Archive for the ‘ News ’ Category
Kumararani Dr. Meena Muthiah
Secretary & Correspondent
Women’s education and women’s empowerment were terms unheard of at the time when Queen Mary’s College was started in the year 1914 by the Government of Madras purely with an altruistic vision.
The college was the most sought after by women with a thirst for education and families aspired to send their daughters here for higher studies.
I consider it my greatest fortune and a divine boon to have had my formal education in this prestigious institute. The best years of my life were spent here. I deem the time as the golden years of my life.
I not only gained a degree here but I owe it to this college for shaping me into a woman who has been able to expand her horizon, spread her wings and fly over the vast expanses, gaining fruitful lessons. These have helped me to offer my contributions to the society. My own small way of giving it back to the community of which I am a part.
Memories of this college never fade or fail me. The college has grown in quality and quantity but like always it has encompassed the alumni in its ever expanding portal.
Message from Mrs.V.L.Indira butt, Jt. Managing Director,
The K C P Ltd., Chennai (former student of QMC)
QMC. A three-letter word that always evokes in me a pleasant nostalgia taking me back to my happy college days, bringing back to life countless pleasant memories in its wake – sweet memories of the carelesslife devoid of any responsibilities and not to forget any number of good friends I made for life.
A century of existence of an institution is always an awe-evoking event. The cultural, social, and technological changes that span the last century have deeply affected and changed our lives in numerous ways along with the world.Yet, our college’s appropriate response to these changes is a continuing key to its success. I am glad to note that some things at my college’s core have not changed despite the complexity of our dynamic environment and I am sure, they would remain so in the next century of existence too.
As a former student, the occasion is special for me and I am truly proud of all the achievements of the college over all these years. I am sure the good work the college management has been doing in the last century would continue in the coming century too.
Success is the collective effort of various remembered and forgotten people from whose toil it emanated. Today, as we celebrate those triumphs, we must also pause to contemplate and appreciate the efforts put in and energies spent by any number of people to whom we owe this occasion.
QMC is treading on the path that leads to more empowerment of women in this region. Please keep treading on your chosen path, carry on with your journey towards a better tomorrow – for women.
My best wishes to you and all those involved in making this happen.
V.L. INDIRA DUTY
An APPEAL from the Alumnae Association of Queen Mary’s College (A)
“Celebrating a Century Queen Mary’s College” is the title of the beautifully crafted Centenary commemorative volume produced by the alumnae of QMC. 68 pages of beautiful photographs, carefully selected and written text captures the fascinating history of this oldest Govt College for Women in our part of the country!
BOOK RELEASE fixed for 8th July 2015 at special Centenary function along with other releases, cultural events etc. in college
We welcome generous donations towards printing of the same.
Please make your checks in the name of “OSA ,QMC” payable in Chennai and mail it to the person listed below ( as the college may be closed for vacation during most of May)
She will contact you and reach the receipts from the college. A special one page promo is attached to show the quality of the book you are helping to bring out! .
Thank you on behalf of OSA (Alumnae Assn.) QMC
Mail your checks to
6,Suryodaya Apartments, Fourth Seaward Road,
Valmikinagar,Thiruvanmiyur,Chennai- 600 041.
A street festival has a life of its own. The annual Sundaram Finance Mylapore
Festival’s 2015 edition (January 8th to 11th) had more of these elements than ever before.
The back-to-back perfor-mances of a medley of folk dances by a team of students from Queen Mary’s College,and the kattai-koothu recitals by the Arulmigu Srimandaveli Amman Nadaga Mandram,Cheyyar Taluk, Thiruvanna-malai, lent that unique colour.
The festival, the only one of its kind in the city, always hosts events in the streets and lanes that run off from the Sri Kapali Temple zone precincts in Mylapore. Each street is themed – craft, food, home products,kolam, live performances. The idea behind this curation is to treat the zone as a religion-cultural-heritage space and set the festival in it.
Besides the street perfor- mances, the weekend kolam contests this year turned out to
be Kolam Displays – the 90 kolams designed by the partici-pants were protected, the flood-lights switched on them and the east end of North Mada Street turned into something of a live art installation.
By doing this, visitors who came in later in the evening could enjoy the kolam-s. This has enthused the Festival Cura-tor to consider hosting a late evening kolam contest in the same area and build a food and performance zone here.
This year, the five Heritage Walks/Tours got a huge response. The leaders were Cycling Yogis, Sriram V.,Chithra Madhavan, Sridhar Venkataraman and T. Sun-dari.
