Unforgettable CK

 

Fr. C. K. George, SDB

ROME, (C.M. Paul) unedited version – I woke up Monday morning to the very shocking news of the death of a dear friend Fr C.K. George (Chiriankandath) with whom I had a good chat on Saturday, feast of St Joseph, Rome time 10.30 am… should be about 3 pm IST. We chatted and laughed for almost five minutes… He described about the new equipment inserted in the body to help regulate the heart… He joked about it forming a lump on the side and having a funny feeling, especially while trying to sleep.
He also told me that he had cut down on teaching and goes to school just to sign the register. I told him that he sounded very perky and positive.
But, he died next day, Sunday evening, age 58. May he rest in peace.
I know CK from class VIII in Bandel. He was just a year junior in school, college and everywhere… from 1967.
Everything about CK could be said as down to earth, human. He never believed in putting a show of piety nor religiosity. He also enjoyed the company of friends, for a film show (forbidden those days), or even a beer without any qualms.
At school and college he used to be the centre of the group. A veritable stand up comedian, there would be no programme without an item from CK, a mimicry, monoact, song or a skit. He loved playing the clown to the utter chagrin of the prefect of studies who advised him “better you leave, and join a circus.”
CK stayed on and played (ace footballer of the school or college team) making others clowns.
His assignments were between Bengali medium schools. His proficiency in Bengali was enviable, and language, picturesque! While at Krishnagar he had a stint at body building exhibition at the youth centre, also he has acted in several major plays in Krishnagar Cathedral auditorium and also played double role in a Bengali telefilm.
Though seemed to be a very tough Head master, he was popular with students. Last year, he had a huge programme to revive the DB Alumni unit at St John’s Bandel. He had also organized a colourful first ever major Alumni event for Don Bosco’s feast this year at St John’s Bandel with many eminent past pupils of the school participating to launch a scholarship fund.
I never had the privilege of working with him. But, I always enjoyed his company at annual gatherings and common events. I shall cherish the memory of a friend who had a contagious enthusiasm for life and work with young people.

 

Advertisements

30 Comments

Filed under Don Bosco, Don Bosco Bandel, Fr C. K. George, St John's Bandel

30 responses to “Unforgettable CK

  1. Trophy

    Saddened to hear of the passing away of a true enthusiastic and apostolic Salesian.
    He has certainly left a ‘fond-memory trail’… May his life inspire other young people whose lives he may have touched to take up the challenge of dedicating their lives for others.

    • Tapan Das

      I deeply regret the untimely demise of Fr. C. K. George; fondly remember his great human qualities and join the Salesians in their grief. The best tribute we past pupils can pay to him, is to work the ideals he cherished. ~ Tapan Das

  2. Dictus Correya

    CKG is no more! Although living far away, I just cannot digest the news.He was the live -spirit of our batch Bandel on. A very down to earth human being spreading good cheer all around. He was fondly called “emperor”,although “Napoleon” would be another George. CKG had a very sound mind, never troubled in spirit or undergone a crisis… his jokes were without malice to anyone… My only regret is that I did not pray for him when he was alive… I shall surely pray for all my companions who are alive- name by name.

  3. Siby

    It was very nice of you to have written those lovely words about Fr. George. I too have a lost a good friend and guide in school matters. We came closer to each other during his struggle at DB Krishnagar. Last Sunday I had a log talk with him and usual jokes about the guarantee of his (heart) machine, and this Sunday he is no more. May he rest in peace.

  4. Tomy Kuruvila

    Thank you Fr. Paul for writing so many good things about a friend of yours. I have seen him just on two occasions. The first in the year 1975 as a fresher in Bandel. He must have come to Bandel for his winter holidays and they had staged a Three Act Play before leaving for Sonada. The next was last December when I met him at Bandel Basilica and spent a few moments in his company discussing about his medication for the heart. What impressed me most was his sense of humor. May he enliven the company of Peter and co up above , with a couple of his jokes. May his soul rest in peace.

  5. TL Francis

    The sad news of Fr C.K George’s death reached my ears like a bolt from the blue … so sudden and unwanted, like a bitter pill to swallow. An inner urge had compelled me to visit him and spend some time exclusively with him just a few days ago, unaware that soon he would fade away into eternity. I have lost a good friend and a loving companion whom I have known since 1966, as we began our life’s journey as aspirants to priesthood.
    Dear George, your sudden demise has created a vacuum in my life and in the hearts of many. YOUR LOVING WAYS,YOUR DEDICATION TO DUTY, YOUR VIBRANT LIFE CHARGED BY DEEP PRAYER LIFE, YOUR SENSE OF HUMOUR HAVE BROUGHT TEARS OF JOY IN THE EYES OF MANY. NOW YOUR DEATH HAS OPENED THE FLOOD GATES OF GLOOM AND SADNESS . MAY GOD REWARD YOU WITH ETERNAL BLISS. YOUR LOVING FRIEND. TL FRANCIS

    • C.M. Paul

      Me too it was a sudden urge that made me to call CK. I got him right away…. And think of it, the next day, he is gone! RIP.

