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Mathematical Genius Srinivasa Ramanujan

Name - Porter Town Hall
Date of Birth - Constructed in the year 1885
Speciality - Celebrated first Centanary in 1988
Honoured as  - One in Olderst Social Clubs in South India
Type of Club   Social Club

The Kumbakonam ClubThe Kumbakonam Club which have been celebrated its first centenary during 1988 is one of the oldest among the Social Clubs in South India. It was started as a social club (non-political, non-communal and non-sectarian) in 1883 by some of the leading citizens of the town. It is remarkable that this was started as a social club in those far off days in this town which was the center of orthodoxy and hidebound casteism and communalism. The Club is open to members of all castes and communities. Being a social club, there is no caste or class distinctions among the members of the club. Among the club members, there have been and are Principals and Professors of the College, Teachers of the Schools, Judges, Advocates, Doctors, Municipal Chairmen, Bank Directors, Industrialists, Businessmen, Agriculturists and Government Servants etc.,

The founders of the Club decided that the Club should have a building of its own. And for this purpose, a site was purchased in the names of two of the members of the Club viz Sadhu Seshiah and R. V. Srinivasa Ayyar and a grand building which is one of the landmarks in the Town to house the Club was constructed therein in 1885 from the subscriptions of the members and the donations collected by them from the public. The building was named as the PORTER TOWN HALL in the name of a prominent member of the Club who was then the Principal of the local College.

A life size portrait of Mr. Porter done in oil painting adorns the Hall. The club moved into the Hall as soon as it was completed and is functioning in the building ever since then continuously down to this day. The building was electrified by an oil engine and motor and fitted with electric lights and fans by Shri A. Subramaniya Iyer - a prominent member of the Club who advanced the necessary funds as a loan to the Club and recouped it in driblets in the succeeding years. This was done several years before the Kumbakonam Electric Supply Corporation came into being and began to supply the town with electricity. Several additions to the building repairs and repainting to the building were done at considerable expense. A fountain was put up in front of the Hall in the name of Dewan Bahadur Raghunatha Rao who was a member of the Club.

Formerly there were 4 classes of members depending on the income of the members. But after India attained independence and the equality of the citizens was inscribed in its Constitution, the Club in confirmity with the spirit of the times abolished the distinction between the members. There are now only 2 classes of members, viz the resident and non-resident members.

Some years after the Club threw its doors open to lady members and some ladies became members of the Club. Years later a separate ladies club was formed in the town and due to this reason there are now no lady members in this Club.

Several distinguished and prominent men have been the Presidents of the Club. Dewan Bahadur Raghunatha Rao, C. S. I., who was well-known throughout the former undivided province of Madras Served as the President of the Club for some years. Rao Bahadur N. Krishnaswami Ayyangar who was the uncrowned king of the Tanjore District was the President of the Club for several years till he resigned owing to ill-health. After him, Rao Sahiq C. R. Lakshmivaraha Ayyangar another prominent advocate and President of the Tanjore District Board was the President of the Club for over 20 years. Then Thiru R. Kandaswami Moopanar a leading advocate and Landlord served as President for some years. Dewan Bahadur V. K. Ramanujachariyar and P. T. Jaganadhachariar, Retired District Judge were severally the Vice-Presidents for some years. Shri A. R. Narayanaswami Ayyar - a prominent gentleman of the District and Shri T. Krishnan Ayyar - a senior advocate and Shri T. S. Rajagopala Ayyangar - a prominent businessman severally served as the Secretary of the Club for some years. Many prominent persons were members of the Club. Among them, may be mentioned the following names viz Dewan Bahadur R. Krishna Rao, Sir. C. V. Viswanatha Shastri who later became a Judge of the Madras High Court, professor Sundara Rama Ayyar, Rao Bahadur S. Appu Sastri and Dr. S. Rengachary - the famous physician and surgeon and Dr. Bhagawan Singh and Mr. James Hensman, Mr. G. N. Yates and Mr. R. M. Stathem.

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