Correspondence Part 4

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Correspondence, Part 4

21 September 2006 onwards

A poignant account of life in Kharagpur, interwoven with a rich mosaic of named residents, as written by the late Otto Davey just before his sudden demise on November 10, 2003. His precious memories are thought to cover the period 1946 to 1959.


MY NOSTALGIC MEMORIES OF KHARAGPUR (WEST BENGAL)


It was during my winter holidays, that my father, Joseph Davey, a Mail driver in South Eastern Railway, was transferred to Kharagpur. All our belongings were loaded into a wagon; including our beautiful flowerpots. We took our two dogs and a goat along. We had to get rid of the goat, which made a meal of the plants in the neighbour’s garden.


Our first home was No.448, Wynne Avenue. My Uncle Sam Davey, lived in the same block. My Aunty Milly, a widow and her two sons Walter Howe and John Howe, stayed with them.


The Railway Institute, station and school were within walking distance. The Sacred Heart’s Church was also nearby. The Hospital and Market (Gole Bazaar) were further away.


George and Stareena were admitted to the Railway School; while Eleanor and I went back to St Helen’s and Victoria Boy’s School respectively in Kurseong. It was here that I completed my Junior Cambridge. Before this, I was in the Railway School. Mr Rosemeyer was the Principal and he taught us History. Mr Kidd, the Headmaster, taught us English. Dorothy Lowe was our Geography teacher. Miss Beatrice Netto, our Std 5 class teacher, who taught us Maths was very happy that I got the maths prizes, for the two years that I studied in the Railway School. I remember another teacher – Freddie Gomes. The Concerts at the Railway School were very well organised by the A.I. teachers. I loved dramatics. In one play I was the King and Ann David the Queen. [I think this should evoke a comment from our regular reader, Terence O’Flynn. Corinne]


Unfortunately, my mother did not keep well in Kharagpur. She died during my final school year. It was a miracle, how I secured the first rank among all the railway schools. It so happened that Norbert Braganza, had come to Kharagpur, to work in the Signal Department. He found it difficult to find suitable accommodation – so my mother welcomed him into our home, as her own son. After her death, Nobert was a source of strength and comfort to our family. He helped us to tide over this crisis. It was Nobert, who showed me how to run the home and handle the expenses. My father continued to work in the railway. We were now in Block 345, 3rd avenue. My parents had planned to emmigrate to England; we received our passports but God had other plans for us. With my mother’s death, our family life was not the same. Eleanor joined the J.J. Hospital at Mumbai to do her nurses’ training. George left for Vizag to join the Indian Navy along with his friends Carl Edwards, John Howe, Doffie St. Romaine and Ted Senior. Stareena joined the nursing school at Jabalpur. I went to St Xavier’s College Calcutta to study Intermediate Science. The following year, I got admission into the I.I.T. (Indian Institute of Technology) in Hijli (Kharagpur) to do my Mechanical Engineering. This was the first IIT College in India. I was a day-scholar and used to cycle daily. There were only two Anglo Indians in the college at that time, Leslie Franz from Jamshedpur and myself. Later Bill Thompson from Jamshedpur joined us. I completed my B. Tech Hons. in Mechanical Engineering.


The Railway Institute was the main meeting place for friends. Good movies like, “I Confess”, “Blue Veil”, “Love me Tender” and “Glen Miller Story” were shown from time to time, and on Sundays Hindi movies like “Coffee Corner” and “Taxi Driver”. The Railway Institute Canteen was run by Mrs Hedge and Mrs Inez Gudoine. The Institute provided indoor and outdoor games. There was a beautiful sports stadium. By the way, Kharagpur has the longest Railway platform in the world. The Railway Workshop is also very large and famous.


