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03 Notable Members of and from the Community

Bernard Jacob, Musician

Bernard and Philomena Jacob, after their wedding

Bernard and Philomena Jacob, after their wedding


Bernard Jacob (known as Bunny Jacob), was the son of J.R.Jacob and Lily Elias, who was the daughter of the B.N. Elias family. J.R.Jacob became a Director of B.N. Elias and Company (a conglomerate that owned and manufactured, jute, tobacco, cigarettes, real estate and other commercial interests). Lily’s other brothers, Jack Elias and Nissim Elias were also Directors.

Bernard was educated in England and came back to India after completing his studies. He married Philomena Gubbay, who was his first cousin. Her mother and J.R.Jacob were siblings. They lived in Mayfair Estates which were also owned by the family.

Bunny was very interested in classical music. Both he and his brother Ronnie studied music with M.Phillipe Sandre. Bunny Jacob was very active in the affairs of the community and in the Calcutta School of Music. He participated in concerts when the Calcutta School of Music was in Royd Street. He was the last conductor of the Calcutta Symphony Orchestra. Sometimes to get the musicians he needed for a performance he would fly musicians in from Bombay at his own expense. There is a hall in the current school that was donated by B.V.Jacob.

Yehudi Menuhin played with the Calcutta Symphony Orchestra in 1952.