Reverend Donald Clement Grant, the current and last generation of the Grant family, was born in Quilon (Kollam) in 1933. Along with his mother, he moved to Bangalore to live in his grandfather’s house on Coles Road, Fraser Town in 1941.
Between the years 1954 to 1958, Donald was employed in a few commercial firms and was later sent to work in London for two years. It is interesting to note that the Britishers welcomed him as an Englishman rather than Anglo-Indian and that he was considered “one of us” by the English.
“To go to London,” narrated the Reverend, “one could choose between two routes- the inland route which would take 14 days by ship, or the overland route which would involve a combination of travel by ship and railways, taking over a month to reach the destination. For both, you would have to set sail from Bombay (Mumbai). The fare was Rs.1000 and I, for obvious reasons, chose the former.”
“The inland route was along the coasts of Aden and passed through the Suez Canal later concluded at Tilsbury Docks in London.” He further recalled, “At the time, the most prefered shipping company to travel with was the ‘Peninsular and Oriental Company’, through which I travelled on the ship named ‘Tuscan’ ”.
He further narrated, post Indian Independence, the British Government offered true Anglo-Indians ‘free passages’ to England. Many chose this to avoid the ongoing turmoil in India. Nevertheless, the Reverend and other Anglo-Indian families in Bangalore had by then made India their home and continued to live here, calling this country their Motherland.
He then carved a new life for himself in Bangalore, choosing to obtain ordainment as a lay preacher affiliated with the Anglican order under the Church of South India.