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.