The annual picnic was held every year on the 2nd January. You should have seen the young folks in their colourful outfits heading for the railway garden. Once a week the Brass Band played from the Bandstand. The musicians were very efficient and were from the “Sunny South”. The children enjoyed themselves skipping to the rhythm of the music on the lovely green lawn. The dances at the Railway institute were great. Alex Saldana was the bandleader. He was ace at the Saxaphone and the others were the de Souza and the Lobo boys. Clifford Ambrose was the pianist and Duggie Ferns played the drums. At Christmas time the hall was packed. First the members, then the sailors, IIT and Kolai konda Air force boys. Very often at the Tap Dance when “Lovers” refused to give up their partners, arguments took place with the MC of the show. This was followed by the hurling of chairs etc which added to the fun. To Alex, the bandleader this made no difference. He continued with his closing tunes like, “Harbour Lights”, “Au Weideson”, “Goodnight Sweet dreams” and “Lights out”!


The choir at the Sacred Heart Parish Church was excellent. Mrs Sweeny was the Organist and later Mrs Ireland took over. Fr Ritchie had a deep baritone voice and Mrs Nag was the lead singer.


I have a vivid memory of the vendors. There was the Toffee man who stood at a convenient corner with a red tin trunk filled with lovely coconut toffees of various colours. Then there was the Punjab Baker whose cakes and tea cakes were delicious. There was the Vinegar-man who sold pepper water balls and pappads too. There was the Box-man who sold lovely clothes. He was known as “Your Honour”. He would always speak of the Indo-Pakistan War. If you spoke to him he would just answer “Yes, Your Honour.” The de Sa family also had a very good bakery at 233 Railway Market. Their items were really of good quality. Their bakers went around supplying bread.


A.I.s all over the world are noted for their efficiency in their jobs. The Railway hospital had good nurses like Sr Green, Sr Lewis, Gertie Peacock, Majorie Gudoine and later Clair Aviette, Thelma Nipps, Ada James, Ruby George and Addie Sneyd. The Matron was Sr Melito. We also had very efficient Railway Officers like Mr Young, Mr Christopher Bowden, Mr Howe, Mr Stanley Power, Mr Finnimo (Anti corruption officer) and Mr Clarke. Mr Finnimo would sit on the side of the Rail tracks at dawn; and catch the little urchins, who came with baskets to rob the coal and sell to the housewives!! In those days, every railway quarter had a coal oven!!


At that time in Kharagpur, some of our family friends (forgive me if I cannot mention all the names) were Arthur Pinto, Collette Pinto and Wendy Pinto; Agnes Fernandez and Grace Fernandez; Vivian deCruz, Philo deCruz and Eugene deCruz; My cousins Denzil Tucker, Trevor Tucker, Dulcie Tucker and Patsy Tucker, Nesta Anthony and her brother, Yvonne Naylor, June, Muffet and Mavis Hendricks, Barbara and Pam Jenkins, Tiddley Lyons, Sylvia, May and Dick Sweeny, Frank, Grace and Barbara Feegrade, Marion, Dora, Peter and Patsy Ince, Reggie and Blanch Houghtin, Jean and Peter Burke, Freddie and Dorothy Cox, Ann Maile, Shirley and April Webber, Rex Dawson, Clemy Ireland, Mona Maseyk, Peter and Patsy Nag, Leo Fernandez, Astrid Braganza, Vivian and Trevor Rozario, Althea and Austin Heldt, June Barren, Dick and Carmen Stewart, Adrian and Colleen Gambin, Maureen and Thelma Hogmeer, Carol and Ronnie Jackson, Peter and Jackie Stuart, Rita Campos, Kathleen Carter, Barbara Cambell, Carmen Hall and her brother, George and Gladys Joseph. Gradually, most of the A.I.s emigrated to UK, Australia and Canada. I shall recall some of them: - Rita and Vincent Baracliffe, Norma and Collin Cox, Raymond Cecil and his sisters, Barbara and Dudley D’Cruz, Joyce Robertson and her husband, the Meades, Woodhouse, Cooper and Wainwright families, Violet Mee and her sister and brothers John, Walter and Cuckoo Howe, Penny, Kay and Brian Lovery, Pam Potter, Rona Footman, Neville Antioch, the Kennys, Madeiras, Browns, Millers, Freeze, Butlers, George and Phyllis Hillier and so on.


