Documentation No.1 This is the life of the priest who buried Cora Pereira. After reading this article, you will surely see how this great man of God could not have lightly put a remark on Cora's grave without reason. He knew Cora well and definately saw the presence of God in her before and during her death, as he was also at her bedside when she died.This man could not call Cora a Martyr for nothing.

Roll Call of Honour.

A Character, Unforgetable. A Biography of Rev. Fr. A.M. Tabard, by The Late Rev. Father Cyril Browne Rajasababushana Rev Antoine Marie Tabard, M.B.E. 1863-1926 "His life is a watch or a vision, Between a sleep and a sleep"

Antoine Marie Tabard was born on the 15th October, 1863 at Toriguysur - Vire in Northern France***. His parents were middle class folk, greatly respected in the neighbourhood for their generosity and piety. Being of a delicate constitution, his early education was entrusted to the care of a governess who tutored him at home under the guidance of his father. He was a precocious and observant child, eager to learn and intelligent. He made rapid progress. When his health improved and he was declared fit for the University, he was sent as a boarder to a college at Caen, from where he took his degree at the early age of sixteen. He now expressed a desire to work in the Far East as a missionary. However much his parents were grieved at losing their only son, they bore it in a spirit of Christian generosity and sacrifice. He was allowed to join the French Foreign Mission Seminary at Paris. On completing his studies in Philosophy and Theology, he was ordained a priest on the 16th June, 1886. Three months later he was sent out to India.

He arrived at Bangalore, late that same year, and was attached to St. Joseph's College. He soon proved to be a successful teacher in the subjects he handled, Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry and endeared himself to his students by his charming personality. But he had come out to India to be a Missionary so he appealed to his Bishop Dr.Kleiner to send him out in the District. He wanted to identify himself with the people amongst whom he had to work. He was sent to Mysore to study Tamil under Rev. Father Reautearu. Within a year he was able to speak and write the language fluently. "What Man proposes, God disposes" Proved once more true.

On the death of the Rev. Father Quenard, the Parish Priest of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Father Tabard was recalled to Bangalore to fill the post. From 1891 to 1926 he remained its Chaplain and Chaplain to the British troops stationed in Bangalore. His Chaplaincy during this long period was memorable and noteworthy in many ways. He was a noted worker in the cause of the poor and the sick, the humble and lowly. Hs first great work of charity was the construction and opening of St. Patrick's Orphanage. An institution which has since helped thousands upon thousand of poor destitute boys, saved them from being waifs and strays, turned them into good loyal citizens and helped them to earn an honest livelihood. Some have even risen to positions of trust and confidence in the administration of the Country. One of them was the dewan of Mysore, Sir Mirza Ismail.

Good Father Tabard used to say that every well constituted Parish should have its primary school with an Orphanage attached. It was the best way of counteracting communism. An Orphanage in a Parish appealed to its Parishioners, who would always come forward to support it with their mite. The Town Parishes should not burden the Diocesan Orphanage with their poor but look after them through their own organisations. The Diocesan Orphanage was intended for the poor of the Districts and he thought it better that this Diocesan Orphanage should be located in the District and not in the Town. The boys in such Orphanages should be taught rural crafts, suitable to the needs of the country.

His next great work was of a more monumental nature. He was the guiding spirit, the Honorary Secretary and till his death the Vice-President of the Friend-In-Need Society. A Society that has rendered yeoman service in the cause of humanity during the last 80 years for the poor of Bangalore.

In addition, as the scope of this Society was limited, he started St. Anthony's Guild for the very poor of the Parish, who even till this day receive doles of food and clothing to relieve their want. The good work continues and has extended to other Parishes of the Diocease.

The extensions to St. Patrick's, which was then the Cathedral, was of considerable dimensions. He constructed the beautiful facade of the Cathedral with its two graceful towers; the present arched roof took the place of a tiled one. He added the side chapels, the altar of St. Patrick and that of the Blessed Virgin. During the thirty years he was its Parish priest, he endeared himself to one and all,. Catholics and non Catholics; Christians and non Christians. In fact the name of Father Tabard was a by-word in the Civil, Military, Social and Political life of Bangalore. He put Bangalore on the map of India. Father Tabard was a live wire. His activities knew no bounds. They recognised no limitations. "Better to wear out than to rust out" was his motto. He lived up to it.