If Sriram led his group of 60 people to what were once villages in this area, Sridhar showed foodies the snack joints that thrive here, while architect Sundari focussed on local archi-tecture as the group walked around the temple zone, and Chithra Madhavan put the spotlight on four ancient temples on the other side of Kutchery Road.
As always, the Food Street was packed on all four evenings of the fest. This year, the stall promoters were asked not to cook snacks on the spot – but their mouth-watering dishes
sold out by 10 p.m.
This year, a small Organic Food Bazaar was created on Pitchu Pillai Street.It allowed people to sample the stuff and interact with the stall-holders.
The Fest also launched a public petition – asking the City Traffic Police to consider mak-ing the three Mada Streets ‘one way’ and to create a ‘walk only’ zone for certain hours on the weekend. (You can sign this online petition if you support this issue at http://bit.ly /Mylapore-Mada-Streets-Peti-tion.)
The Mylapore Festival has been the trigger for a few local community initiatives. One such is the ‘mike-less’ concert in the park, a series that was first launched by this Festival.
Hopefully, the call for changes in the Mada Streets’ traffic system, aimed at improving the condition of this heritage zone gets a positive nod from the Police and the Chennai Corporation.
It is a matter of immense pride to us octogenarians that our alma mater, Queen Mary’s Col-
lege (QMC) is a centurion this year and that we are alive to be a part of the celebrations.
So what’s there to gloat over a college’s century? One that’s going to seed, that has unkempt grounds overgrown with weeds,dirty corridors and forlorn-looking buildings presenting a poor picture of itself.
But to the two of us, it once meant a window to the world,freedom from the four walls of
home, if you remember the ethos of those times, 65 years ago. Our nation had first shaken itself free of British rule and talk of women’s emancipation was in the air.
Queen Mary’s College was born on July 14, 1914 (inciden-tally, Bastille Day, and the year of commencement of the Great War), thanks to the indefati-gable attempts of Dorothy De la Hey, the founder and first Prin-500 metres away, there was no need for ceiling fans. Frankly, I don’t remember if we had any. There was just one toilet for the five to six hundred girls. Not much different from now! Taps without water was the norm even
then. We shunned the toilet. Water for washing and drinking was from just one tap, with the girls jostling around to get it. There was no culture of everyone carrying a water bottle.
A lunch box was a common sight; it could not be avoided. But we did not carry too many
books. Yes, looking back, how carefree student life was then, leisurely and weightless.
We were the first women in our families to get degrees, but more than that what we still
cherish are the great friendships that last to this day. The two of us met on the first day in college and have been inseparable ever since. We caught up with Kama-la Kasturi straight from the wedding hall with flowers in her for discipline and decorum. After her there was Vijaya Koman, a graceful personality who left soon to make way for a Ms.Lakshmi.
As for the lecturers, we wonder whether there are such dedicated teachers nowadays to
guide the students. Ahalya Bai,who taught Shakespeare, actu-ally acted out the scenes. History lecturer Kalyani Kutti Amma in a traditional Malayalam mundu,Achayya looking elegant in a Coorgi saree, Krishna who in-sisted on the students reading aloud the English text in class,and Vinaya Bai (who had just one lung) are all etched in our memories. Ms. Thomas of the English Department looked so majestic that you avoided colliding with her. For Sanskrit stu-dents, it was the simple Devaki Menon who, blushing, skipped many ages of Kumara Sambha-vam, making us curious as to the contents of those pages. How-ever, students were assured that no questions would be asked in the exam from the skipped
portions! Our Librarian (we forgot the name) never failed to amuse us, always dressed in
Conjeevaram silks with zari borders, as if coming straight from a wedding! Dr. Irawathy
(later Principal) of the Geography Department and Rajamani of the Tamil section had rooms which were next to our B.A.classrooms, giving us no chance for any sort of revelry – a silence zone.
In the first or second year of our Intermediate, a college car-nival was proposed on the lines of the annual YMCA carnivals. Though initially she disliked the idea, Dr. amamoorthy later yielded to the pleas of students and staff alike to have some week-end fun. Memory being somewhat hazy about an event which took place six decades back, I only recollect the fete nding in chaos due to some mis-chief-mongers and boys from neighbouring colleges. Needless to say, the red-faced Principal cancelled the event and chas- tised everyone, forbidding us to talk or mention it ever, a vow kept until now!
A more recent incident that was the talk of the town was a spirited defence organised by the old students’ association to fend off the State Government’s efforts to take over QMC land for a new TN Secretariat. Later,dilapidated Capper House, where it all started, was replaced with a new building. But a pond that fronted the old building is no longer there, nor are the fish it hosted which kept a watchful eye on the girls!