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Sir Paul Catchick Chater


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#1 MJ

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Posted 18 February 2001 - 09:05 PM

Who was Paul Chater?

Sir Paul Catchick Chater was descended from a line of Armenian Christians in Calcutta with several generations of experience in the oriental trade. Arriving in Hong Kong in 1864, aged eighteen, he at first worked for the Bank of Hindostan, China and Japan. This early exposure to finance stood him in good stead, for very short]y he was running his own bill and bullion business.

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From broking it was a short step to property investment. What came to him then was nothing short of brilliant: waterfront reclamation was the only answer to Hong Kong’s land shortage and congestion. Filled with an unshakeable sense of purpose, he made a trip to London to lobby for help for his cause. Six days before permission for his praya [waterfront] reclamation scheme was granted, he formed a partnership with James Johnstone Keswick, the Taipan of Jardine Mathseon, to launch the Hongkong Land Investment and Agency Company, which was to profit enormously from the new reclamation. In time Hongkong Land, as the company is generally called, became the biggest landlord in the prime business district of Central.

Much fanfare surrounded the laying of the foundation stone of the reclamation in 1889. The new waterfront road - Connaught Road - was named after the Duke of Connaught, one of Queen Victoria’s sons, who laid the stone. The old praya - Des Voeux Road - was named after the then Governor, Sir William Des Voeux. Sir Paul Chater was awarded his own road - Chater Road - in between them.

Sir Paul Chater became a pillar of the Hong Kong community. He built himself a mansion, Marble Hall, above Conduit Road in Mid-Levels. He was a Justice of the Peace and Legislative Councillor, and he lavished his money on good works. His grave in Happy Valley cemetery is maintained through a bequest to St. John’s Anglican Cathedral, one of the churches he patronised.

Sir Paul Chater was a dedicated Freemason. He was the District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of Hong Kong and South China from 1881 to 1909. On his retirement, the Craft established the Chater Masonic Scholarship Fund Trust as a memorial to his leadership. This charity still exists today and provides scholarships not only for the children of freemasons, but also for other children in Hong Kong.

[ February 18, 2001: Message edited by: MJ ]

#2 lizchater

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 11:11 AM

Anyone who is interested in the Armenian Sir Catchick Paul Chater, might like to take a look at my website which has quite a lot of information on him.Chater Genealogy. Best wishes Liz Chater

#3 Yervant1

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 02:42 PM

WHO WAS THIS MAN CHATER?

South China Morning Post, Hong Kong
December 16, 2007 Sunday

A bored new mum's internet surfing led her to the greatest life story
never told, writes Vaudine England

He's one of those men everyone in Hong Kong should know about, but
almost no one does. Chater Road, Chater Square, Chater Garden, even
Catchick Street, the extension of Kennedy Town Praya - who was this
Chater person?

The author of a rare study on the Armenians who ventured east to
India and the China Coast, Mesrovb Jacob Seth, wrote in his 1937 book,
Armenians in India: "The future historian of Hong Kong will find his
task as regards the past sixty years a sinecure, for the record of
Hong Kong will be a replica of the career of Sir Paul Chater."

Yet there is no biography of the man who helped build Hong Kong.

Some clues can be gleaned from The Chater Legacy, an exhibition now
being held by the Hong Kong Museum of Art. Due to close in January,
the exhibition has been extended to June 2008.

This features a selection of the varied art collections that Chater
accumulated in his lifetime, but still leaves a lot of his life in
the shadows.

Geoffrey Bonsall, adviser to the museum among many other things, notes
that "although he represented Hong Kong in 1902 at the coronation of
King Edward VII, he was not Chinese, nor even born in Hong Kong".

Yet Catchick Paul Chater was one of those legendary characters,
instigator of just about anything that moved in Hong Kong at the turn
of the last century.

He was a leading figure in the (then Royal) Hong Kong Jockey Club,
one of the first two unofficial members appointed to the Executive
Council, adviser to governors, and helped found Hongkong Land,
Hongkong Electric, and the original Hong Kong and Kowloon Wharf and
Godown Company.

With all the talk lately about the need to preserve Hong Kong's
heritage, a dedicated band of historians, urged on by descendant
and eager researcher Liz Chater, thinks it's time a book told all
about Chater.

