This page is dedicated to the Barraclough Family

January 28 2012

The Editor received this great e-mail from Loraine telling of her family history from
the 50's and the fact that they returned to Assam and had such a wonderful time--

Please read on

My name is Lorraine Ociepa.  I am the second of 6 children born to Dempsey and Olive Barraclough.  I would like to give you a short introduction to my Dad, Mum and Family and then tell you just a little of our amazing experience my own family and I had when we visited India.     Dempsey, my Dad,  along with my Mum, Olive, a brother, Malcolm, a sister, Avril and I joined Tea in 1955 with Jardine Henderson at Chuapara Tea Estate in the Dooars where my Dad was an Engineer.  In 1957 Chuapara was the home where another brother David, was born.   Around 1957/58 Dad was transferred to Monabarie Tea Estate in Assam, which was home to us till 1964.  These years were the best years of our youth, where we, as a family unit shared so many adventures, experiences and much happiness, creating so many wonderful memories.  Two more children were born while in Monabarie, a boy Richard and a girl Jackie (she was born at the Mission Hospital in Tezpur) - thus making the six of us siblings.  In 1964 my Dad got transferred to Addabarie Tea Estate and my elder brother and I had finished school and started work, my brother in the Merchant Navy and I in Calcutta,  sadly allowing us a holiday back home for just one month a year. 

Later, around 1966/67 Dad got transferred again, this time to Hunwal Tea Estate in Jorhat.  The people my Dad worked with were wonderful.   He loved his work and had a high regard and respect for all the people he was associated with.  He then passed away in Calcutta in July 1969 while on holiday.  My Mum and all us siblings immigrated to Perth. Western Australia in May 1970.   I write now after all these years, because in January 2011, my Family - i.e. my husband Bill, daughter Rachael, son Richard and his wife Kathy made a trip to Assam, which was very short buy oh so sweet.  My children decided that it was time they made some connection with their "roots", so after some gentle persuasion, we began our research for our trip.  I never thought that we could ever actually live in Assam again, so, because of their insistence, we booked a flight to Gauhatti and thought that we would hire a car there and drive down to Tezpur and point out our homes and all the places of interest. 

Then one day my son gave me a website to checkout it was "oldassam" and on there I discovered that we could actually stay in a bungalow at Wild Mahseer - Amazing! absolutely amazing!!! and so very exciting.  I immediately sent an email requesting any information on accommodation that might be available to us and the most wonderful man, Durgadas Sarcar responded to my email with great news, thus beginning a true friendship.    It was amazing, our experience at the Wild Mahseer, staying in the Heritage Bungalow and so well looked after by Mrs Phunnu Hazarika, an absolutely beautiful and gracious lady (God rest her soul).  Surin and the staff were very caring and attentive to our every need.  Durga  took such great care of all our needs with transport and trips to Monabarie and Addabarie  Tea Estates where the Managers and Staff of both gardens greeted and welcomed us so warmly.  We were also made so welcome in "our" Addabarie bungalow, which truly touched our hearts.  Our stay in Assam was the highlight of our trip - I was "Home" and was filled with so much love and nostalgia.  Our only regret was that our stay was just too short.

  If we had known prior to booking our flights, that we could stay in the bungalows, we would have most certainly booked at least one week there and had the opportunity of seeing and doing so much that is available for tourists, including riding on an elephant.  But I am so grateful that I had this opportunity of being "home" once more and to share this experience with my family and meeting such fabulous people.  This will forever remain in our hearts.  A re-visit is a must, just as soon as we can possibly manage it.   Our stop before Assam was Calcutta (now known as Kolkatta), which was another nostalgic part of our trip ,  This was where I was born and where I worked.  Also, this was the place where my Dad was laid to rest.  When my Mum, Olive passed away here in Australia in 2007 we kept some of her ashes to lay with my Dad, which we did. 

When Durga found out that our plan was to go to Calcutta, he contacted Saneer Gurung at McLeod Russell, who then contacted me and with the blessing of Mr Khaitan arranged everything that made our stay in Calcutta so perfect.  We are ever so grateful and feel very privileged  and cannot thank them enough for making us feel so special.   When my Dad passed away,  he never had the opportunity to say goodbye and thank you to all his friends and colleagues, but by doing this trip with my family, I do believe he was blessed with the opportunity of saying just that and having closure.  By  Mr Khaitan, Saneer, Durga and McLeod Russell doing what they did for us, greatly honoured  my Dad and Mum and makes me so proud and privileged to be their daughter. 

