Friday, August 20, 2010

An Aussie with a Cam

Chitra has been playing host to talks every evening at her Palazzo Gallery on Seethammal Colony, Alwarpet.

It is a cosy space and I was there to attend a talk on the Anglo Indians in Madras by Dr. Beatrix D' Souza, former HoD of English at Presidency College, former Member of Parliament (nominated) and community activist who resides on San Thome's Custian Beach Road.

Betty, as friends know her had done a thorough job and delivered a very professorial talk with a dash of humor and space for debate.
We were about 18 or 20 in that small space and one man stood out - Nigel Foote from Melbourne, Australia. He had set up his small digicam at his seat and shot Betty's talk start to end.

This was a bonus for Nigel, whose host was Harry Maclure, Ed of 'Anglos in The Wind' magazine. Nigel said he could trace his roots to an Englishman who first sailed to Australia and then worked at the Fort St George, Madras.

Nigel wasn't exactly tracing his ancestors here. His mission was to do a recce of the pilgrimages made by people to the Vailankanni Church in Nagapattinam at this time of the year. A recce to plan for a full docu-film for Australians on this business of pilgrims walking for days on end for a purpose.

But to have Betty's talk on tape was a big bonus for Foote. His reward - Betty and Co. took him and friends to dinner at the Gymkhana Club on Island Grounds where over 70 years ago, the Anglos played the Big Band music.

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