Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Proposal for a memorial to the late W. W. Sawyer at Pune, India

Mumbai, India; Wednesday, 4th March 2009.

Dear friends,

Prof. W. W. Sawyer, a much-loved teacher of mathematics and internationally renowned author of popular books on mathematics like Mathematician's Delight, Prelude to Mathematics, Vision in Elementary Mathematics, passed away on 15 February 2008, at the age of 96.

In 2005, we were able to contact him by e-mail, at Toronto, Canada, where he was staying with his daughter, Anne Leon. In our correspondence, Geeta Mahashabde and I informed Anne that we are thinking of setting up a W.W. Sawyer library in India to propagate Sawyer's important writings.

After Prof. Sawyer passed away, we were honoured when Anne offered Nan Nirmiti, the complete collection of hand-written notes of Prof. Sawyer, stored in box files, as well as copies of his books in various translations.

Nav Nirmiti has been discussing the setting up of a memorial with Dr. Kiran Phatak and Ajit Phatak, who own the premises where "Gunwatta" is located in Pune. We are happy to announce that Nav Nirmiti (NN) and the Phatak family of Pune have agreed to set up a W.W. Sawyer Memorial Archive at the following address:
Third floor, Umed Building,
Raman Baug Chowk,
564B/2, Shaniwar Peth,
Pune - 411030, India.

The same premises will also be utilised later to set up a similar memorial to the late Dada Phatak, their grandfather, who was a popular teacher of geography and science and who developed many educational tools, like magic lantern slides and stereoscopic viewers.

We plan to establish a trust, which will raise a corpus of around Rs. 10-15 lakhs to sustain the memorial. Navnirmiti has decided to make an initial contribution of Rs. 2 lakhs to this proposed trust. Contributions from Sawyer-lovers in India should hopefully take us to the target.

The first instalment of the Sawyer manuscripts have arrived in India, courtesy of Prof. Ravichandran Venkatraman, Head of the Dept. of Nuclear Physics at the University of Chennai. So the memorial is taking shape. We also hope to translate and publish at least two of Sawyer's books in Indian languages before Sawyer's birth centenary on 5 April 2011.

This is to request your feedback on this proposal, with a financial commitment, if possible, and also to request you to forward this letter to other Sawyer lovers.

With best wishes from Navnirmiti,
Dr. Vivek Monteiro.
Email: vivekmonteiro@yahoo.com.

Mumbai, India; Wednesday, 4th March 2009.

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