Kapil to bring Indian migrant's ashes from Australia
Legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev is all set to fulfill the last wish of an Indian migrant to Australia who died more than six decades ago.Updated: Jul 21, 2010 16:14 IST
Legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev is all set to fulfill the last wish of an Indian migrant to Australia who died more than six decades ago.
Kapil will land in Australia this weekend to collect the ashes of one Pooran Singh and take them to India for immersion.
Kapil will also attend a ceremony organised by the Victorian Sikh Community on this Sunday to collect the ashes.
Pooran, who migrated to Australia 111 years ago, had wished that his ashes be immersed in River Ganges.
Alice Guyett-Wood, owner of the funeral company which took care of the ashes for the last 63 years, said, "it is fantastic and an emotional moment for us to have his last wish fulfilled."
Pooran was cremated in June 1947 with his relatives in India being notified of his death by telegram. Ever since, Singh's ashes have been kept safe by an Australian family funeral company Guyett's Funerals in Warrnambool.
Although no one has come forward to collect the ashes, they have been preserved for their final journey to India and accorded pride of place at the Warrnambool cemetery.
Pooran was 30 when he left India and landed on Australian soil in 1899. He worked as a hawker, selling goods laden in his horse-drawn cart, travelling from one country town to the other.
He had left his family behind in Punjab and spent the remaining 47 years of his life in Victoria. He died in 1947 at the age of 77.
Pooran had instructed that he be cremated and not buried. His body was sent to this city as it had the only crematorium in Victoria at that time.
Alice said the ashes were passed from generation to generation and she and her brother took care of them after her father Jack Guyett died in 1986.
"We didn't have the authority to dispose them off, so we just held them. We were not able to locate his relatives," she said.
She said the wagon used by Pooran for selling goods is now showcased in Flagstaff Hill. Pooran's Warrnambool base was a farm owned by John and Vera Moore known as Glenmore.
Moore was one of the executors of his will, ensuring that his estate was distributed to a few Warrnambool residents and to his four nephews in India. His son John Moore is the fourth generation of the family to own the property today.
Moore had kept the wagon at his property in Glenmore before donating it to Maritime Museum.
First Published: Jul 21, 2010 15:45 IST