175th anniversary of Basel Mission in Mangalore, Udupi

 To commemorate the arrival of the first missionaries of Basel Mission in India, the Executive Committee of the CSI Karnataka Southern Diocese will organise the finale of the 175th anniversary celebrations in Mangalore and Udupi on November 1.
The organisers informed this at separate press meets in Mangalore and Udupi on Wednesday.

In Mangalore, a photo exhibition, thanksgiving service and a public reception will be held at Karnataka Theological College (KTC) and Shanthi Cathedral at Balmatta. In Udupi, special prayers will be offered at the United Basel Mission Church.

The photo exhibition displaying over 1,400 rare photographs will be inaugurated at 9.30 am at the KTC Balmatta, while a thanksgiving ceremony will be held at 10 am. A public reception and cultural programme will be held at 3.30 pm, informed Honey Cabral, the Principal of the KTC.

CSI Synod General Secretary Moses Jayakumar, MAHE former VC Prof B M Hegde, litterateur Prof Amrut Someshwar, EMS India Secretary in Germany Lutz Drescher will take part in the event, he added.

At a separate press meet in Udupi, UBM South Kanara and Coorg districts Church Board Chairman Jeevan Prasad said special prayers will be offered as part of the commemoration, which will be followed by educational and literary events by students.

Contributions

In 1834, three missionaries of Basel Mission arrived at Calicut in Kerala and spread their activities gradually. At the time when people especially women had less opportunities for education, the Mission worked hard to provide education to all. It is also responsible for opening new chapters in printing, cottage industry, medicine and agriculture, said Jeevan Prasad.

Basel Mission started its ministry in Mangalore on October 30, 1884 and later extended its services to other parts of the State. Rev Hebich and his companions established many educational institutions including an Anglo-vernacular school.

The first printing press of the region was established in 1841 at Balmatta. Books were printed in different languages including Kannada, Tulu, Malayalam, Telugu, English, Sanskrit, Tamil, Konkani and German. Basel missionary Herman Frederick Mogling wrote several books in Kannada and also published ‘Mangalura Samachara’, considered as the first Kannada newspaper.

Prasad informed that Basel Mission started a weaving factory at Balmatta in 1844, tile factories at Jeppu in 1865, at Kudroli in 1882 and at Malpe in 1886. It started first hospital at Udupi in 1923, first of its kind in the erstwhile South Kanara.

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