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Hurrychund Sadasewjee

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Hurrychund Sadadewjee (1828-1896)

Brother of Jagannath Sadasewjee

1897 Obituary [1]

HURRTCHUND SADASEWJEE, who was elected an Associate on the 9th April, 1861, was the second member of the Institution recruited from among the native engineers of India and for many years shared with the late Ardaseer Cursetjee the distinction of representing that now growing contingent.

He was born on the 2nd October, 1828, in Bombay, and his early life was passed at Belgaum, where his father, Mr. Sadasewjee Vishwanath Hate, was head clerk in the Commissariat Department.

Hurrychund, as well as his elder brother, Jagannath was educated at the Elphinstone College, Bombay, and subsequently studied there in a class of engineering, to which Dr. Pole had been specially sent out from England as professor.

After passing the final examination, he was appointed a teacher in the Elphinstone High School.

On the 1st September, 1848, he was nominated by Government a second class surveyor at Karchi, where he remained until 1850.

Not liking the climate of Sind, he then returned to Bombay, and, obtaining an introduction to Mr. James J. Berkley, who had recently arrived to begin the construction of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, was at once engaged as a draughtsman by that gentleman. This appears to have been the turning-point in his career, the remainder of which, was, with the exception of a few months, passed in the service of the Great Indian Peninsula Company.

In April, 1856, during the absence of Mr. Berkley on furlough, Mr. Hurrychund resigned his position for that of assistant-superintendent of repairs to the Bombay Board of Conservancy. On Mr. Berkley’s return, however, that gentleman requested the Bombay Board to restore his valued assistant, and Mr. Hurrychund re-entered the service of the Great Indian Peninsula Company. During the remainder of Mr. Berkley’s stay in India Mr. Hurrychund acted as his personal assistant, preparing designs and estimates for bridges and tunnels prior to each section of the line being let by contract.

In 1857 he was made a classified assistant engineer, and in 1864 he was promoted to first class assistant engineer. The Architectural and Engineering Departments at Bombay were amalgamated about this time and the drawing office was placed under Mr. Hurrychund’s sole charge. In 1868 he became resident engineer.

On the completion of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, in 1870, extensive reductions were made in the staff, and Mr. Hurrychund was offered the option of going into up-country districts as resident engineer or of staying in Bombay in charge of the drawing office. He chose the latter, and for twenty-five years he fulfilled the duties of that post to the complete satisfaction of his superior officers.

Early in 1895 he experienced symptoms which rapidly developed into cataract of both eyes, and, feeling that he could no longer conscientiously discharge his duties, he, on the 1st August, 1895, retired from the service of the Great Indian Peninsula Company, after a connection with it of forty-five years. He was presented with an illuminated address which bore the signatures of all the prominent officers of the railway stationed in Bombay. The hope expressed in the address that he might still enjoy many years of life was not, however, destined to be fulfilled, for, on the 17th October, 1896, he died at his residence in Bombay.

Mr. Hurrychund was the recipient of many civic honours. He was made a Justice of the Peace in 1803, and in the same year he was elected a Member of the Bombay branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. In January, 1870, he was nominated a Fellow of the Bombay University in the Faculties of Arts, Science and Engineering, and for twenty-three years he served as Honorary Secretary of the Bombay Mechanics' Institution. He was twice a member of the Municipal Corporation, and in 1871 served on a committee appointed to consider and report upon the best practicable mode of purifying the Vehar water.

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