17 September, 1917: Birth of M. E. Cherian, author of “Anugrahaththin Adhipathiye”.
Cherian was the son of Kuriannoor Thannikkapurathuttu T. M. Easow (Kunjachen Upadeshi) and Ayroor Kanjeettukara Panamthottathil Aleyamma. At the age of 9 he accepted Jesus as his personal saviour. He taught at the Noel Memorial School in Kumbanad for a few years, and from 1943 onwards he started full time gospel work.
He has written more than 300 hymns and 13 books. Hymn nos. 92, 93, 94, 95, 233, 236, 238, 239, 241, 245, 248, 304, 364, 365, 379, 385, 386 and 409 in the Mar Thoma Syrian Church Hymn book (Kristheeya Keerththanangal) are written by him.
He was called to his eternal home on 2 October, 1993 while he was on a gospel trip in Muthukulathoor Village near Madurai in Tamil Nadu.
4 May, 2008: Death of Dr. Sosamma Philip, Medical Missionary. Dr. Sosamma (b.9 Nov 1917) was the daughter of Late Rev. M. C. George Kasseesa (17 Apr 1874 – 23 Oct 1923) of Maliyekkal House, Kuriannoor. The Late Most Rev. Dr. Alexander Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan (10 Apr 1913-11 Jan 2000) was her elder brother. Dr. Sosamma passed her final school examination in 1933, but couldn’t afford a college education. She joined the Under Graduate Teacher’s Training Course in Tiruvalla and then became a teacher at Kuriannoor Middle School.
The family had to sell a portion of their ancestral property to pay for her dowry. In 1940, she married Dr. P. V. Philip (Palathinkkal, Kottayam), who was working with the Mission Hospital in Karappuram, Cherthala. But unfortunately, Dr. Philip died after nine months of their marriage. She also lost her mother, three months later. Dr. Sosamma had an earnest desire to continue Medical Work of her departed husband. She joined Alwaye U. C. College and passed her intermediate examinations and applied for a seat in Christian Medical College, Vellore. As she did not get admission, she joined the American College in Madurai and finished her B.A. and then joined the Nicholson School, Tiruvalla, as a teacher.
But the desire for a medical education was burning in her heart, so she applied again and this time secured an admission in Christian Medical College, Vellore. Immediately after getting her Medical degree, she joined the Karapuram, Cherthala Mission, where her husband worked. After further passing her specialization courses in Chicago, she worked with the Kumbanad and Kattanam hospitals for many years. In 1967, she joined the Mar Thoma Sihora Ashram Hospital in Madhya Pradesh and remained there till her retirement, 30 years later in 1997.
As recognition of her work and social service, the Church awarded her the “Manava Seva Award”. After her retirement, she returned to stay with her relatives in Kuriannoor. She was called to her eternal home on 4 May 2008 and was buried beside her parents at the St.Thomas Mar Thoma Church Cemetery in Kuriannoor.
Mr. O. C. Chacko of the Indian National Army (INA) of Subash Chandhra Bose and member of the Kuriannoor Mar Thoma Church, Pathanamthitta, Kerala passed away on 14/04/14.
He was 95 years old and resided at Odikandathil-Vadakkemannil, Kuriannoor.
His funeral will be held on Saturday, 19th April 2014 at 12 noon at Neelethu Mar Thoma Church, Kuriannoor.
“The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.”
We carry below an English translation of an article Published in Malayala Manorama newspaper on
14th August 2013, a day before Independence Day.
Even after Six Decades, The spirit of Independence has not dwindled
Even after half a century of independence, Mr. O.C .Chacko observes, it has not lost its sheen. Before the day when the tricolor of India rose up bringing down the British flag on August 15, 1947, the eyes that dreamt such a morning still sparkle. The ears that heard the trumpet call of freedom fighters and their war cry are still kept open to hear it again. Only that the feet that had walked in steady gait braving the enslaving British yoke have become slightly unsteady. But he still jumps up from his wheel chair with the same enthusiasm on hearing the names of Netaji and INA – that is O.C.Chacko of Odikandathil Vadakkemannil, Kuriannoor.
He is one of the few surviving soldiers of INA. Every Independence Day is the birth of a new era for Mr. O.C.Chacko. Coincidentally, his birthday falls on a day following the Independence Day. He enters his 94th birthday on 1st September, 2013. In the ecstasy of witnessing one more Independence Day for Mr. Chacko, even in this freedom celebrations the young generation is eagerly awaiting to hear and record his memories. Son of Mr. Chacko of Odikandathil Vadakkemannil, born in September 1920, Mr. Chacko boarded a ship to Singapore in 1941 in search of a job. After a few years he became a soldier of the Indian National Army organized by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. He continued to serve as a soldier in the INA till 1945.
He had his first job in Singapore in the war department of the British Govt. Thereafter he worked in several organizations in various capacities. Even then, an independent India was his dream. Later he has recorded all the important events in his life. There is in his records the history of organizing the Indian Independence League under the auspices of civilian leaders and Military captain Mohan Singh soon after the surrender of the British Army.
Coming from Germany in 1943 in a submarine, Netaji took charge of the independence struggle in Singapore. Soon after, he constituted Azad Hind Govt there. He opened camps for training people to be sent to the Burmese war front. He sent a few volunteers including the local people to the Burma border. It was at this time Mr. O.C.Chacko was recruited to the INA. He cherishes the memory of the occasion when he met Netaji and spoke to him. Out of the 60000 Indians there, majority had joined the INA. Mr. Chacko remembers about Netaji’s presence in Singapore when Britain surrendered to Japan on August 15, 1945. Chacko believes that he (Netaji) was killed in a plane crash on his way to Japan via Taiwan.
His fighting days were before his marriage when he was a bachelor. After marriage he led a peaceful life there with his wife and children. Retiring from his job in 1970 he came back to settle down in Kerala. He is still keeping as treasures the INA uniforms and the badge bearing Netaji’s picture and other symbols. He had other connections related to the INA. In Kozhencherry and Thottapuzhassery there were a few retired INA soldiers. All of them except Mr. Chacko are no more.
Mr. Chacko is a hero to the new generation of the locality as an enthusiastic old veteran who had participated and witnessed the freedom struggle. He is a regular invitee to the independence Day/Republic Day celebrations held by schools and local organizations. He participates in such functions wholeheartedly and shares the memories of old times. ‘Even when I decline such invitations’, he says, ‘the youngsters would not let go’. They want to hear the history of the struggle. Behind the gentle demeanour, the man of 94 still exudes an aura of heroism.