So far, they've managed to get part- sponsorship of what should
be a thorough research, writing and publication job. But they need
financial support from within Hong Kong - preferably from the hongs
who owe most to his vision - if another piece in Hong Kong's history
jigsaw is to fall into place.

Liz Chater, who lives in Hampshire, traces her roots back to the big
man and has taken on the mantle of lead fact-digger.

"We owe thanks to a lady in the south of England, Liz Chater, for
much of the current interest in Sir Paul," said Mr Bonsall.

She has amassed a raft of material, tracking down mementoes, grave
stones and key marriage certificates, tracing the vast family tree
of Chaters and the larger Armenian community, and bringing together
people similarly interested in the subject.

"I knew nothing about Sir Paul when I started," she said. "I had a baby
in 2000 and he just slept and slept, so I had a lot of time on my hands
and starting flicking through the computer on family history pages.

"I found my father, my grandfather, and before long I was hooked. The
questions kept coming, and one name just kept leading to another.

"When I came to Sir Paul, I realised he was famous and looked around
for a biography of him - but there was nothing," she said.

Since then, she's set up a hugely informative website, published a
short booklet, and organised several trips and Chater reunions.

Earlier this year, in May, she helped commemorate Chater's death at
his grave in Hong Kong. She also helped organise the previous year's
gathering of more than 100 Armenians in Hong Kong.

This year she pursued her talks with Father Oshagan Gulgulian, from
the church which once played a key role in the young Chater's life and
to which he left part of his fortune - the Armenian church of Calcutta.

On Chater's death in 1926, the bulk of his estate went to the Armenian
Holy Nazareth Church in Calcutta, which runs a Home for Armenians
where elderly members of the community still live.

The priest met Robert Nield, president of the Royal Asiatic
Society in Hong Kong, and Denis Way, co-authors of a fine book
about PricewaterhouseCoopers called The Counting House. Liz Chater
is hoping these men will be her co-authors of a book on Chater - and
to that end they all went to Calcutta in July. A subsequent trip by
Liz Chater alone helped pin down an agreement from the church to help.

"Myself, Denis and Robert have a [statement of] firm interest of
part-sponsorship from the Armenian Church in Calcutta, but as a team
are still seeking further sponsors. [We're] hopeful that a major Hong
Kong corporate would like to join in on this unique joint venture on
the story of Sir Paul," Liz Chater said. "I never, ever thought in
my wildest dreams that I would get this far with my little research
project on Sir Paul Chater, and I hope that 2008 will be the year
that sees the full editorial process begin. Now if I can just find
one or two more sponsors - I've run out of stuff to sell on eBay!"

Her forebear would have been rightly miffed if he had imagined how
hard it would be for the place he loved to recognise his contributions
to it.

Catchick Paul Chater was born in Calcutta in 1846 to a family of
Armenian merchants, one of 14 children. But he was orphaned by the
time he was nine and became a scholarship boy.

At 18 he reached Hong Kong, where he worked in the Bank of Hindustan,
China and Japan, staying with the family of his relatives, the Jordans.

Within a couple of years he was trading in gold and bullion on his
own account and investing in land.

His business partners and friends included Sir Hormusjee Mody, the
Sassoon family, William Keswick and John Bell-Irving - the other
leading unofficial member of the Executive Council - and the entire
Freemason community of which he was a prominent member.

By the late 1880s, new ideas or enterprises didn't get off the ground
without Chater - be it shipping, insurance, utilities or the ground
itself.

Liz Chater has doggedly filled in many more details. She believes
the grand old man got his leg-up in life by asking for it.

"One day he plucked up the courage to ask the head of Sassoons whether
they would help him if he started as an Exchange broker.

They said yes and Catchick resigned from the bank. In his first month
of trading he cleared $600 and very quickly he rose to be the greatest
financial magnate of the colony."

The China Mail once wondered why a young Chater was getting into a
sampan at dusk, night after night, and pottering around the harbour
of Hong Kong in the shadows of the shore.

He was taking soundings to measure the depth of different parts of the
foreshore because of his idea that some land reclamation might make
sense - and to find water deep enough to handle ocean-going steamers.

The result of his searches were the first Kowloon wharfs. He is
also credited with the first reclamations of parts of the harbour
in Kowloon and Wan Chai, starting a trend that many might wish had
stopped with his lifetime.