As he was in 1999, and...................................................................................As Connie was in Kharagpur



However, it was in this dreamland that I met Connie, (Ambrose) who later became my wife! Her brother, Cliffie, the musician, was very friendly with us. One evening, on his way back from Church, he came to visit us. Connie stood shyly at the spring gate. When Cliff asked her to come in, she replied, “I do not know the Davey family”! Eventually, she had to enter, as it began to rain. We had a musical session. Cliff played on the piano, next we requested Connie to play. She played “Mona Lisa.” Then it was my turn; I played, “If I give my heart to you.” This was the start of a fairy tale! I met Connie several times after this. We fell in love - now you can guess the rest!!


I left for Calcutta, as I secured a job in Voltas. Later, I decided to get married. Fr Sharpe announced our banns of marriage at the Sacred Heart Church, Kharagpur. We were married at Khurda Road, at Sacred Heart Church. We then moved onto Calcutta and we became the parishioners of St. Thomas Church, Middleton Row, where Fr Eric Piccachy (coincidently an A.I.) was our Parish Priest.


This article is dedicated to my relations and friends who lived in Kharagpur and who will surely be happy to have “Sweet Memories” of the past.


Otto Davey (Postumously)





From: Corinne

Date: September 25, 2006

Dear Connie,


I thought it appropriate to precede my acknowledgement of your message with your husband’s fascinating memoire.


I was so pleased to hear from you on September 12, where you said:

 

“Dear Corinne,

“I was thrilled to see my beloved brother's name Cliffy Ambrose and mine on your WebSite, as well as the other familiar names of the folks I knew. Kharagpur is a very special place for me because it was there that I met my husband, Otto Davey. I have enclosed an memoire written by him just before his death in 2003. I am glad that your WebSite has given me the courage and opportunity to add to your nostalgic collection. Otto's sister Stareena Mitra née Davey is settled in Dhanbad with her family. Otto's elder sister Eleanor and younger brother George are no more. Looking forward to hearing from you. Connie”


His memoire, which precedes this posting, must have invoked many precious memories amongst our numerous readers – some known by their responses, but so many more who remain incognito through their reticence in contributing their memories.


I was very sorry indeed to hear about Otto's death. I did not know him personally, but I do believe he was in school about the same time as I was, and the name is familiar to me. Faces sometimes recede into the dim recesses of one's memory, but the names linger on - which is important, of course.


It must have taken great courage on your part to submit Otto's memoirs, and I do applaud your gesture, but it may help to know that so many will be sharing your sorrow and reaching out to you, as indeed do my husband and I, Connie.


Otto did not mention the year his father was transferred to Kharagpur, so perhaps you could enlighten me on that, I am certain people will want to know so that they could make a connection. He must have lived somewhere near the Armoury, which is where my mother's sister and family lived - Arnold and Noreen Mayberry. I am almost certain that they had made reference to the Davey family.


You appear to have lived in KGP long after we left for England, because you refer to Mr. Rosemeyer being the principal, and a teacher by the name of Gomes - all these people played a role in the school well after 1950. Mr. Kidd was the Head when I was there, and left for England shortly after we did. I do believe that the Institute also changed it's character significantly because of a change of administration, which all seemed to occur about the same time. Perhaps this was partially due to the great exodus which occurred around that time. It is not that people were panicking, but several employees of the BNR had come to the termination of their contracts around then, and did not wish to renew them.


Yes, I remember with affection, the movies which were carefully selected, and the matinee programs on Saturdays were our "time." Week-nights took in Music lessons, Homework and Sports, but there was something special about Saturday afternoons at the "pictures" as some people called the movies, (my mother called it "the cinema!") - the "movies" was so "American!!"


Connie, have you any photos of the Fancy-dress parties, the Garden parties or the Pagal-Gymkhana events which I could post to our WebSite. I am going to be running these events soon, and am sending out an SOS to my readers to help me out in these categories. Any memories of these particular activities?


I see that you live in Madras - I had to think hard - where is Chennai? (which rather dates me!!) The numerous times we visited Madras on our way to Bangalore, where my father's parents had retired and which used to be considered a "Pensioner's Paradise" at one time, but look at the way this once beautiful spot has burgeoned in the technical arena! I shall be looking forward to hearing from you again, sooner rather than later, and in the meanwhile, my very best to you, and again, our thanks for your contribution to my website.


