Treasure house of memories

Treasure house  of memories

Admiral Oscar Stanley Dawson, his sister Thelma and his brother Ivor were born in Burma (Myanmar). They were evacuated to India during the Japanese occupation in 1942 and finally settled down in Bangalore in 1952. The house they have lived in ever since belongs to an Islamic trust and is called Bostan. It was built during the days of the British and holds a treasure chest of memories for them. The home, they have spent a major part of their lives in, still houses Admiral Dawson, Thelma as well as Ivor (who retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the Army) and his family.

Admiral Dawson was a war veteran, who served as the Naval aide-de-camp to the first President of India Dr Rajendra Prasad. The Admiral was posted to New Zealand as Indian High Commissioner on his retirement as Chief of Naval Staff after a distinguished naval career. Not withstanding age and retirement, the Dawsons keep themselves busy with various social causes interacting with a steady stream of people from different social work organisations like Anga Karunya Kendra (a trust that provides artificial limbs to the needy) and Divya Shanti (that educates slum children).
“There is no time for loneliness or self-pity when there is so much work to do for the needy,” says Thelma.

The quiet street, they live on, is still charming but the old houses have all disappeared morphing into smart new apartment blocks.

The curved drive leads to a distinctive porch with burnished tiles, green monkey tops and gracious pillars that houses a vintage red and white car, an Austin Cambridge, kept by the Admiral in mint condition and is a perfect embellishment for the rest of the home.

The wooden beams and angled roof of the porch is replicated in the bright airy verandah. The large rambling garden goes nicely with the character of the house with tall leafy trees of infinite variety screening it from the heat.

The verandah is covered with lattice work and holds an antique television set and radiogram as it leads to an elegantly proportioned hall with a cool Italian tiled high ceiling and black polished kadappa slabbed flooring.

It houses three pianos which are put to good use as the Dawsons love to host lively musical evenings with their close friends.

No alterations of any kind have been made to the house except for the outdoor kitchen which has been converted to staff quarters while the old pantry now serves as a kitchen.
The four spacious bedrooms, all have attached bathrooms, with  most of the old fittings still intact complete with doors leading out into the garden.
The thick walls and sturdy structure of Bostan was built to last and never required any alterations except for the regular maintainence of painting and polishing.
“This house holds wonderful memories of our family, friends and our lives here in this City which quickly became our home so many decades ago,” they say.

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