K M George is an educationist who worked in India, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea for over three decades. Prior to his overseas services, he had worked as Secretary of YMCA Bombay and Youth Secretary for Church of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon (C I P B C)

K M George was born on March 6, 1926 as the ninth child and fifth son of K A Mathai and Saramma Mathai in a family of twelve children. He had his primary and Middle School education in the local schools – CMS Primary School and CMS English Middle School. For his High School he went to CMS College High School, Kottayam (about 30 km from Punnaveli). CMS College High School is a unique institution of being ‘Mother of English Education in Kerala’ started as early as 1816. He completed his high school education in 1942. He had to take a break from continuing his college education for family reasons. During this period he enrolled in a commercial institution at Mallappally and studied type writing, short hand and book-keeping. The following year he joined Intermediate classes at C M S College, Kottayam and completed it in 1945. There were no degree classes at CMS College then.
In 1946 he joined Madras Christian College, Tamabaram. Madras. Madras Christian College was considered as one of the top colleges in the country and to study there was a great privilege. Rightly or wrongly the populace used to compare  the products of the three main colleges in Madras -,

Pachayapas, Loyola and Christian – as ‘Rowdies of Pachayapas’,  ‘Slaves of Loyola’ and ‘Gentlemen of Christian’ as the last group stood a class apart as urbane individuals from the products of other colleges of the city.  This exaggerated claim should be taken with a ‘pinch of salt’ as in any case, not all who passed through the portals of Tambaram as polished products to become of their own volition, gentlemen. There are many who did not prove to be equal to the challenges. He took Mathematics as his main subject, and Physics and Astronomy as subsidiary subjects. He graduated from the college in 1948.

Apart from his academic pursuit he took an active role in the college, religious, social, literary and cultural activities. He took part in college sports and games activities and he represented the college in the university elocution contest. He was a member of the Youth Christian Council of India which played a vital role in negotiations between the domestic staff ((who went on strike) and the management in solving the crisis. In 1947 he attended the Indian S C M triennial conference held at Tamabaram as a student volunteer.

Academic Qualification

Bachelor of Arts Degree: Madras Christian College, Tambaram, Chennai
Master of Arts Degree:    Wilson College, Mumbai
Teacher’s Diploma:          St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai
Bachelor of Education:     Meston Training College, Chennai
Doctorate of Philosophy   Columbia Pacific University, State of Columbia, USA

Employment; Lawrence School Mount Abu

After graduation from Madras he went to Bombay in early February 1949 where his elder brother K M Mathai was a senior executive in a reputed institution. After about three weeks George happened to meet an Anglo-Indian teacher who entered into conversation with him; that gentleman took a fancy on George mainly because of his Madras Christian College education and suggested that he met the Principal of Lawrence School Mount Abu who happened to visit Bombay for teacher recruitment. When George met the Principal the following day at the Bombay Anglican Cathedral office he offered George the post of Mathematics teacher at Lawrence School Mount Abu.in Rajasthan  

Mount Abu is about 30km from Abu Road Railway station. Rajastan is one of the border states of India sharing India’s frontier with Pakistan on the west and northwest. Punjab bounds it on the north, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh on the northeast and east, Madya Pradesh on the south and southeast, and Gujarat on the southwest. Mount Abu is about 30km from Abu Road Railway station and one could only travel to the hill station by bus. It is about 2000 metres above sea level and the climate is very pleasant, cool most of the period. There is a beautiful lake and an exquisite Jain Temple (probably the best in architecture and beauty) built some time in the 11th century. The central marble arch in the temple is one of the exquisite architecture and large number numbers of tourist flock to the temple to enjoy its beauty. There is plenty of opportunities for horse ride and plenty of ‘walks’. The school is an old exclusive residential school for children of Europeans and children of the royal families in North India. He taught there for two years after which the school had to be closed and it was eventually taken over by the Government of India as   Police Training College.

Expansion of horizon: YMCA work

After a short holiday in Kerala he returned to Bombay in Mid 1953 and obtained a job as assistant secretary of Byculla YMCA and warden of a men’s hostel; later became branch secretary of Byculla Branch YMCA. Life and work in Bombay through the YMCA opened up a number of new avenues of service. YMCA, being a meeting place of a large number of people from different fields of activities he had the good fortune to meet with a large number of such people.. One such organisation was the Bombay City Christian Council, and especially Bombay City Christian Youth Council. The membership of Council was drawn from all major Protestant denominations. He was privileged to be the Chairman of the Bombay City Christian Youth Council for a period of three years. The Council used to hold regular meetings to plan various actions pertaining to Christian youth work in the city. With the expansion of WCC into various countries, a new impetus seemed to have emerged in the 1950s. Bombay also experienced such a surge in Bombay. Many people started talking of establishing such ecumenical groups on regional levels. Bombay City Christian Council and Bombay City Youth Christian Council were formed out of such a desire.

In October 1953, no less than a hundred Christian men and women from many parts of Western India have assembled at the hill station (Matheran) “to listen to the inner voice of Christ” and discuss means of propagating Christ’s message among the youth. The Western India Christian Conference of Youth was the follow-up of the Third World Conference of Christian Youth held in 1952 at Kottayam and the primary purpose was to pass on the message of Kottayam Conference “Christ, the answer”. He was privileged to be the Organising Secretary of the Conference.

The main outcome of the conference was a “Call for free Indian Church”. The delegates felt that to accept help from Western churches by itself was not wrong but it should be done without sacrificing self-respect and individuality. At the plenary session of the conference it was decided to undertake a survey of the beggar problem in and around Victoria Terminus, Bombay very similar to the type of survey conducted by Hislop College Nagpur.. The survey wad described as “a preliminary for voluntary ameliorative action by the conference”.

The same year, 1953 he was privileged to take an active role in an international Christian conference. The World Student Christian Federation was to hold its quadrennial conference in Bombay and the Secretary of the WSCF Rev. Harry Daniel invited him to be the Organising Secretary of the Conference at which over 120 delegates from about 50plus countries attended a ten-day conference at Narsrapur, near Pune. That was a wonderful experience in organising such an international conference. While working as Branch secretary of the YMCA he decided to study for Post graduate degree (Philiosphy), for which he registered in Wilson College as an external student and attended lectures at various colleges. In 1954 March he decided to take a year’s leave from the YMCA to complete his postgraduate study and applied for leave and sent the letter to the Board of Governors; but they refused. So he resigned his appointment with the YMCA.

He sought alternative employment. As he had worked as a teacher in Lawrence School Mount Abu he was able to secure a teaching position at St. Peter’s High School Mazagon. It was a secondary school run by Cowley Fathers from Poona. He stayed in the school campus, and started teaching in June 1954. His teaching subjects were English and Mathematics. As he was already attending post graduate classes (attached to Wilson College) for MA Philosophy for two years he completed his post graduate degree and obtained MA degree (1955). He then decided to take evening classes for Teacher’s Diploma from St. Xavier’s College for which he obtained the Teaching Diploma certificate (T D) in 1956.

A new development: Youth Leadership training in Sydney

A new development took place during the middle of 1956. The Federal Committee of the CMS Australia offered a scholarship for a young man from Church of India Pakistan Burma and Ceylon to go to Sydney for a year to undergo special youth leadership training course. There were 16 CIPBC dioceses in India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon and each diocese was asked to suggest a possible candidate for the scholarship. Rt. Rev. William Lash, the Bishop of Bombay Diocese recommended his name (representing Bombay Diocese) to the Metropolitan.. George was selected for the training programme in Sydney. He left for Sydney on February 7, 1957.The Federal Secretary of Church Missionary society met George at the airport and drove him to CMS Youth Hostel where he stated till he moved to Moore Theological College, New Town. The Diocesan Home Secretary, Diocesan Youth Secretary, and others met George and briefed him of various matters connected with his stay and study. He was to work in co-operation with these CMS officers in addition to the Federal Committee. Since the CMS had previously agreed (prior to departure from India) that they would sit down and chalk out a programme suitable for his study and work in Australia, it was decided that the best programme for him would be to live at Moore Theological College, New Town where he would attend classes for a certain number of subjects like Old Testament, New Testament, Doctrine and Christian Liturgy, and Worship, and the department would also organise meetings in various Anglican churches and groups, make arrangement to visit other states like Canberra, Brisbane, Melbourne and Hobart.

