Revered teacher, guiding force for generations at CMS college turns 90

George Koshy
Professor George Koshy on CMS College campus in Kottayam

Kottayam: An illustrious teaching career spanning 70 years does not deter Professor George Koshy from pursuing the path of a lifelong learner even at the age of 90. The teacher, who has been a guiding light for generations of students, is a dedicated learner busy sharpening his knowledge devoting extra time on his lessons.

Wished to be a lawyer

George Koshy lost his father at the age of five. So, he and his brother Nainan Koshy, the renowned educationist and former international director of World Council of Churches, were raised by their mother Maria Koshy at Mundiapally near Thiruvalla. He nursed a strong desire to be a lawyer ever since his college days in CMS College in Kottayam and SB College in Chanaganassery where he did his intermediate and BA in English Language and Literature respectively.

He completed BA in a first rank, which indeed proved to be a gamechanger. C A Sheppard who was then the head of the department was reluctant to part with a rank-holder and decided to make the best of him. He wanted George to join the college as a teacher. The turn of events helped him find his calling. Georgy Koshy, who stepped into the shoes of a college teacher at the age of 20, recalls giving lectures in classrooms where there were students were older than him. Two years later, his brother Nainan Koshy too joined the college as an English teacher. George left the college to be a faculty in Marthoma College in Pathanamthitta. A year later, he took a break to join Madras Christian College for post-graduation.

CMS, that shaped his career

George Koshy joined the CMS College in Kottayam in 1956 as a teacher and earned the repute of being the institute’s all-time favourite faculty. He went up the ladder further to become the head of the English Department and then the vice-principal of the college. George won a scholarship in 1961 and hence flew to the United Kingdom for a three-year hiatus to pursue higher studies at the University of Nottingham. He also taught at the Teachers' Training College in Nigeria from 1982 to 85. The passion for teaching was so intense that even after retirement in 1991 George continues to go to college at least thrice a week to take classes for Communicative English students.

Active in church affairs

George was also actively involved in the functions of Church and had enjoyed the post of CSI Church Synod general secretary from 1990 to 1998, apart from being the vice-chairman of International Council of Anglican Churches, central committee member of World Council of Churches and education commission member. He was also the executive committee member in the Council for World Mission London, World Methodist Council, National Council of Churches in India and Evangelical Mission in South West Germany. George Koshy had also become the regional director of Y's Men International South West Region and was the founding president of Kottayam Y's Men Club. He had also taken part in several international conferences, including the famous Lambeth Conference convened by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Prominent league of students

Former chief minister Oommen Chandy, Suresh Kurup, MLA, bishop Thomas Samuel, Rev. Thomas Mar Timotheos, former Cusat Vice-Chancellor Babu Joseph, film director B Unnikrishnan and scriptwriters are part of the proud league of disciples of the revered teacher. Fr. Dr T J Joshua was his classmate.

George Koshy, who lost his wife Dr Molly George some time ago, currently resides at Kalaparambil House at Puthanangadi in Kottayam. Two of his daughters Jeena and Neena are settled in the US, while Teena resides in Canada.

Navathy celebrations cancelled

The ninetieth birthday celebrations of George Koshy which was scheduled to be held on April 20 has been cancelled following surge in Covid cases. The decision was announced by programme committee convenor K Suresh Kurup.

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