Friend In Need Society, FINS, Bangalore

The Home

The Home of the Society is situated in Colonel Hill Road, Bangalore. It comprises two main buildings, one known as the Cobb Home for the Aged and the other The Girdlestone Nursing Home.

These buildings have been named after the Hon'ble Mr. H. V. COBB, C.S.I, C.I.E., C.B.E., and the Hon'ble Mr. C. E. R. Girdlestone, C. I. E., Residents in Mysore.

The Foundation stone of the Home was laid by the Hon'ble Mr. H. V. Cobb, C.S.I, C.I.E., C.B.E., on the 1st March 1920, and the Home declared open by the Hon'ble Mr. W. P. Barton, C.S.I., C.I.E., on the 1st February 1921.

History

The following extracts from the Daily Post of the 2nd February 1921, and appearing in the Society's Annual Report for 1920 is reproduced for general information as a matter of considerable importance to Members of the Society.

The opening of the Friend-In-Need Society's New Home

The opening ceremony of the Friend-in-Need Society's new Home at Cleveland Town, near the Zenana Mission Hospital, was performed on the 1st February 1921 by the Hon'ble Resident before a very large gathering.

The Rev. Father Tabard (Hon. Secretary), after the presentation read the following address on behalf of the Executive Committee.

This is the third time that, in its long history, the Bangalore Friend in Need Society is moving into new premises. Founded about 1830 it first carried on its activities in what is known now as the Old Poor House Road. In 1861 it migrated to Thimmiah Road. Today under your kind auspices it takes possession on what, we hope, will be its permanent habitation.

The move made in 1861 into Thimmiah Road was never considered satisfactory. The building had been erected for quite a different object and had to be adapted somehow to be requirements of the Society's Home.

Practically all the Hon. Secretaries thought that a new Home should be built in a more open locality, and with more attractive surroundings. One of my predecessors, Colonel Hill, attempted to make this a reality, but owing to several adverse circumstances did not succeed. The idea, however, was never lost sight of and, when the Hon'ble Mr. H. V. Cobb came here as Resident, we all felt that his sympathetic encouragement would enable us to realise a long cherished dream and that consequently the time to act had come.

Not only did he heartily approve of the decision of the Municipal Commission, C & M Station, to give us this site free, but he promised to interest himself on our behalf with the Government of India with a view to obtain for our scheme, a substantial building grant. This promise which he had not time to fulfill, you have, Sir, most graciously recommendation to the Imperial Government has been considered favourably and a handsome building grant of Rs. 20,000 has been sanctioned. Similiar applications are with the Mysore Government, The Kolar Mining Board, and the Planters Association. We have every reason to hope that all will be successful, so that when you meet Mr. Cobb in England, you will be able to cheer his heart by telling him that the Cobb Wards are practically completed, and that the rest of his 'pet' scheme is not likely to remain unfinished for lack of funds.

This will be, we are sure glad news to him, through he may be surprise to hear that so much has been done in such a short time, for through the foundation stone of this building was laid by him on 1st March 1920 the actual building operations did not commerce before the begining of June last.

Our new building, Indo-Saracenic in style, will be an ornament to Bangalore, and will show that, if our City holds foremost place in Southern India for its Educational Institutions, it is not behind any in its desire to make its poor not only comfortable but also conscious that they are not treated like paupers. In all our dealings with them, we wish to show them the same sympathetic interest which has prompted us to build for them a Home, where many of them may spend the evening of their days in pleasant and cheerful surroundings.

Our thanks are due to the Municipal Engineer, Mr. W. H. Murphy who without accepting any remuneration, has not only prepared the plans of the building, but also superintended their execution with devoted and loving care. They are also due to all the ladies and gentlemen who have accepted our invitation to be present this evening, thereby giving us a previous token of their sympathy for our work.

