Meghalaya students mourn death of Christian brother

He died in Goa aged 94

Tura: The alumni of St. Edmund’s School from the Garo Hills in Meghalaya have mourned the death of Brother Peter Gomes, their long time mentor and retired vice principal.

The brother died in Goa on September 23. He was 94.

His funeral is scheduled for September 24 afternoon at St. Francis Xavier Church in Goa.

A renowned teacher of mathematics and science, Brother Gomes was associated with St. Edmund’s school, run by the Christian Brothers, for almost half a century.

A bespectacled Brother Gomes was fondly called Papa Gomes. He was known as a strict disciplinarian with a kind heart.

Dozens of his former students recall with fondness their experience in class with Brother Gomes.

“We were extremely fortunate to have him as our teacher. Through his teachings he made mathematics and science seem child’s play,” recalled an ex-student from Tura.

He gave astral lessons to the uninitiated at the drop of a hat, kindling in the young Galileos the desire to peep through the telescope on starlit nights.

The appearance of the Haley’s Comet in the inner parts of Solar system in 1986 was a significant moment for students who were encouraged by Late Brother Gomes to view the event from the school terrace.

Headmaster of Sherwood school in Tura, Tyrone D’brass who was associated with St. Edmund’s in 1985 while working as a teacher in the school recalled with fondness his moments with the Late Brother Gomes.

“He was simplicity personified. He stuck to his job with passion and delivered in detail. A kind human being he will be missed by all,” said Mr D’brass.

One of his former students and a successful author and novelist from Assam, Ankush Saikia while speaking to The Shillong Times said, “He was the one who gave every student he came across an interest in astronomy.”

The late Brother Gomes also holds the record for keeping track of the rainfall in Shillong dedicatedly noting down the measurements in a log book for several decades.

A rain gauge device installed outside his living quarters for the last many years which he diligently used to measure the rainfall stand testament to the devotion of late Brother Gomes.

A man with Dickensian empathy for the young matched with Dickensian imagination, Brother Gomes seems like one whom Charles Dickens would love to have for his Oliver Twist and Sissy Jupes. However, the magic called Brother Gomes happened in St. Edmund’s and his would be a legacy to cherish.

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