George moved to Moore College where he started where he attended classes for subjects earlier decided upon. There was a Deaconess House (not far from Moore College) where deaconesses were trained to be sent to overseas countries in Asia and Africa. He was requested to be a visiting lecturer to give an hour of lecture every week (for about six months) to the deaconess on Indian church, CSI Church Union, various aspects of life and work in India especially in rural India and so on. The Youth Department also organised his visits to various churches (almost every Sunday with other theological students) where they used to assist. It was a regular feature of his work which certainly gave him a better understanding of the church activities of Sydney diocese. During long weekends he used to attend Beach Conferences in places like Paramatta and others.. The department also arranged visits to various social welfare agencies, Children’s Homes, Youth Remand Homes, Juvenile Courts, and Prisons and so on.

Studying under Archdeacon T C Hammond

Rev Dr. T C Hammond, an Irishman and a great scholar of Protestantism migrated to Australia in the first half of the 20th century during the Roman Catholic persecution   In Sydney he devoted his scholarship to develop Protestantism. He was instrumental in starting Moore Theological College where he was Principal and later became Archdeacon of Sydney Diocese. He authored many Theological books. For many years he used to give radio broadcasts about Protestantism and used to hold radio debates with outstanding Roman Catholic scholars. George had the privilege of studying under Hammond’s feet (once a week for two hours) as Paul studied under Gamaliel. While George was in Bombay (prior to his departure to Australia) he had registered himself as a Ph.D student in the Philosophy department of Bombay University. The topic of his research was ‘Concept of according to St. Thomas Aquinas and Cardinal Newman’.  Rev. Dr. Mendonza, the Head of the department of Philosophy o St. Xavier’s College, Bombay was his guide. George had to discontinue his studies as he went to Sydney. It was very kind of C MS Australia to request Dr. T C Hammond which he agreed.

Church of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon Youth Work

After the formation of the Church of South India, the Church of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon (CIPBC) had sixteen dioceses in North India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon. Compared to the CSI Youth Work, the CIPBC had no or very little organised youth work. On K M’s return (early 1958) from his Youth Leadership Training in Australia he was appointed the Youth Secretary for CIPBC. Rt Rev. John Sadiq, Bishop of Nagpur (former Youth Secretary of the National Council of India) was the chairman. George was stationed at Nagpur and he was to organise Youth work, prepare constitution and study materials for Provincial, Diocesan and Parish committees. For this he travelled extensively to almost all important places  in India such as Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Alahabad, Shilong, Indore, Jabalpur, Gwalior, and so on, and organised a few conferences on Diocesan and Provincial level

In May 1959 he married Elizabeth John who had worked as lecturer of Mathematics in CMS College, Kottayam, Union Christian College, Alwaye as later as Head of Mathematics Department of Women’s Christian College Madras. The new role warranted a new situation that he worked as honorary secretary of Youth work at the same time taught in Bishop Cotton School Nagpur for three years. During his time in Nagpur he associated himself with the National Christian Council Youth Department; he attended an international work camp training programme organised by World Council of Churches in Hongkong; he also attended the Student Christian Movement’s Triennial conference in Lahore. He also organised a month’s youth work camp on behalf of WCC in Patpara (Gond district, Nagpur Diocese) where CSI Madhya Kerala Diocese had its mission field Although KM had Teacher’s Diploma in Education from Bombay he decided to take a Bachelor of  Teaching Degree from Meston Training College Madras and Grace (his wife) at Mar Ivanios Training College, Trivandrum (1962-63) for which he took leave from Bishop Cotton School, Nagpur.

A new outlook on Christian Mission Strategy

For quite some time George had a new concept on mission strategy. The usual practice of mission societies was to send missionaries from one country to another or vice versa. He felt a new strategy was also to be adopted by which a country which would like to send a missionary to another country may select a  person from a second country and send him/her to a third country. He termed it Triangular Partnership.
The Rt Rev Clive Kerle, Bishop of Armidale, Australia visited Nagpur after the WCC Conference in New Delhi (1961) when KM shared his views on mission strategy with him. On Bishop Kerle’s return to Australia he shared this idea with Federal Committee of CMS Australia. They were pleased with the new proposal and they invited George and family to be their missionaries to work in St. Patrick’s Junior Secondary School, Tawau, Sabah, Malaysia. The Georges accepted the invitation.

