J.J. Goodwin : Great Minds

Josiah John Goodwin ( 1870-1898) was a British stenographer and a disciple of Indian philosopher Swami Vivekananda. Goodwin is known for recording Vivekananda’s speeches, and it is thought that without his efforts most of Vivekananda’s works would have been lost.

Goodwin joined Swami in Jammu and Lahore in 1897. Advised by Swami to take some rest, Goodwin came to Ooty as a reporter of Madras Mail. Of his untimely death it was reported, “On 16th and 17th (1898) there was a cricket match and Goodwin got drenched in the rain two or three times. But he never changed his coat. The next day he was slightly feverish but went again to be present at a funeral of Mr. Ross, a Member of the Legislative Council  (to gather news) . It seems by the time Mr. Bremmer, the Mail reporter reached Ooty, Goodwin was delirious and was running away frequently from the bed. He had been removed to hospital and on the 2nd night at about 10-30 he passed away”.

In a tribute The Tribune of Lahore wrote ‘Of all Swami Vivekananda’s disciples that we saw here he was undoubtedly the most devoted, single-minded and capable. He was a journalist of considerable ability, and as a shorthand reporter we doubt whether he had any equal in India. Swami Vivekananda’s speeches were mostly reported by him, Sanskrit and all.  His pure life and gentle ways soon made him a general favourite’.

The memorial at St. Thomas’ Church, Ooty was erected in 1967 by his Indian admirers. The tomb was consecrated by the Archbishop of India and the ceremony was attended by over 400 Christians, Hindus and monks of the Ramakrishna Order.

Nilgiri Documentation Centre

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *