Ronald D’costa pens book on rich legacy of Durrells in Jamshedpur

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Publication to capture journey of Lawrence and Gerald Durrell   

Jamshedpur, Jan. 7: Did you know that Gerald Durrell the famous conservationist was actually born in Jamshedpur and shares rich legacy with the city.  There are several hidden heroes of city each of whom has contributed in his classic way into making Jamshedpur a colourful kaleidoscope and most important, giving it a unique identity.

Famous hotelier and social worker Ronald D’Costa has penned a book ‘The Durrell Legacy in Jamshedpur’. The book will be released tomorrow (January 8) at Centre for Excellence. Chanakya Chaudhary, vice president, corporate service, Tata Steel will release the book.

Ronald D’costa

“The book is a result of years of research on the Durrells. I have put my heart and soul for the book. There are many hidden heroes of our city each of whom has contributed in his classic way into making Jamshedpur a colourful kaleidoscope and most important, giving it a unique identity. Lawrence Durrell participated and helped complete Tata Steel’s first great expansion from 1918 – 1926. One also hears of his son, Gerald Durrell, who was proud to have been born in Jamshedpur,” said D’costa.

He said that the book will help the people to know more about the Durrells association with the city. The publication also contains articles by school students on their experiences with the animals. 

Durrell was born on 7 January 1925 in Jamshedpur. His father, Lawrence Samuel Durrell (1884-1928), was a very prominent contractor who, after being involved in the building of the Darjeeling railway, came to Jamshedpur. As an engineer, he built TISCO General Office, Tata Main Hospital, the Tinplate Co., the Indian Cable Co., the Enamelled Ironware Co. and undertook contractual work with them to build the earlier European Bungalows. He stayed at D/6 type European bungalow opposite Beldih Lake and describes it as sprawling and comfortable, with cool, shuttered rooms, a large veranda with bamboo screens against the heat of the sun, and a sizeable garden of lawn, shrubs and trees.

After the death of his father in 1928, his mother, Louisa Dixie Durrell (1886-1964), returned to England with her three younger children – Leslie (1918-1983), Margaret (1920-2007) and Gerald (1925-1995) Lawrence (1912-1990), the eldest, had already moved to England .

Gerald lived with his family on the Greek island of Corfu from 1935-1939 where began to collect and keep the local fauna as his pets and which was also the basis of his book “My Family And Other Animals”, Encounters with Animals, A Zoo in My Luggage, The Corfu Trilogy and many others.   

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