  6. Jacinta

    It is inspiring and touching to read about Fr CK, such a good and wonderful man. “He is truly Holy and truly Human” amidst sufferings and pains problems and difficulties he remained always smiling and pleasant.
    Fr CK is a true son of Don Bosco. He died while working. He lived fully for God and for others. On Friday he organised the Way of the Cross. On Saturday morning he said the Mass in the Basilica. And Sunday he was gone! We really miss him. RIP.

  7. SMI TANZANIA

    Far away in Tanzania, we recall many memories of Fr. CK. His presence always brought joy to everyone in his company! We cherish his good example of spreading joy to all. We thank God for the spiritual assistance we have received through him; celebration of the Holy Eucharist, Sacrament of confession etc. We have watched many dramas acted by him in the Cathedral Hall, Krishnagar, West Bengal, India. We recall his active and vibrant presence with the boys and many more memories… We pray for his soul and convey our sincere condolence to entire SDB family.

    • FRANCIS Kalariparampil

      It came as great shock to me. Though I have not met him for nearly thirty years (after my days in sonada) his memory is vivid and fresh in my mind. He was hearty and jolly. his friendly and unassuming company was sought for by every one especillay to enjoy a hearty laugh with him .May the intensity of my prayers make up for the absence of it for CKG during the last thiry years or so. MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE.

  8. SMI Krishnagar

    The news of the passing away of dear Fr. C. K. George sent shock waves among us, Sisters at the SMI, Motherhouse, Krishnagar. Although he has been battling for life from time to time lately, it is almost impossible to believe that Father is no more with us, due to our long and memorable association with him from the time he was a cleric at Don Bosco Krishnagar, unto this day. We knew him as a man of tremendous energy, undaunted courage and youthful spirit. We have often seen Fr. C.K. bouncing with life chasing the ball with the boys, and boosting up their battered spirits to the delight of everyone, in the football ground of Don Bosco, Krishnagar. His extraordinary gift of acting dramas and comics with the boys, staff, past pupils, and parishioners, either at the Don Bosco Youth Centre or in the Cathedral Hall, endeared him to both the young and old alike. We thank and praise Abba, Father for the spiritual benefits received through Fr. C.K. and for his joyful company we enjoyed always. We will miss him indeed. May his generous and benevolent soul rest in peace!

  9. AC Jose

    True, there is great appreciation and admiration from those who have known him. He was a valiant soldier who has died in battle and departed gloriously.

  10. Jude Sebastian SDB

    This is my tribute to the irrepressible Fr. CK at whose holy death I had the privilege to be present…
    It was a humbling experience to be at CK’s side as he slipped to the other side. He was fully aware that he was dying, and yet the calm serenity and the attitude of faith was amazing! It was the second time that a confrere was dying in my presence (the first being VG Vincent)… and in both cases, they lifted me with them. I guess it’ll be fun to be together on the far shore!

    FR. CK GEORGE: AN OUTSIDE PERSPECTIVE (Last and lasting memories by hospital staff)
    Fr. CK George touched many lives even in the last days and minutes of his life. I thought it fit to draw on experiences and encounters outside the regular orbit of salesian relationships because they tell us stories we would otherwise not know, and speak to us of how a brother of ours impacted individuals outside our circles. Here are a few testimonies from nurses and a doctor who treated him in Apollo Gleneagles Hospital [AGHL], Kolkata.