Mr Bonsall points out that Connaught Road is named after the Duke of
Connaught, who laid the foundation stone for Chater's reclamation
that created Connaught Road along the waterfront - though it's now
far inland.

He also was the first to suggest to the government that new lands
should be acquired beyond Kowloon - namely the New Territories.

Catchick Street in Kennedy Town marks where he was responsible for
reclaiming 10.5 hectares.

He pioneered iron mining in the New Territories, coal-mining in Tonkin
Indo-China - hence his award of the Legion d'Honneur from a grateful
France - and initiated cotton-spinning factories. He gave money to
the University of Hong Kong, St John's Cathedral and Kowloon Union
Church as well as St Andrew's in Kowloon.

Not everything he touched turned to gold - while in partnership with
Mody, they suffered the failure in 1908 of the Hong Kong Flour Mill
in Junk Bay, otherwise known as Rennie's Mill.

"There was already a bad omen at the opening ceremony when Mody
hesitated and fell at the top of what was described as, 'an ingenious
staircase [like an early escalator perhaps] consisting of a succession
of wooden steps attached to an endless moving belt'.

"Mody had to be taken away by launch to recover in hospital," recounted
Mr Bonsall at a recent talk.

But Chater had style, not least with his lavish entertainment at
his home, Marble Hall. Like Mody's Buxey Lodge, this mansion has
disappeared.

Liz Chater's work has got almost out of hand, leading her into a
massive documentation of Armenian graves across Asia, alongside her
ongoing Chater research.

But why ask others for money; surely the Chater coffers must be
overflowing?

"Yes, Chater left money to the family, but in the 80 years since
his death it has dwindled as the families have grown and there is no
money left," she says.

Some individuals at Hong Kong's leading companies and clubs - many of
which owe so much to this man - have allowed access to their records.

But none has yet put up the money required for a professional job,
which Liz knows she can't do on her own.

"It's a question of finding the right person at the right time -
there are funds for worthy projects in Hong Kong," said Peter Stuckey,
vice-president of the Royal Asiatic Society.

"It will begin to be seen to be in some company's interests," he said.




#4 Balaclava

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 11:08 PM

now I definitely like to invest in HSBC

#5 MosJan

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 12:10 AM

interesting - we had the info all this time and this is the first time i see his name.



interesting... just this morning i shipped a duduk to New Territories
..................Eden Gardens,
911 Lok Fung Path, Fo Tan,
Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong, China



#6 MosJan

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 12:11 AM

QUOTE(Balaclava @ Dec 18 2007, 09:08 PM)
now I definitely like to invest in HSBC


first stop smoking smile.gif #2 tell me haw to stop smoking #3 if we stop smoking we can save enugh to invest in HSBC smile.gif

#7 lizchater

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 02:17 AM

Hello.

I'm so glad to see that the article on Sir Paul Chater has made it to this message board. This is the second big coverage article of him this year that I have done, the first being in May 2007 but was reported in The Standard in Hong Kong by the same journalist, Vaudine England. Sir Paul was an extremely kind and generous man and without a doubt, made Hong Kong what it is today. Yet there really isn't anything definitive written about him but I am trying to change that. So any support you can offer, big or small, would be greatly appreciated.

You might be interested to know that I am also trying to digitally record and transcribe as many of the Armenian graves in India as I possibly can. I have done over 2000 and many of those buried in India were born in Julfa, so from a family history point of view, they could prove quite useful. They're all on my website
Chater Genealogy, then look for the dancing skeleton.

Best wishes Liz Chater


#8 MosJan

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 02:25 AM

Thank you Liz Chater
and please don't forget us , post any news that you have time to time

also if we can help, please let as know, we have many devoted Armenians who might be able to help apricot.gif

MOses

#9 vahegyan

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 02:55 AM

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image


Edited by vahegyan, 03 February 2010 - 02:58 AM.


#10 Zartonk

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 02:01 PM

Very interesting figure. Thanks for bringing the thread back up.

#11 lizchater

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 03:30 AM

Hi everyone

I have just come back from Syria where I gave a short presentation in Aleppo on the life and work of Sir Catchick Paul Chater. Here is my press release for those who are interested.

