Burnpur New Township - St John's School Prize Distribution day

At the end of the first year, the prize distribution was presided over by the Town administrator and Mrs. McCracken, the GEO's wife. The pupils performed a program of graceful dances and songs for the greatest delight of parents and friends.

page 42 Burnpur SJS Prize a
page 42 Burnpur SJS Prize Jadot b


page 42 Burnpur SJS Prize c

page 42 Burnpur SJS Prize d

 page 42 Burnpur SJS Prize e


page 42 Burnpur SJS Prize f

16:09 Posted by Jean-Jacques in 06 Burnpur | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

Burnpur New Township - St John's School


Since the residential area of Burnpur town had become too congested, an extension was being planned on the northern side of the Steel plant in the paddy fields. Included in the designed infrastructure was a large two-storied school building where both a Hindi and a Bengali section were to be developped. The demand for an English section being also taken in consideration, the unoccupied (for the time being) second floor was offered to the parish by the town administrator, to start an English primary section, pending ulterior relocation.

1. Burnpur Town adminstrator & John De Ridder with ladies on the committee at St John's school location.
page 40 Burnpur St Johns school  

2. pupils with their teacher and John De Ridder, headmaster.

 page 41 Burnpur SJS teacher a 

3. IISCO GEO's wife cuts the cake while visiting the school.

 page 41 Burnpur SJS cake

15:59 Posted by Jean-Jacques in 06 Burnpur | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |


Burnpur O'Leary Cheshire Home

The young Group-Captain Leonard Cheshire RAF had been Winston Churchill's representative on the Allied team making the last preparations for launching the atom bomb. The U.S. B-29 bomber with the name Enola Gay painted on its nose, dropped the atom bomb Little Boy on Hiroshima at 9.15 a.m. on Aug. 6, 1945. Afterwards, L. Cheshire was deeply affected by the dramatic sequels of the atomic blast on the Japanese civilian population.

When he retired from the RAF, Gr.-Cpt. Leonard Cheshire (later Lord Leonard Cheshire, V.C.) decided to open rehabilitation homes for disabled patients, in Great Britain and other countries of the world. He had worked in India and loved the country. He was invited by Mr. John McCracken, the IISCO British managing director, to open a home in Burnpur. He came himself to lay the foundation stone for the O'Leary Cheshire Home. The building was later on achieved by the Steel Plant engineers.  Homes would years later be opened by the Cheshire Homes Society in Serampore and Bangalore.

present: Gr-Cpt. L. Cheshire; Mrs. wife of  IISCO Managing-Director; Mr..., IISCO Town Administrator; John De Ridder, priest-in-charge.


Laying of foundation stone ceremony:

page 48 Cheshire Home a
page 48 Cheshire Home b

 page 48 Cheshire Home c


Burnpur O'Leary Cheshire Home completed:


page 48 Cheshire Home d

15:14 Posted by Jean-Jacques in 06 Burnpur | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |


Burnpur - the new presbytery building is opened

At long last, after so many years, a priest's residence and office is available next to St Antony's Church.

1. St Antony's church and presbytery

 page 39 Burnpur Bungalow inside c 

2. Burnpur bungalow


page 39 Burnpur b


3. John De Ridder busy at his desk on the bungalow first floor.


page 39 Burnpur Bungalow inside d


4. JDR and Koka, the keeper's half-breed watchdog 

 page 40 Burnpur Koka

09:48 Posted by Jean-Jacques in 06 Burnpur | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |


Burnpur - St Antony's Church and presbytery

When completed, the presbytery building handsomely fitted into the church surroundings and was much appreciated for its convenient disposition. The generous donations both of materials and transportation facilities granted by the IISCO and Waggon Factory managements, brought this project to its conclusion at record speed.


page 39 Burnpur a 2
page 39 Burnpur b 2
Later transformations of
St Antony's Church & Presbytery
photos submitted by Br Frank Gale ICB Asansol (August 2009)








New developments in the ASANSOL DIOCESE

see the link below


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Foundation work for the presbytery

In the Burnpur IISCO township, the need for a presbytery bungalow in the St Antony's church compound was felt more and more and the parish commitee decided to entrust its construction to John De Ridder. Under the guidance and with the assistance of a group of devoted parishioners, professionally both engineers and contractors, he therefore conceived and built the structure best adapted to the requirements of a priest's residence and parish office. The work started with the foundations being digged on location opposite the church-keeper's hut.

page 49 Burnpur foundations a



page 49 Burnpur foundations c




page 49 Burnpur foundations d

16:15 Posted by Jean-Jacques in 06 Burnpur | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |


IISCO township - Burnpur - St Antony's church




On the outskirts of Asansol, stands an important industrial township called Burnpur (named after its original founder, a Briton called BURN).


Burn & Co promoted The Indian Iron and Steel Co. Ltd. in 1918. G.H.Fairhurst is credited with having founded the plant at Burnpur (then better known as Hirapur). Sir Rajendranath Mookerjee and T.Leslie Martin were also associated with it. Sir Biren Mookerjee joined a little later and played a major role in the development of the plant. Iron production started at Burnpur in 1922. Kulti Works of Bengal Iron was merged with IISCO in 1936. Steel Corporation of Bengal (SCOB) set up the steelmaking facilities at Burnpur in 1939. SCOB was merged with IISCO in 1952 and Martin Burn was then the managing agent of the company. Indian Standard Wagon (ISW) (later renamed Burn Standard) set up its wagon factory at Burnpur.


 Iron and steel technology advanced in leaps and bounds since the Second World War, along with massive growth in production globally. The technological leap forward left the plant at Burnpur in shambles. Rising cost of production made the once profit making organisation a loss-making unit. Coupled with militant labour trouble in the sixties, IISCO faced a situation of near collapse in the early seventies. The management of IISCO was taken over by the government on 14th July 1972. Subsequently IISCO was nationalised and made a wholly owned subsidiary of SAIL (Steel Authority of India Ltd.). At the time of government-take over IISCO was the third largest private sector company (after TISCO and Telco) in India.

page 49 Burnpur steel plant b

Two plants are located here: the IISCO (Indian Iron and Steel Company) plant, one of the first steel-works opened in British India; and the Indian Standard Wagon (ISW) Factory, a plant manufacturing railway carriages for coal and iron ore transportation. As a friendly gesture, IISCO handed over the ownership rights to the landed property for a church building to be used by the Indian and Foreign Catholic township residents. The St Antony's Church was designed and built by Charles-Victor Poncelet sj with financial aid from Belgium.


1. St Antony's Church, view from the opposite maidan (esplanade).


page 30 Burnpur St Antony a
Archbishop Dyer'visit
Burnpur Dyer 2



2. The church keeper's lodge.


page 30 Burnpur St Antony b


 3. Sikander & John Barla chatting in the church compound.

                                     page 30 Burnpur John

page 37 b Burnpur John Barla


4. John De Ridder relaxing on the Barakar River bank.



page 30 Burnpur jDR river d

16:57 Posted by Jean-Jacques in 06 Burnpur | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |