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Feb 21, 2009

Chris Longrigg, Son of Southern Forest Rangers College, Former Principal J.H. Longrigg Visits Tomorrow

It is 70 years now that Chris Longrigg had left the sylvan surroundings of the campus of the Southern Forest Rangers’ College (now Tamil Nadu Forest Academy). According to the Director of the Academy, A.S. Jafry, this campus in RS Puram, Coimbatore, is an important landmark.

Started as the Madras Forest College in the old municipal hospital building in 1912 at the initiative of F.A. Lodge, the then Conservator of Forests of the Western Circle, Coimbatore, this moved to the present building inside the Forest Campus in 1915.

The Cowley Brown Road on which the college is located was named after the first principal of the institution who nurtured and set it on a firm footing.

During 1912 to 1939 the college trained Rangers from various provinces and States of India and also Ceylon. Due to worldwide economic depression and World War II, it remained closed between 1939 and 1945.It reopened on September 1, 1945.

Between 1912 and 1945, the college was administered by eminent British officers like Cowley Brown, C.E.C. Fischer, CC. Wilson and P.W. Davis, who were its principals .

J.H. Longrigg, who was its eighth principal , was also the last British officer who held the post of the principal of the institution. And he headed it from 1937 to 1939.

He was succeeded by C.R. Ranganathan, the first Indian principal.

Chris Longrigg, son of J.H. Longrigg, who visited the campus with his sister and daughter on Tuesday, fondly remembered his childhood and the wonderful time he spent in the idyllic setting of the campus when his father was the head of the institution.

An engineer, who lives in England, he was on a visit to India and took time to visit not only the campus of the Tamil Nadu Forest Academy but also the residence of the principal (currently occupied by the Director the Academy) where his early life commenced.

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