Fernandes ‘immortalised’ in St Aloysius library

Fernandes ‘immortalised’ in St Aloysius library

One of the rooms in the sprawling library of St Aloysius College, with thousands of books stacked neatly in shelves, remains dedicated to former Defence Minister the late George Fernandes.

“The George Fernandes Library was set up with over 3,500 books donated by George Fernandes in 2013,” St Aloysius Institutions Rector Fr Dionysius Vaz told DH.

Dr George Rodrigues, the chief librarian, recollected that one of the close friends of Fernandes had contacted the then Rector Fr Joseph Rodrigues. In response, Fernandes, who had been an alumnus of St Aloysius High School and had completed SSLC in 1945 from the school, expressed a desire to donate his lifetime’s collection of books to St Aloysius College.

A glance at Fernandes’ treasure trove of rare books at the library reveals the fact that he had been a voracious reader. The library has volumes on parliamentary proceedings and debates. There are books on a great variety of topics including geography, philosophy and language. An entire almirah of books on the subject of defence proves an indicator to how seriously he had taken his job as defence minister.

“George Fernandes, along with A P J Abdul Kalam, then President of India, had participated in the 125th anniversary of the college in 2005. That was also Fernandes’ last visit to the College,” Dr Rodrigues recollected.

In the morning, the College, led by principal Fr Praveen Martis, condoled the death of Fernandes.