Friday, April 18, 2014
A memorial hall
It was in 1847 that a 17 year old "high-caste" boy at Palayamkottai converted to Christianity and was baptized as William Thomas Satthianadhan. The 'William' most probably was to honour William Cruickshank, the headmaster of the Anglican school who was instrumental in the conversion. W.T. Satthianadhan, with the zeal of the converted, went on to complete his studies in Divinity and Theology. Starting off with the Christian Missionary Society's school in 'Tinnevelly', he moved through a couple of other postings before being appointed as the pastor of the church at Chintadripet.
He served there for thirty years, during which time the church was renamed as the Zion Church and he oversaw its expansion in 1880. After his passing in 1892, his son-in-law Rev W.D. Clarke took over. Within a couple of years, he had constructed a multi purpose hall next to the Zion Church and named it for his father-in-law.
After nearly 130 years, that hall is in good shape. At least, it looks to be so from the outside - I am not sure if it continues to be used for any of the purposes it was intended to serve!