Liz Chater, a UK based family history researcher specialising in Armenians in India and the Far East, was in Aleppo, Syria on Sunday 28th February. At the kind invitation of Hagop Mikalyelian she gave a talk on Sir Catchick Paul Chater. The short presentation took place at the AGBU Club (Armenian General Benevolent Union) where she was given a very warm welcome.

Liz talked about Sir Paul Chater, an Armenian born in Calcutta, but whose life was spent in Hong Kong. She spoke about his early life, his family and his life’s work in Hong Kong. Liz also showed a short documentary film on Sir Paul Chater which was made in 2005 by the Armenian Church, Kolkata and ended with an interesting and varied question and answer session from the participants who attended.

Whilst in Syria Liz also spent time in Damascus. In addition to her commitment to help families researching their Armenian ancestry, she is also a volunteer for The War Graves Photographic Project www.twgpp.org whose aim is to photograph in excess of 1.75 million graves or memorials from Commonwealth Nations and many from other military forces and locations around the world. It is a joint venture run with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission http://www.cwgc.org/. Liz took the opportunity to spend some time photographing all of the Commonwealth War Graves in Damascus. She has already contributed photographs of war graves from India and Afghanistan and she fully understands that sometimes it is often the photographs of the graves that can give some comfort to the families of lost loved ones.

As part of Liz’s research on the Armenians of India and the Far East, she recently added to her website a slideshow which presents all the old Armenian churches that once had a flourishing community in Asia, this can be viewed at http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/emcjnd/.

Liz Chater is an unsupported and unfunded family history researcher specialising in Armenians in India. Liz is currently without a sponsor to enable her to continue and complete her research and publish it. She would be delighted to hear from anyone willing to consider sponsorship of the continuation of her research.
Further information can be obtained from Liz at liz@chater-genealogy.com or her website http://www.chater-genealogy.com.



ENDS

#12 lizchater

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 09:14 AM

Hi thought your readers might be interested in the latest presentation I have done on Sir Paul Chater and Armenian Genealogy.

NEWS RELEASE

21st February 2011
Sir Catchick Paul Chater and Armenian Genealogy Presentation in London
By Liz Chater

Liz Chater, a UK based family history researcher specialising in Armenians in India and the Far East, was invited by the Centre for Armenian Information and Advice (CAIA) Acton, London http://www.caia.org.uk to participate in their annual programme of Armenian Cultural awareness taking place during February and March of this year.

The programme commenced on Sunday 20th February, and Liz began the session by speaking about Sir Catchick Paul Chater, an Armenian born in Calcutta, but whose life was spent in Hong Kong. She spoke about his early life, his family and his life’s work in Hong Kong. Liz also showed a short documentary film on Sir Paul Chater which was made in 2005 by the Armenian Church, Kolkata and ended with an interesting and lively question and answer session from the participants who attended.

The second half of the programme was dedicated to Armenian family history and how to use the sources and resources of the internet to successfully trace ancestors.

Through a PowerPoint presentation Liz showed how the many genealogy based websites on the internet enable the new researcher to look for information with comparative ease. This was a fantastic and friendly interactive session where Liz encouraged questions from members of the participating group who were eager to explore the resources brought to their attention by her. Many of them were surprised at the depth and breadth of the details available. Supplementing the presentation Liz also brought along a variety of documents she has acquired as part of her own research of Armenians in India. Of particular interest was an example of one of the earliest Armenian Wills she has which is dated 1761 and she explained how important genealogical information can be obtained from such documents.

Misak Ohanian Chief Executive Officer and organiser of the cultural programme at CAIA thanked Liz for presenting such a diverse range of information in the short space of time available and hoped that she would return to do a second presentation at a future date.

As part of Liz’s research on the Armenians of India and the Far East, she recently added to her website a slideshow which presents all the old Armenian churches that once had a flourishing community in Asia, this can be viewed at http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/emcjnd/.

Liz Chater is an unsupported and unfunded family history researcher specialising in Armenians in India. Liz is currently without a sponsor to enable her to continue and complete her research and publish it. She would be delighted to hear from anyone willing to consider sponsorship of the continuation of her research.
Further information can be obtained from Liz at liz@chater-genealogy.com or her website
www.chater-genealogy.com.



