So What is This About?

Prof.George Menachery , well known historian, an old boy of the St. Joseph’s College (Trichinopoly), St. Thomas’ College (Trichur), Devagiri College (Kozhikode), and University College (Trivandrum) was one of the very first to study, research, propagate, and introduce many aspects of the history of Kerala and its peoples through his forays into the fields of Archaeology, Anthropology, Place Name Studies, Numismatics, and Epigraphy in a scientific manner through his many books, research papers, and through his presence in the media, both print and electronic including Radio and TV programmes, websites, exhibitions, and museums, and later on through the many organisations he founded for the study of Kerala history. His long association with many national and international history-related organisations and bodies and his connection with the Church History Association of India, especially as its vice-chairman, and as the vice-chairman of the International Christian Studies wing of the Institute of Asian Studies (Chennai), as member of the Advisory Board of Archaeology (Govt. of Kerala), Executive Committee member (and Chief Editor of the Malayalam Literary Survey) of the Kerala Sahitya Academy, Member of the Governing Body of the Christian Chair of the Calicut University, Vice President of the Newman Association of India (Bombay 1964-1972), Executive Committee member of the Census of India Publications wing (Kerala), President of Kalasadan ( 1985 - 1992), Visiting Professor of Christian Art at the Pontifical Institute , Alwaye for a quarter of a century(from 1984 to the present) and at other seminaries inside and outside Kerala, Life Member of the Numismatic Society of S. India, Place Names Society of India, office-bearer and life member of Kerala History Association, Kerala History Congress, Founder Director of the Leadership Training Institute (from 1967 to the present), member of the (Arch)Diocesan Pastoral Council for three decades (from 1978 to the present),founder president of the Kerala historical research society, founder life member of the Sahridaya Vedi, HOD and P. G. Professor of English, Member of the Senate and the Statutory Finance Committee of the Calicut University &c. helped bring to the field of historical study and research a new enthusiasm and a new vigour.

His greatest contribution to the study of Kerala History is perhaps that he inspired and trained a galaxy of researchers who have promoted historical studies on an unprecedented scale. His works paved the way for the scientific study of Church History and Christian culture including art and architecture and have been instrumental in producing many doctoral theses and research publications. His deep enthusiasm for IT has been instrumental in making a drive for 100 per cent IT literacy, esp. among the older generation and in the setting up of the official websites of many institutions and organisations for the past dozen years. His knowledge of printing techniques and command over many modern languages esp. Malayalam and English combined with his exceptional communications skills have made him the ideal speaker at many national and international seminars and contributor to many journals and periodicals in his fields, both as editor( e.g.Christian Orient, Dukhrana, Journal of St. Thomas Christians) and as contributor.. During his many visits to two dozen foreign countries he was able to visit and study in dozens of museums and libraries and to lecture at universities and other institutions and organisations. The St. Thomas Christian Encyclopaedia of India (1973, 1982), The Thomapedia (2000), Indian Church History Classics Vol. I “The Nazranies” (1998), Die Wunderbare Geschichte der Nazranees oder Malabar Christen von heiligen Thomas, (in German), (1994), Kodungallur the City of St. Thomas (1987), Pallikkalakalum Mattum (Malayalam) (1984), Pathirakku Oru Irangippokku (Malayalam) (2002), 199Glimpses of Nazraney Heritage (2005), are his more famous works, in addition to a number of outstanding souvenirs and commemoration volumes. His contributions to the setting up of many museums have been much appreciated, esp. the pioneering Trichur Diocesan Museum (1980-now defunct), the Kakkanad Museum of the Syro-Malabar Archiepiscopal Centre, and the Palayur Museum. He has conducted many major exhibitions at Trivandrum, Bangalore, Madras, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Changanassery, and in a few cities outside India. He has won a number of prestigious awards such as the Mar Thoma Puraskaram for History and Archaeology (Changanassery), Joseph Nedumkunnam History Award (Vaikom), John Alenchery History Award (Vadavathhoor), Archdiocesan Media Commission Jubilee Award (Trichur), Darsana Award (M. Vijayam Sahitya Samithi), LEC Award (Ollur) etc. and has been honoured by many organisations and institutions all over India and abroad. Recently the Daarsanika Vyjnanika Award of the KCBC for visionary thinking and scholarship has been bestowed on him, and Pope Benedict XVI made him a Chevalier last year conferring on him the Membership of the Equistrian Order of St. Gregory the Great. The latest award bestowed on him is the P. Thomas Foundation Award 2009 instituted in honour of the famous Indo-Anglian writer on Indology and the author of Christianity in India and Pakistan.