 Kind regards,


Corinne




From:          Floris (Jean) Rufus née Myers

Date:           October 3 and 5, 2006


Dear Corinne,


Hello from New Delhi in India, and I want to say a big thank you for getting in touch with all those on Rev. Sanford’s email address list, where you said:

 

“Rev. Arthur Sanford and I invite you to visit my WebSite. Many of you, and your relations and friends, may have personal memories of the Kharagpur of the 1940s and early 1950s. If so, you may be interested in following the anecdotes of others who have shared their experiences with us on the WebSite. Rev Sanford was an important figure then, and still is. We should be glad to have you join us and, if possible, share your own experiences with us there. You may also wish to alert others whom you know might be interested in visiting the WebSite. Sincerely yours, Corinne.”


I have thoroughly enjoyed going through all the letters - some of the names I recognise, but most of them I don’t - still, it feels like “going back home” to read of incidents and see photographs of those who lived in Kharagpur and walked down the very streets that we did.


I was christened Floris Eugenie Myers - the story of how I inherited my name would take too long to tell - suffice it to say I was called Jean by friends and relatives, and Floris in school. My parents were/are Osborne (Ossie) and Vera Myers (Mum was a Morris from Dongagarh while Dad was from Nagpur - BNR folks). I was born in 1948 while my parents were posted at Waltair, then we moved to Khurda Road where Jackie and Bob were born in 1950 and 1951, and finally we settled in Kharagpur where Ralph (1953) and Wendy (1958) were born.


Dad was in the Boiler department at the Kharagpur Workshops and we lived in several houses - all on Wynne Avenue. For those who were in any doubt, Wynne Avenue was the grand name for 4th Avenue, and it pleased us no end that we had a fancy name for our street. We first lived opposite the Institute in 452 and had the Reid family as our neighbours - our earliest friends.


We then moved to 430, diagonally opposite the Baptist Church and that was when we started attending their Sunday School. Rev. Rupert Bunten was the pastor then and on his first visit to our home discovered that he and Mum were in school together at St. Paul’s, Calcutta! We had the Irelands as neighbours and I’m so happy to mention that we are still in touch with them - in fact Patsy and her husband Kevin and daughter Joanna are on holiday right now in India! They live in Sydney, Australia.


From 430 we moved to 420 just beside the Railway Hospital - and suffered the indignity of being known as the “char-sau-bees” family by the rickshaw pullers at the Station! I think I loved our years at 420 the best - wonderful memories of a happy, carefree childhood. Jackie and I were both married from 420. Our last Railway house was what we always referred to as the “Lennon’s House” - think it must be 439? After Dad retired he bought a small house in Hiji, close to the station, bordering on the Wilkins’ and Hall’s and George David’s properties.


We studied at the Railway School and I remember every word of the school song to this day! I started at Mrs. Rosemeyer’s private school (in their home) and therefore skipped Mrs. D’Silva’s LKG class, going straight to Miss Moore’s UKG. Then on to Transition taught by Daphne Irwin. Got a double promotion, skipped the 1st standard and went to Mrs. Violet Butler’s 2nd standard. Mrs. Scolt was the teacher in the 3rd standard, Mr. Frederick Jones was the 4th standard teacher - I remember his handwriting, and how we all tried to copy it. By this time my treasured possession was an autograph album, and Mr. Jones’ words have remained etched in memory :

 

“Hateful to me as are the gates of hell, is he who hiding one thing in his heart, utters another.”


I remember one year acting in “The Doll’s Wedding” - I was the bride and the suitors were the tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor ....! I remember that same year (I think) the Woodhouse sisters singing and dancing the Hop Scotch Polka!


Lovely memories, and I could go on and on - Christmas week at the Institute - how I loved the “Razzle Dazzle” stall! The Gurkha Regiment playing on their bagpipes going around the bandstand and all of us youngsters marching behind them. We four older children would get 2 pice each every day to buy channa and moorie laddus. If we saved up the big brass 2 anna bit, we could buy one “Hey-Ho” and the sweets that came out of the clown’s mouth were equally divided among the four of us!