ENDS

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#13 Arpa

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 11:25 AM

Dear Liz good to see you again. And good to see your beautiful face.
“Chater” in French is pronounced “shater”,
As in the Arabic “shatteyr” شاتر, with the thicker Arabic T, which my system will not reproduce. My Farsi font may be corrupted. I’m sure Johannes can reproduce it.
The Persian dictionary says it is from the Arabic to mean -”footman, foot runner, nimble, clever”.

We have known the word to mean-

Smart/Diligent

Once again dear Liz. Welcome.

Assuming you speak Hindi. Do you?

Swaagatam

Please note that many others are variants of the same.

A list of “welcome “ in the dialects of (greater)India.

Punjabi - Sushri akal
Sindhi- Khush amdeed
Tamil - Nal Varavu
Telugu- Suswaagatam
Tulu - Balle
Bengali - Shagatom
Gujarati - Swaagat
Hindi - Swaagatam
Kannada - Banni
Malayalam -Swagatam
Marathi - Krupayaa aatuyaa
Oriya - Aasantu



#14 lizchater

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 11:38 AM

Dear Arpa,

Thank you for your kind words. In this instance Chater is the anglicsed version of the Armenian name "Astvatsatoorian". In colonial India official records indicate it was shortened to Satoor, then Chatoor then Chater, so there is no French in this particular Chater, but I have met Chater's who are of French decendency.

Sadly, I do not speak Hindi, but the sentiment is greatly appreciated Arpa.

best wishes
Liz

Dear Liz good to see you again. And good to see your beautiful face.
“Chater” in French is pronounced “shater”,
As in the Arabic “shatteyr” شاتر, with the thicker Arabic T, which my system will not reproduce. My Farsi font may be corrupted. I’m sure Johannes can reproduce it.
The Persian dictionary says it is from the Arabic to mean -”footman, foot runner, nimble, clever”.

We have known the word to mean-

Smart/Diligent

Once again dear Liz. Welcome.

Assuming you speak Hindi. Do you?

Swaagatam

Please note that many others are variants of the same.

A list of “welcome “ in the dialects of (greater)India.



#15 Yervant1

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 04:18 PM

165th Birth Anniversary of Sir Paul Chater in Hong Kong

hetq
13:19, September 11, 2011


On 8th September 2011, on the occasion of the 165th Birth Anniversary
of Sir Catchik Paul Chater (Khatchik Poghos Astvatsaturian), with the
blessings of His Holiness Karekin II Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos
of All Armenians, Very Rev. Father Khoren Hovhannisyan, Pastor of
Armenians in India and Manager of Armenian College and Philanthropic
Academy and the Armenian Church Committee of India visited Hong Kong
to pay homage to the benevolent Armenian at his graveside. The
pilgrims censed at the sepulchre of Sir Catchick Paul Chater for his
eternal peace whilst Father Khoren conducted "Repose of Souls" Service
for the great Armenian. The visitors paid respect, tribute and bowed
before the memorial of Paul Chater.

Sir Chater was born in Calcutta, India on 8th September, 1846 and was
baptised at the Armenian Church of Holy Nazareth. At the age of 18,
Paul Chater settled in Hong Kong where by virtue of his tireless
industry, gained immense wealth and became the most significant person
of Honk Kong. From 1876 to 1926, Chater was the Consul of the Senior
Justice of Peace in Hong Kong and for over 40 years has served as the
adviser to the Governor-General of Hong Kong, and was also a member of
the Legislative and Executive Council of Hong Kong.

In 1902, Chater was knighted by the King of the United Kingdom, Edward
VII. The doors of Buckingham Palace have since remained open for Sir
Catchick Paul Chater.

Catchick Paul Chater is the most significant benefactor of the
Armenian Community of India. He has contributed immensely to the
Armenian Churches of India and built the Armenian Old Age Home of
Kolkata. In addition, Paul Chater has made a generous contribution for
the survivors of the Armenian Genocide in Great Britain through his
"Armenian Immigrants Benevolent Fund".

Sir Paul Chater left for his heavenly abode in 1926. The impact of his
death had been so great that for months it had affected the global
stock market.

Today, Paul Chater's name in Hong Kong is still held in affection and
as a mark of respect to his departed soul, there are memorials in Honk
Kong like "Chater Park", "Chater Road", "Chater Street" etc.

