Margaret Eddy Memorial Chapel

at the Kodaikanal International School

Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu 624101, India

Margaret Eddy 1848-1935
Nick writes:
What can I say about these photographs?
These photos were a mystery to George's children. They were kept in George's India photo album, but un-mounted and un-annotated. We deduced that these photos were not taken by him. He would have done better! And one photo (3) used flash - we don't think he had that technology.
The building style was his - the Hindu style wheel window; the furniture; the similarity to the stonework and layout of Vikramasingapuram Church. We looked closely at the many faces - but not one Indian face stared back.
Not India - but where?
The sun is shining through from the north at a high elevation - so it could be in the tropics, or South Africa; Australia; New Zealand.
George's Photos
Here's a link to the photos he took, mounted, and annotated. George's India Photos
December 2022 and Nick takes a trip to Oxford. S.P.G. records at the Bodleian library are requested and discovery of George's report, September 1941, mentioning his architectural designs for a Chapel at Kodaikanal.
A second report, March 1942, informs us that foundations are complete, but building work is halted. Because of war uncertainties the work is being suspended till the close of hostilities.
A quick Google finds images of the chapel.
YouTube - be quick! Only a few seconds!
"This is my Father's World" I suppose it is! Use of wobble cam but chapel interior and furniture rendered well!
Senior Sunday More use of wobble cam - but great pan of the chapel nave north wall.
These images, and George's reports, confirm the above photos are of the Margaret Eddy Memorial Chapel. (See ongoing correspondence with the Kodaikanal International School below.)
A Cuppa
How did father get these photos?
Nick has a hunch. Sometimes that's all you have! The information on the HubbardPlusPlus website is backed up by sources and evidence. Sometimes a hunch is all there is. These photos were not sent via the post, they were hand delivered. If they had been sent via the post there would have been a covering letter and an envelope. George would have kept the photos, letter and envelope together.
That did not happen.
George's bishop, Stephen Neill, lived nearby while George and his family lived at Milton Malsor, near Northampton. Neill lived variously at Barnwell, Cambridge, Oxford. The thought of Bishop Neill "popping in for a cuppa, and here are some photos of the Kodaikanal chapel" sits well with me.
When did the photos turn up? Sometime in 1964. [I didn't keep a diary when I was 7.]
Velox Paper
Photos 2,3,4 are printed on Velox paper - a contact printing paper. Glossy. Size 4 x 5 Inches. Photos 1, 5 are matte, trimmed.
High Clerc
High Clerc?
...the High Clerc School for Missionaries’ Children, Kodaikanal in 1924, when Kodaikanal was inhabited by a diverse community of missionaries, locals and others (Indians and Europeans) who moved up from the plains during the hot summer months. The East India Company was flourishing and had established its southern headquarters in Madras. Kodaikanal was a microcosm of the world, with people from all over, some fleeing the aftermath of the First World War, some in exile. The missionaries mostly lived in three settlements—American, Swedish and German—and social life revolved round the clubs, High Clerc School (now Kodaikanal International School) and the Kodaikanal Missionary Union (KMU), which served as a reading room as well as a gathering place.
Cookery books are not my normal references - but there's a first time for everything.
Steeply Sloping Site
Quoting from George's March 1942 report second report Work on this has brought the building to ground level which, considering the difficulties of the steeply sloping site, is very good progress.
That looks like a steeply sloping site to me.
Update 14th December 2022
"Looks like these pictures are from the dedication of the chapel on our Highclerc campus in 1951."
Original scans of the above photos are on Flickr
More info … January 2023
An error has occurred. This application may no longer respond until reloaded. Reload 🗙