Friday, May 30, 2008

he Kaj Schmidt Memorial


A memorial at the Elliot’s Beach that one can’t miss in Chennai is the The Kaj Schmidt Memorial. Located closer to the Besant Nagar the memorial is a piece of architecture and also a landmark for the region. A plaque on the memorial states that it was built to commemorate the gallantry of Schmidt, an European sailor, who had drowned near the spot trying to save the lives of others on December 30, 1930! Unfortunately today it is now in a derelict state and needs an urgent attention for the protection of the same.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

How old is that photo? a bunch of us are trying to restore it and am trying to figure out when it got so badly damaged

N. Ramjee said...

It was on one late November 2006...

Bala Sakthis said...

I was searching for this memorial and your post has helped me to know about it....Good post...Thanks!

bala said...

hi,

we would like to know more about kaj schimidt-like his biography something...

Khan Md Ashraf said...

I have lived most of my life in these environs. Since 1959, those days there was no Besant Nagar, it was the Elliot's beach. And this beach of Madras was dominated by the Kaj Schmidt memorial. Other that the fact that he saved other's live nothing much is known about the person. But it must have been such a major deed that people deemed it fit to build such a magnificent memorial to the man. I also have a feeling that Elliot's beach was during pre-independence times a purty exclusive beach. The shore line used to be dotted with cottages that weekend visitors used for changing before taking a plunge. Probably the cottages were put up by the various 'European' companies that were active in Madras those days. These cottages were eventually demolished since Elliot's beach lost out to the janatha who don't come to swim but catch the sea breeze mainly. Of course they left the memorial alone, since it is a memorial. Me and my friends use to go swimming at Elliot's on summer Sunday morning's during the early 70's of the previous century. At that time Elliot's used to still have a lot of swimmers. The Governor of Madras used to have a cottage too, which is still there next to the food court. It has periodically been done up. Elliot's was a haven to those who wanted to avoid the crush on the Marina, but these days it is as bad if not worse.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting about this place. I grew up in Besant Nagar and it is sad to see that this memorial is in shambles. It was in pretty decent shape till 90's. Just behind this was a play area with see-saw and a bunch of exercise equipment in the late 70s. I used to know this as Elliot's Beach and it was pretty quiet. I have spent most of my school and college years hanging out in the beach. After 1995 it has become pretty bad i.e another marina. Used to be a time where you can see the beach clean and the magnificent Kaj Schidmt. The Governer residence as the previous poster said was periodically maintained. I had not known that Mr. Schidmt was a sailor till I read this post. Thanks!