#16 MosJan

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 11:03 AM

165th Birth Anniversary of Sir Paul Chater in Hong Kong

Posted Image13:19, September 11, 2011
On 8th September 2011, on the occasion of the 165th Birth Anniversary of Sir Catchik Paul Chater (Khatchik Poghos Astvatsaturian), with the blessings of His Holiness Karekin II Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, Very Rev. Father Khoren Hovhannisyan, Pastor of Armenians in India and Manager of Armenian College and Philanthropic Academy and the Armenian Church Committee of India visited Hong Kong to pay homage to the benevolent Armenian at his graveside. The pilgrims censed at the sepulchre of Sir Catchick Paul Chater for his eternal peace whilst Father Khoren conducted "Repose of Souls" Service for the great Armenian. The visitors paid respect, tribute and bowed before the memorial of Paul Chater.

Sir Chater was born in Calcutta, India on 8th September, 1846 and was baptised at the Armenian Church of Holy Nazareth. At the age of 18, Paul Chater settled in Hong Kong where by virtue of his tireless industry, gained immense wealth and became the most significant person of Honk Kong. From 1876 to 1926, Chater was the Consul of the Senior Justice of Peace in Hong Kong and for over 40 years has served as the adviser to the Governor-General of Hong Kong, and was also a member of the Legislative and Executive Council of Hong Kong.

In 1902, Chater was knighted by the King of the United Kingdom, Edward VII. The doors of Buckingham Palace have since remained open for Sir Catchick Paul Chater.

Catchick Paul Chater is the most significant benefactor of the Armenian Community of India. He has contributed immensely to the Armenian Churches of India and built the Armenian Old Age Home of Kolkata. In addition, Paul Chater has made a generous contribution for the survivors of the Armenian Genocide in Great Britain through his "Armenian Immigrants Benevolent Fund".

Sir Paul Chater left for his heavenly abode in 1926. The impact of his death had been so great that for months it had affected the global stock market.

Today, Paul Chater’s name in Hong Kong is still held in affection and as a mark of respect to his departed soul, there are memorials in Honk Kong like "Chater Park", "Chater Road", "Chater Street" etc.



#17 MosJan

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 01:40 PM

if anyone can help please.
need the address / Location of for the Armenia church & the cemetery in Hong Kong

#18 lizchater

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 01:51 PM

Moses

Here is the google maps link to the Hong Kong Cemetery
http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&q=hong+kong+cemetery&rlz=1R2GGHP_en-GBGB414&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1097&bih=561&wrapid=tlif133305058139910&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=5rx0T7S_NuGx0AXcmYkZ&sa=X&oi=mode_link&ct=mode&cd=3&ved=0CBAQ_AUoAg

There is no Armenian Church in Hong Kong, but there is a small community. Email me and I'll give you a contact name.
Liz

Edited by lizchater, 29 March 2012 - 01:52 PM.


#19 MosJan

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 04:32 PM

Thank you

#20 MosJan

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 12:46 PM

Հնդկահայ վաճառականների ծաղկումն ու անկումը բրիտանական ազդեցության ներքո Աննա Մուրադյան

29421.jpg14:24, 18 սեպտեմբերի, 2013

Հավանաբար շատերը գիտեն, որ Հնդկաստանում՝ Մադրասում և Կալկաթայում, ժամանակին եղել են մեծ հայկական հարուստ համայնքներ: Սակայն քչերն են տեղյակ, որ այդ համայնքներն առաջացել են հայ վաճառականների ծաղկուն գործունեության արդյունքում, որը հետագայում բրիտանական ազդեցությամբ մեծ անկում ապրեց՝ հանգեցնելով այդ համայնքների ոչնչացմանը:

Պատմաբան, միջազգայնագետ Ալինա Սալզանդարյանը, ով ուսումնասիրում է հնդկահայ վաճառականության պատմությունը, «Հետքին» ասում է, որ Հայոց պատմության  դասագրքերը 7-րդ դասարանից սկսած լի են կոտորածի, ջարդերի և  այլ արյունալի անցքերի մասին ժամանակագրութամբ, մինչդեռ ոչ մի անդրադարձ չի արվում այն բանին, որ հայերը համաշխարհային կապիտալի գոյացման գործում ունեցել են նշանակալից ներդրում:

