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Margaret’s Hope Co. honours 98 yr old worker by naming Tea brand

Darjeeling : To commemorate its 150th anniversary, Margaret’s Hope tea garden in Kurseong on Thursday launched a limited edition product named after one of its workers, heralding a new dawn for the Goodricke Company-owned tea estate. Garden worker Purney Subba (98), after whom the limited edition has been named, said he was honoured and overwhelmed. “I wish this garden prospers and reaches newer heights. I am honoured and feel blessed to see this day,” he said. The product has been christened ‘FTGFOP1- PS Special’, short for ‘Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Peacock’, and just 60kg of the autumnal flavour from over 150-year-old pure China bushes was up for sale on Thursday. A buyer from German firm Schroeder & Hamann bought 20kg of the limited edition at Rs 6,500 per kg, while a Japanese buyer paid Rs7,000 for a kilo. 

The garden management said part of the sale proceeds would be presented to Subba, while the rest would go for the garden hospital. “We will present 20 per cent of the proceeds to Subba and the remaining 80 per cent will go for purchasing a ventilator for the garden hospital. I have been informed that many residents here have suffered heart attacks and having a ventilator will definitely benefit them,” said Goodricke Group managing director AN Singh. Margaret’s Hope is spread across 586.16 hectares of plantation area and was established in 1864 by an English planter. Its original name was Bara-Ringtong and the owner changed it to Margaret’s Hope in memory of his daughter. The garden has a workforce of 1,400 employees and was acquired by the Goodricke Group in 1984. Goodricke also owns the Castleton, Thurbo, Burnsberg and Badamtam tea gardens. Praising the garden’s workers, Singh said, “Your tremendous contributions must not be forgotten. We have reached this stage because of you. 

The garden was in a bad state when we took over in 1984. Our concerted efforts have helped maintain the quality of our products.” Forty kilos of the limited edition were sold out in the day and the management will soon put up for sale the remaining 20kg to overseas buyers. “The tea leaves are of the autumnal variety grown only in select gardens. We will offer the remaining 20kg to foreign buyers,” informed Goodricke marketing manager Binod Gurung. The garden management also announced plans for constructing 150 latrines across Margaret’s Hope. Besides, it also promised to donate five computers and Rs1.50 lakh for buying furniture to Margaret’s Hope High School, as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility programme. 

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