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Lucia King
Mrs. D. King, on the eve of her departure from India in 1908, took upon herself the onerous task of raising funds in Calcutta towards the construction of a cottage at Kalimpong. It was therefore befitting that the Cottage should bear her name, in recognition and memory of her efforts.

The Cottage was opened by the Hon’ble Mr. Slacke, on the 10th anniversary of the Homes – 24th September 1910 – with Miss Gray as the first Matron-in-charge. It is interesting to note the remarks made by Mr. Slacke in the course of his address at the opening:

 “It gives me much pleasure to have been allowed the opportunity of being associated with an undertaking connected with Mrs. Lucia King. That lady was for many years a resident of Calcutta, and by means of her indefatigable energy, and the exercise of her very considerable talents, she, during all these years realised for charitable purposes, on the average, the sum of £1,000/- yearly.”

The Lucia King Cottage serves a dual purpose. It provides a ‘home’ for the infants at Dr. Graham’s Homes, many of whom are from poverty-stricken and destitute backgrounds, and often in poor health. It also serves as a training ground for nurses, who are trained to be well qualified Governesses – an opportunity open to students of Dr. Graham’s Homes and to young girls from the surrounding areas of Kalimpong.

Home to infants (as young as a month old) and children, the remarkable transformation of many a sick and abandoned child is evidence of the family atmosphere in the Lucia King Cottage and the love and care they experience there.

Once the children are five years old, they move to the other Cottages where they become members of a much larger Cottage family.

Currently Lucia King is home to twenty small children. There are also twelve trainee nurses.  Miss Aity Rai, who worked under the last missionary, Miss Jean Burns of Woodburn Cottage, is presently Matron-in-charge. She is ably supported by Miss Janet Singh. 

Trainee nurses receive a certificate on completion of two years of training and demonstrating competence and suitability for their vocation. Many of them have gone on to find employment with eminent families like the Bachchans and a former Prime Minister of India as well as with Corporate Houses, and have been a credit wherever they are.

The stepping stone for many children to a meaningful and exciting life in the “Children’s City”, Lucia King will be celebrating its centenary in 2010 – a landmark in a century of dedicated and compassionate service to less fortunate and needy children.

 
‘Aunty Aity’ as she is fondly called by many Woodburnites undertook her two years Nursery Nurses Training from Lucia King.  After working for a year at Birissa as an Aunty, she moved to Woodburn Cottage to work under the last missionary of the Homes, Miss Jean Burns.  In 1994 when Miss Burns left for Scotland, Aity single-handedly took Woodburn to a record of 15 consecutive years as the ‘Best Cottage’ winning competitions such as the Garden competition, Inter-cottage Swimming, Athletics, Singing Competition and the ‘All round best girls cottage’