Contributions of the Baker Family
|Kerala, particularly Kumarakom, owes much to the Bakers, who strived incessantly for the development of the land and the advancement of the people. They played a key role in bringing about many agricultural, educational and social reforms in the State. The Baker family, along with the Christian missionaries, was instrumental in brining many progressive changes in the thinking and lifestyle of the local populace.
During their early days in Kumarakom, Alfred George Baker’s wife Fanny, who was involved in educational activities, ran a school in their house. In 1886, Baker established a primary school in memory of his sister, Annie.
Alfred and his brother Henry Jr. were ardent lovers of Nature; the latter was a correspondent of the National Geographic Magazine in London and a regular contributor to the Zoological Society in London. Apart from the bird sanctuary and the mangrove forests, the family made several other contributions to the ecological development of the area.
A. G. Baker died at the age of 72 and was buried at the CSI Cemetery, Kottayam. His son George Alexander Baker built a church and a school in his estate at Kumarakom. Though his son, Robert George Alexander Baker, took over the management of the Kumarakom estate in 1946, he and his family returned to Essex in the ’60s. The property was managed from Essex for the next 15 years and finally sold. R.G.A Baker died in 1989; his family still lives in Essex.