I remember making paper boats and sailing them down the waters in the drains outside our houses after a monsoon shower. I remember waiting patiently and reciting “choti, moti, ladwar rote ...” waiting for the velvet boochies to open their legs and crawl away - only to be picked up again and dropped back into the shoe box.


Who can forget the mesmerising sound of the drumbeat to which the “tigers” danced at Muharram? Or the blare of the loudspeakers carried on the cycle rickshaws, announcing the latest Hindi hits? The picnics at Cosseye (Kasai) and Mohanpur, the church camps at Jhargram and Raghunathpur, eating beiros and kirks, and raw tamarind off the trees? The boys running off to break off a branch of a fir tree, so that we could have a live tree to decorate at Christmas. Our dogs never knew what a leash was, and one of them would run alongside the train when we would go to Cal - almost till Jakpur. Lovely memories - all preserved without the aid of Kodak!


Four of us five children got married in Kharagpur in the 3 churches there - Jackie and I at the Baptist Church, Bob and Lindy (daughter of Railway school teacher Mrs. Caszo) at Sacred Heart Church and Wendy and Carrol (son of Bunty and Megan Vanjour) at the All Saints Church. Only Ralph and Sheryl were married in Sydney.


Jackie and Lionel were the first to migrate to Australia in 1974, they went to Sydney. Then Wendy followed, then Mum (by then Dad had passed away in 1985), then Ralph, finally Bob and Lindy. I married Sam Rufus (also from Kharagpur - he lived mostly on 2nd Avenue, near the Roberts, Partridges, Gaudoins) and we have 3 children - Peter, Sarah and Timothy. We live in New Delhi and our 2 sons live with us - Peter is in Creative at an advertising agency and Timmy is with a 24x7 TV news channel. Sarah recently moved to Bombay - she’s a lawyer with a corporate law firm.


We thank God for the direction He gave us in our formative years, and are truly grateful to the Baptist Church for the care and guidance we received from the Buntens and then the Shears.


Last December it was our privilege to go back to Kharagpur and attend the Centenary Celebration at Union Church. It was so good to meet up with friends we had lost touch with over the years. It also gave us great joy to get in touch with members scattered around the globe via email. We have been blessed by Rev. Sanford’s regular Bible studies over the Net and we were blessed to hear him and his wife via a DVD recording which was played at the Reunion. We also heard messages from Mrs. Beryl Halyburton and her sister Mrs. Doris Everett née Chapman, and also Mrs. Esther Smith, all settled in Melbourne.


This year we are hoping to have Conrad Halyburton visit Kharagpur and Vijay and the Church Committee are planning a closing service on 2nd January 2007, bringing an end to the Centenary Celebrations.


Thank you for getting in touch with us - I have truly enjoyed reading all the letters and your replies - keep it up!


I forgot to mention this earlier - one of the most pleasurable outcomes of the Union Church cententary was getting in touch with Cynthia Brush and, via her, with her father who was actually born in the parsonage attached to the Union Church. We have a copy of his “Farewell the Winterline” and it makes delightful reading.


I’m sorry for having taken up so much of your time ... I could go on and one, but must stop.


Thank you once again for your website and for getting in touch with us.


Sincerely,


Jean Rufus (née Myers)



Dear Corinne,


This is Jean Rufus (née Myers) writing to you again - twice in the space of 3 days - this must be a record for me!


I am absolutely enchanted with your WebSite - I started with the more recent correspondence (No.3), and that’s when I first wrote to you. Today I read through earlier letters and am delighted to share in memories so dear to my own childhood.


In my earlier email I mentioned that we had been to Kharagpur last December to join in the Reunion of past and present members at the centenary celebrations of Union Church (Baptist church). There were friends who visited from Melbourne and I would like to share a few of their photographs. Two pictures are of the All Saints Church (now under the aegis of the Church of North India) and of a memorial stone in the church compound. These may bring back memories to some of your readers.










