Ann Kissane, AGI Affiliate, New Ross
SIR MICHAEL KEANE, GOVERNOR OF ASSAM
Michael Keane was born in 1874, son of Jeremiah Keane and Mary Kissane from Barraduff, Lisselton, Listowel, Co Kerry, Ireland. He was one of seven children four boys and three girls. He was educated in St Michael’s in Listowel. In 1878 “Exhibitions” were established by the then Board of Education, to help educate bright students whose families might not be able to afford further schooling. It seems Michael took these exams first in his primary school, St Michael’s Listowel, in 1888. The money he was awarded funded his education in Blackrock College, Dublin from September 1889 to July 1891, where he attended as a boarder. Michael sat his senior grade exhibition in Blackrock in 1891, getting the 1st Class prize. This funded his further education at Clongowes, where in 1892 he won the Senior grade Gold Medal. This in turn funded his university education.
In 1898 Michael Keane joined the Indian civil service, and was posted to the North West frontier province of the then British India (now part of Pakistan), where he served as under-secretary to the Governor until 1907.
In 1911 Michael married Joyce Lovett Thomas. They had three children: Denis Michael, Joyce Criena and Pamela Kissane (apparently she used Kissane as her first name, known as Kissane Keane).
Micheal continued to work his way up the career ladder in the service until 1919 when he became Judicial Secretary and later Chief Secretary to the United Provinces Government (approx. present day states of Uttar Pradash and Oudh, India).
Micheal continued to work his way up the career ladder in the service until 1919 when he became Judicial Secretary and later Chief Secretary to the United Provinces Government (approx. present day states of Uttar Pradash and Oudh, India). In 1921 he was appointed President of the Legislative Council, and held that position until 1928. Then in 1928 he served on the Public Services Commission. During 1930’s he was a member of the Board of Revenue of the United Provinces
In 1932 Michael succeeded Sir Egbert Hammond as Governor of Assam. He was also knighted that same year. As Governor of Assam Michael took a deep interest in the people he served and he and his wife were well regarded and popular. The Keane Bridge, a notable landmark on the river Surma in Sylhet City, Bangladesh was named in Michael’s honour. Joyce became a patron of a girls school in Shillong, which was also named after her. In fact, the school still exists and bears the name Lady Keane College for Girls.
Sir Michael Keane remained as Governor of Assam until early 1937, when it is assumed he retired due to ill health. He died on the 10th of August of that year at his home in Norfolk.
Michael was buried in Salt House in Norfolk, following a Requiem Mass in Westminster Cathedral, celebrated by his brother Fr. John Keane. His other brother Bishop Patrick Keane of Sacramento, predeceased him in 1928.