  11. Noreen Bosco

    Ms. Noreen Bosco is a member of the core Team of the Nurses Ministry of Jesus Youth in Kolkata. She is stationed in the CCU of AGHL and was the nurse on duty allocated to look after Fr. CK George [Bed # 115] on the night of his death. It was she who called me on my mobile when Fr. George’s situation turned critical. She was inconsolable when he started sinking, and cried like an orphaned child when he passed away.
    Fr. George was a unique patient… a blessing to all of us! He always called everyone of us “molei” (child)… knew every nurse by name.
    Even though he was often in distress, never complained about his own pain, but told us to attend to other patients in greater need.
    Even in the last evening, struggling for breath as he was, he would still say, “I’m quite ok…”
    The only time he spoke about his pain was a few minutes before his death, when his feet began to go numb and breathing became very difficult. He asked me to call Fr. Jude and tell him to bring the Last Sacraments. I then prayed the full rosary near him and Fr. George kept praying: “Amme…” (Mother)… “My Jesus” .. When Fr. Jude and 3 other Fathers came a little later, he received Holy Communion and anointing with much faith.
    Other Hindu nurses in the CCU told me, “Noreen Didi, it was God who posted you there on the last evening of Father’s life.”
    Everyday of his stay, Fr. George was only worried about his school. He spoke of “our humble school” and “my poor boys.” His ICD implantation was a day before the sports day of his school and he was more concerned about his school. He was thinking of his boys till the very last moments. Just before he became critical and started sinking, he said “My boys are alone there.”
    As he was being given the sedation before the intubation, he knew he was nearing his end, and he told me very serenely, “Molei, I’m going.” In less than half an hour after that he was no more!
    Fr. George gave picture of Mother Teresa to every doctor and nurse on duty in the CCU. I asked and received his blessing on two occasions. He was indeed a man truly blessed by God.
    I’ve seen many of my patients die, but never seen one die such a holy death…. Now all of us feel there’s an emptiness in the CCU. We’re missing him.
    He was always cheerful, always smiling. He once told me “The Lord has used me to do some good for Church, my Congregation, and for my boys… If He wants to, let him take me now. I am ready”
    After he was discharged the last time, he sent me an SMS from Bandel saying, “Noreen, I am thinking of you with gratitude and praying for you. God bless you.” I was touched that even far away in Bandel he was still praying for us. Now he is praying for me from heaven I have a friend up there! I feel my life has been blessed…

  12. Rashmi Raj Rayudu

    Ms. Rashmi works in the Cath Lab of AGHL. She is a regular member of the Jesus Youth Nurses Ministry, Kolkata.
    Fr. George always talked a lot about his school and his boys. Shortly after the surgery to implant ICD, was eager to go back to duty, saying “my children are alone…. The sports day is coming up… God has given me responsibility to take care of my boys. They are my children…” I felt he is a very responsible man, totally committed to his job. It was very clear that he loved his boys deeply. In fact, once when he was speaking about them and the school, tears began to roll out of his eyes and I asked him, “Do you beat your boys?” He smiled gently and said, “I don’t need to beat them. My boys are very good. They love me and obey me.”
    On the day of his last discharge, before I left the hospital after my duty I went to visit him for the last time in the CCU. He was half asleep. As I touched him, he woke up and I told him I came to say bye. And he said, “Thank you very much, Rashmi… I’ll never forget you.” I said that I would visit him in Bandel, but would I need to take an appointment to meet him? And he smiled broadly and replied, “My doors are always open. Just walk in. You are welcome anytime.” He joked much and laughed a lot. He was a good man.

  13. Jobin Stephen

    Mr. Jobin Stephen assisted in the treatment of Fr. George in the Cath Lab of AGHL on several occasions, the last being the implantation of the ICD a month back. Jobin is the Assistant Coordinator of Jesus Youth West Bengal.
    It was a blessing to have Fr. George as my patient. He always talked about the school and his boys. I felt that he really had St. John Bosco’s spirit. In spite of his sufferings, his mind and heart were on the school and his duties.
    Fr. George was a very cheerful patient, not demanding, never complaining, always cooperative.
    It was indeed a pleasure for our many Jesus Youth nurses in many departments of the hospital to visit him frequently. And Fr. George was grateful for the care and for the visit by the Jesus Youth nurses. He was a holy man, and it was my privilege to serve him.

  14. Dr Moloy Kumar Paul

    When Fr Jude was speaking to Jobin about Fr. George, Dr. Moloy wanted to share his own experiences too.
    Fr. George gave me a picture of Mother Teresa. I’m keeping it with me carefully as a very precious article in my life.
    He was a very nice gentleman, and also a holy person. He never gave the impression that he was a seriously sick man. He was able to chew his pain… handled his great pain always with a smile. In fact he would talk at length with us, discussing about many things… He brought a special atmosphere to our ward… There is a peace in our CCU ward now… I am sure he is praying for all of us. He treated me like his son. He told me that if I had any problem, I could talk to him anytime, and that he would help me. He was always smiling. I am lucky to have met such a man!
    MS. KRISHNA DEVI (on duty in the CCU of AGHL)
    We have never met another priest like Fr. CK George among our patients!

  15. Felix Fernandes

    Thank you CM for the write-up on Fr. CK George, your friend. It feels so good to hear of a good and holy Salesian who lived his life and priesthood to the full. Equally impressive are the replies left by those who were touched by his life.

  16. Fr. K. C. John

    I shared my life with Fr. George for many years in Bandel. He was a friend to all of us. We played together, we joked together, we went for picnic together. We all loved his company and friendship. I believe he lived the gospel fully in his life. “Love your God with all your heart and love your neighbour as yourself.” It is not that he had no pain or suffering in his life. It is not that he had no misunderstanding or conflicts in his life. But the courage to forgive and forget, a heart to love and move forward with a smile on his face, is his purity of life. May God reward him for all the love he shared with humanity.

