"Walter Griffin - a 'sangam' of India, US and Australia"

- "Walter Griffin - a 'sangam' of India, US and Australia"

Lucknow: As the entire Nation celebrated the 71st Republic Day, rich tributes were paid to Walter Burley Griffin -- the architect of Australian capital city of Canberra -- in Lucknow, where Griffin on Sunday (January 26).
Speakers termed Griffin as "Sangam of India-US-Australia" on this occasion.
The paying of tributes assume significance, as Griffin was laid to rest in Lucknow on February 24, 1937, and January 26 also marks the National Day Australia.
A small bunch of people from different walks of life and age-group assembled at Nishatganj cemetry in Lucknow, where the grave of the architect is located, and flower sticks were put there.
The progamme was organised under the joint aegis of Rashtriya Ekta Mission (an organisation working to promote national unity) and Sumer Seva Sansthan (a non-government organisation).
Throwing light on the life and work of Griffin, president of Rashtriya Ekta Mission Harmesh Singh Chauhan said, "Griffin, who died on February 11, 1937 at the age of 61 years, was a landscape architect who hailed from the US. He is known for designing Canberra, Australia’s capital city and has been credited with the development of the L-shaped floor plan, the carport and an innovative use of reinforced concrete."
He added, "Griffin came to India in 1935 to design a library for the Lucknow University. However, he passed away in 1937 before completing most of his assignments and was buried in Lucknow."
Chauhan also pointed to the fact that many Lucknowites are still not aware about the rich legacy of this place, and emphasised that focussed research should be conducted to bring to the world the work and achievements of great men cutting across the lines of caste, creed, religion and region.
He also pointed to the fact that in 2014, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited Australia, he had shared with his then Australian counterpart Tony Abbott and the then US President Barack Obama the fascinating story of Walter Burley Griffin, the well-known American architect who designed Australian capital Canberra and was buried in Lucknow.
"Griffin can be termed as the Sangam (confluence) of India, Australia and the United States of America, quite similar to the Sangam of three rivers -- Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati -- in Prayagraj," the president of Rashtriya Ekta Mission said.
Speaking on the occasion, Bharat Singh 'Pooredarbar' secretary of Sumer Seva Sansthan (who convened Sunday's programe), said, "The organisation will continue to work to highlight the legacy of such great personalities burried in the soil of Lucknow. We are likely to organise another programme on February 24 (the death anniversary of Griffin)."
Citing recent media reports, Bharat Singh 'Pooredarbar' said an Australian lawmaker of Indian origin, Deepak-Raj Gupta, has mooted the idea of making Lucknow and Canberra "sister cities" after discovering the grave of landscape designer and architect Walter Burley Griffin.
"Gupta was here to attend the seventh conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association of India Region mooted the idea while laying a wreath on Griffin's grave," Singh said.
Those who gathered to pay tributes to the late architect include: Dr Sandeep Agrawal, Gopaljee, Satish Dixit, Surendra, Ashwani Jaiswal, Santosh Kumar Singh, Daulat Ali Gausi, Atul Mohan Gaharwar, Shweta Singh, Saleem, Mehadi Hasan and Edvin Anthony (one of the caretakers of the cemetry).

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