near you to test the best of their scanners would be fruitful in getting better blown-up black&white prints of those old photos (colour, too, if available) that your present scanner could then work on for us anew.


Alternatively, your being an even more demanding - though entirely reasonable - prospective customer, you could ask them to upload their best results directly to me at kgpdiasp.fq9z@ncf.ca to complete the so-called "test."


Its amazing how much detail can be retrieved from old, faded and abused prints properly scanned by the best of scanners on the market. Of course, I should be glad to transmit back to you, at higher resolution than the WEBpage presents, the best of anything I can make of them.


The most professional of vendors here in Ottawa would be only too pleased to rise to such a challenge and try to beat anything I, as an amateur, could do! And in such a cause of ours who, as a professional vendor, could not respond positively to a copy of this part of our WEBpage if that is the route you decide to pursue.


Your devoted, captive and ever-willing WEBpage publisher,


Stephen Baxter




 

From:        Derrick Hogermeer

Date:        July 10, 2006


Dear Corinne,


I have this 1947 picture in my old snap albumn and thought you may recognise some of the faces in it.


sundayschoolaedited.jpg


First Row of 9: Colin O'Flynn, Harold Mee, (NotKnown), George Major, George Pascal, (NotKnown), Neville Deranjo, John Enright, George (or Gerald) Mee
Second Row of 9: Ronnie Thaddeus, Joanna Stuart, Yvonne Manuel, Anne Mail, Jean Manuel, Dora Ince, Leo Haudin, Colleen Manuel, Billy Enright,
Mrs. Reddon in the middle.


I have a couple of more KGP photos to send you IF you don't mind.


I remember being trained to serve at Mass with Colin O'Flynn and struggling with the Latin words. I think it was Father Richie who was the parish priest who was training us. Christine Naug sang in the Sacred Heart Church Choir and the Stuart sisters, Carmen and Joanna, and the Ince sisters Marion and Dora, were also in the choir. The only prominent bass voice belonged to Mr Palfrey. Mrs Phyllis Stuart (nee Van Haeften) played the organ.


I have really enjoyed visiting your KGP web site. Michael has also informed me that you have a music school. I do not play the piano much but I am still and active member of The London Symphony Chorus. Unfortunately, we have not visited Canada. We are in New York in October and will perform with the LSO, in the Avery Fisher Hall. Bernard Haitink will conduct Beethoven's 9th Symphony. We give two 'a cappella concerts before we fly to Denver for the last one which is The Stabat Mater by Rosinni.


 Please excuse any mistakes because I am not a very good typist!


 Regards


Derrick



From:           Clare Gordon née Johnstone              E-mail address available.. We recommend you use the CLICK HERE switch to request it.


Date:        July 10, 2006



Hi Corinne & Stephen:


A short note to let you both know I have got in touch with two of my friends.


Rev. Reg in Calcutta who goes often into Kharagpur as he is over St. Jude Centre in Jhoil, and my other friends, Linda and Brian Sweeney, who live in Calcutta. Brian is one of the big shots in that area.


These two, I have asked if they could find a map of Kharagpur B/4 1947 for your Website. I even sent them your Website to give them an idea why it would be nice to have this map, a sort of finishing touch to our Past.


Time to run, and fight that awful traffic to Laguna Hills for that doctor's appointment.


God bless. Love ,


Clare 





From:          Clare Gordon née Johnstone

Date:           Monday 10, July 2006


Hi, Corinne and Stephen,


It is that same old enthusiast of your WEBpage, Clare Gordon.


Today I noticed two familiar names from Derrick Hogermeer’s group photo added Monday 10, July 2006. This sure improved my mood. Thanks once again to both of you.


I know both Harold and Gerald Mee. Their father Harold Mee was a very close friend of my dad Ernest Johnstone. They lived at 346 Third Avenue opposite us Johnstones. They moved from that house when their father Harold Mee died whereupon Malcolm and Isabel Meade moved in. Shall I say "Shifted" ?? !!!


