March 4, 2007

Inspiration for the day

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Father Gabriel, Amala Cancer Hospital, Vilangankunnu, Thrissur

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One habit of Father Gabriel is well known to the staff of Amala Cancer Hospital, Thrissur, which he founded.  It is that whenever he goes of tour, Father sets his time of return beforehand.  And he invariably will be back at the promised time.

Perfect timing is not the only noteworthy quality of Padma Bhushan Father Gabriel Chiramal.  An institution-builder par excellence has been the Father, who founded many institutions apart from the Cancer Hospital.  Christ College at Iringalakkuda, was once adjudged the best college in India.  It too has the stamp of the ‘master builder’.  The other institutions for which he gave his energy and sweat include schools, industrial units, book stall, cultural centres etc.

In the 1950s while he was teaching biology at Sacred Hearts College, Thevara, the need arose to explain about whales.  Although videos and internet unavailable for his disposal at that time, Father was not ready to give up.  He made a trip to Fisheries Department at Kozhikode.  After a few days, a black-cassock wearing Father turned up in a train at Ernakulam Station with a 48-feet skeleton of the whale in the goods wagon.  Such was his resolve not to be cowed down by circumstances.

Born in 1914 and ordained as priest in 1943, he had brought a new style of service to priesthood in the 1950s.

With just Rs.25000 got from a Star Night Programme, he and other well wishers had set out to build the Cancer Hospital.  By finding sponsors for each ward, he was able to complete the construction of the hospital.  It was his vision to have a confluence of allopathy, homoeopathy and ayurveda in the treatment regime.

Once Field Marshal General Manekshah was invited for a programme at Christ College.  Although the dignitary had to attend 17 functions, each of them went off with clockwork precision, much to the amazement of Manekshah.

And perhaps for his efficient utilization of time, the Divine has blessed the nonagenarian with a long lease of productive life.


Courtesy: Santhosh John Thooval, Sree, Malayala Manorama, February 18, 2007
Contributed by: Administrator


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