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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.


Neil Lovejoy said...

My name is Neil Lovejoy and I have read the book. I was born in the Kolar Gold Fields
did my kindergarten schooling at the Convent in Champion reefs then continued my studies
at the KGF high school for boys and some years at the Baldwin Boys High School Bangalore as a boarder.
I know the White family very well and I was surprised when I read that the father of the author of this book Mr.Sidney White was presented with the Victoria Cross which is usually
presented for bravery in the field of battle.

Can the author please tell me when, where and for what heroic deed was this medal

Bridget White-Kumar said...

Thank you for your comment.Inadvertently it was mentioned in my book that my dad was awarded the victoria cross instead of the 'Africa Star' by the editing team at the Publishers. The mistake has since been rectified in the subsequent editions. The error is regretted. Incidentally, he served in the REME Unit of the British Army in the 6th Armoured Division during the II World War and served in The operational area which included the whole area between the Suez Canal and the Strait of Gibraltar also in Malta, Abyssinia, Kenya, the Sudan, both Somalilands and Eritrea. He was awarded the Africa Star for meritorious service in these areas.He and his unit evacuated and saved a whole village in Eritrea risking their lives in doing so.