Both these brothers Harold and Gerald are in England, as is the only other one of the Mee family; their sister Barbara (widow). Carl and Dick also live in Australia. Their oldest sister and brother are deceased.


I am tossing around an idea, Corinne and Stephen, the idea being IF each name on that list of names [In Despatches? Stephen] stated their last living address in KGP and the date they left India. A Directory showing Name, last Address and Date of Departure from India could be interesting. Both you folks can give this Directory an appropriate name to suit your WEBsite. Like ????? [Would “Ghosts Quitting Kharagpur; from Where and When.” do? Stephen] . In this way we can associate in our memories the person with their address and exit. [If sufficient numbers of our dear Readers would care to provide that information using the “CLICK HERE...” switch, I should be glad to collate and present it in due course. Stephen]


Good night, God bless. Love,


Clare




 

From:          Derrick Hogermeer

Date:           July 11, 2006


Hi Stephen,


Thanks for the informative letter [about Stephen’s recent Notice on Pictures]. I will try and do as you ask. My local experts in the family should be able to help [to get better quality scans] or if I do not get any satisfaction from them, I will send you the picture.


I have no idea how I came to have it. John Enright and myself were quite friendly at the time and he may have given me this one along with the one of him and his bike. That was just before they left India. I have not seen the Enrights or O'Flynns since. I am almost certain that it is Gerald Mee in the picture. DK means don't know!


I read that someone enquired about the Swyny Sisters. Sylvia is in London, England and May is in Quakers Hill, New South Wales, Australia. I do meet them occasionally. Their brother Philip was an apprentice in KGP, and he married my sister Maureen née Hogermeer! If you wish to contact them I can get their addresses and phone numbers to you.


Dorothy Houghton and most of the other Houghtons, live in Brighton, England. Douglas Barracliffe has moved to Spain to a town south of Alicante. I have no idea where the Masek or Masyks are.


Norma Ashe has been in touch with my sister Daphne and they are going to meet shortly with Joanna Stuart!


Thank you for your trouble.


Derrick



 

From:          Rona Hatherall née Ashe

Date:           Sunday, July 9, 2006 as updated July 11


Hi Corinne,


I guess my computer expertise is improving. I have now accessed your wonderful WEBsite.


How clever of you to create such a lovely memory. I will send it to Norma Harbinson née Ashe who lives in Cornwall, England and whom I plan to visit in September.


I gather you have had some trouble getting through to me by e- mail. I think sometimes my computer does not accept mail that is not on my safe list. If it goes into my junk mail which I do not open too often, it will be deleted. So I have to get with it and check my junk mail more often.


That is how I received Terence O'Flynn's e-mail, and when I noticed his name on my junk list, I could not believe it until I pulled it up.


He has been a super source of information for me. He seems to know everyone. His mum and mine were such good friends when we lived in Kharagpur. Holly and I were friends for a long time, but when we all went to different boarding schools we seemed to lose touch. I am glad we have finally relocated one another through this WEBsite.


Buddy (Defholts) and Jimmy live in Adelaide. Buddy visited with Cleone Browne and me a few years ago. We took her to Las Vegas (a really fun city in which you can lose your shirt). I am still trying, somehow, to find Tiddley Stoker. Terence O'Flynn has provided me with so many names, but all have led to a dead end. I would like to have the e- mail address of Donald Thorne. Jean Thorne's parents and mine were good friends and welcomed Raymond and myself into their home in London on a few occasions. It would be so great if we could get together at the next A.I. reunion in 2007. Thank you so much for this WEBsite.


Raymond and I married in England In 1953 and moved to Canada in 1955. We have been back to England many times as we both had family to visit. We plan to return in September for two weeks. Just a short visit as its getting very hard for Raymond to get around and England is so darned expensive.