To The Unknown
North Borneo (as it was called then) became Sabah in 1963 when it became part of Malaysia. There was no organised form of Government until the arrival of British in 1881. There was no community, no overall administration, no state economy, no state government, only jungles, mountains and rivers.  From 1881 until Sabah obtained independence by joining Malaysia in 1963 the British determined the way of life of Sabah. During the 82 years of their rule Sabah gradually grew as a state governed by one administration.
Malaysian Independence Day on August 16, 1963


A short history of the school: 


The Society for the propagation of Gospel Mission started a school in March 1917 on the present site of the St. Patrick’s Church and Primary School as a mixed school in Chinese medium with 36 boys and 10 girls on the rolls. For the first 20 years the school was run either by priests or catechists in wooden and atap buildings. During the period of Japanese Occupation the school had to be closed, during which time both church and school buildings were used by the Japanese for manufacturing salt. Owing to this, the surrounding planks of the building became rotten. When the Japanese left, the roof was leaking badly. Some planks had been removed and no furniture was in existence

The school was revived only in 1951 when Rev. Vun Nen Vun was again sent to Tawau. He opened the school as an English Primary school. Naturally those who had been deprived of education during the war wanted to join the school and the overage pupils were a major problem in the ensuing years. (When Georges joined the school in 1963, there was a boy who studied in Form III, i.e 9th year of school education, who was 23 yeas of age.). In 1953 the first year of a Chinese Junior Middle School was started, which resulted in 26 pupils qualifying in 1955.

Old School
St Patrick School under CMS Australia’s wing  
The CMS Australia started work in Tawau with Rev. Walter Newmarch as priest and James Power as Head Master of the school .in 1957. At the end of 1957, the Education Department took over the Chinese secondary classes of Yuk Chin and St. Patrick’s school into one roof under the direct control of the government. The school was officially opened in 1958. This school later became the Government Secondary School Tawau. From then on the energies of St. Patrick’s were wholly devoted to English education. The first North Borneo Junior Certificate class took the examination in 1959; at the beginning of 1957 the school had an enrolment of 90 pupils in the English section, while in 1963 there were 236 primary pupils and 194 secondary pupils.
Staff Photo - November 1963

It was at this stage George’s family entered the St Patrick scene in May 1963. George was vice principal while Grace was Mathematics and Science teacher. When Power went for furlough in December 1963, George became Acting Principal which he continued till Power’s return in August 1964.

A very important development took place in Tawau. The Government of Sabah had declared 50 acres of land as education reserve. The CMS Mission took the opportunity of requesting 15 acres land for development of St. Patrick Secondary School. The Government of Sabah gave 15 acres of land in July 1964 at a place called Kuhara (about 5 km from town) for the purpose. Till then, both the primary and secondary school were housed in town site.

K.M. George in Principal's Office - 1964

Construction Programme


The proposed site was a rubber garden. The first phase of construction was to build 8 classrooms, an office, a library and two staff quarters. The school authorities decided to raise funds for the secondary school and leave any fund the school had with the Primary school. The Diocese of Sabah very kindly gave the school a loan of M$ 100,000 with low interest rate, and collected funds raising appeals as the total cost would run into thousand of dollars. The commencement of levelling and clearing the site for construction of building began by September 1964. Towards the end of the 1965 academic year Jim started to show signs of illness, and by the end of November the doctors advised him to return to Sydney as early as possible for medical treatment and he had some medical problem with the brain. It came as a shock to all, especially to George. On hearing the news of Jim’s illness, the Manager of the school, Bishop Roland Koh flew to Tawau and called KM and told me to take over the school as Principal. He was not prepared for that; but he had to. He told the bishop that he would ‘hold the fort’ for three months during which time he could get a principal (Malaysian) from East or West Malaysia to which the bishop agreed. It was the intention of Georges at that time to return to India at the end of their three-year stint in Tawau (end of 1966)

Site Clearance
1966 – 1975

In April the Bishop told KM at the meeting of the diocesan council that he was unable to get any suitable candidate as principal of SPSS and requested him to be in confirmed position as Principal of the school. Much against his desire George had to accept his invitation.

It took nearly two years to complete the first phase of development: cutting down rubber trees, clearing the undergrowth, diverting the stream, levelling the ground and construction of eight classrooms, an office, library and toilets. The official opening of the first phase was on June 2, 1966 by the Bishop of Sabah Bishop Roland Koh in the presence of the Director of Education. During the third term Secondary I and II students were transferred from the Primary School area to Kuhara while the other classes continued in the town school.

