Karthik Madhavan

ERODE: Government Museum, Erode will soon hold an exhibition on life and times of Antony Watson Brough.

The exhibition is likely to be held in the first week of December to throw light on Brough (1861-1936), who arrived in Erode as a missionary towards the end of the 19th century to serve the people.

During his stay in Erode, historians say, Brough collected a variety of articles of day-to-day use. The articles were subsequently shipped to Australia where he spent the evenings of his life.

Museum sources told ‘The Hindu’ that he collected 295 objects, which included bronze bell for prayer, brass rice chatty, curry chatty, brass anklet, human sacrificial sword, metal comb, and much more.

Of the 295 objects Brough collected, the Australian Government, as part of a goodwill gesture, gave 33 items, which are now at the Government Museum in Chennai.

Brough’s is an important chapter in Erode because he established schools, worked for Dalits uplift and also played a role in Erode’s development.

Historian Pulavar S. Raju says Brough established a hospital in Erode, particularly to look after the health needs of Muslim women. Though the hospital is now called CSI Hospital, it is popularly known as Gosh Hospital. It is next to the church, named in his memory, on Brough Road.

He also set up one more hospital, in Chennimalai in memory of his son who died on the battlefront during World War I, the historian says.

In all, Brough established 94 schools in and around Erode and two hospitals.

C. Maheswaran, former Curator of Erode museum, says the missionary also worked for the uplift of Dalits by teaching them arts and craft. He concentrated his work in Kanji Koil and also served as Inspector of Matriculation Schools in the district. He adds that Brough also has the distinction of being a member of the then Erode Municipality. He was a nominated member.

Mr. Raju further says that in view of Brough’s contribution to the society, particularly Muslims, the Brough Memorial Church has Ya Kudah inscribed at the entrance.