2nd Death Anniversary of Parishioner Late George Fernandes Commemorated by Bejai Church
- 2nd Death Anniversary of Parishioner Late George Fernandes Commemorated by Bejai Church on Friday, 29 January 2021 at Bejai Church and Parish Hall. A Campaign was launched to name Mangaluru Junction Railway Station after Late George Fernandes, and also requested the Mangaluru City Corporation and officials concerned to name the road between ‘Mangalore City Corporation and Bejai Church Circle’ as ‘Padma Vibhushan George Fernandes Road’.
Mangaluru: The Parishioners of St Francis Xavier Church, Bejai and the people of goodwill commemorated the 2nd death anniversary of National leader Padma Vibhushan late George Fernandes on Friday, 29th January 2021. Prior to a formal programme prayers were offered to the soul of late George Fernandes in Bejai Church at 5.00 p.m. followed by a visit to the grave site at 5.45 p.m. and thereafter a condolence meeting was held from 6.00 p.m. onwards in Bejai Church hall. The mass was celebrated by Most Rev. Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza (Bishop Emeritus, Diocese of Mangaluru), joined by other clergy,namely- Fr J B Saldanha-Parish Priest of st Francis Xavier Church, Bejai; Fr Wilson Vitus D’Souza-Former Parish priest of Bejai church; Fr Santosh Kamath SJ-a Jesuit priest from St Aloysius Institutions, Mangaluru; Fr Robert D’Souza-Principal , Lourdes Central school, Bejai; and Fr Pramod Crasta and Fr Vishwas Joy Misquith-both Assistant parish priests of Bejai church.
Following a short prayer conducted by Rev. Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza (Bishop Emeritus, Diocese of Mangaluru) at the gravesite of late George Fernandes and showering flower petals on the grave, joined by other clergy and the faithful, a formal condolence Meet was held at the Church Parish hall,which was graced by Michael Fernandes (B/o Late George Fernandes), J. R. Lobo (Ex-MLA Mangaluru South Constituency), Rev. Dr J. B. Saldanha (Parish Priest, St Francis Xavier Church, Bejai), Sudhir Shetty Kannuru (Corporator), Lancelot Pinto (Corporator), Mrs Shakila Kava (Corporator), Manohar Shetty (Corporator), Jayanth Anchan (Corporator), superior St Angela Convent, Sr Severine Crasta-the Superior of st Angela Convent-Bejai; Sr Neena Mathias-the Superior of Daughters of St Paul Congregation; Ashok Pinto (Vice-President, Parish Pastoral Council, Bejai), Mrs Preethi Gomes (Secretary); Coordinator of Church Associations – Mrs Irene Crasta; President of ICYM Ms Shiny Lewis; Ronald D’Silva (Vice-President, Catholic Sabha, Bejai UnitParish Pastoral Council, Bejai), Fr Pramod Crasta and Fr Vishwas Joy Misquith-both Assistant parish priests of Bejai church, among others.
Speaking on the occasion, Rev Dr J B Saldanha, the parish priest of St Francis Xavier Church-Bejai said, ” Late George Fernandes was a selfless dynamic leader who was not bothered about his personal career rather took people into confidence and promoted leadership among young adults. His personality was filled with the spirit of nationalism beyond partisan politics. We would hardly find any leader of his caliber at the national level who only thought of the well being of the country. He was a clean man who stayed away from any sort of corruption. He remained truthful to the government which was a coalition of 27 national and local parties. He was a person who lived a modest life”.
Fr Saldanha further said, “George Fernandes inspired the youths to live an honest life, not indulging in corruption. His contributions to the nation were monumental. In his memory we will soon commence training sessions for youths so that they inculcate the values and continue to be inspired by George Fernandes. Late George Fernandes always took initiative in promoting leadership among the youth. Keeping this in mind on this occasion, we will be honouring three budding leaders of our times from various communities. The three upcoming leaders in trade union Sukumar Naik, Ummer Shafi and Samson Richard Karkada will be felicitated today. We make an earnest appeal that since Fernandes contributed a lot to the development of Konkan Railway, we request the government as well as our political leaders to name Mangalore Junction Railway Station after George Fernandes as “Padma Vibhushan George Fernandes Railway Station”. And since late George Fernandes hails from Bejai-Mangaluru, we request the Mangaluru City Corporation and officials concerned to name the road between Mangalore City Corporation and Bejai Church Circle as ‘Padma Vibhushan Mr George Fernandes Road’.
Former Mangaluru South Constituency MLA J R Lobo said, “We should be thankful to the Bejai church parishioners for remembering and commemorating the second death anniversary of the Late George Fernandes, who was also a parishioner of Bejai church. George was a person whom the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee vested a lot of faith in, among other leaders. It should be noted that as a union minister, even though George resided in Maharashtra and other states, he kept his hometown Mangaluru close to his heart with great love and respect and also contributed a lot towards the welfare of his home town. Since he was the driving force behind the introduction of Konkan railway, it is befitting that Mangaluru Junction railway Station be renamed after him”
Also speaking on the occasion Corporator Sudheer Shetty said, “A proposal has already been discussed and approved during the MCC Council meeting in regards to the renaming of Mangaluru Junction railway station after the Late George Fernandes. Since there are a lot of procedures involved in renaming a place or road, the proposal has go to state cabinet first, followed by approval in the central cabinet, and during the process we all need to work hand in hand and also take the help of state BJP president MP Nalin Kumar Kateel in order to materialize this proposal of renaming the Mangaluru Junction Railway Station after late George Fernandes, who really deserves it”.
Michael Fernandes, the brother of late George Fernandes speaking on the occasion said, “I feel proud to say that my brother George was a corrupt free politician, and treated every person equally poor and rich, and irrespective of caste, religion or creed. We need such kind of politicians, like him, but sadly we are ruled by corrupt and dishonest leaders. Another proud moment for me is that on George’s birth anniversary his autobiography will be released and authored by a professor of Jamia University – the book might be released on 3 June 2021, which will be the 91st birthday of my brother George “
Corporator of Bejai Ward Lancelot Pinto also spoke and praised George Fernandes for his contribution made to the Country, and also to Mangaluru, and he urged that Mangalureans should join in the campaign to rename Mangaluru Junction Railway station after George Fernandes. On the occasion, three upcoming leaders in Trade Union Sukumar Naik, Ummer Shafi and Samson Richard Karkada, in which George Fernandes had played a major role during his tenure, were felicitated. The welcome address was delivered by Ashok Pinto -the Vice-President, Parish Pastoral Council, Bejai, and the vote of thanks was proposed by Mrs Preethi Gomes- the Secretary. Highlights on the life of George Fernandes was narrated by parishioner Mrs Connie Saldanha. The Condolence Meet was meticulously and professionally compered by Robin Cutinho, Ms Jasmine D’Souza and Ms Carol Santhumayor.