Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Dominic Joseph checks out

Dominic Joseph, the founder chairman of CGH-Earth Group (Casino Hotel Group) died yesterday at Cochin. He was 86. A few hours later his wife Thankamma (80) also passed away. They had been married for 62 years.

I have known Dominic Joseph (Thommikunju) from my childhood. He belonged to the ancient and aristocratic Kuruvinakunnel family, near Palai, Kottayam District.

Thommikunju was a visionary. His mind wandered beyond the world of planting in which his family is prominent. He shifted to Cochin and started Casino Restaurant which was later converted into a beautiful four-star hotel. He took the famous Malabar Hotel (today’s Taj Malabar) on lease from the Cochin Port and ran it successfully for sometime till he decided to concentrate on Casino.

Under his stewardship and with the input by his brilliant sons, Casino (renamed CGH-Earth Group) grew into one of the finest hotel chains in India. I think they have about a dozen units now, in Kerala, Laksha Dweep, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Casino and Malabar Hotel were my favorite places at one time. I also recall staying at the Group’s Anjali Hotel, Kottayam for about a month in 1973 with my team to write the Market Report on automobile tires for Apollo Tyres when it was promoted by Mathew Marattukalam.

Thommikunju was the pioneer of hospitality and tourism industry in Kerala. He won several awards including Hall of Fame by Indian Association of Tour Operators.

What I remember most about the man is his humility, and that ever present smile which had sincerity written all over it. May the souls of Thommikunju and Thankamma rest in peace.

Ends.

Also see:
Travel: Beaches off the beaten track

7 comments:

harimohan said...

once mr.dominic happened to visit the school for mentally challenged we run in kochi
shilpasociety.org
along with his friend who incidentally had his grandchild studying here ,he was in his eighties i think ,very concerned and intrested about everyhting ,he also gave his contribution .may his soul rest in peace

Teresa said...

Will say a prayer for his soul. I really enjoyed the articles. I've just got my internet installed and working, and so can now read the articles on a regular basis. :)

Teresa said...

Happy Independence day!!

Abraham Tharakan said...

Your comment illustrates what kind of man Mr. Dominic was.

I visited shilpasociety.org and was so touched reading it. I must visit the school for the mentally challenged that you are running at Cochin. Of the members of your society, I know Dr. Sujit Vasudevan. He was my mother's physician.

I am planning to get in touch with you by email.

Abraham Tharakan said...

Thanks for the comment, Teresa. Dominic Joseph was such a fine person.

Look forward to more comments from you.

Happy Independence Day.

DOMINIC JOSEPH said...

Hi Abraham sir this is DOMINIC JOSEPH from bangalore. l am basically from poonjar palai. it is a pleasure to hear that there was a successful personality who had my name. and your words are such and inspiring one that l went on reading. if gets some free time call me so that we may establish some good relationship. 09739206682

Abraham Tharakan said...

Thank you Dominic Joseph.