Keep in touch,


Rona




 

From:          Corinne

Date:           July 13, 2006


Dear Rona,


I was delighted to have made contact with you at last, and after several attempts! Perhaps you have been plagued by scammers and have taken suitable precautions - hence the waste paper basket!!


It is so good to "shake hands" over the miles with the use of this magical piece of equipment, which we call the computer, and although my knowledge of it is very skimpy - at best - I do have marvellous encouragement from my ever-helpful husband who has the patience of Job! But the idea of the WEBsite was his, and we put it together and hoped for the best - the rest, you know all about.


It has been a most rewarding experience, and the whole idea of sharing memories of our early years in the little town (at that time) of Kharagpur, seemed an attractive inducement. It has grown by leaps and bounds, as you can see, and we certainly have no intention of "categorizing" people into the unattractive term of "Anglo-Indian" - (a term I detest since it is now used so indiscriminately). We were then simply "neighbours" and "friends" - as the case might be - without discrimination, and part of a vibrant and colourful community. Through force of circumstance, we were scattered at a certain point in time - hence the "Diaspora."


How refreshing to come together again, on a much more personal level, in the twilight of our lives, and "pool" our experiences and memories. This is the whole purpose of my WEBsite, and long may it continue.


As you follow the letters, you will "catch" the drift, and, I very much hope, add your own. I am NOT an agency to find people, but as they get to hear about this WEBsite, and make contact, and relay their own thoughts and memories, then if we do happen to stumble upon old friends and neighbours in the process, so much the better.


I remember you and your sister, Norma, and your mother and father - Sam and Phyllis - wasn't it? Also your grandmother - Mrs. Farrow? - who lived in Jhargram, and visited our family who also had a place there. Your grandmother lived on the same road - a little country lane, really, further down from my grandparents' and my parents' home. She often visited, and would sit on the verandah, sharing reminiscences with my grandparents over a cup of tea and "Crawford" cream-cracker biscuits! It was only a small colony then, and the residents were very clannish, helping each other in every possible way, and "bartering!" They were mostly retirees from Calcutta, so this was such a practical way of doing things, I always thought. I intend "visiting" Jhargram on my WEBsite again at some time, with suitable photos.


To get back to KGP. You lived at the back of us for several years, then moved to 5th or 6th Ave., but didn't your Aunt Mercier also live nearby? She married a Cox, I believe, and also visited our home on several occasions. My memory is hazy here, Rona, perhaps you could help me out a bit! Did she have any children?


Norma, your sister, would have been about my age, and you, Althea's. In your letter, you asked about "Tiddley" Stoker, but apart from my cousin, Joan Davenport, who lives in England, nobody seems to know what happened to the Stokers. You must have heard that Pam died - which was a terrible blow to the family, and Elizabeth replied to some of the condolence letters, but that is all I know. Pam and Joan (my cousin) were friends of many years, but she has lost touch with the family since Pam's death. Perhaps someone will read your request and respond.


You mentioned somewhere that you trained as a nurse in Bristol hospital - did you ever come across the Milner girls - about your age group, and from Seoni, India? Margaret Milner and Rita and June. All are in Canada now, and lived for many years in Montreal, Canada where I met them whilst visiting my parents in 1965.


Your sister is still in England, as I understand, but hopes to visit you sometime next year? I believe you mentioned that you hope to attend the Re-Union which is scheduled for next year? We shall not be attending for several reasons, but most importantly, we hope to attend my youngest son's wedding, and we usually make it a longish trip, so that takes care of the whole summer.


We have been living in Ottawa for the past 16 years, and before that in Montreal, also for 16 years. The previous 16 years were spent in the Royal Air Force, travelling all over the country, and sometimes in other countries, such as Norway, France, Germany and Italy.


Stephen was posted for a year (hence my visit to Canada while he was away) in 1965 on an unaccompanied tour (meaning no family) to the southernmost Addu Atoll in the Maldive Islands immediately south of India. That was the nearest he ever came to the place of my birth. That Maldive Island location, beloved of TV's Jacques Custeau, Gan (virtually slap-bang on the equator), is now a Club-Med prize holiday resort - at a price! And to think that Stephen enjoyed it all for free while I laboured in Montreal, Canada!


