Leitch Family

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John Leitch and Deppa Hazarika

Richard's Mum and Joy Hingston

Xmas 2006 Visit with Diana (Eastment) Owen

Labour and language

About "Wild Mahseer'

East Boroi and Thakurbari Clubs

Margherita Club

Tingri Club


Calcutta visit in march 2005

Bishnauth and East Boroi

Calcutta, Delhi, and Dirial TE


This page is dedicated to the memories of the Leitch Family 

Below are photographs of Richard's late mother Joy.
Left Side;     One of the last pictures taken of Joy before she passed away with her grandaughter Sam in Cardiff.Right Side:    Picture of Joy Taken Xmas 01
to see other sets of pictures click here

Richard son of John and Joy Leitch, who are sadly no longer with us, has kindly sent some pictures of Assam Delhi &  Calcutta taken in the last couple of years--they are very good and there is little text. We have now added some written  information relating to history of more than 50 years ago

Richard is one of the Pioneer Directors  of RJBI which is a company with plans to open up Mature Bungalows as tourist accommodation in North East India. The first is operating and is at Balipara in the Thakurbari District on the North bank of the Brahmaputra river near Tezpur
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March 7 2010

Thanks to Ali Zaman we have a picture of John Leitch, Richard's late father, together with Deepa Hazarika   Ali tells us that they are all well but Deepa's arthritis shows no improvement, however she remains cheerful on her wheelchair. Deppa's daughter sent the photo to Ali and we thank her

January 31 2010
Through the good offices of Jill Dawkins we can add a photo of
Richard's Mum Joy Leitch and Joy Hingston 

January 5 2007

Richard Leitch visited Assam over the Christmas holidays. He was accompanied by his wife Jackie and Diana (Eastment) Owen. This was Diana's first trip back since 1985 and was the first time meeting Roy Eastment's second wife Bina and her two half brothers Robin and Sanju. It was a very emotional, but very fulfilling trip for us all. Below is a collection of photographs taken during that trip-The story in both phtos and text is told by Richard-    Thank you Richard 

Click Here to see the pictures

March 20 2006

Here are some interesting notes created by the Company Superintendent for the benefit of new Assistants and given to them in a formal letter--the emphasis being to learn the language It was  written in 1951 -- some 55 years ago

Labour and the Language

   The one matter of major importance on arrival in this country is to learn to speak the language in the quickest possible space of time: without a knowledge of it you are neither able to give orders or to understand what is being said to you.

  It is not the slightest use knowing your job as a planter and having a first class knowledge of what is necessary for the manufacture of quality teas in the factory if you cannot work labour and get them both to like and respect you.

  With hard work and a very little time spent in learning a few words each day it is possible for an average man to pass a test  successfully at the end of six months and so earn your language bonus of R.300/-.

  This however is unusual and has only been done once in this Company.

  Your test will come at the end of one year from the date of your arrival and if you are not able to pass a simple test you are liable to forfeit the bonus.

  Four or five words per day written down and memorised will very quickly build up a good vocabulary.

  At this period of your career you should make your Manager's life almost a misery by listening to what he says and then asking what were the various words he used .

  Get a member of the Indian staff to come along to your bungalow in the evening for half an hour to help you.

  The average labour encountered on a tea Estate is very amenable to discipline provided it is applied with a mixture of fairness, good humour, and firmness. To get work from our labour you must wotrk with them, get wet if they are getting wet (in the garden), get your hands dirty if you are working in the factory on machinery and, above all, speak the language even if it is not correctly spoken

  Get to know who is related to who, make friends with the small children and the old people and have a talk to them when you are off work.  As soon as you can afford it go in for shikar, you will learn a great deal about things and people by adopting this hobby that you will never learn otherwise.

  Marriage  It is very unusual for the Directors to permit a young Assistant to marry before the end of his first agreement and has proved his worth that he likes the Country, his work and is likely to progress to managerial status.

  Again, the language question is of major importance: the combination of two young people, both of whom cannot speak it ,trying to run a home produces an impossible situation.

  Remember that for the first year or two you are learning your job and, I would repeat again,the most important part of this is to learn how to work labour; until you can prove yourself in this you are likely to be more of a liability to your Manager than an asset.

  You can live on your pay as a junior Assistantbut, unless you have a private income on your own, it is insufficient to keep two in any degree of comfort, much less a possible three.

  A girl who is not interested in her compound, in sewing, keeping fowls, or what may be called country pursuits is usually unsuitable for this Country and will soon become unsettled and finish up by unsettling her husband as well.

  Marriage before the age of thirty is an extremely risky business and should not lightly be undertaken.

  If you wish eventually to marry make yourself indispensable to the Company and outstanding in your work. There are plenty of average Assistants in Tea but regretfully few with outstanding ability and the supply cannot meet the demand.

