George Fernandes memorial at Bejai church

George Fernandes memorial at Bejai church

In recognition of the services of former Union minister late George Fernandes to the poor and the downtrodden, a memorial will be inaugurated at Bejai Church on February 23 (8 am).

It is an attempt to immortalise his memory in the minds and hearts of all, by erecting a memorial, said Fr Wilson Vitus D’Souza, Parish Priest, St Francis Xavier Church in Bejai.

He said George Matthew Fernandes, who had served as a leader of the labourers, was a social worker, journalist and also a seasoned politician. The Centre had conferred Padma Vibhushan Award on him recently.

‘A generous donor’

Fernandes, who never saved any money for himself, spent his entire life in the service of his country and his countrymen. Having deep affection for his place of birth, he was an admirer and a generous donor to his alma maters, St Francis Xavier Higher Primary School, St Aloysius College and to Fr Muller’s hospital,  D’Souza added.

The former Union minister was born in Bejai, as the eldest of six siblings to John Jos Fernandes and Alice Martha Fernandes.

He completed his primary education from St Francis Xavier School in Bejai and his high school from St Aloysius High School, he added.

D’Souza said in 1946, George Fernandes was drawn to religious life and joined St Peter’s Seminary in Bengaluru. But two years later, he changed his mind and ventured into a new life. He faced plenty of hardships during this period in Maharashtra. He also spent his nights in bus stops and railway stations, he added.

The parish priest said George Fernandes took up odd jobs that came his way and worked earnestly to make ends meet. Even as a child, he was disciplined, had a great love for the poor and the downtrodden and demonstrated leadership abilities.

Imbibing strong Christian values, George Fernandes is the only Christian leader, who strove to build a magnificent India, D’Souza added.

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