Udupi: Emotional and lovable honour marks ‘Guruvandana’ programme at SMC Shirva

Udupi: The gems who strengthened the pillars of St. Mary’s College Shirva with their sacrifices and sheer dedication, the superannuated faculty members were honoured by the alumni in a Guruvandana programme organised by the college’s Alumni Association here, on October 3.

The programme was inaugurated by paying a tribute to renowned academicians and retired principals of St. Mary’s College, late Rev Fr Henry Castelino and late L Mendonca.

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The reputation of an institution is decided on the quality of faculty, students and infrastructure, said Dr. H S Ballal, Pro-Chancellor of Manipal University. “The teachers are the forerunners in building an institution. They grow and they also facilitate the growth of an institution. Missionaries have played a prominent role in imparting quality education to the rural masses. They opened up schools and colleges to educate them. Teachers should encourage their students to ask questions, which will facilitate their growth. In India, only 20% of the population is exposed to higher education which is due to the lack of institutions for the rural masses and this has to be improved. Money making is prominent in today’s world but civic sense should be given more importance,” he added.

Alban Rodrigues, retired principal of St. Mary’s PU College and Administrator of Dandhateertha Educational Institutions said that many students have scaled new heights by pursing their studies in St. Mary’s College. “Rev Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo took special initiative for granting permission to the college; he even waited for hours in the Vidhana Soudha for the same. The faculty members including students have sacrificed a lot for the development of the institution which is really commendable. At the end of an education, man paves way for love,” he added.

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Rev Fr Lawrence Serrao, Secretary of Catholic Education Society, Udupi sharing his views said that the selfless service of the faculty members and their hardships to educate young minds is commendable. The old students during their superannuation have filed them with joy and happiness, he added.

Rev Fr Stany Tauro, Correspondent of St. Mary’s College, Shirva said that the faculty members have selflessly served the institution. “Their salaries were very low then, but they never complained and they served with a broad smile. The Lord has rewarded happiness in their lives as their students love and respect them like their parents. They are immortal examples for us.”

Rev Fr Anil Castelino, Campus Director of St. Mary’s and Don Bosco Educational Institutions, said that the faculty members are the pearls of the institution. This celebration will be memorable for all, he added.

Vishwanath Kaup, an alumni, in his key note address said that Fr Henry Castelino’s face is still visible in the structures of the college. “Fr Castelino used to pay from his pockets for the construction of the college building. His sacrifice has made us good human beings,” he added.

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The superannuated faculty members – Associate Prof. Pascal Walter D’sa; Associate Prof. Subramanya, Associate Prof. Prakash Petanker along with retired principals Rev Fr John A Barboza, Rev Fr Wilson Vitus D’Souza – were felicitated by the old students. The support staff, Gilbert Fernandes (Office Superintendent) was also felicitated. Associate Prof. Vincent D’Souza, now serving in Mandantyar College, along with Prof. Dr Vinay Rajath was also felicitated. Shantashree Shetty, mother of alumni Santosh Shetty who proposed the idea of Guruvandana, was also felicitated.

Rev Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, Associate Prof. Ronal Moras and Associate Prof. Subramanya also spoke on the occasion.

Prof. Mussafar Assadi, Chairman Political Science Department, Mysore University; Wilson D’Souza, Vice-President Parish Pastoral Council; William Machado, Secretary Parish Pastoral Council, Devdas Hebbar President of Alumni Association and others were present.

Prof. Rajan V N, Principal of St. Mary’s College, welcomed the gathering. Irene Mendonca, Convenor of Guruvandana programme, proposed vote of thanks. Alwyn Danthy compered the programme.

Prior to the programme the superannuated professors were accorded grand welcome in a traditional manner.

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