So, thank you each and everyone of you from my parents, my husband and children and the whole BARRACLOUGH FAMILY.  To Richard Leitch and all responsible in giving us The Wild Mahseer where we are able to go "Home" once again,  we are truly grateful.  May God bless and protect you always   With kindest regards   Lorraine Ociepa and Family  

  PS; ATTACHING A FEW PICS TAKEN IN ASSAM -  The bedroom and bathroom is the one Bill and I had in the Heritage Bungalow at The Wild Mahseer.  The view of the bungalow while driving past is our Monabarie bungalow and of course the swimming pool and the Manager's bungalow and garden.  Where we were eating and the bonfire was at The Second Flush - all part of the Wild Mahseer.   Also see Phunnu Hazaarika chatting with us at breakfast (we all just loved her) and Durgadas Sarcar (fabulous guy/host/organiser) sitting with us at breakfast with his family


1 Main Bedroom in the Heritage Bungalow at Wild Mahseer

2 Ensuite to the main bedroom

3 - - Rachael, Richard & Kathy enjoying a delicious breakfast in the First Flush Dining room at Wild Mahseer

4--- Rachael, Richard & Kathy being "posers" in the spectacular Lounge Room at the Heritage Bungalow

5--- Our Family (Bill, Lorraine, Rachael, Richard & Kathy) with Sam Masood, Manager with his Assistants and Engineer at Monabarrie Tea Estate after being welcomed and presented with "gumchas"

6-- Monabarrie Tea Estate factory

7-- Monabarrie Tea Estate factory

8-- Monabarrie Tea Estate factory

9-- Rachael signing the visitor's register at the Monabarrie factory and then presented with true Monabarrie Tea

10-- - Driving through the tea in Monabarrie with "Nirri-Birri" ahead

11-- "Nirri-Birri" a beautiful structure created by Sam Masood where all can get together and have "pot-luck

12-Beautiful Monabarrie tea bushes

13-- Sam and our family on stairs to "Nirri-Birri" - what a beautiful spot

14-- Sam, part of his crew and our family inside "Nirri-Birri" toasting Life

15-A view of our Monabarrie bungalow (so nostalgic)

16-Driving past the front of Monabarrie (Engineer's) bungalow

17-- Drive up to Sam's and wife, Shelly's bungalow where we were so warmly welcomed with a VERY delicious luncheon - great hosts!

18-The garden and grounds of the Masood's bungalow in Monabarrie

19-Also part of the garden of the Manager's bungalow in Monabarrie

20-Monabarrie Swimming Pool - many a fun time was had here by us when we were young

21-- Bill, Rachael, Richard, Kathy & Durga's daughter, Kaushiki enjoying a delightful Bon Fire burning brightly during dinner at the First Flush grounds

22-Dinner in the First Flush Dining Room

23-- Phunu Hazarika chatting with us at breakfast in the First Flush Dining Room

24--Durga and his lovely wife, Atalanta in the First Flush Dining Room

25-Engineer's Bungalow in Addabarrie - which was "home" to The Barracloughs

26-Our family with Saneer Gurung, and his friend and colleague, Dhruva from McLeod Russell, who took us for a scrumptious Indian lunch at Oh Calcutta Restaurant in Kolkatta

27-Our family with Addabarrie's Manager, Ravinder Singh and Raman his wife, who were amazing hosts and graciously welcomed us to their home with a very yummy tea

28-The beautiful verandah at the Heritage Bungalow in Wild Mahseer where we stayed

29-Durga giving Rachael a ride on his bike around the tea garden

30-My Family with Durga posing in the midst of the tea bushes near the Heritage Bungalow at Wild Mahseer

31-. Bill having a go on Durga's bike at the Heritage Bungalow in Wild Mahseer

32- The "Posers" Rachael and Richard in the Lounge Room at the Heritage Bungalow in Wild Mahseer

33-Richard & Kathy toasting to Life in the Lounge Room at the Heritage Bungalow in Wild Mahseer

34-Surin taking real good care of Bill and I (as with all of us) in the Lounge Room at the Heritage Bungalow in Wild Mahseer

35-Aaaahhhhh "Pallung - ka - Cha" in the Heritage Bungalow at the Wild Mahseer

36- Me (Lorraine) with the workers in Addabarrie Tea Estate who knew my Dad, Dempsey

37-Richard, Kathy Lorraine, Rachael and Bill with people in Addabarrie Tea Estate who remembered my Dad, Dempsey

38-Dad and Mum in front garden of our Addabarrie Home - 1966/67

39-Mum in front garden of our Chuapara (Dooars) House - 1956

40-Our Family - in front garden of our Monabarrie Home 1962

41- Dad, Mum, Ann (widowed Daniels from Rangamatti-now Mckinley also with Jardines), Mr Rakshit, Assistant on Chuapara & us children - picnic in Dooars

42- Chuaparra (Dooars) Home taken in 1955.

43-Six of us at Kolapani Airstrip before Richard leaves for school in Calcutta - 1964

44-. Mum and Jackie with Ringo our dog - Monabarrie 1965

45-Dad, Mum with Dr & Mrs Oswald (from Phulbarrie TE), Richard, Jackie & David - in front garden of our Addabarrie B’Low -1967