[STEPHEN HERE REACTS IN HIGH DUDGEON.


["Laboured," OK, but...Come off it, Corinne!


[Insinuating that it was like a year's holiday for me! Whether or not I enjoyed it, (which I must admit that mostly I did), how would you like to stay at any Holiday Inn, or even at a Hilton, for a whole year incommunicado from your loved-ones as I had to.


[Likewise, was your living for a year in vibrant Montreal with your family as I intended for you in Canada before I had to leave, surrounded by family members, such a burden?


[And, my dearest Honeybun. You 'chose' to be pregnant to boot, bringing yourself and #1Son majestically back, after a year, to me in England accompanied by my unknown Canadian 3-month-old new #2Son upon my repatriation! What audacity! A feat executable only by an indefatigable Kharagpurite like you, I'll declare, if only to your constituency here on this WEBsite!


[Don't you remember that those magically frustrating year-long, Montreal moments, were the very same days when attempted voice communication from you to me, or back, was impossible to and from that last outpost of the British military in Gan?


[That’s right. Voice communication via Satellite (then British Telstar and Skynet) had not been extended to our station in Gan, and none of its personnel at Gan had any voice communication at all (by telephone) with the outside world in 1965. Only operational matters could be transmitted by radio, (and by executive officers only) and that only by "hunting and pecking" at keyboards like this. That's why I think this Internet is so retrograde. Just listen in to Corinne talking so animatedly to one of our dear Readers on the 'phone. Conversations literally last for hours and are filled with shared, resurrected memories and anecdotes that are rarely captured here in writing. (Randoph Wright; where are you now in print, from your so vibrant verbal history recounted to Corinne last month?) If I had my way, this WEBpage would comprise a series of conversations into which you could all tap.


[Nonetheless, my enterprising stalwarts in RAF Gan, the Maldives, found a way in 1965 to get around this restriction on voice communication, if only for the small fry like me. With Air Ministry approval, unsuspecting of the success we should achieve, we set up a Ham Radio Station with an entirely valid callsign VS9MB, so rare in the Ham Radio world as to be a prize radio contact of which Ham radio operators could boast about making among themselves.


[Remember, I took Corinne and our 4-year old son, Martin, to Montreal in Canada in March, 1965 via an RAF flight to Winnipeg (far West of Montreal), and thence via Canadian Pacific Railway East back to Montreal (a three-day journey reminiscent of those taken via BNR by Corinne's Kharagpur forebears to the Hills) in one of their magnificent Sleeper Cabins. Undoubtedly, that's what did it.


[Six months later, Stephen, firmly ensconced at Gan in the Maldive Islands, a half-a-world away from Corinne, was searching the ether via Ham radio for that all-elusive North American contact with "phone-patch" equipment permitting connection to the North American national telephone network. Remarkably, I eventually found one in Boston, Massachusetts, USA in August 1965.


["Dial 514 684 1301" I demanded, (true in every detail of my uneradicable memory of this keynote event).


[The Bell, Boston, Massachusetts, USA operator thereupon did so, "Collect" (meaning that the called telephone number has to pay for the call) and asked whether my Honeybun was willing to pay for the call from Boston. "Yes," she said in my hearing over the short-wave link to me, "But what the Hell is he doing in Boston?


[Ham radio etiquette has a rule that requires listeners to desist in their calls to, and thus interrupting, the target Callsign when that Callsign is speaking to his XYL. XYL means "Ex Young Lady" or, logically in our old-fashioned world, his wife. Naturally, I had to announce this ahead of my call, whereupon magically I seemed to have a "band" clear of any interruption, but all that really meant was that I had substituted a myriad of ears listening for the first possible break in my link to Corinne in Montreal telling me of #2Son Nicholas' pending emergence.