His quest for work was insatiable. His influence, his zeal, his enthusiasm, his popularity and more than all, his winsome art of successful beggary combined in a remarkable degree with his scholarly attainments to bring about the foundation of the Mythic Society; an Institution where people of all castes and creeds meet and discuss. He believed that very much could be done and a vast amount of information obtained on the ethnology and history of early Mysore by these discussions. The late Yuvaraja of Mysore, presiding at one of its functions, remarked that it was not generally interesting to listen to dry catalogues of Archaeological discoveries, but under such exponents of the science as Father Tabard, he discovered that the results of these discoveries could be woven into a charming and instructive narrative. Financial difficulties did not damp the ardour of its founder. His name was constantly associated with successful beggary. One instance will suffice. The late Col. Desaraj Urs once offered him a pair of white mules. Father Tabard laughingly remarked that a cash donation equivalent to their value would be more welcome to the Mythic Society. The next day the gallant Colonel gave him a pleasant surprise by sending him the pair of mules with a cheque for Rs 500. Father Tabard soon succeeded in obtaining a valuable site of land on Cenotaph Road and erected the "Daly Memorial Hall". He provided it with a very valuable reference library. He started its quarterly journal and established a reserve fund of Rs 10,000. The Mythic Society was thus firmly founded and has rendered valuable service to the State and will continue to render still more valuable service to United Karnataka. For his great and memorable service in Philantrophy and Science, Father Tabard was decorated with Kasieri-Hind Gold medal by the Government of India and the Mysore Durbar conferred on his the title of Rajasabhabhushana.

Father Tabard's academic activities did not stop here. He played an important part in the foundation of the University of Mysore. He worked on several Committees. He was a member of the First Senate: Chairman of the Board of Studies in Latin and French and a Fellow of the University till his death. The University, in gratitude for his services, instituted a prize in his name, called the "Tabard Gold Medal" for History. Father Tabard's name is associated with several other institutions: The Sisters of the Poor, St. Martha's Hospital, The Sacred Heart Church and the Church at Cubbonpet. For the Home for the Aged, he used his influence to obtain many floor amenities for them from the Military and Civil authorities - such as lighting and water. The Upper Flooor of the Priests' quarters at St. Martha's Hospital is in no small part, due to his generosity. He endowed as well several beds in the hospital for the poor patients.

The idea of rebuilding the Church of Cubbonpet was largely his. He set aside a considerable sum of money Rs 15,000.00 for this object. The very first Catholic Church at Bangalore stood here in 1800. All that remained of it was a little abandoned cemetery. Thirty years after his death, this dream was an accomplished fact. Thanks to the untiring efforts of the Archbishop and the zeal of Rev. Father John Castelino, a beautiful church dedicated to St. Theresa was blessed opened to the public on this hallowed spot. The present Parish Priest Father I. Anthappa* has added a Parish hall and reading room in the compound of the Church. Father Tabard's next task was to divide his Parish. St. Patrick's at that time was very extensive. The Parish included all the English speaking population of Bangalore and all the British Catholic soldiers. There was no room in the Church during the Sunday Masses for the ever increasing Tamil speaking Catholics of the area. Father Tabard felt that something should be done to relieve this congestion at the Masses on the Sunday morning. At that period there no Masses in the evening. There was an Old Abandoned Cemetery, over-grown with trees, towards the end of Richmond Road. Permission had already been obtained to bury the Clergy at the far end of it. He now used his influence with the Military and the Government to erect a church in this disused plot of ground. Soon the fine Church of the Sacred Heart sprung up, as if by magic, in this forest of trees. The Parish of St. Patrick was divided into two.

"There is a little story connected with this church; just after it was constructed. The Parish priest saw or dreamt he saw a little girl who appeared to him and requested him to remove her remain from an old grave in that cemetery and rebury her in the priests' cemetery. There were hundreds of disused graves lying all about the place but the exact position of this little grave, covered with mud, was depicted to him in his dream. At first he tool no notice of it, but it occurred repeatedly. He decided to consult his superiors. With their permission, he prepared a little coffin and the little grave, that he saw in his dram, was dug up. To their surprise they found the body of a little girl intact, sweetly lying in a little wooden coffin. There was no indication who the child was. The intact body was placed in a new coffin and re-burried, as desired, in the cemetery reserved for priests. The little grave can still be seen between two big tombs, on the left hand side of this cemetery**".

Father Tabard was not only a noted worker in the cause of Religion and Humanity. He was a great scholar. Sir Leslie Miller, the British Resident presiding at one of the annual functions of the Mythic Society remarked: "When I hear the address of your President and his cross examination - at your lectures, touching lightly and soo familiarly all the abstruse subjects which we discussed in our journals, I am filled with admiration, and it comes into my mind that if he is familiar with these deep things; Which are far too deep for me. Why? What a most Particularly deep young man that deep young man must be".