  17. Dictus Correya

    The appreciation meted out to CKG at his death is overwhelming.The lesson to be learned: – Such appreciation would be most welcome when a person is alive and,. flowers need not be put on graves… . Heartening to know George got the best from everyone while he was alive.

  18. To me the greatest joy is to be with our Creator. Here was a person whom I had great respect about the way he went about his living his life and his wayof dealing with the core issue, whatever it may be. I thank the Lord for given him his reward to be with Him. I am sure there is an new, bright, happy flower in the Salesin garden.
    (Former World Council Member of the Salesian Cooperators)

  19. Robin Gomes

    Goodbye friend, thou hast drunk ‘life to the lees!’ May He reward you for all what you have been to all around you.
    With his irrepressible humour and antics, CK was a diehard optimist who never let others feel the doldrums. With his skills in acting and sports, he was a live wire of any group. Accepting any challenge, no matter how hopeless, he soon turned things around. We first met in Bandel in 1967 as seminarians to the priesthood along with others, many of whom are now veteran Salesians. We continued through novitiate in Sunnyside and then to Sonada for philosophy until I said goodbye 1976 and parted. I came back very briefly the following year for BA part II.
    If my memory holds good, I think I met CK only once after 1977, though I don’t recall the exact year. On a visit to Kolkata in 2000 or 1997, I had travelled with my family all the way to Krishnagar to meet late Fr. Luciano Colussi. Unfortunately he was out, and so I tried Don Bosco School hoping to find at least CK, and he was there. We had lunch together and I shared what I had brought along. He showed us around the farm and my children were fascinated to see the farm animals and the pepper vines. With 20+ years he looked more mature, but his trademark wit and humour hadn’t faded a bit. We briefly recalled old times. At school, his joviality was so spontaneously and uncontainable that I remember he was called up several times by the then headmaster in Bandel.
    It is sad indeed that he has left us, and many like me will miss him dearly. But I am happy that he is now even closer to us from beyond the great deep. God bless you CK!
    [Regards to my batch mates who have commented on CK. My Gmail email ID is robin55gomes. I’d love to be in touch.]
    (Robin Gomes is with the Radio Vatican English programme for South Asia, almost 20 years.)

  20. pojose

    Jocking about his condition, that is CK.
    Yes, he was a wonderful human being.
    Irreplaceable!

  21. S.M.I Pathirappally

    Deep condolence to Salesian family. we were really shocked to hear the unexpected passing away of Fr. C.K.George.We are with you in this irreparable loss. May his soul rest in peace.

  22. J. Kuru

    My sincere words of appreciation for having initiated something like this, where every one is free to register something that they believe in. I really wish the official sites of Don Bosco India, like the BIS, and ANS, too think in the same line!

  23. Johny Dominic

    Death loses its sting when the dead live on in people’s memories. I am inspired by the impact CKG made on the lives of others. May he rest in peace. I remember him for his humor, optimism and commitment to his duties. Adieu CKG.

  24. Ms J Paul, VDB

    Our Dear Fr. George
    You always reminded me of another Don Bosco. Your relationshiup with the children, youth and all who came to you was as such. The love,respect and easiness the students showed in approaching you spoke to me a lot. Still wonderful, just after two months of joining in the Bandel St. John’s, (though late, I came there to wish you for your B’Day) you knew the names and conditions of each student of that school – exactly like Dom Bosco.
    You loved the vocation of Volunteers of Don Bosco (VDBs). You encouraged us a lot to be 100% dedicated and genuine in our vocation.
    Thank you Fr. George and interced for us.

  25. Subehndu Deb

    I came to know about this sad news today evening. I could not belive it at the first hearing, I thought I heard something and clarified it.
    I know Fr. CK from very young age when I was studying in DB Krishnanagar. He was an inspiration to be what it means to be ‘Young’, and today I carry with me his young attidude. Every visit to WB I looked forward to meet him and get his blessings. I miss him, and I look forward to his blessing always from above.
    He was one of the very few close friends of mine who never kept age between students, mingled as a friend always, listened to our problems and gave comfort. Today what I am surely there is lot to do for his guidance during my studies in DB Krishnanagar. Thank you Fr. CK and I pray may God bless us through you, because you are with HIM.

  26. Pingback: First Death Anniversary of Fr C.K. George | NewsGrab

  27. Very sad to hear of his passing away…I knew him well…and the lively humour with which he went about whatever he did…He certainly brought joy to everything he did…May his soul rest in peace… He has left behind a trail of hard work, dedication and warmth …that is truly inspirational…
    Pity I didn’t come to know of his passing away earlier.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s