A family meeting transcends a century and celebrates its quasquicentennial get together. This is the first of its kind in the whole history of Kerala. It was this rare achievement that the Kandathil Kudumbayogam achieved. It may be because of the enthusiasm funneled from the centennial celebrations, that elaborate pre – arrangements were made for the quasquicentennial jubilee. Manorama hosted the celebrations at Kandathil Varughese Mappila Nagar in Kottayam (Hotel Windsor Castle). It is recalled that this was the third family gathering hosted by Manorama. The first took place in 1952 according to the wishes of K. C. Mammen Mappilai and the second in 1990 under the leadership of Mathukuttichayan (K. M. Mathew)
It was with the accompaniment of pancha vadyam that family members were welcomed to the meeting hall, which was designed in a traditional style with jute and bamboo. In the background was the song “Valamerum vayalil ninnoru nooru meniyai” (a sumptuous reap from the fertile fields) The family members after breakfast stepped into the hall through the arch adorned with pictures of eminent personalities of the Kandathil Family. It seemed that dignitaries like Kandathil Varughese Mappilai, K. C. Mammen Mappalai, K.M. Cherian, K. M. Mathew, K. V. Koshy, Dr. K. V. Mathew were gazing at the family members who assembled for the 125th family get together. Arrangements were made to broadcast the programmes to various parts of globe through internet. The words of anchor Shiney Rockie, General Convener, Koshy K. Cherian (Anil) and Secretary, K. C. Eapen weretransmitted to those happily viewing the programmes from various parts of the world. I recall the words of President – Bapuchayan, “This is really a great occasion – the 125th anniversary of the founding of Kandathil Kudumbayogam by our forefathers” and of Secretary K. C. Eapen “125 years… thanks to the Almighty for having made it to stand together for all these years.”
President K. C. Mammen hoisted the family flag. In the words of program anchor, Sherin Kakkolil “This was the day when the history of Kandathil Kudumbayogam was written in golden letters. The melodious voice of Pazhayaparambil Dhanya and Puthenparampil Meenu rendered the prayer song.
The eldest members of the different branches were escorted to the stage by Sara Kakkolil, Deepu Veettil, Navya Veetil, Kevin Puthuppally, Sonia Kakkolil, Rohan Plamoottil, Ann Kakkolil, Monu Puthen Parampil, Akhil Moolamuriyil and Rohith Elanjimoottil. Family pledge was led by Ayna Kavungaparambil.
Lighting the lamp
The traditional lamp was then lit by senior members of each branch of Kandathil family.
1. Karthalil – K.C Verughese Mappila(90)
2. Vilakkupattathil branch- K K Cherian (87)
3. Veetil Branch – K.C Mathew (90)
4. Puratheparambil – K.O Mathew(70)
5. Monoth Branch – (89)
6. Nedumbroth Branch – Ammini Mathew (88)
The main lamp was then lit by the President and Secretary. Special welcome was accorded to the members of the Pulickal and the Moothedathu families.
Remembering the members
Kakkolil Aswathy presented the Necrology, recording the memories of dear departed members. Along with celebrations of togetherness, this was a reminder of those loved ones who departed from us. 20 dear members had bid adieu to us in the past one year. The entire family stood up in silent homage to their memories. The offerings of respect was followed by a song by Dhanya and Meenu. Chief Guest and Nobel Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi and Dr. K. M. Abraham, family member and Additional Chief Secretary to the Kerala Govt. were escorted to the dais by Chief Editor of Malayala Manorama, Mammen Mathew, General Convener, Koshy K. Cherian and Nivedita and Aswira who were in traditional Chatta and Mundu. 22nd October, 2015 will be imprinted in golden letters in the history of our
The short yet relevant welcome speech by General Convener Koshy K.Cherian was followed by the presidential address by Dr. K. C. Mammen. He said “History recreates history. This is a momentous occasion, a major milestone in the history of the Kandathil Kudumbayogam.” Chief Guest Kailash Satyarthi then unveiled the quasquicentennial display stone of the Kandathil Kudumbayogam.
Additional Chief Secretary and member of the Kandathil family, Dr. K. M. Abraham said Kandathil family has spanned over four centuries, while out of the 166 empires of the world, only 163 have spanned over four centuries. He said dynasties have come and gone, empires have risen and fallen, but God’s grace has made our family stay together for four centuries. In Vicar ofWakefield it is quoted that happy families are alike and unhappy families are different.
The institution of family is under threat. We have to design tools that connect us across the world and unless we innovate and adopt new methods we will not stay connected . Family values are a matter of legacy and we are the torch bearers of that legacy.
In his speech Chief Guest Kailash Satyarthi said “I have never seen such a celebration. I will not forget this family gathering. We are the greatest democracy in the world but our children are not free. Children working to produce coco – beans do not have a chance to taste chocolates. Children making toys cannot play with them after completion. When I freed those children I was freeing myself. The world is facing so many problems, climate change, global warming, terrorism, intolerance, fear, etc. but education is the key to these problems. Keralites have shown the value of education and investment in education is the best investment to fight terrorism. We are in a globalized world – connected by economy. We cannot live in isolation. We must have globalization of human compassion also. I love to be connected with your family.” The public meeting came to an end by the Vote of Thanks by Secretary K. C. Eapen. The Guests were honored and gifted Aranmula Kannady.
The newly wedded couples were introduced and welcomed Members who made special achievements in the past year were honored. The session was conducted by Planthottathil Jacob George. This was followed by Family Session.
In the afternoon as usual Trivandrum, Ernakulam, Thiruvalla and Kottayam Chapters staged different entertainment programs.
Valedictory function and prize distribution
It was planned to take a complete picture of all the members who participated in the 125th family programme, but this could not be achieved due to the heavy rain in the final session of the meeting. Prize distribution took place before this.
The ideas, suggestions and moral support of our members enabled us to conduct the 125th Kudumbayogam excellently after days of expectation and preparation.