  There are big and highly paid jobs at the top but few capable of filling them and in this connection it may be remembered  - " A man who never does more than he is paid to do will seldom be paid for more than he does"

Sample of language test.--
to be given  (after six months service and if passed a bonus of Rs.300/-.would be paid)

The following to be translated

1. When your work is finished you can go
2. Lift it and take it away
3. It is very heavy
4. I cannot do so
5. He is a strong man and he will be able to do so
6. Budhoo's wife is sick
7. What is the sickness

8. Since yesterday she has had dysentery
9. Tell her to go to the hospital

10. She cannot walk
11. She has become weak
12. The women will pluck in No. 12
13.The men will hoe in No.7
14. If it rains give them leave

15. I want leave tomorrow
16. What for ?
17. To plough my land
18. Have you any ploughing bullocks
19. No but I shall take my brothers
20. My land is very bad.
21. I will come and see it
22. Sombhoos cows have eaten my dhan
23. How much have they spoiled?

24. He must pay the cost
25. He is willing to pay.

26. Do not take this land it is too high
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  About "Wild Mahseer"

March 15 2006
Richard writes to the editor as follows:
I am writing this mail in the Grand in Calcutta on my way back to
Bali.  I have spent two weeks here mostly in Assam on RJBI business.
Things are going well.  We are looking to expand and are working
towards that.  We are also talking with the government in Itanager,
the capital of Arunachal, in regard to getting access to locations in
Arunachal.  We plan camp style resort at Pasighat and a fishing camp
at Tipi, north of Bomdila, on the upper Borelli.  We are getting much
support.  We are also talking with the Eastern and Oriental Express in
view to linking up with them in Burma.  Basically we will send on to
each other.  We are working with Bangkok Airways on a flight twice a
week from Bangkok to Dibrugargh via Mandalay and vice versa.  So
things are moving along.  We plan on getting records of all ex
planters and their families in the view to giving them all discounted
rates.  We are also looking at utilising the WM Cessna, currently
discussing this with them.  The company is now rejoined, as I am sure
you know.  It is now known as Macleod Russell India Limited, a
Williamson Magor Company.  It recently bought the Doom Dooma Company and consists of 49 gardens.  The biggest single tea grower in the world.
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East Boroi and Thakurbari Club info

East Boroi Club Honorary Life Members 
 Richard's late father JPW Leitch is listed

Thakurbari Club Life Members
Thakurbari Club Secretaries 1924 - 2004

Thakurbar Club Chairman 1916  -  1966

Thakurbari Club Chairman/ Presidents from 1967 to 2004

One more at Thakurbari --showing off the bar
Ranjit Barthakur, Radhika Kaul and Richard
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Margherita Clubs

Click Here To See Pictures


Tingri Club

Click Here to See Pictures

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Tea House in front of the Bargang Factory. Most modern of the time, built by my Dad, John Leitch & John Oliver

Sam Masood the current manager of Bargang with my daughter Sam

The tree where Dad organised a puja for rain which indeed came 6 weeks
 before anyone else got any.

The sign that he put on the tree which you can see is maintained to
 this day and they still hold pujas here.

Bijli Prasad,The Bargang Elephant in Richard's father's day  worked for many years at Bargang. There is no doubt he remembered me, very emotional. I hadn't been to Bargang for just under 30 years.He is retired now and enjoys life at 76 years of age. The gent in the middle is Baya who was Dad's driver the whole time he was at bargang. His father was jetta who was the Olivers Cook as well as ours. He also served with my grandfather in the Gurkhas.

Mrs Lakmi Baruah wife of the former Tonoo Buruah. Great friends of Mum and Dad. together with Jackie, Richard,  Sam and Katie
(Samantha  is Richard's elder daughter from his first marriage to Sarah Crompton. Katie is from Richard's marriage to Jackie)

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Calcutta visit in 2005 March

We held a cocktail party for friends and colleagues of Mum and Dad at the Grand Hotel in Calcutta. I am sure you recognise a few 

Rear  L to R -Sasanka Dutta-Prodosh Sen-Richard-friend of Ranjit B- Ranjit Singh(Rex)- Khokon Mundle(Shorty)-Alok Vira

Mid    L to R -Ranjit Borthakur- Mrs Gini Sen-Mihir Chaudhuri-Rupen Banerjee-Rajeev Thakru- Geeta Chaudhuri-Neelam Lall-Chandra Das-Shireen Zaman-Sikha Mundle-Probir Das    Front L to R- Radhika Borthakur-Madan Lall-Jackie-Ali Zaman

Jackie Leitch, Mr Kahaitan, and Richard Leitch who finally  met up with Mr. Khaitan. who  has been very supportive of
 RJBI and we will eventually have 12 bungalows up and running

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March 21 2005

Thank you Richard

Bishnauth and East Boroi

This is another collection of photographs taken in 2004 by Richard which he has shared with us to enable us to be  nostalgic--Editor

Click Here To See Pictures

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March 22 2005
Thank you Richard

Calcutta Delhi & Dirial 

This is the third collection of photographs taken in 2004 by Richard which he has shared with us to enable us to be  nostalgic--Editor

Click Here To See the Pictures