But most of all they are due to you, Sir, for having obtained for us a substantial grant from the Imperial Government, and for having so graciously accepted to preside at this function. The poor of Bangalore will never forget that it was you, who opened to them the door into their little paradise, and you may rest assured that they join us in wishing you a happy voyage on the eve of your departure from Bangalore, and that their prayers will be with you all the time you are away from us.

If only remains for me on behalf of the Executive Committee of the Friend-in-Need Society, to request you, Sir, to be pleased to declare this building opened.

The Resident's Reply

The Hon'ble Mr. W. P. Barton said:-

I wish to express my cordial thanks to Father Tabard and the Committee for the honour they have done me in inviting me to open this building and for their kind remarks about myself.

The Society of the Friend-in-Need and the Girdlestone Ward for Incurables have for the past centuary been struggling adequately to express themselves in bricks and mortar. We celebrate today the success of their efforts and we may admire a building which will be a striking feature in the scenery of Bangalore. Its style is described as Indo-Saracenic. I cannot claim a close acquittance with that school of architecture. Whatever its merits may be in its particular class, the building appears to me to blend ideas from East to West, a fact which we may regard as symbolical of the unity and co-operation of the two communities Indian and European, which has made the present achievement possible.

It is difficult to apportion and appraise the merits of those who worked to promote the scheme. My distinguished predecessor, The Hon'ble Mr. Cobb, supplied much of the driving power, and it was he who laid the foundation stone. I am sure that he would be the first to recognise the dept we owe to the Rev. Father Tabard for the unselfish devotion he has shown in carrying the work through to a finish. Palman qui merui ferat.

The name of Mr. Murphy, the Municipal Engineer, will also stand prominently on the roll of those who worked nobly in the cause of Charity. The design of the building is the product of his skill and imagination; he has throughout supervised operations, and it is largely due to him that the work has been completed with such promptitude.

Living in these pleasant surroundings, the inmates of the Home should feel that they have the sympathy and friendship of their cummunity; the direlects, those who have dropped out of the struggle for existence, will feel that they are not forgotten. The Girdlestone Ward for incurables is still in embryo. We may rely on Father Tabard and his Committee to ensure that the wards and rooms are made as comfortable as possible for those whom the inscrutable decree of fate has condemned to what seems a little better than a living death. They can only be spectators in the drama of life. Let us try and ensure that they have a decent place in the world's amphitheatre.

The urgent need for new buildings has been an incubus on the finances of the Institution for many years has greatly cramped its activities. Now that we have our buildings with no legacy of debt we should improve conditions in the Home and to give more help to the deserving of Bangalore, such as the small pensioner class, who without assistance find it difficult to live in these days of high prices - We shall look to the public of Bangalore for more generous support both to this end and to enable us to furnish the homes in a manner more worthy of this important Institution.

Conclusion

The Hon'ble Resident then opened the main door of the erected building, and the visitors followed to inspect the new Home, which consists of large airy rooms and all modern conveniences. The presentation of garlands and boquets was succeeded by hearty cheers for the Hon'ble Resident, and the playing of the National Anthem by the Auxillary Force Band (which had played selections before the ceremony) brought a pleasant function to a close). The above data was supplied by kind courtesy of Air Marshal Kinglee, who is presently also on the Board of FINS. Any information required or if a sponsorship for an inmate is thought off, kindly contact the Secretary, Friend-In-Need Society, Colonel Hill Road, Next to CSI Hospital, Bangalore 560 051, India. Phone: 091 080 575519

Adjoining the premises of the FINS, is the Girdlestone Ward, established by a former British Resident in 1886. This was used for the FINS for those inmates who were suffering from any incurable or chronic complaints.


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Thought for the Day:" Blessed are you poor, For yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, For you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, For you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man's sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, Fon in the manner their fathers did to the prophets. But woe to you who are rich, For you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full, For you shall hunger. Woe to you who laugh now, For you shall mourn and weep. Woe to you when all men speak well of you, For so did they fathers to the false prophets." Holy Bible: Luke 6:20-26