Another picture is of the Union Church choir taken in 1956 - your cousin Michael Green may be delighted to see his father and stepmother there. Also in the picture is Dorothy Traish. Dorothy married David Bourne and she is still an active member of Union Church! The last picture (not shown here) is of Dorothy as she is now - taken on New Year’s day this year. That’s Delphine (née Halyburton) with Dorothy. Delphine is Glenn’s sister, and she and her husband Rodger (who was an apprentice in Kharagpur) attended the centenary celebrations.


We produced a little brochure to commemorate the Union Church centenary, and I would be happy to mail you a copy if you would like that.


I wonder if you are in touch with any of the Lovery family (Penny, Kay, Brian, Peter, Carlyle, Raymond?) who also live in Toronto? Although they were not born in Kharagpur, their family transferred there when they were quite young, and I’m sure they consider themselves Kharagpurians!


Lastly, I know Glenn has already mentioned it, but we would be honoured if you could visit the Union Church website and sign in the guest book. It hasn’t been updated for several months, but we anticipate a little more activity when we inform members about the forthcoming get-together on 2nd January 2007. The website address is :


http://unionchurchkgpca.tripod.com (please note - no www)


We also have an e-mail address for the church members - go to


gmail.com


User name - unionchurchkgp


Password - 100years


That will open up the page for you, where you will find all the Bible studies by Rev. Sanford, and (towards the beginning) exchange of email messages regarding the centenary celebration. Sorry for taking so much of your time - I hope the pictures will compensate somewhat :) !


Best regards,


Jean


PS - I am tempted to add another picture - this one was taken inside the church at the opening service of the Reunion. I was thrilled to go through Michael Green’s website and see that the wooden screens used then are still going strong today!




 

From:          Corinne

Date:           September 25, 2006


Dear Gerry, (Gerald D’Sena)


This will come as quite a surprise to you, but I hope not a dreadful shock!!


I was trying to recall as many attendees’ of the Union Baptist Church in Kharagpur, and I faintly remembered seeing you along with Dudley Bunyan at some of the evening services, when Pastor Sanford was in office, and I thought I would drop you a line and hoped that I might prevail upon you to share some of your own store of memories.


But, let me begin at the beginning - you will be completely mystified by the suddenness of my letter, and I do hope that you don’t mind.


Some months ago I began a WebSite of my own in which I attempted to recall as many residents as I could, of our former little town, Kharagpur, who had “dispersed” following the Independence of India. Although I had been only 13 years of age, I was only too well aware of the enormity of the situation, the dramatic changes which were about to unfold in our lives, and the fact that we were standing on the edge of a page of history which was about to turn over, never to return. The end of “the Raj” as we had known it.


We were much too busy adjusting to a new pattern to sit and ponder events, and life went on in its inimitable way. We grew up, developed careers, married, had children, and in turn, they presented us with grandchildren, and then - the time to reflect on our lives became important. I went through all these stages along with everyone else, but the time to stop and ponder has now arrived, and this became the brainchild for a release of the memory banks of yesteryear. So, here I am, Gerry, thinking about Kharagpur as it used to be, and asking your help - along with some others - who may be able to generate some memories which we can publicly record and share with our children and grandchildren.


The idea is really my husband’s - Stephen and I had been in conversation about our relative childhood experiences - he, during the war years in England, and mine, in India. We were quite objective about it, but both decided to steer some thoughts along a certain direction, and as these things often do, thoughts develop into actions, and the WebSite was born. We entitled mine “Diaspora” with the Jewish Diaspora of AD 70 in mind. Like the Jews, we, too had dispersed owing to political trends, and the “Re-United” part, the hopes that through the magic of the InterNet we may reunite once more. This has been my hope, and the seed germinated and became 3 parts (now four) of a WebSite which is bringing joy to so many, I am happy to say. I had such pleasure in hearing from dear Pastor Sanford who has corresponded regularly, and his daughter, Vicky, amongst a host of former friends and neighbours, and I do hope to count you among them.


Kharagpur is a far cry from the little town of our youth. I understand that it has grown enormously, and that it is not nearly as sociable as it once was, but this is merely relative to the attitudes of the present day inhabitants. I would not wish to go back, it would be a terrible shock, but many have returned and I applaud their courage. The old Kharagpur was founded by our forbears, and they did a superlative job of planning and setting up a social system which worked very well for us, and it is as much to honour them as it to revive memories and old contacts that I write this.