As two staff quarters were constructed Mr & Mrs K.J.Goodlet and their family, Grace, Gisa and George moved to the Kuhara site. It was at the height of Indonesian confrontation; there were a number of Indonesian infiltrators who used to come to Tawau; so Malaysian armed forces were stationed in Tawau. The secondary school site was in a jungle, and the staff had their moments of anxiety and fear of infiltrators.

As mentioned earlier SPSS was only a junior secondary school when they reached in 1963. In 1965 the Education department allowed the school to start Senior Secondary class with Form IV students, and in 1966 the school sent their first batch of Senior Cambridge students for the Cambridge Senior Examination, and their results were highly commendable.
The second phase of development was construction of additional class rooms, science laboratories, and staff quarters, play grounds for football, hockey, basket ball, badminton, tennis, soft ball, sepak takraw and throw ball. With the assistance of the Malaysian Army stationed at Tawau during the period, the school was able to get a 400 metre –track sports stadium levelled free of cost for which it was named ‘Padang Juruthra’(Engineers field).

Extra curricular activities:

The school started a number of innovative programmes for the development of students’ personalities. One such programme was called Lightning CompetitionSt. Patrick School started organising the Patronal Festival in a big way from 1964. The school organised a unique type of competition called Lightning Competition. It used to be on March 21st, St. Patrick’s Day when competitions in all games played by boys and girls were held. They included Football, Hockey, Basketball, Table Tennis, Volleyball and Sepak Takraw for boys and Hockey, Baseball, Table Tennis and Net Ball for girls. The uniqueness of the competition was that inall games there was to be a winner and a loser and never a draw. There were rules to achieve that result. St. Patrick’s Day was probably the most exciting and popular event in the school where old students, parents and friends used to go to school to enjoy the games, eat at the various house stalls where food was prepared to raise funds for the school. It is interesting to note that the great St. Patrick’s Day Lightning Competition has been continuing all these years.

The school has been organising many extra mural activities: Public speaking, photography club, art club, harmonica band. The SPSS became a full fledged senior secondary school in 1966 and has excelled almost every academically on the state and national level, and became one of the topmost senior secondary schools in Sabah. The school has already produced many outstanding personalities such as State Chief Minister, state ministers, senior government and non governmental organisations and so on.
In 1967 Education Department of Sabah became part of the Federal Education Department of Malaysia. From 1970 there was a clear change of policy of the government in school administration. Previously mission schools had freedom to recruit teachers from overseas and the government gave their permission. Later the Malaysia Education Department used to recruit teachers from West Malaysia to teach in mission schools as well. Being a mission school, the school used to conduct morning assembly during which short Christian messages were given; school also taught religious knowledge as a subject of study even up to Cambridge Senior Certificate Examination. More and more restrictions were imposed and virtually Christian religious teaching was not permitted. 

with children
George with children of students taught by them


With the clamour for ‘localisation’ high in Sabah, KM felt that a time has come for him to leave school in safe hands and return to India. Middle of 1975 he wrote a letter to the Bishop of the Diocese that he would recommend Khoo Hon Syn (who was a student in SPSS during George’s earlier years who had gone to Sydney for higher education including an arts degree and teacher’s diploma, and who was invited by George to teach in SPSS which he did for two years) to be the new Principal.

As an education missionary invited by the CMS Australia to work in Tawau George had a fair share of responsibility with church ministry. Along with the other CMS missionaries he was a regular preacher at St. Patrick Church Tawau, helped with mission work in other parts of Tawau region like Borneo Abaca Limited Estates of British Commonwealth Development Corporation and so on. He was privileged to be a member of the Local Education Committee of Tawau District for ten years including its chairmanship for three years. He was a founder member of Tawau Rotary Club and held almost all positions including the Presidentship of Tawau Rotary Club. Grace also took a very active role in the formation of Inner Wheel Club of Tawau including its Presidentship

Constructed School
Welcome to the Bishop and Director of Education at the Official Opening of the First Block of Secondary School at Kuhara Road
Adressing the Thawu Audience

K.M.George addressing the audience



All Saints Staff, 1981

Bishop John Chhoa refused him permission to leave Sabah; instead requested him to work in All Saints School Kota Kinabalu and Grace to work at Sabah College Kota Kinabalu. They worked in Kota Kinabalu till the end of 1981. As he was only a teacher in the Higher Secondary School during those years he had plenty of time on his hands. He took a fancy for education development of Sabah and travelled to various places in Sabah to do   research on Historical Development of Education, which was a very rewarding exercise; His first major contribution was to be a co-author in the Commemorative History of Sabah on the subject of Education in Sabah. Later he was invited by Sabah Foundation to write a three volume research book on Education which he completed in October 1981 just before his departure from Sabah.

