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Brief History of Trivandrum Central Council

St. Joseph ’s Conference, the nucleus of the Trivandrum Central Council and the first conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Kerala was established in the Trivandrum St. Joseph’s Parish (At present St. Joseph ’s Cathedral Parish) on the 24th November 1878, when Rev. Fr. Emygdaus O.C.D was the Parish Priest. Its first President was Mr. Frank Watts, who was then the Chief Secretary to the Govt. of Travancore State.  It was aggregated to the Council General in Parish on 23rd June 1879.  Charitable works such as helping the poor and visiting them, visiting the sick in the hospitals and occasionally visiting the prisons were the activities of the members.  Person to person contact and sharing the love of Christ to the poor were given preference.  

There was a break in its active working for sometime and it was revived in 1931 when Rev. Fr. Ildaphonse O.C.D. was the parish priest.  He encouraged and helped the conference.  Mr. Joseph Thaliath, the then Travancore High Court Judge (later chief Justice) became the President. He was later made Chevalier and under his guidance and leadership, the conference flourished.  When he left to settle in Madras in 1955, Mr. J.T. Moraes, a veteran Vincentian and former member of Sri Moolam Assembly and a member of the Kerala Legislative Assembly, became the President, At this time, there were 3 Conferences in existence in Trivandrum Diocese viz., St. Anne’s, Pettah, St. Mary’s, Vettucaud and St. Augustin’s, Murukkumpuzha. All these Conferences were originally under the Verapoly Central Council. Bro. Moraes and the members of St. Joseph ’s Conference started a few more Conferences in other parishes and in 1966 a particular council of the Society was formed in Trivandrum .  Bro. Morais had the privilege to be the first President of the particular council.  

Later on with the increase in the number of Conferences, a Central Council was formed in 1972, which was instituted formally by the Council General in 1974. Till 1978 when the society celebrated its centenary celebrations, there were 71 conferences and three particular councils under the Central Council.  When Mr. Morais resigned after completing the full term of 8 years, Bro. Walter S. Fernandez took charge as the President of the Central Council (CC) in January 1982. The impetus of the CC, the Society made a distinct thrust forward and spread to many parishes. There were nine particular councils and 174 conferences at the time when he resigned in 1987.  Bro. Sunny Nettar took charge as President on June 1987.  At this time by his efforts, the Society expanded to the nook and corner of the Diocese.  The Trivandrum particular council was bifurcated because of the large number of conferences and a new particular council, Valiathura, was formed.  He worked for the up lift of he youth conferences and organized seminars for the youth and women.  When he left after completing his term, there were 10 particular councils and 223 conferences.  We record our gratitude to him. On the expiry of his term, Bro. Sneby, the present President, who was the Treasurer during the time of the two preceding Presidents, assumed office on 18th July 1992.  The Society wish him all success in his term of office by the help of the Holy Spirit. His team fribuicated Trivandrum Central Council to new Central Council in the name Neyyattinkara Central Council. 
After this Bro. Francis Stephen continued to be President from 1997 to 2002.  At that time they build the Ozanam Karunya Bhavan and some disciples are staying here.  After that Bro. Maria Georgeline took the charge of the President, from 2002 to 2008.  At that duration, free Ambulance was enforced. Now Bro. A. Donbosco is the President since 2008.  Now all the activities are going nicely.  Fish vending loan, drinking water scheme, house maintenance, self help projects, toilets, roof change, community wedding, tailoring machine for poor people are put into practice.  We distributed medicine and food kits for cancer leprosy, T Bard Aids patients and conduct the cancer camp to different places.  We tried to find out less miscerable people who were starving and we distributed food kit for them.  We are conducting free computer class and tailoring class.  We are planning the project of distributing free coffin for the poor people who disc.
            The Trivandrum Diocese has about 2 lakhs of Latin Catholics and it is the second in Indian in terms of number of Catholics and in area.  The coastal parishes extend from Mampilly to Eramanthura.  The distance will be about 80 kms.  Most of the people living in this area are engaged in fishing.  During the monsoon season, they do not go for fishing and since they have no other work to do in the beach area, they are really facing starvation at this season.  Sometimes the Govt. help them by giving free rations.  Some borrow money from the boat owners and some how manage.  When the fishing season comes there is another difficulty that they do not get catches as before, because of the engagement of too many boats and other fishing vessels which catch the fish in the deep sea.  There is a sorrowful plight. Govt. is doing some good work to organise them through co-operative societies and supplying them boats and engines.  With all this, no visible change is seen in their life style.  The community is backward in many ways.  Illiteracy is very high in the community.  Because of high density of population and for want of safe drinking water, they are always subject to contagious diseases like gastro-enterities, diaorrhea etc. Society helps to house maintenance, fish vending loan, drinking water scheme, toilets, self help loan etc.
            The inland parishes begin from Ayiroor to Karumkulam.  It is about 80 kms.  People live by agriculture, goat rearing, vegetable vending etc.  They do not live close to each other.  The people are also poor.  The Society helps them to do business like selling vegetables, goat rearing, chicken rearing, handloom weaving etc.
            The members of the Society try to go to the villagers to share their sufferings and show Christ’s love to them.


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