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Fr. Edgar Graham, SJ

Rev. Edgar Graham, S.J., died on February 1, 2015 in Philadelphia, PA.

Way back in the 50s, when I first met Rev. Fr. Graham in Loyola School, Jamshedpur, I was very much impressed by his jovial nature. To my reckoning, he looked like the movie star, Danny Kaye! He was my worthy colleague for many years at Loyola. In 1968 he was the leader of about 16 Loyola teachers, who attended a seminar of Modern Mathematics in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

March 3, 2014, the 175th birth anniversary of Jamsetji Tata, a historic date for Indian industry, “Founder’s Day” for Jamshedpurians, young and old, and the day that sparked off the reunion of Loyola’s Class of ’58.

A few days later, Dhan Madan, arguably the most colourful member of the class of ’58, emailed his numerous Jamshedpur friends reminiscing about the good old days, and wondering whether a reunion of the class of ’58 was a possibility. The email was duly networked to several of Dhan’s classmates. In less than 10 days, at-least 8 had enthusiastically clambered onto the reunion bandwagon. Emails zipped around, and furious googling, supplemented by down-to-earth searches, swiftly tracked down thirteen of the surviving fifteen of 1958’s “Magnificent Seven-teen”. A Jan 2015 date was agreed upon for the big event — gentlemen of our vintage can ill afford to take the long view — and the classmates based in India took over the planning. V.R. Nair worked his contacts to organise accommodation and local logistics. Jamshedpurians, Tushar and Zarin Kabi, took care of happy hours’ hospitality, and Dhan’s emails ensured that the enthusiasm for the reunion continued unabated. We had hoped for a full turnout, but two classmates, based overseas, dropped out due to health and other reasons.

Father George A. Hess, SJ

Fellow Gents of Loyola, Or Gennamun, as Fr. Kennedy used to say…

Many may not recall this … it was before your time at Loyola. But when Fr. Hess arrived on the scene, it was a sea change..for those of us who were used to the earlier Fr. McGinley regime of the leather strap for unkempt exuberance in class or field. Fr. M would invite the more virulent rascals amongst us to one of the the handball courts … and administer a dozen straps on reluctant palms. The rest of us could watch, and hear … from our classrooms … as deterrent. I have a particularly vivid memory of a dramatically noisy Ajay Kapadia receiving a dozen … who was one fiesty dude at ten or so … and a kind of cult hero because of his escapades.

Fr. George A. Hess, SJOne of the outstanding landmarks of the Steel City of Jamshedpur is Jubilee Park, dedicated to the people of Jamshedpur on the occasion of its Golden Jubilee. There’s a life size bronze statue of Jamshetji Tata, the Founder of Tata Steel and Jamshedpur. Below the statue is an inscription on a brass plaque from Virgil’s Ovid, “Si monumentum, requiris, circumspice” in Latin, which when translated into English, means, “If you are looking for a monument, look all around”. The same could be said of Fr. George A Hess, a Jesuit from Maryland Province, USA, who spent 61 years in Jamshedpur, Dhanbad and Bhubaneswar. He passed away on 30 July 2013 at the age of 94. If you “look all around”, you will see the quadrangular structure he put up in 1954 for Loyola School, Jamshedpur, three years after his arrival in India and which became a land mark in years to come. Knowing the dire need for quality staff and to attract the right kind of teachers, he put up two blocks on Straight Mile Road that served as family quarters for a dozen heads of families and another block for a dozen bachelors and spinsters. A man of foresight! Today it is home to the Provincial’s Curia and a myriad of guests.

Fr. George Hess, SJ

Fr. George Hess, who was the Principal of Loyola School from 1953-62, passed away this evening around 5:30 pm. He was suffering with a respiratory problem and was admitted at the Tata Main Hospital on July 19, 2013. He was being moved to the Mercy Hospital when he died. He was 94.

Besides Loyola School, Jamshedpur, Fr. Hess was also the Principal of De Nobili School, FRI, from 1963-79 and thereafter the Loyola College of Education, from 1979-96. He was also associated with XLRI; XIMB; Loyola School, Bhubaneshwar; De Nobili School, Bhuli, Dhanbad, in his 61 year stay as a Jesuit in India.