George continued his Church ministry at All Souls Church being a regular preacher along with Bishop, Dean and other clergy. A new development took place in Sabah during the second half of 70s. The immigration department issued orders to send away Christian missionaries working in Sabah for ten or more years: this affected an exodus of missionaries. As KM’s visa was an education visa he was not affected by the exercise. During that period the Anglican Church of Sabah was faced with shortage of priests to celebrate Holy Communion. To overcome this predicament the Bishop gave three of its members - an Englishman, an Australian and an Indian -  special license to conduct Holy Communion.. George happened to be the Indian. He was given a parish at Papar (30 km from Kota Kinabalu) to conduct Holy Communion Services twice a month taking the consecrated Elements from All Saints Cathedral. In five years time Papar church became a fledged parish.

George continued his activities with the Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu. As recognition for his services to the Rotary Clubs in Tawau and Kota Kinabalu, Rotary Foundation awarded PAUL HARRIS FELLOW in 1978. Grace also played a vital role with the Inner Wheel Club of Kota Kinabalu and she was president for a year.  Georges decided to leave for India at the end of 1981.
During his time in Kota Kinabalu he had the privilege of playing a vital role in establishing the Summer Institute of Linguistics. When the pioneer team led by John and Carolyn Miller visited Kota Kinabalu hoping to the establishment of a SIL branch it was at his residence KM invited a number of leading Sabah Christian leaders and formed such a group. His close relationship with the group continued when he moved to Papua New Guinea as well where he established close link with Wycliffe Bible Translators group at Ukurampa in Eastern Highlands. The same relationship continues even today..

During his time in Sabah he had close link with the Malaysian/Singapore Bible Society which link continued in PNG as well as in Kerala when he returned to India.  


All Saints Church, 1980
K.M.George Receiveing the Momento From Chief Minister's wife
Mrs. K.M. George Addressing the Rotary International Meeting
10 Course Dinner at the time of Installatin

New Pasture

As Georges were planning to return to India, Rev. Walter Newmarch (KM’s former colleague at Tawau) suggested that as Anglican Church in Papua New Guinea was in dire need for qualified teachers to work in their schools he could consider their services with the Papua Anglican Church. KM wrote a letter to Rt Rev David Hand, their Archbishop enquiring the possibility as suggested by Walter. Bishop Hand immediately responded and suggested they would work at Holy Name School, Dogura in Milne District.

Life in Dogura 

Holy Name School is a residential school for girls of the Anglican Church of PNG. It is situated at the Mission station of Dogura, and caters mainly for girls from Milne and Oro Provinces. All students should pass the entrance examination for secondary schools. Staffing was a great problem as most of the PNGeans wished to work in more sophisticated town schools. George taught English, History and Social Sciences while Grace taught Mathematics and Science. She was the ‘House Mother’ for the girls. They worked in Dogura for two years. It was a worthwhile experience for having worked there.

Life in Dogura was a wonderful experience. There is an airstrip, the size of a full sized football field. Occasional flights arrive from Port Moresby (national capital) or Alatou (provincial headquarters), carry passengers or urgent goods. There is a small wharf, and the Mission had a boat which travels between Dogura and Alatou once a fortnight to carry provisions which were sold in the mission trade store. If provisions were sold out the people had to wait for the following fortnight’s arrival of the mission boat.

