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Where's the name from?

S. MUTHIAH

Dorothy Miranda refers to the search for the Rev. John Breeden I'd written about (Miscellany, March 1), and wonders why St. George's Homes, Ketti (Ooty), got re-named Laidlaw Memorial School & Junior College instead of the Rev. Breeden, the founder being recalled in any re-christening. Well, I have no answer to that except to point out that the School survived in its early years almost entirely due to the munificence of Sir Robert Laidlaw.

Laidlaw's connection with the school itself is something I'm rather curious about. Sir Robert, I'm told, was connected with the early 20th Century department store chain called Whiteway, Laidlaw. It's huge Madras branch — which specialised in regular ‘sales' — was where V.G.P. now has its showroom on Mount Road. Whiteway, Laidlaw had branches in several parts of India and in other British Eastern possessions. But, I don't think it was headquartered in Madras. And, if it wasn't, what was Sir Robert's connection with South India?

My correspondent also points out that a legend at Laidlaw School is E.A. Hammick who had the unique record of being a student, teacher, headmaster and principal of the school, spending 62 years on its campus before retiring in 1976.

Few, she writes, would have had such a long association with any educational institution.

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