Transcript

'The Parsee head builder'
ZPER 34/14, Illustrated London News,
6 January 1849, p. 12


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THE PARSEE HEAD BUILDER.
     Cursetjee Rustomjee Waddia of the Honourable Company's Dockyard, Bombay, was born in 1785; and entered the yard under his uncle, Framjee, then Master Builder, in 1800, as an apprentice in the shipwrights' line. He was promoted to Fourth Assistant Builder in 1805, in which capacity he had the superintendence (in conjunction with the other assistants) of all ships building and repairing in the Bombay docks. In 1812 he was raised to the situation of Second Assistant; and, in 1817, to that of First Assistant. In 1821 became Second Builder, and as such, in 1831, received, as a mark of approbation, from the Honourable Court of Directors, a silver rule, in token of their estimation of the value of his services; and, finally, in 1844, was promoted to the very responsible situation of Head Builder at Bombay; his services embracing thus a period of nearly half a century.
     In the course of this period upwards of one hundred large and small ships have been built for the Honourable Company, whilst for the service of the Crown there have been no less that ten line-of-battle ships, five frigates, and six brigs; also for his Highness the Imaum of Muscat one line-of-battle ship, two frigates, and five sloops, besides numerous vessels for the merchant service.
     On the occasion of driving the silver nail in her Majesty's brig Goshawk (afterwards Nerbudda), he had the satisfaction of receiving a silver hammer from one of the senior members of the Government, the Honourable Mr. James Henry Crawford.
     In person, Cursetjee Rustomjee is of the middle height, with a remarkably pleasing and intelligent countenance, and possesses great activity, notwithstanding his increasing years (his age being 63). He is deservedly treated with the greatest consideration by the government that he has for so long a period faithfully served.
     With respect to the noble 80-gun ship, of which there are two Views. the Meanee, although a superintendent was appointed by the lords of the Admiralty (Mr. George Turner), with an assistant (Mr. William Ladd), to overlook the work and give the lines, the whole of the laborious part of the building of the ship was performed under the directions of Cursetjee Rustomjee and his assistants, Jehangeer and Herjeebhoy. The Meanee is built of picked timber, and very highly finished.
     We are indebted for the accompanying Views and Portrait to Daguerréotypes, cleverly taken by Mr. A. J. Roussac, of Bombay.


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