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Saturday, December 10, 2011

CENTENARY OF LAYING THE FOUNDATION STONE FOR KING GEORGE HALL ROBERTSONPET KGF

 
In the year 1902, the township of Robertsonpet was established to house the Kolar Gold Mines related tertiary sector populace. It was named as ‘Robertsonpet’ by the then Maharaja of Mysore, in commemoration of the memory of Sir Donald Robertson, who was the British Resident of Mysore at the time. Sir Donald Robertson was also responsible for launching the first Hydro-electric plant in Shivanasamudram which supplied electric power to the KGF Mines.  Robertsonpet was considered to be one of the first planned residential areas in modern-day India. The township was planned and built to accommodate the increasing population of the city of Kolar Gold Fields.

Over the years the need for recreational facilities and a Town Hall for holding functions and Meetings was greatly felt in Robertsonpet and so a Town Hall was commissioned to be built.

The foundation stone for this Town Hall was laid on 11/12/1911. Although no official records are available, the building was completed in around 3 years time. The Town Hall was built in the Victorian Style of Architecture in the centre of the Robertsonpet Town, on the lines of Town Halls in Britain. It was a Majestic Building having large canopies and arches with a huge garden and sprawling lawns around it. It was inaugurated and declared open by Mr. Arthur E Taylor on 16th January 1915.

This Town Hall was named as the King George Hall after King George of England and was the venue of many cultural, literary and social functions. The King George Hall Cosmopolitan Club was started on the same lines as the KGF Club in Oorigaum and offered facilities for tennis, badminton, Billiards, snookers, cards, caroms etc. besides a Library / Reading Room, lounge and Bar.
Over the years this Cosmopolitan Club has continued to thrive and many old timers living in Robertsonpet are still members of this Club. However, the once beautiful garden and the surrounding lawns was allowed to deteriorate and the Civic Authorities had many times tried to annex the land and building to set up a Commercial Complex in its place by Private Builders. The Members of the Club have successfully thwarted these efforts and the Club still continues to function in the prestigious King George Hall.
 
 
The King George Hall Cosmopolitan Club is now celebrating the Centenary of the Laying of the Foundation Stone of the King George Town Hall on 11th December 2011. A Public Park has now been developed in the serene surroundings and the Park will be thrown open to the Public on 11/12/2011 at 11 AM by Sri Jyothi Roy IPS, Superintendent KGF and presided over by Sri Manoj Kumar Meena IAS, Deputy Commissioner Kolar and President of the KGF Cosmopolitan Club.

The efforts of Mr. Sampath Kumar and the other members of the Club are to be commended in saving and beautifying this historic Town Hall.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Memories of Christmas Time in KGF

Christmas time was the most enjoyable time of the year in KGF. A number of dances and variety programs were arranged during Christmas time, starting from the 2nd week of December and going on till the New Year. Each Mine held their own Christmas celebrations. There were a variety programs such as sports competitions for the children, Fancy Dress Competitions, etc and a High Tea for the children with Santa Claus arriving in a special sleigh to distribute their gifts. Games of skill such as Hoopla, Ringing the Bottle, Ringing the Duck, Lucky Dip, Lucky Arrow, The Chocolate Wheel, Darts, etc were some of the sideshows of the event., followed by a grand Christmas Ball later.
The grand Christmas Balls were occasions to remember. The Dance Invitations would specify ‘Lounge’ or ‘Dress Suits Essential’ and woe betide anyone who turned up in their casual clothes!! So the men and boys would dress in their suits and Tuxedoes and the ladies and girls wore their prettiest dresses and gowns made of lace, silk and satin specially tailored for the occasion.
Local Anglo-Indian Bands or bands from Madras or Bangalore were engaged to play for the dances. The MC of the show would ensure that everyone had a good time and took part in the Square Dances and other group dances. The Jive, Fox Trot, Cha Cha, and Rock and Roll etc were popular dance steps.
The ever green Waltz was all the more popular as it gave couples a chance to hold each other closely and dance cheek to cheek!!! In between the dances the men would disappear to have a small ‘sly tot’ to recharge their batteries. The dances would go on throughout the night and sometimes end only at 5 O’clock the next morning, when they would head straight to Church for Mass.
Sadly, all these good times have now come to an end with the closing of the Mines. However, the New Year Eve Ball in KGF is still the talk of the town and people attend the same from Bangalore, Madras etc.