Mangaluru, Feb 23, 2020: In an attempt to immortalise Mangaluru’s son of the soil - the late George Fernandes - who was a Union minister, a memorial on his mortal remains has been erected, according to his religious customs, by Bejai Parish, was inaugurated on Sunday, February 23.
Mangaluru Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha blessed and inaugurated the memorial in the presence of MLC Ivan D’Souza, and former MLA J R Lobo.
Brother of George Fernandes, Micheal Fernandes, Assistant parish priest Fr Pramod Crasta, Fr Robert D Souza, Bejai parish pastoral council vice-president Francis Ashok Pinto, secretary Preethi Gomes and corporator Lancelot Pinto, Bejai Parish pastrol council member Vincent and others were present.
After a prolonged illness, Fernandes passed away last year in January, at the age of 88. The final rites were held in New Delhi and the ashes from the funeral pyre were brought to Bejai church.
George Matthew Fernandes was born in Bejai, as the eldest of six siblings, to John Jos Fernandes and Alice Martha Fernandes. He completed his primary education in St Francis Xavier School, Bejai and high school in St Aloysius High School. Imbibing strong Christian values, Fernandes is the only Christian leader who strove to build a magnificent India.
During the period of the Emergency, even from prison, this brave warrior from Karnataka, contested elections from Bihar and won. He was elected nine times as a member of Lok Sabha and once as a member of Rajya Sabha. He was the first son of South Kanara to become the Railway Minister under the leadership of the late Prime Minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh. The Government of India conferred the Padma Vibhushan Award on him.