«Նրանք տիրապետում էին հսկայական տնտեսական միջոցների և ունեին նշանակալի քաղաքական ու ֆինանսական ազդեցություն,- ասում է նա,- իրենց եռանդուն գործունեությամբ հայ խոջաներն  այնքան կարևոր դիրք են գրավել Հնդկաստանի առևտրի մեջ, որ երկար ժամանակ նրանք հանդիսանում էին այդ առևտրի գլխավոր տերերը և մենաշնորհ են ունեցել համեմունքների, բեհեզի և թանկարժեք քարերի առևտրի համար»:

Բավական է հիշատակել հենց միայն Պոլ Չաթերին, ով Հնդկաստանում  եղել է առևտրականների կողմից հիմնադրված HSBC բանկի հիմնադիրներից մեկը և բանկում ունեցած նրա ներդրումները կազմել են երիտասարդ բանկի կապիտալի 1/11 մասը, որը այժմ բանկի արժեթղթերի 1.4-1.5 տոկոս բաժնեմասն է: Հնդկաստանը գաղութացնող Անգլիայի արխիվները լի են հայերի մասին փաստաթղթերով: Դրանք բոլորովին վերջերս սկսել է ուսումնասիրել բրիտանուհի Լիզ Չաթերը, ով հայտնաբերել էր, որ հայկական արմատներ ունի:

Երբ Սովետական Միության և Հնդկաստանի միջև դիվանագիտական հարաբերություններ կային, ինֆորմացիայից հեռու՝ երկաթե վարագույրի ներսում՝ Սովետական Հայաստանում, լեգենդներ էին շրջում հնդկահայ մի մեծահարուստի մասին, ում Ինդիրա Գանդին «չի թույլատրել հարստությունը տեղափոխել Հայաստան»:  Այդ մասին միշտ պատմում էր հայրս: Իսկ խոսքը վերաբերում էր հենց Պոլ Չաթերին, ով հայ եկեղեցուն նվիրաբերել էր 525 ֆունտ ստեռլինգ, ինչը ժամանակի ընթացքում բազմապատկվելով վերածվում է հսկայական ֆինանսական միջոցների, որով էլ մինչ այժմ պահվում է Կալկաթայի Հայոց մարդասիրական ճեմարանը: Իսկ ինչ վերաբերվում էր «թույլատրելուն»՝ Հնդկաստանի օրենքների համաձայն՝ տեղում արված ներդրումները թեպետ համարվում են մարդու սեփականությունը, սակայն արգելվում է այն վաճառել ու գումարը տեղափոխել երկրից դուրս:

Սալզանդարյանի կարծիքով՝ հայ կապիտալի պատմությունը առանձնակի չի կարևորվել, քանի որ պետականություն չի եղել ու այն կապվել է գաղթօջախների պատմության հետ՝ հընթացս ձևավորվելով թյուր և բացասական կարծիք՝ կապված հայ վաճառականի կերպարի և ընդհանրապես հայի առևտրական ոգու մասին:

«Մինչդեռ Հնդկաստանում հայ վաճառականները առևտրական գերազանցության են հասել իրենց պարկեշտության և անխոնջ աշխատանքի շնորհիվ,- ասում է նա,- չունենալով պետականություն՝ հայ վաճառականները լայնածավալ առևտուր են արել՝ հենվելով բացառապես վստահության գործոնի վրա»:

Հայ առևտրական կապիտալը ձևավորվել է 16-րդ դարում, մասնավորապես, Սյունիքի լեռնաշղթայի և Արաքսի ձախ ափի մեջ ընկած տարածքում տեղակայված գյուղերի և ավանների մեջ: 17-րդ դարի սկզբին Պարսից արքա Շահ Աբասի կազմակերպած բռնագաղթի արդյունքում հայ առևտրական կապիտալը հաստատվել է Սպահանում՝ ձևավորելով Նոր Ջուղայի հայ գաղութը:

Ջուղայեցի վաճառականների համար առավել ձգողական ուղություն է եղել Հնդկաստանը, քանի որ այնտեղից շատ հարստություն էր հնարավոր արտահանել: Տևական ժամանակ նրանք եղել են Հնդկաստանի և Արևմուտքի միջև առևտրի գլխավոր միջնորդներ և մեծ պահանջարկ ունեցող հնդկական ապրանքներով ողողել են եվրոպական շուկաները:

