Members of the Hudson Memorial Church and devotees from across the city, dressed in their best, congregated at the church on Sunday to celebrate its 109th anniversary.
The absence of Chief Minister Sidaramaiah and Home Minister K.J George went almost unnoticed as the gathering swung to the choir’s catchy songs.
The church, situated on the road parallel to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike head office, boasts of a rich history. Though the earliest Kannada service was held at the Bangalore fort area as early as 1822, the Hudson Memorial Church first started functioning in 1859 at Gaanigarapet — the present day Nagarethpet.
Due to the growing congregation (250 members in 1904), devotees were on the lookout for a bigger place of worship. It was on the land sold to the Wesleyan Missionary Rev. J.A. Vanes in 1900 that the stone structure, which is the church today, was built. According to the church’s website, in those days the place was surrounded by a pond and fields. The church is named after Rev. Josiah Hudson, who was leading the Wesleyan Mission centre and was also the church pastor.
Sunday’s celebrations were to coincide with the day the main door of the church was opened for the first service on September 23, 1904.
To commemorate this heritage, Sona Abel and her family had come all the way from Hesaraghatta. “We have been coming here for 10 years. We try to come at least thrice a month,” she said.
Her niece, Hanica Apoorva, is luckier. She lives on the church campus as her father is part of the church administration. “I am 23 and since my childhood I have witnessed renovations for the 100-year celebrations too,” she recalled proudly.
Also sharing the pride was 80-year-old S. Shardrach, who has been visiting the church for 60 years. Over the years, he said, he has seen the number of youngsters visiting the church go up. “That is because the number of activities arranged for younger members has also gone up. Students are also being offered scholarships,” he said.