‘Aloyseum’, at St. Aloysius College, has been renovated at a cost of Rs. 80 lakh
In the hundred years since its foundation, ‘Aloyseum’, the museum at St. Aloysius College, has roamed the campus in search of a permanent building, while accruing collections of coins, cars, stamps and specimens in its objective to be the museum for Mangalore.
Inaugurating the renovated museum – coinciding with its centenary – Swebert D’Silva, Principal of the college, said around Rs. 80 lakh had been spent to enlarge the ‘Red Building’ of the campus where the museum is now lodged. Government grants were used to restore museum artefacts, he said.
Since it started operating in the Red Building in 1913, it has been shifted around the campus to make way for the burgeoning student population, before settling into the original building in 1995. The first collection of Roman coins, minerals were brought here by Jesuit priest Chiappi, and since, numerous visits by rectors across the country have added to the museum, with some artefacts dating back to the Stone Age.
The renovated museum gives a sneak peak into natural sciences and history with its collection of animal and fish bones, dinosaur models, copies of paintings, palm leaf manuscripts, antique radios and telegraphic, statues, coins, weapons, and medals. Mangalore of yore is seen in the first electric generator installed in the city in 1930, while vestment of priests from the city dates back to 1878, said officials.
The centre of attraction remains the De Deon car, which was imported by P.F.X .Saldanha of Highland Coffee Works. Unused because of scarcity of petrol – there were no petrol stations in the city – the car has seen the likes of Sir Arthur Lawley, Governor of Madras, touring the district in it. The 8 HP car, could go only a maximum of 19 miles an hour, and was gifted to the museum in 1956.
The museum charges an entry fee of Rs. 5, and Mr. D’Silva hoped that the Museum would turn into a tourist attraction for those looking for a glimpse into the old Mangalore.