It was a great ordeal to find provisions and other requirements for running a hostel for about 400 pupils. Money was scarce. School followed ‘barter system’ for the purchase of vegetables.. Twice a week villagers from far and near brought their meagre collection of vegetables to the school food store. The school used to purchase bulk provisions from Alatou, calculate the cost per kilo for return of vegetables, fruits and so on villagers would bring, and provide them with rice, wheat, milk powder, sugar, tobacco, food products and so on. It was a good mental exercise for KM who was in charge of the school food store (where no money transactions were conducted) for    two years. In the village centre there used to be a vegetable market (every Saturday) where villages from villages (far and near) assemble with their produce (may be a kilo of tomato, a few eggs, some bananas, beans and so on. All ‘sellers’ assemble at the village centre (an open space) and when most of them were ready one of the councillors announce ‘buyers in’. Usually pandemonium prevails as there were only very limited supply. Many may go without being able to secure any.  There are no roads; the only road is about a kilometre long (from the air strip to the station and school). Water is scarce in Dogura as there is rain only for about three months. School had to rely on water tanks for collecting any rain water collected which should be used very carefully. The Mission had a water station about 5 kilometres up in the mountain and water was collected through pipes from the mission water station.   

In 1984 Georges took leave and returned to Kerala to build a new house,

George at Holy Name School, Dogurs
Dogura Girls

Life at Aiyura


Georges were supposed to return to PNG in 1985 to work at the Mission Teacher Training College. As the formalities were not completed on time, he was invited by Aiyura National High School in the Eastern High School.  Aiyura National High School is one of the four national high schools where students who graduate from high schools in the state continue to study for two years prior to joining university. It is a completely residential institution to train about 200 students. KM taught in English department while Grace taught in Mathematics department. During the second half of 1988 George’s mother passed away which necessitated his immediate return home. So the Georges returned to Kerala in January 1989.

Family at Aiyura

Georges stay in PNG (1982-1988) was a great learning experience. It was a privilege to work the tribal people of that new emerging nation which became a part of the Commonwealth in 1977. The Georges have gained in cultural experience more than what they gave in return.

Georges had the privilege of travelling fairly extensively during their overseas stint. KM was able to travel to different countries – Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Australia, Hongkong, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Philippines, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Switzerland, Israel, Holy Lands, United States of America and Canada

Big Day Festival
Big Day King & Queen
With Pikinnini Talusia
Aiyura Students

Back at home

Returning home after being away for 27 years overseas needed a lot of adjustment. It is natural that many would consider such people as foreigners or outsiders and it would take some time to be absorbed as part of the local community. Georges also experienced this feature. But they were able to get back to the local community fairly quickly taking fairly active role in the church and community. KM stays with his elder sister Ema (91 years) at his ancestral home in Punnaveli.

KM took interest in a number of social welfare agencies, Professional Fellowship, Consumer Protection Council and Fellowship of Reconciliation. Fellowship of Reconciliation of India is part of International F OR which aims to reconcile conflicts between individuals, groups, churches and so. Indian F O R has done yeoman services in the field of reconciliation. On KM’s return to India he revived his association with FOR and he was the national treasurer during the1990s.

Reconciliation between St Thomas Evangelical Church of India and St Thomas Evangelical Church of India (Fellowship)

In 1961 Mr K N. Daniel (Mar Thoma Church) spearheaded a splinter group in the Mar Thoma Syrian Church, and formed another denomination, the St Thomas Evangelical Church of India, and in 1971 a new registered society named St Thomas Evangelical Church (Fellowship) and started activities in the church. Litigation followed, and the two groups started functioning as separate entities.  In 1993, the then President of Indian FOR  Dr A K Tharian wrote letters to heads of the two denominations stating that as KM had  returned to India they may be able to contact him to try and make reconciliation between the two groups, and a copy of the letter was sent to KM which was a surprise to him. However, he contacted heads of two sections separately a number of times sharing points of agreement and disagreement. Later a joint committee of seven members met by themselves (at which KM did not participate) and evolved out a plan of reconciliation. A majority of the latter group agreed for a reunion with the former which was took place in 1995. There was still a few dissident members remained. However, by God’s grace the final reunion of the two groups as one St Thomas Evangelical Church of India was in 2007..KM was happy that he had a small share in reconciliation between the two major churches in India. 

During his retirement he devoted himself to writing and he has authored a dozen books, mainly on Church History books, both Indian and Worldwide Christianity.

Grace passed away in March 1991 due to cancer. Sarah (his daughter) is a medical practitioner in United Kingdom and stays with her husband, John (a Chartered Accountant). They have two sons – Santosh George Thomas reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics in Oxford University, and Sushil Jacob Thomas is studying for his A Level Examination in London

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