[So now you have an anecdote wholly unconnected with KharagpurDiaspora.


[Sorry, so let's get back to Corinne's letter...


[Stephen]



Two of our sons - the elder two - are living here in Ottawa, and our youngest, ironically (he never knew England until he was 16, when we treated him to a holiday there for a month), loved it so much he always yearned to go back when he had completed his studies, which is exactly what happened. He attained his Masters degree, at York University, and returned to England shortly afterwards. He simply loves it, and wonders why we ever left! Well, it WAS a big decision to take, but having eventually taken it, we really do not have any regrets. Anyway, we return often enough for long periods at a time, and "catch up" with family and old friends, who kindly arrange re-unions for us all over the place. It is so useful to have a "pied-a-terre" in the form of Stephen's old RAF Club on Piccadilly, which is a very central point from which to reach and be reached.


It is lovely to have Martin, our eldest, with his two girls, and Nicholas, our second son and his three children living so close, and see them as regularly as we do. Laurence, our youngest son is planning to visit with his fiancée in October, for Thanksgiving. We are so looking forward to meeting her, but feel we already do know her through the medium of the telephone.


We'd love to hear all news of you, Raymond and your family. I assume that Raymond is from England - Bristol?


Althea lives in Oakville, Ont. and married a German boy whilst visiting Canada in 1958. They were in Montreal, originally, and moved to Oakville in 1966. I have urged her to get on to my WEBsite and have invited her to add a few tid-bits of her own, and perhaps send some old photographs of KGP which would be such a pleasure for everybody. I am desperately short of old photos, Rona, so if you have any of KGP, or your family taken back then, and you would care to share them with us all, I would be very appreciative. I do have some of my own, and others sent in by people, but have had to edit them for various reasons, and, as you can see, have posted several which could be of general interest.


Bravo to Terence for putting us in touch with each other!


Looking forward to hearing from you, and all the very best to you and your husband,


Corinne.




 

From:          Vivian Jordon

Date:           July 13, 2006


Hi, Stephen and Corinne.


My parents lived in Kharagpur since 1942, and our family resided at 443 Wynne Ave. We then moved to 447 Wynne Ave in 1947,and left in the late 1960's.


My Dad, Adrian Jordon was a soccer star in Calcutta before coming to Kharagpur in 1942 to join the Bengal Nagpur Railway (BNR). His team won the Coveted I.F.A. Trophy shield in 1942.


The manager of the team at the time was Joyti Basu who, in the last ten years, 1995 - 2005, was the Chief Minister of West Bengal until last year when he retired. I go to see him when I am in Calcutta since he became a friend of the family.


A lot of the names of people that write to you ring a bell or two as I was only little when they were there or migrated. Harbin, Mitchell, Green, Bourne, Ashe, Baker, Butler, Manley, Heldt, and so on.


Do keep up the good work you are doing here on this WEBsite.


Regards to the family,


Vivian Jordon




 

From:          Corinne

Date:           July 13, 2006


Dear Vivian Jordon,


Your e-mail was retrieved by Stephen earlier this evening, and he conveyed it to me a little while ago. I was delighted to hear from you and to add your recollections to the WEBsite.


We shall edit and post it tomorrow morning. I usually have to do some editing, as my contributors usually include a few personal messages, which I omit from the WEBsite for obvious reasons.


I shall be very happy to include your sporting interests, and there will probably be many who are bound to recall your father. My young grandson, Adam, is going to be interested in your soccer background. He has been following the recent games with great enthusiasm, and of course, cheered for England.


I am about to write to Ben Woodfall, who falls into the category of one of the older members of KGP with many memories of his own which I am looking forward to hearing. So far,everybody is so delighted to be restoring memories and "shaking hands" and I hope that it stays that way!


I so enjoyed our telephone conversation, and among other items, I took note of the fact that you enjoy cooking and I thought of opening the WEBsite to recipes from India - another idea for sharing. (You can be the first to subscribe a dish or two!!)


