Fernandes Bros Donate Rs 21 Lac to Alma Mater
Mangaluru: Many alums remember the time spent at their School or College campus “the best days of their lives.” Those were the days of youth, making friends, learning and embracing life with a passion. We gain so much more than just an education from our school/college, so it is natural that we try to give as much back as we can. The term Alma Mater is reason enough to give back: Alumni play a large role in determining the future and continued development of an institution; Your donations go a long way to support awards for deserving students; You are giving back to more than just your Alma mater in this case; you are also helping someone gain a valuable asset, a feeling and connections to fellow alums by planting a seed of giving back in the mind of younger brothers and sisters at campus. So if you’ve been neglecting your Alma mater, rectify the situation and start giving back in any way you can, today, just like these four Fernandes Brothers!
Four brothers namely George Fernandes (former Union defence minister), Michael B Fernandes (former MLA and MLC), Paul Fernandes and Aloysius Fernandes, who all had studied at St Francis Xavier Higher Primary School (SFXHPS), Bejai, between 1939 and 1946, had founded “The Lawrence Fernandes Foundation-Bengaluru, established in 2006” named after their other brother, Lawrence Fernandes ( who also studied at the same school) who passed away in 2005, donated Rs 21 lakh to St Francis Xavier Education Trust, Bejai, Mangaluru towards the benefit of students and non-aided staff at St Francis Xavier Higher Primary School and adjacent schol Lourdes High School, Bejai.
Foundation Chairman of the foundation, Michael B Fernandes handed over the deed of endowment and the cheque bearing an amount of Rs 21 lakh to Bejai Church Parish Priest, St Francis Xavier Education Trust chairman and the school Convener Fr Wilson Vitus D’Souza, at a programme organized at the SFXHPS. The Lawrence Fernandes Foundation registered on 22 December 2006, was named after the late Lawrence V Fernandes, the Mayor of Bangalore during the close of 1988, to continue the charitable work he was doing, particularly by way of financial help for education and medical care to the poor and needy, until his death on 17 November 2005. The Foundation was initially funded by his four other brothers brothers, and thereafter by transferring to it the entire sale proceeds of his immovable property since he was unmarried. The Lawrence Fernandes Foundation has rendered assistance to the poor and needy through donations to and or Endowment Grants. This decision had been taken on the occasion of the Centenary (1915-2015) celebration of SFXHPS, in which all the above five brothers had studied for different duration in the 1940’s.
On the occasion of the centenary celebrations of St Francis Xavier Higher Primary School last year, four among five of Fernandes brothers had decided to donate the amount to their Alma mater. Out of the Rs 21 lakh, Rs 8 lakh will be instituted as the corpus fund towards Jacob Fernandes Scholarships in the name of his paternal grandfather; Rs 4 lakh will be towards Margaret Pinto Scholarships in the name of Micheal’s maternal grandmother, and Rs 9 lakh will be towards Lawrence V Fernandes Medical Grants to provide medical aid to the unaided teachers and support staff of both the schools.
As a gesture for his support to the school, Michael B Fernandes was felicitated n the occasion. School headmistress Lona E C Rodrigues-School Headmistress, Stany Vaz and Cony Saldanha- Secretary, both of St Francis Xavier Church Parish Council vice president, Augustine Rodrigues-School Development and Monitoring Committee member and Prakash B Salian – Area Ward Corporator also graced the occasion.
In my perspective, Why you should give back to your Alma mater..? It is undisputed to say that the good-old-days at school / college are one of the most treasured years of our lives. Overtime, we recognize the lessons learned at school or college and how they add value in our careers. I wonder why then most alumni don’t make an effort to stay connected and contribute to the development of their Alma mater? Do you consider yourself to be emotionally detached or feel that your Alma mater’s reputation doesn’t really make a difference in your life? Whether you contribute time, money or expertise; giving back is an opportunity to channel your passion and allow it to thrive on campus long after you have gone. It is a way to invest back in areas you wish to see the institute thrive. All in all, it allows you to have a stake in steering the vision for your Alma mater. In my opinion, giving money is analogues to the old proverb that goes – “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day,” whereas inspiring current students to follow their passions is like,”Teaching a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Re-think and engage with your Alma mater. Giving back is not just about ability to support, but also about understanding the need and the want to help your beloved institute.
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