A long time dream had come true by the renovation of Kaj Schmidt Memorial at Elliot’s Beach in Besant Nagar, Chennai. The monument erected in the memory of Kaj Schmidt, a Danish sailor who drowned in attempt to save the lives of three Europeans, which include two woman, has been abandon for long time and a huge crack was suppose to break it apart. But glad the Chennai Corporation had taken steps at last after various attempts by NGOs and public requesting the government to restore the memorial.
I had been around the memorial number of times (while I was able to walk), without giving thought what it was and why built there. I also liked climbing upon the memorial through the broken steps and taking seat at the rear front that used to embrace in cool sea breeze. Getting close to the memorial never seems to be graceful unlike watching from distance and catching it during sunrise or sunset is always wonderful sight. Against the blue sky and sea, the renovated (not yet quiet) white monument beautifies the entire beach site, and it is also protected by fence on four sides.
The ambassador of Denmark who recently visited the monument revealed that Schmidt wasn't a Dutch national like we know so far, rather he was Danish! Schmidt born in Denmark in 1901, joined the East Asiatic Company in 1921 was sent to Madras to work at their first Indian office, which opened in (1928) hope to buy/export peanuts and market Danish dairy products and cement. Schmidt and his colleagues who went bathing to Elliot’s Beach on December 30, 1930, noticed people fighting the waves, jumped in and saved the people before he lost his battle. (check here for my early post detailing the monument's exist)
The monument unveiled a year later from his drowning, was built in honoring his dedication and savior attitude towards others. The memorial originally a brick and mortar construction, and colored in Ivory was renovated using lime and stone for the lattice window and sunshades. The monument is stitched with stone to withstand so many years was done by Mamallapuram based sculptor and temple-restoration expert K. Rajendran and his six member team. The building without a stone foundation is now paved in granite sables to enhance the stability and prevent cracks.
P.S. Photos capture by my cousin on my behalf