Peter Shortt -Langharjan Estate

 

2009


Peter Shortt was tea estate manager at Langharjan Tea Estate - Naharkatia in Assam

You can see Naharkatiya on a google map - click here and search for "Naharkatiya Assam" then click on "satellite"

Denys Shortt his son (editor of this website) has kindly provided some family photos from India - see below.

Please also see Wikipedia for details on Naharkatiya - click here

Denys can be contacted at his website - Click here

These are the memories of his father, Peter Shortt,  kindly written for us by Peter's son Nigel Shortt. 

 

The memorial service to celebrate Peter's life was held on August 18 2009

I wanted to share with you a few memories and thoughts regarding Peter Shortt, father, grandfather, husband and dear friend who sadly died at the age of 77 on July 17th 2009 after falling ill with cancer.

Here are a few of the things that were mentioned to me about my father:  

"He really does mark the passing of a generation"   "I trust your pa's truly engaging character and great charm stand out as guiding heirlooms for the next generation or two"  

"His interest in how things worked, especially people and his ability to enthuse others in a great learning experience was admirable and unique"   "A true English gentleman of a bygone era and he certainly made his mark"  

Dad mentioned the koi-hai website to me almost 12 months ago and I spent hours looking through all the various articles searching for memories of the time I spent in India as a child. If there is one regret I have, it is that I did not sit down with Dad and ask him to remind me of my childhood days in India.

My recollection of those days are very patchy, so please excuse the random snapshots, but I do remember that we had some wonderful times !  

Dad managed the Langharjan Tea Estate and worked for the Jorehaut Tea Company having joined them in 1956 - a year before I was born. He met Rosemary my dear mother, out there in Assam and from then began my memories of a childhood spent between boarding school in the UK and holidays out in India. I remember at the age of seven, the excitement of flying out to Calcutta with BOAC as it was then and being a member of the Junior Jet Club and getting my free tin of sweets. My sister Belinda and I were given special treatment by the air hostesses as we were travelling alone ! Dad would fly down to meet us and I remember staying at the Grand Hotel for a night and seeing my first belly dancer at an evening show at the hotel before we flew back up north the next day !  

I can picture days in Langharjan spent as a child experiencing everything from learning how to plant rice, to riding around the garden in a marvellous homemade train made I think from an old cultivator engine ! I remember endless acres of tea bushes and the smell of tea being processed in the factory. I remember Dad's love of horses and his tall polo boots immaculately polished and polo hat. I can picture swimming galas and film shows and Dad running a club shop and all of us making so many friends.  

Above all I remember our trips on the river in a houseboat made from an old army boat I think ! There was a speedboat too and the adults including my mother waterskied on the river. I recall that I was terrified of the huge whirlpools as our boat went over them and having visions of being sucked down into the depths. I can still picture the picnics on the sandbanks or rather these were more of a feast of curries and other wonderful dishes.  

Peter often talked about revisiting Assam and I would have been first in the queue to join him as an opportunity to reminisce would be too good to miss. After Rosemary passed away in 2001, Peter did eventually have the opportunity to enjoy companionship again when he met Barbara who he married a few years later. Sadly her time with Peter was abruptly cut short when he was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year and died so soon afterwards.  

Dad - I thank you for all those wonderful memories !  

Nigel Shortt.

 

1912 photos

Langharjan - Managers House 2010