I do hope that you will respond, and I look forward to hearing from you -


 With kind thoughts,


 Corinne Baxter née Crampton.





From:          Sandra Jeffery

Date:           September 26, 2006 (Posted: October 18)


Dear Corinne,


I was born in Kharagpur in 1954

[Somewhat beyond our window of interest except, perhaps, with respect to her forebears. Corinne].


I went to the Railway School and the St. Agnes convent. I left India in July 1969 with my father, Joseph Stanley Melder and mother, Zena Ann Melder née Ricketts, brothers Tony and Bryan. We lived in 3rd avenue block No 341, and block No 351, near the United Church. My teachers were Mrs. Violet Butler who lived opposite me in block No 351. My other teachers were Mrs. Daphne Clarke, Mr. Freddie Jones, and [the infamous] Miss Netto. I also went to the Rosemyer Kindergarten.


I left the Railway School in 1967, and then went to the convent until 1969. I do remember most of the people that have been [identified] on your WebSite. My dad had a sister by the name of Tess Melder. She passed away on September 26, 2006. She was married to Archie Ireland who passed away on August 4,1971 here in Melbourne. I also remember all the Christmas tea parties we had in the canteen, and on Christmas eve we had the big Christmas party for the members, and the fancy dress parties, and also the jam sessions on Christmas Day as I was only allowed to go for that dance.


I also remember the cartman and Mr. Budda Langford collecting the picture tickets and Mr. Bunty Vanjour and Mr. Douglas Daranjo selling tickets. Mr. Daranjo now lives in Jhapatapur. I also remember the railway market. I also remember all the Christmas tea parties we had in the canteen, and on Christmas Eve we had the big Christmas party for the members. In 2001 I returned to Kharagpur whilst holidaying in India with my brothers. We went to the cemetery, and gold bazzar, the Institute, the Serra stadium, and the Railway School. We also met most of our servants. We hired bikes and rode along all the streets. The Sacred Heart church has not changed since we left in 69, although I found that the railway station had changed .


I am sure there are many other memories of Kharagpur and the community that I am able to share with you and would be only to pleased to continue corresponding with you. [Please do, Corinne]


Regards,


Sandra Jeffery née Melder.





Kharagpur School Bathing Beauties (Rona Ashe and Adrianne Tidley Stoker) at the Officers' Club.

Blanche Houghton, Tidley Stoker, Pam Meade, (?) Manuel, May Swyny.



[Note that zerox copies of photos (from which these images were taken) have insufficient resolution. You can see the degrading effect in the excess of dots across the images, and facial recognition is equally degraded. I can get much better results from scanning the original photos, if you would entrust them to me. Alternatively, you might take them to a computer shop and ask them to scan them and send them to me as a potential sales exercise. Stephen.]




Now we have a few photos to reinvigorate your memories of yesteryear, by courtesy of Connie Ambrose and Brenda Naser and “GIs in Calcutter 1947" WebPage:



Kharagpur Stadium in the 1940s.


Kharagpur Stadium in the 1950s.


Connie Ambrose with Merlyn Gaudoin nee Upshon.


Otto Davey.


Connie Ambrose.


Sylvia Cecil, Connie Ambrose, Norma Cox, Lorna and Maureen Cecil.


Model of ITT, Hijli, Kharagpur.


First Communion with Fr. Richie.


Apprentices in the 1950s.


Standing: Blanche Houghten, Booboo Howe, Tidley Stoker, Miss Netto, Walter Dameron, Rona Ashe.
Sitting: Frank Feegrade, Otto Davey.


Sacred cattle and coolies push and pull at the West side Howrah Station.


New Market, Calcutta, 1947.


Gurkha knives and hardware as souvenirs, 1947.


Firpo's restaurant on Chowringhee; British officer disapproves.


Hindusthan Building as US Forces HQ in Calcutta.


Burra Bazar on Harrison St and Strand Rd.


Chowringhee Sq, 1947.


Chowringhee St, 1947.



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