100 Years Ago | 27 December 1918

On Christmas Day, Bombay Cathedral celebrated the bicentenary of its completion in 1718. Although founded after the original church of St. Mary in Fort St. George, Madras, the Cathedral of St. Thomas in Bombay comes very near possessing the longest record of any existing European church in India. The present church of St. Thomas in Madras Fort dates only from 1759, and St. Thomas’, Bombay had the honour of preceding by about two years the Portuguese church in Calcutta. The records of its establishment show that to the Rev. Richard Cobbe, who arrived in 1715 and found the English community worshipping in “two rooms beat into one,” most of the credit was due for anticipating the needs of the huge city which was to arise on the site of the meagre settlement of his own day. The consecration of the church was made the occasion for Christmas rejoicings in the old style. Success to the new church was drunk in sack, and after a plentiful repast the Worshipful the Governor “began Church and King according to custom.” The feelings on the occasion of Wednesday’s celebrations were very little different from those of two hundred years ago. Now, as then, a great war has been successfully brought to a conclusion, and the spirit of unity, loyalty, and devout thankfulness is abroad. The only vital difference lies in the size and wealth of the community to which the Bishop of Bombay now ministers, and those doubtless would have surprised the Rev. Richard Cobbe could he have been present at the recent festivities.
Judgment was delivered on the 21st inst. by Mr. James, District Judge of Shahabad, in a suit instituted on behalf of the Secretary of State against the Maharaja of Dumraon for recovery of possession of mahal Turk Ballia, with mesne profits. The Secretary of State claimed possession on the ground of his being a purchaser in a revenue sale and alleged that the mahal, which disappeared by the fluvial action of the river Ganges, reformed in situ. The defendant Maharaja claimed the land as an accretion to his estate, and also on the grounds of immemorial custom of the deep stream boundary and a special agreement with the Government. The Judge, after a protracted hearing, decided against the defendant on all the points, and decreed the suit with costs. Mr. S.S. Mallik, barrister-at-law, with the Government Pleader, appeared on behalf of the Secretary of State, and Babu Ram Chander Majumdar, vakil of the Calcutta High Court, with others, appeared for the Maharaja.
H.E. Lord Pentland, opened last evening the Madras Fair. In the course of his speech His Excellency, alluding to public opposition to the holding of the fair this year, said there had been some anxiety owing to the illness which had prevailed during the past two or three months as to whether it would be possible or prudent to hold the fair, and quite recently, as they knew, there was an outbreak of plague which gave rise to serious apprehensions. Happily, however, owing to the energetic measures taken by the Corporation their anxiety on that particular score has been greatly relieved and he was glad to say it has not been considered by those who know best to deprive the people of the presidency town and their friends of the fair this year.
The Havas agency states that President Wilson had a conference with Mr. Hoover, the United States Food Controller, regarding the food situation in Germany. In this connection the fact is emphasised that nothing can alter America’s determination to feed her associates first, neutrals second and Germany last. President Wilson wishes to finish the unofficial part of his visit to Europe, namely, his visits to Italy, Belgium and the devastated parts of France, after returning from England. He hopes to finish completely during the first week in January and then settle down to peace work in earnest.
Daroga Singh, a constable attached to the Court, Rangpur, ran amok this afternoon. He got upon the roof of the Collectorate buildings, taking with him a gun and twenty-five cartridges, and began firing upon the people below. He wounded three people. Information was sent to Mr. Cornish, Superintendent of Police, and Mr. Bell, Additional Superintendent of Police, Rangpur, who arrived on the spot immediately. There was an exchange of volleys between the constable and the two police officers. Eventually, a bullet hit the constable on the left cheek. The man ran about on the roof for some time and then shot himself dead.

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