Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Peter George and the church organ


About two months ago I read a small article in the papers about a man who had been playing the church organ for the last fifty years.
For some this may not be a great feat, as there are musicians who continue playing their musical instruments for many decades. But here is one gentleman (Peter George) who has been playing the same organ sitting on the same bench in the same church for the last fifty years. I consider his devotion and dedication to music as extraordinary.  
I decided to meet this organist and it was not a difficult task as he was from Pune and had been playing the organ at St Paul’s church.


This church itself was worth mentioning as it was erected in 1867 on the lines of the St Chapelle church in Paris.  I liked this small little “door” on the side from where one could see the organ. (I wonder what was the purpose of this small door from which just one person could pass through)



Peter George shifted from Tamil Nadu to Pune when he was 11 years old. He comes from a family who were musically inclined and his father used to play the violin. At the age of 12 he started learning the piano from Ms Lalita Savarkar who taught him church music. Later in 1962 (when he was 20) he started playing the organ in St Peter’s church.
There was a special service held in the church on  30th of June on the occasion of his completing 50 years as an organist. I decided to attend the service and it was a solemn moment for me.
The quaint little church had its own charm and the music from the fingertips of George reverberated through the church.
I liked the small little brochure that was prepared for the occasion and liked the picture on the last page.

I managed to capture some of the moments and made a short movie of it which is attached at the end of this post.
While clicking I was taken in by the books that he referred to. These weather beaten books has seen better days but it was still used by George with reverence and love.


The organ itself was worth having a closer look and I could see that some of the push pull knobs were still in tact, and so were the foot pedals. India once had over 200 pipe organs, now it stands at approximately 80.



In George’s own words “Whatever talent has been given to me by God, should be used to serve Him”  He has not set any deadline and wishes to continue playing the organ as long as he can.  I wish him many more years of romancing the keys.




18 comments:

Anita said...

Is Peter George aware of this post? If not, he should see it; it is a tribute to an, obviously, special man.

I watched parts of the video. Mr. George and the singer are good together. I wondered as I was listening, about the percentage of Christians in India. I suppose I can Google it.

Haddock said...

No Anita, he just knows that I was there in the church clicking pictures. I will be putting all these on a CD and presenting it to him next week.

Daisy said...

Interesting post. He is a talented and devoted musician.

Saru Singhal said...

Applaudable. I have huge respect for such people. Thanks for sharing this.

Harman said...

very interesting ..thanks for sharing..
love the pictures..specially that small door:)

CAntony said...

Great post about an exceptional man.
Nice video.

RE the small door - perhaps it was for the altar boys and musicians to sneak in/out during the course of the Mass?

T. Drecker said...

Reminds me of a silent hero. A lovely post.

Theresa said...

I agree with the others, this man sounds amazing. Very nice post! The pictures are very lovely too!

deeps said...

thats so nice of to share...
i m sure there must be many other guys too maybe in different fields with similar tastes lasting this long...

Lazy Pineapple said...

Oh wow..that is some dedication to Music. Joe, you definitely choose very unique topics for your blog.

Paula Miller said...

Love the first photo of the sky. Nice angle :)

Paula
lifeasweknowitbypaula.blogspot.com

cleemckenzie said...

I'm so pleased that you stopped in to leave a comment on my blog, so that I could find this page. I loved reading about the organist and his dedication to playing in that church. In a time when people seldom keep a job more that a few years, his story is inspiring and reminiscent of a quieter, gentler time in our world. Thank you.

Lisa B said...

Congratulations to Peter George on his dedication to playing, and it's lovely that you made a video. Lovely photos.

Plain Jane said...

What a cool story...and the pictures to go with it. It is awesome to think of this man's devotion. Thanks for sharing it. (And for visiting my blog so I could find you.)

Janie said...

Both the organ and the man are interesting. 50 years is a lot of devotion.
I really like the side door that shows the orgen.

D.Nambiar said...

That's an incredible story.

chellsie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chellsie said...

beautiful post about an amazing person! :)
love the pictures as well!