Unique group Community members say they have a historic connection to Europe and India
Lucknow: The glorious contributions of the Anglo-Indian community were remembered by members who celebrated Thursday the 145th founding day of the All India Anglo-Indian Association in Lucknow.
“We are proud to say that we are Indians and that our constitution is the only one in the world that describes us as a minority community. The community finds a mention in the Constitution and urges the members to help India develop in terms of infrastructure, defense, post / telegraph, railroad and education, ”said Adrian Michael, president from the All India Anglo-Indian association.
Recalling the contribution of its distinguished members, Michael said: “Over 25 Anglo-Indians have received the most prestigious gallantry awards such as Veer Chakra and Mahaveer Chakra. In fact, Veer Chakra was awarded to five members of Lucknow Origin’s defense staff. They are Wing Commander Desmond Eric Pushong (Indo-Pak war 1947); Flight Officer Dennis Oman Barty (Indo-Pak War 1948); Wing Commander Trevor Keelor (Indo-Pakistani War 1965); Flight Lieutenant Alfred Tyrone Cooke (Indo-Pak War 1965) and Air Marshal Denzil Keelor (Indo-Pak War 1965 and 1971).
“My ancestors came to India in the early 1800s for trade and then settled here. I joined the army in 1973, but I had to retire after I had an accident, ”recalls Captain Robert Cooke.
Penny Doutra, the first student of Collège La Martinière, remembered her school time in Lucknow. The daughter of Meredith Doutra, who was the first Anglo-Indian principal of La Martinière College, said: “It was great fun with a lot of problems because I was the only girl in the college.” Sofia Ann Innis, a student at IT College, said her ancestors came to India as an East India Company officer, but her grandfather Claude Michael Innis served the Indian Railways and Jal Sansthan. While his father worked in the postal service, his brother Neil is currently pursuing a doctorate in Lyon, France. Lucknow has six Anglo-Indian educational institutions namely Christ Church College, St Francis College, La Martiniere College, La Martiniere Girls’ College, Loreto Convent School and St Agnes School.