Fr. Thomas Anthraper left for his eternal reward on 6th May after a brief period of illness. Born on 6th November 1929 at Kadakkarapally in Alleppey district of Kerala, he joined the Society in 1949 after his degree studies at St. Joseph’s College, Tiruchirapalli. After his ordination on 19th March 1962 at Kurseong, he chose school education as his future apostolic field.
Fr. Anthraper was a popular teacher and able Headmaster in many Jesuit schools in Kerala – Loyola High School, Trivandrum, St. Michael’s Anglo-Indian School, Kannur, Leo XIII High School, Alleppey, and St. Joseph’s Boys High School, Kozhikode. For 12 years he was the Headmaster of St. Joseph’s School, Kozhikode, which has a 200-year long history. In 1984, the Kerala Government honoured him with the State award for the best teacher of the year. With his charming and magnetic personality, he made an impact on every institution that he was entrusted with. Even after his retirement from school education, he continued to serve as Rector/Superior and Manager of various educational institutions. His wholehearted commitment to the ministry of education did not deter him from taking interest in pastoral and spiritual fields; he was a much sought-after retreat guide too.
What Fr. General wrote on the occasion of Fr. Anthraper’s Golden Jubilee in the Society aptly summarizes the man: “a popular teacher and a successful academic administrator, creating a healthy atmosphere of commitment, hard work, responsibility, accountability, co-operation and team work; reaching out to the parents through the students; instilling discipline by means of personal care of each student; helping the young people under your care to find a definite orientation in life; motivating and inspiring them.” Fr. Anthraper lived his deep faith through his unwavering commitment to Christ’s mission. Memories of his warm smile and affectionate gaze remain ever fresh in our minds.
- Anto Muringathery, SJ