Here’s another titbit about our Great Grand Father Choyi Butler as told by Goyo in ‘A Hundred Years of Excellence’. You’ll note he refers to him as Sri Choyi and not Choyi Butler as he was often referred to. This would supplement the brief write up I had earlier placed on this blog. My earlier entry was based on limited info and more on a romantic image I had of the grand old man. This entry would be more fact based .So here goes.
Sri Choyi was the uncrowned king of Cannanore , the grand old man who ruled over a mammoth family .Our grandmother , Ammamma and her sisters and brothers where the children from his first wife. They stayed with him in Kotieth House a large nalukettu building situated in a heavily wooded compound in one of the choicest locations in Cannanore.The house fascinated me when I was young and I used to wonder how it was so cool inside, till I realised that it was almost completely made of wood, except for the outer walls. There was a grand hall upstairs that the Cannanore Free Masons used as their temple till they moved into their own premises.
They say Sri Choyi owned all the land from Payambalam beach to Kanathur Kavu and built houses for his children in large holdings, where they stayed and reared their own families. He presided over his large extended family like an ancient patriach.The Choyi’s Hotel was built by him in one of the most idyllic sites in Cannanore, atop a hill over looking the ocean. Ammamma’s half sisters and brothers from her father’s English wife stayed in an elegant and spacious house called ‘The Gardens’ situated on the road to Payambalam beach.