P. Thomas Award 2008 of the P. Thomas Foundation goes to
noted historian Prof. George Menachery
The third P. Thomas Award for History will be presented to noted historian Prof. George Menachery. The date and venue of presentation will be announced later. The Award Committee consisted of Dr. C. K. Thomas (Chairman), Prof. Dr. P. V. Krishnan Nair (Expert Member), and Prof. V. P. Jones (Official Member).The previous Awards had gone to Prof. A. Sreedhara Menon (2006), and Dr. M. G. S. Narayanan (2007).
The annual P. Thomas Award consisting of a citation, a crystal shield, and an amount of Rs. 11,111 has been instituted by the P. Thomas Foundation, Thrissur in honour of the well known Indo- Anglian writer and historian P. Thomas, most of whose more than a score works on the history, culture, and religions of India have been published by the U. K. firm George Allen and Unwin of London, the Bombay firm Tarporiwala, or by U.S. publishers. Mr. Thomas was the editor of the Malayalam Literary Survey of the Kerala Sahitya Academy for a number of years and of other English periodicals. His novel "Death of a Harijan" was first serialised by the Illustrated Weekly of India. His works played a decisive role in introducing Indian peoples and their customs and faiths to the world at large.
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 (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 of Kerala History Association, Kerala History Congress, Founder Director of the Leadership Training Institute, founder president of the Kerala historical research society, 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), Glimpses 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 he has been selected for the Daarsanika Vyjnanika Award of the KCBC and Pope Benedict XVI made him a Chevalier last year conferring on him the Membership of the Order of St. Gregory the Great. (Sd.) $B!/(B Prsons present at the Press Conference: Dr. K. K. Rahulan, President, P. Thomas Foundation Dr. C. K. Thomas, Producer, DoorDarshan Dr. Prof. P. V. Krishnan Nair, President, Trichur Public Library and former secretary, Kerala Sahitya Academy Prof. V. P. Jones, Former head of the Dept. of History