I was also quite amused at all your mischievous pursuits, and I am sure my other contributors will enjoy hearing about your many escapades. We must mention the Mohorum (?) tigers sometime. I used to be fascinated by them, especially as one of the servants took time off to dance during their festival, and I remember worrying that he would become too hot - he seemed so frail at the best of times. But, he came to our house on his rounds, and showed off, most appropriately, stealing glances at us to make sure we approved!


Do write again soon and let us have more of your memories, Vivian, so that we may share them with our readers who thereby become yours.


With kind regards,


Corinne





Social Reminiscences of a Bygone Era


Our earliest artifact is an invitation to Ernest Hope and Eyleen Crampton to attend the "Ex: Apprentices' Dance" to be held at "Khargpur" on February 15th, 1929. We are reminded of the apprenctices by a picture of their residence as it was then.




















Nostalgia is aroused from copies of other invitations to, and programs of other events at the European Institute.



















































































But all of these remind us of how the European Institute at Kharagpur served our community in those bygone days. During the daytime, The Band of the Railway Volunteers would play from the adjacent bandstand, while the ladies would take tea and gossip on the intervening lawn. After dark, the billiards and card tables would provide recreation, and the overall atmosphere would be as English as the climate permitted. So how did it look then?





Now let's see what The Institute looks like today.

How do we mourn the old, and scorn the new!


Here is the hospital as it was,




...... and as it is now.




Similarly, here is the Bilamoriah's garage as it was,




...... and as it is now.




And finally, as important centres of social activity in times long ago, we see Union Church as it was,




...... and the Masonic Lodge,


...... and standing guard over the whole community, the Railway Administrative Offices with its familiar Clock Tower mounted upon which the siren can be clearly seen




We hope these few images will have evoked fond memories for our readers, and encourage them to submit old photos of their own to augment the few we have been able to secure.

Corinne




 

From:          Derrick Hogermeer

Date:           July 11, 2006


Hi Corinne,


I have no idea how I came to have the photo I included with my July 10 message.. I am almost certain that it is Gerald Mee in the picture.


John Enright and myself were quite friendly at the time and he may have given me this one along with the one of him and his bike [Not yet seen here]. That was just before they left India. I have not seen the Enrights or O'Flynns since


I read that someone enquired about the Swyny Sisters. Sylvia Swyny is in London, England and May Swyny is in Quakers Hill New South Wales, Australia. I do meet them occasionally. Their brother Philip Swyny was an apprentice in KGP, and he married my sister Maureen Hogermeer!


If you wish to contact them I can get their addresses and phone numbers to you. Dorothy Houghton and most of the other Houghtons, live in Brighton, UK. Douglas Barracliffe has moved to Spain to a town south of Alicante. I have no idea where the Masek or Masyks are.


Norma Ashe has been in touch with my sister Daphne Hogermeer and they are going to meet shortly with Joanna Stuart!


Derrick Hogermeer

 

PS     July 16. I do remember Edwin Thaddeus taking piano lessons from Miss Fernandes. I was friends with Ronnie Seaman and Marlene when they lived in Third Avenue.

 

Ronnie Seaman is in Melbourne. He is a very successful solicitor. Margaret Lee was his secretary for sometime before she left Melbourne to live near her sister Joan Lee in Adelaide. Ronnie had an older brother Aubrey Seaman and sister Joan Seaman. I believe that Aubrey is deceased. My mother's best friend was Esme Seaman who was the mother. They lived very near the Khargpur Railway school. Tom Seaman was a Signals and Telecommunications Engineer.

 

PPS      July 21. There is a picture of a group with Ann (Sweetie) David as the Queen. Standing next to Colin O'Flynn is, I think, myself, Derrick Hogermeer. My wife is certain that it is me from the picture of myself as a young lad. I wonder if Colin or Tony can remember it. I do not remember anything else about the play.


Derrick Hogermeer 




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