St Joseph’s alumni honour nation’s fallen heroes

The Archbishop of Bangalore Peter Machado pays tribute at the war memorial at Old boy martyrs at St Joseph's Boys High School in Bengaluru on May 25, 2019. (DH PHOTO/JANARDHAN B K)

A rather distinct gathering at the St Joseph’s Boys’ High School, organised by the Old Boys’ Association (OBA), paid homage to the valorous men who laid down their life for the nation.

A memorial unveiled a plaque with engravings of four post-independence martyrs. Families and friends of the brave, dignitaries and OBA members paid tributes, offering flowers and wreaths.

The event started with a mass at the school chapel followed by wreath laying ceremony and citations. Archbishop Peter Machado praised the families and the OBA. 

The four martyrs were part of the century-old Old Boys’ Association. OBA president, George Ollapally, said the event demonstrates to the families the school’s responsibility and care towards its heroes. “It is the parents and loved ones who suffer the most. If there’s anything that could be done to justify their loss, then it should be done without hesitation,” he added. 

Among the four men who were honored was Captain John Albert Dalby. He was reported missing, believed to be dead. Cheryl Dalby, daughter of Dalby, who flew in all the way from Australia, told DH: “I finally put my father's spirit to rest. It is one of the most beautiful ceremonies I’ve ever attended. Its been sixty years now and I’ve had a rough time coping with the loss.” 

Maj Gen Vijay Pingale of the 6 Maratha L1, while addressing the gathering, said he personally knew the men. 

Maj P Atul Deviah, Maj Uday S Ghosh and Maj Sylvester Rajesh Ratnam were honored. 

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