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Garo Labour Corps recruits remembered on 100th Anniversary

TURA: The 100th Anniversary of the 69th Garo Labour Corps Day which is being celebrated since 1919 was observed on Monday with the placing of wreaths and bouquets at the Cenotaph erected for the purpose at Babupara, followed by a memorial function at the District Auditorium in Tura. The function was organized by the Tura Municipal Board (TMB).

The day is specially remembered to mark the safe arrival of the members of the 69th Garo Labour Corps and in fond memory of those who sacrificed their lives as recruits of the Corps in France during the First World War.

The celebration was kicked off with the laying of floral wreaths by several dignitaries at the cenotaph along with prayers in honour of the departed souls as well as salutation by the District Police and the 2nd MLP Batallion from Goeragre near Tura.

Following the ceremony at the Cenotaph, a memorial function was held at District Auditorium, Tura where L B Sangma, Retired IGP was the Chief Guest in the presence of Additional Deputy Commissioner and Incharge Deputy Commissioner, West Garo Hills, Ashish M Sangma, District Officials, Senior Citizens and students.

Addressing the gathering on the occasion, L B Sangma recalled his association with the celebration and attending the memorial service as a school student. He then briefly spoke about the journey of these recruits from Tura to Marseilles, France in the year 1916. Sangma informed that the recruits had stayed in France for about 2 years and worked hard as labourers before they were sent back home after signing the peace treaty and finally reached Tura on July 16 1919. Since then the day is remembered and a memorial function is held every year as a tribute to their selfless sacrifice and spirit of patriotism, he added.

Sangma, while appreciating the noble works of the forefathers, also urged everyone to imbibe the good qualities of obedience, dedication and sacrifice in their lives.

West Garo Hills Superintendent of Police, Dr Raghavendra Kumar and Former Director School Education and Literacy, J D Sangma both of whom also spoke on the occasion highlighted the great significance of Garo Labour Corps Day in the history of the Garos adding, the contribution of these recruits might appear small but the cause was immense. They insisted upon the people to give importance to the memorable occasion and make it more meaningful in future.

Earlier, mementos to mark the centenary celebration were also presented to the special guests present during the function.



Caption: Retd IGP and Chief Guest of the programme, L B Sangma places a wreath at the Cenotaph at Babupara, Tura.

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