January 16, 2010

Anglos and hockey

When a junior police officer scores three goals in a inter-zone state police hockey meet what would you expect his captain to tell him during half-time?

'Hey, do you know who the goalie is? It is Walter Davaram!' (Davaram was City Police Commissioner and went on to become DGP).

And what would you expect Davaram to tell the successful player in the opposite camp?

'Hey, I don't mind you scoring goals against me but don't bang the ball into my body!'

The most colourful stories you can get to listen to are from Anlgo-Indians. They tell them straight, with the original colour and a dash of humour.

I heard dozens of anecdotes of the community, the city and its life at a very unique event that Harry Maclure put together to celebrate the contribution of Anglo Indians to hockey.

Harry edits and publishes a wonderful quarterly called 'Anglos In The Wind' from his hearth in Anna Nagar. This magazine tells stories everybody can enjoy though it focuses on one community. Now and then, Harry also puts together events that celebrate the Anglos.

Last week, it was a toast to hockey.

About 20 teams from all over the country played a tourney at the Mayor Radhakrishnan stadium in Egmore. The soft drizzle and the misty mornings set the atmosphere for the battle on the astro turf and though there were a few gashes, the games were fun, I was told.

As a teenager living on the edge of Narasinghapuram I used to join my Anglo-Indian friends when the local team played in the league. City league hockey used to be tough, lively and prized.

On a given evening, a local team could rattle the India team which, to a point had many Anglos too.

Stanley Bruit, now a resident of Australia specially flew down for Harry's celebration. He did not have the chance to convince the local hockey teams made up of Anglos who are 60 years plus.

Stanley took his VRS as Assistant Commissioner of Police in the city and he was one of the guests at the Dance and Dinner Show Harry hosted in San Thome's St. Bede's Anglo Indian High School, once a cradle for hockey.

Stanley and his colleagues regaled us with a flood of anecdotes which took us back to the heydays of the Madras City Police and of Anglo-Indians here. Perhaps, two would be appropriate to retell.

A strapping Stanley had played a great match at the Madras Gymkhana and after the game the then Police Commissioner came up to him and asked. "Would you like to join the Police?"

Stan said no and told his father what had happened. His father was aghast.

"Sonny, you don't say no when the Police Commissioner offers you a job!"

Singaravelu was present when Stan played well again at another match.

"Aren't you the boy I spoke to last time?"

'Yes sir!"

'Would you like to join the police?"

"Yes sir!"

In a year's time Stanley was in the Madras City Police.

When the K. Bhaskaran-led India Olympic team came to play some warm-up matches in Egmore against the City Police, the score showed 4-0 at half time in favour of the Police!

The India coach came into the local camp and patted the boys.

"Can you guys go slow, please don't demoralise our boys!"

Said Stanley at the Dinner, "We used to practise everyday at Egmore and we could beat any team here."


iyer said...

hi,iam ex hockeyplayer ,presently employed with centralexcise.your atricle brought back my memories of late 7oand 80s wherein ihad plyed with and against, many of anglo indian players ,who were part of my university,district,and state jrs and srs.hailing from madurai, my early introduction to hockey is againstrly mixed highschool, who played big role in promoting hockey.my best wishes to rozarios,stepensons.cleuers.sladens,lopoez,reeves,eugenes,&dcruz(umpire) to name a few, were part of rly inst.teams, who shaped my carreer inmy yonger days.iwould also like to remember.mitchell,trevorneto,maggie,humpry,magony, vaderpot,last but not the least,johnson(rly)&late jimmycarr.i ,vividly remember, the blessings of legendry cladius of calcutta customs, when we played againstcalcuttacustoms.my sincere and whole hearted wishes fr the entire show, and many more happenings, like this.


Sridevi G said...

Hello Mr. Vincent, I am a resident of alwarpet but now living in USA for the past 8 months. Waiting for Mylaporetimes to be online. I am a fan of mylaporetimes. I am a regular to mylapore fest. I never miss sunday kutcheri in the park. Good owrk by you and the team.


Vincent D' Souza said...

Test runs on a basic web site are on . . . fingers crossed.
Soon, shall we say!