I am doing a book on the Corporation of Chennai and while working on it, I have leaned heavily on the writings of a few people including John Chartres Molony, ICS. Now that the book is reaching the stage when pictures have to be put in, I am sorely missing a photo of this man. To me, the book will be incomplete without him.
JC Molony for the record, was born on 27th February 1877 at Ennis (county Clare), Ireland to James Barry Molony and Ellen (nee Greene). He graduated from Trinity College, Dublin with a BA. He married Sarah Frances Adams at Killersherdony, county Cavan on 6th July 1904. Molony passed the ICS in 1899 and came to Madras in 1900. He was appointed Assistant Collector an District Magistrate, Trichinopoly and from there moved on to become District Collector. In 1908 he became Assistant Political Agent to the Banganapalle Estate. In 1911, he was appointed Census Commissioner, Madras Presidency.
Molony took over as the President of the Madras Corporation in 1914 and served in that capacity till 1919 when that post was redesignated as that of Commissioner. During this time he appears to have clashed repeatedly with Sir CP Ramaswami Aiyar though that did not in any way dampen the regard he had for the latter. In 1920 he was transferred to the Secretariat. He retired in 1925 and returned to Ireland where he wrote several books, some of which are
A Book of South India (1926)
The riddle of the Irish (1927)
Anthony Vanroy (1931)
Ireland’s Tragic Comedians (1934)
Molony died on 5th September 1948. In his first book, he comes across as a man with a warm sense of humour. In 1947, he was to write about a chance encounter with Bhagawan Ramana Maharshi while he (Molony) was camping in Tiruvannamalai during service. It was a meeting that was enshrined in his heart forever. That way Molony was blessed.
Can I hope for a photo of Molony from someone?