Sunday, June 22, 2008

Scotland on your ears

I remember being especially fascinated by two signs in my childhood. The first was outside the Officers Training Academy and said "Officers Mess". I couldn't understand why army officers would advertise their lapse into sloppiness in such fashion. The other one was much further away, in Egmore, and said "St. Andrew's Church. The Kirk". The last word sounded so much like 'kirukku' - Tamil for 'madness' - that I was worried about going near the place!

The Kirk reminds us that it was the British who were in India, not just the English. Dedicated in 1821, it was built mainly for the Scotsmen from the British Army and even today, continues to belong to the Scottish Presbyterian tradition. Apart from meeting the spiritual needs of its members, The Kirk was the home of Madras Christian College, one of the oldest colleges in the country.

The current administration has been undertaking a Master Restoration Programme to properly preserve the heritage of this wonderful building, as well as its continued use as a place of worship. And by doing so, they will continue to let Chennai residents learn their first Scottish word!



6 comments:

chennaidailyfoto said...

you there in the walk today eve? i'm coming again ....

Ram

magiceye said...

thats very interesting indeed.... good to see that history is being preserved...

Hilda said...

Your first paragraph got me chuckling. ;)

Glad to hear they're preserving this lovely building!

Sometimes I don't, sometimes I do said...

>> Ram>> Seem to have a jinx - wanted to make it, but got stuck with something else! And on 2nd Sunday mornings, it clashes with MNS meetings :(

>> Magiceye / Hilda>> It's a longish project, started a couple of years ago; might take a couple of years more to be completed! More information at www.thekirk.net

Anonymous said...

Hi, just a small info, the website is thekirk.in. Regards, RP

Shantaram said...

@ RP: Thanks... would have loved to link to it, but Chrome says it suspects malware... :( Will check again and see if that has been cleared...