On behalf of the Committee I accord you a hearty welcome.A source of great pleasure to me to be able to meet you today in this premises and to be able to invite Mr. Tutwiler to perform the opening ceremony of the new building.
Before the ceremony takes place I would like to give you some idea of the origin of this club from its modest beginning to its present condition as you see it standing before you now.
It was towards the end of 1913 some of the Indian employees of the Company felt the need of having a place where they could remain engaged in the spare times in the persuit of innocent amusements. With this object in view some of us formed into a sort of a club where music and drama were the only amusement offered. in the beginning the number of members was about 32.
This place at that time was known as Sakchi hence the name of this club was Sakchi Dramatic Club. For a long time our club led an itinerant life and we used to meet in the quarters of different members wherever it was convenient.
As Sakchi began to grow there was an influx of more Indians and it was found that the residential quarters were not big enough to accomodate all. Then the idea of a separate building originated in the heads of some of them who were, so to speak, the pioneers of the present club now known as Milanee.
With this idea these enthusiastic gentlemen approached the management of the company in 1914 and got a piece of land from the Company near the present Bistupur Bazar.
The old Sakchi Dramatic Club building was built and the activities of our club were extended in various directions. We had besides drama and music, indoor and outdoor games and a library.
Sakchi Dramatic Club, 1916
In 1920 two other similar clubs namely Saraswat Sammilani and Oriya Dramatic Club were incorporated with ours. To this amalgamated club the name “Milanee” which means a place where people meet, was given. As the number of members increased rapidly it was found necesssary to have a bigger building. Having already received encouragement and help at the hands of the management those pioneers approached the mangement for help in building this new building. I am glad to say we received sympathy and encouragement from our General Manager. The General Manager gave us a magnificient donation. He also interceded with the Directors on our behalf to let us have all the structural materials at a very much reduced price. We appreciate all that he has done for our club and for which we are grateful to him.
it was no doubt a most daring undertaking with the means at our disposal to attempt to erect a building of the dimensions as you see it now, But the help and encouragement we received from the General Manager and other officials of the company, the sale proceeds of our old building which the Company was kind enough to buy from us, the promise of the members to donate another ten percent of their pay towards this building fund and also the promise of financial help made by most of the contrace tors emboldened us to iaunch into this enterprise the corner stone of which was laid by the General Manager on 22nd May 1921.
This buiding has cost us a great deal more than our budgeted estimate owing to some unforeseen and unfavourable circumstances which overtook the building during the course of its construction. We are all grateful to Messrs Kar & Co. for their substantial donation towards the club building fund and also for their readiness to build the premises at cost price. They have done most of the work for which we have not been able to pay them yet. We have not yet been able to pay the Company for the steel materials we took. Besides these debts we have some other expenses to meet, namely the stage has to be fitted, furnishing of the whole building wiil have to be done, electric installations will have to be put up.
All these mean money which is at a discount with us at present. But we hope that we shall meet all these demands gradually from the donations promised by the members and the public and also from the income that the club will fetch by providing various amusement such as theatricals and bioscopes the public. We look upon the generous public of Jamshedpur for help in getting over our difficulties and we feel sure that we shall not be dissapointed.
It would be a piece of ungratefulness on our part if we do not mention the name of Messrs Durrell & Co. who contributed a substantial sum which helped us to make an addition to the original building. This addition to the building has provided for the club billiard & library rooms.
I would now request Mr. Tutwiler to open the building.
Welcome address of Dr. Shantiram Chakravarti on the occasion of the opening of the Milanee building on 17th March I924.