Horizon at Sandy Point

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Photo album: Khanta Dhanook Ganase

Old photos - black and white, small, even slightly out of focus - have the power to take you back to understand moments in a person's life. If that person is someone as close as a husband or brother, mother or sister, father or son, photos become touchstones for emotional memory. Family photos are place maps you can use to rekindle feelings - how close you were, how happy, how comfortable -  information and remembrance.

Here are some photos from the life of Khanta Dhanook Ganase, the boy from Arima who went to Africa - Ghana and Kenya - and finally settled in  Draguignan France. A chronology is suggested, but each image is its own talking point. Enjoy!

The first is Ganase Dharrie Maharaj, who came from India when the colonial power was recruiting sugar cane workers. He would have arrived in Trinidad in the later decades of 1800s. Legend has it that he simply walked to the docks and got on a ship bound for Trinidad. After his five years' indentureship, he chose to stay in Trinidad. Together with three or four other jahaji brothers, he founded Trinidad's first bus company. He also founded a few branches of Maharajs. His grandson took Ganase as his surname, Khanta Dhanook Ganase. Other branches took Dharrie, and others Maharaj. Ganase lived to 95 years old. This is the story of Khanta's family.(See previous blog post for the fuller story: )

Ganase Dharrie Maharaj, the one who came from India
Khanta's  parents: Dhanook Maharaj and Dukhanee
 The selection of photos of Khanta Dhanook Ganase in his earliest decades are mainly from ID photos. In all of them, he was a man who was always smiling. Here he is as a young man in his twenties, in uniform and a professional in the aviation industry.
The boy from Arima: one of the earliest photos of Khanta: you can see the features of  sons and grandsons.
In his RAF greatcoat, hat at a rakish angle
Kenya Airways?

Khanta at the Eiffel tower 1949: "The two chaps were university mates from UK. They all came touring France by bicyclette in August 1949 and stayed at la cité universitaire in Paris during the summer holiday."

Khanta met Adrienne LeComte, a girl from Versailles, in September 1949 in London. In 1950, she came to Trinidad to marry him.

Those men and their flying machines

In France?

Khanta's pride

Beach beauty

These are photos of Adrienne and Khanta, and their children in Arima and later in Piarco

Before Indra

Arima house

Indra, Rikhi, Ranji, Vidia, Carl, Krishen and Nadine
These photos are in no particular order. You're invited to say what your memories are at those times. Send emails and the information can be added or clarified.

Adrienne with two!

Beach races with Rikhi and Indra

Piarco house with Rikhi, Indra, Vidia, Carl and Ranji

Travelling with Vidia, on the way to see the Statue of Liberty in New York

House in Piarco: Indra, Rikhi, Ranji, Vidia, Carl

Arima house

First two: Indra and Rikhi

First three: Indra, Rikhi and Ranji

Arima house

A backyard with coconut trees: Piarco

At the house in Piarco

At the house in Piarco

The aviation engineer in London and Kenya.

In London with the RAF

Chief engineer and his crew at Kenya Airways
Festive occasion in Kenya

River lime with other Dharrie Maharaj cousins in Trinidad

Adrienne says that Khanta always loved roses. So this rosebush in Draguignan is his tribute and final resting place.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this. Kamala, my mother and Satnarine's daughter, would really like it.