A short Appendix of his literary works will justify this remark:

What surprises us is how and where he found the time to achieve all this in his busy life. The answer may partly be found in the generous and loyal devotion of his valuable Assistant, Msgr. A.D. Lobo. Father Tabard, on the other hand, must be admired for the total trust and appreciation of his Assistant, his assistant for a period of over 30 years. A record of united love and service. Father Tabard was a great soul: a friend and consoler of those in trouble. Those who went to him in their distress, never did so in vain. His advise was always sound and his charity prompt and most discrete. Rev. Father Sebastian D'Silva writes " There was no road from the Dornhalli Railway Station to the Shrine of St. Anthony. The pilgrims had to walk across muddy fields - a distance of over two miles,. I requested Father Tabard to help. Within a fortnight, the much needed road was granted by the Government and the good Father sent me a handsome donation for building Pilgrims' quarters". Another extract, culled from a pile of letters - this time from a non-Christian: "I was a student of Father Tabard, so far back as 1891, in the pre-matriculation class of St. Joseph's College. He taught us Physics and Chemistry. The kindness of the professor for his erstwhile students continued, even after we left the college. We felt quite at home in his apartments, whenever we went to him for help or guidance. He encouraged me in my studies and extended to me help in various ways - financial, and otherwise. I most gratefully remember his love and affection to one and all of us." He helped many a young man to get a footing in life and saved many an old one from the consequences of his mistakes. His influence was great and he used it to do good all around him. Realising the financial difficulties ahead, if the diocese had to maintain itself and depend on his own resources, when foreign aid would cease; he set about collecting and starting a Fund for the Diocesan Clergy. The Fund that he established, forty years ago, relieves to a very great extent the burden of maintaining the clergy of the diocese of Mysore and the Archdiocese of Bangalore, even today. Towards the end of 1924, Father Tabard felt his health declining. He was wearing out. The doctors ordered a return to France, hoping that the air of his homeland would do the needful. He had worked 40 years in Bangalore without a holiday, without returning to France. He obeyed but no sooner did he feel better that he returned to the country of his adoption. His health was still very poor and his constitution remained frail. He retired to St. Martha's hospital. At the end of June 1926, he caught a severe chill that developed into Pleurisy and o the 2nd July, he peacefully passed away. His funeral was most impressive. The British Resident in Mysore, the Yuvaraja, representing the Maharaja of Mysore, lines of Government officials, military officers, Christian and non-Christian, school children from all the schools in Bangalore and his sorrowing Parishioners followed the Gun Carriage, carrying his coffin from St. Martha's hospital to St. Patrick's Cathedral. The body was received at the door of the Church by His Excellency The Delegate Apostolic, Cardinal Money, The Rt. Rev. Bishops Despatures and Vismara. After the touching funeral service, his body was laid to rest beneath the altar of Our Lady at St. Patrick's Cathedral.**** The altar that he had erected. A great soul had gone to his reward.

Fr. Tabard was also one time Rector of the Jesuit Institutions in Bangalore, which was under the Mission of Paris.
* Fr. Anthappa was Parish Priest during 1968 - 1974

** The little child's grave is very much in the Cemetery next to Bro. Charles Luxa's (large) Grave, towards the middle of the Cemetery as it has now been extended. The Parish Priest of Sacred Heart's Church Rev. Fr. Solomon, has asked me to investigate this little girl so nobody knows who she is, when she died, or even her name. The call her Rosemary because of the fresh roses they found in her grave when they dug her up to re-bury her with the Priests. Mary being a common name for girls. She has shown signs of the Greatness and Glory of God, and this will be investigated soon.

*** Countances in Normandy, as per the stone tablet on St. Patrick's Church. This Article is by the courtesy of Sr. Alice of the Carmelite Convent. Fr. Browne did spend some of his last years at this Convent on Ali Asker Road.

**** The Grave of Fr. Tabard can be found in St. Patrick's Church in the Right Wing (on the floor opposite the side entrance) when facing the Main Altar. The Altar to Our Lady of Victories has presently been replaced by a dedication to St. Joseph, and the statue of Our Lady has gone to another Altar in a side niche in the Main body. Buried next to Fr. Tabard, is Lady Bowring. There are supposed to be five Bishops buried in St. Patrick's, but after the demolition and re-erection of the Main Altar, the graves are not to be seen. This was the Cathedral in the early days of the Church in Bangalore.

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Thought for the Day:" Blessed are you poor, For yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, For you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, For you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man's sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, Fon in the manner their fathers did to the prophets. But woe to you who are rich, For you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full, For you shall hunger. Woe to you who laugh now, For you shall mourn and weep. Woe to you when all men speak well of you, For so did they fathers to the false prophets." Holy Bible: Luke 6:20-26

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