Նրանք տարածվել են Չինաստանով դեպի Ինդոնեզիա և այդ ժամանակաշրջանում ձևավորվել է  առևտրական ցանց, որոնք միմյանց հետ կապի մեջ են Նոր Ջուղայի միջոցով: «Օրինակ Նոր Ջուղայում գիտեին, թե Հնդկաստանի կամ Չինաստանի այսինչ կետում գտնվող հայը ինչով էր զբաղվում»,- ասում է Սալզանդարյանը:

Հայ վաճառականները ակտիվ համագործակցել են նաև Հնդկաստան մուտք գործած եվրոպացիների հետ, քանզի քաջատեղյակ էին Հնդկաստանի առևտրական անցուդարձին և վայելում էին տեղական իշխանությունների հարգանքը: Հատկապես հայ վաճառականության հետ համագործակցությունը կարևորվել է անգլիացիների կողմից, քանի որ, Սալզանդարյանի խոսքով,  հայերը Դելիի այն հպատակներից էին, որոնց նկատմամբ կառավարության կողմից կար մեծ հարգանք և հովանավորություն. «Նրանք դրան արժանացել էին իրենց ազնվության և անկողմնակալության համար»:

Հայ վաճառականության կյանքում շրջադարձային երևույթ է եղել անգլիական Արևելահնդկական ընկերության հետ կնքած 1688 թ. հունիսի 22-ի պայմանագիրը, որը հնարավորություն էր տալիս հայերին առևտուր անել անգլիական նավերով և ձեռք բերել որոշակի առևտրական և քաղաքացիական իրավունքներ և մենաշնորհներ: Անգլիացիների հետ համագործակցությունը, սակայն, մյուս կողմից վերջ դրեց հայ վաճառականների ծաղկմանը:

Սկզբնապես այս դաշնակցությունը հայերի համար շահավետ էր նրանով, որ նախ Վասկո դա Գամայի կողմից Աֆրիկան շրջանցելով դեպի Հնդկաստան ծովային ճանապարհի հայտնագործումից հետո  ծովային առևտրի զարգացումը մեծ վնասներ էր հասցնում հայերին՝ նավերը թալանելու և այլ պատճառներով, մյուս կողմից էլ՝  ցամաքային փոխադրումները դժվարացել էին Պարսկաստանի ներքին խռովությունների և գահակալական կռիվների, զանազան արշավանքների պատճառով:

19-րդ դարում հայ բնակչության աճ և կենտրոնացում եղել է Կալկաթայում ու Մադրասում, և հնդկահայ ազգային և մշակութային կյանքը հիմնականում կենտրոնացված էր այդ քաղաքներում:  

Հայ առևտրական ցանցը դադարեց գործել 18-րդ դարի երկրորդ կեսից՝  կապված Անգլիայի կողմից Հնդկաստանի ամբողջական գաղութացման և հայ վաճառականության հետ համագործակցության դադարեցման հետ, որը հանգեցրեց հայ վաճառականության մասնակի անկմանը: Այդ մասին Սալզանդարյանը նոր հոդված է պատրաստում, որը կներկայացնի այդ թեմայով մոտակա գիտաժողովին:

«Բայց չնայած հայերին իրենց առևտրից դուրս մղելու անգլիական քաղաքականությանը՝ հայ վաճառականության մի մասը կարողանում է իր կապիտալը ներդնել արդյունաբերության մեջ և գրեթե մինչև 20-րդ դարերի կեսերը դեռ ակտիվ դեր խաղալ Հնդկաստանի տնտեսական կյանքում»,- ասում է Սալզանդարյանը: 

Սակայն գրեթե բոլոր առևտրական կենտրոններում բազմամարդ և կազմակերպված համայնքներ ունեցող հայ ժողովուրդը սկսում է լքել Հնդկաստանի սահմանները և ամենուրեք հայերի թիվը սկսում է նվազել:

Ալինա Սալզանդարյանը հնդկահայ վաճառականության պատմության մասին երկու լայնարձակ զեկուցումներ է կարդացել «Ծովի մշակույթը մարդկության մշակույթն է քաղաքակրթությունների երկխոսությունում» և «Հայաստանի քաղաքակրթական ավանդը մետաքսի ճանապարհի պատմության մեջ» գիտաժողովներում:

 

http://hetq.am/arm/n...tyan-nerqo.html






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