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A perfect gentleman and a brother Print E-mail
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Bro.Felix Donohue
The evergreen Brother is well known to most La Sallians from the 50’s to the 90’s vintages and well respected by all whose lives he has touched.  This Irish who arrived in Malaysia in 1952 is a firm favourite with the old boys and girls of St. Xavier’s Institution, Penang, St. Paul’s Institution, Seremban and SMK La Salle, Petaling Jaya, the schools that he had taught in. Just how did the man become a Brother?
                            
“I was invited to do so. I did not attend a La Salle School but one day when I was around 14 years of age, a Brother visited  our school and spoke to my age group about  the life and work of the Brothers. He then invited those interested to join the Brothers’  Junior Training College where we would have  the  opportunity to learn more  about  the  Brothers and  their  work. I was mildly interested but did not really intend  applying until I was persuaded  to do so by a fellow student.”
                 
From that point onwards, touched by God’s Grace, he felt a growing attraction to the way of life espoused by the Brothers and after two years decided to join the novitiate undergoing a period of intense spiritual training and formation. Fourteen months later, he was convinced that God was calling him to dedicate his life to the work of education established by St. John Baptist De La Salle. The rest is history.
                      
Bro. Felix was my House Master (Paul House) and Literature teacher in Form 4 when I was a student at SXI in the mid 50’s. He was strict and a good teacher, no doubt about that. What I remember most about him was that he used to chase the few of us (keen members of SXI Junior Basketball Team) off the Love Lane basketball court each time we stayed back way after dusk: “Go Home!” he would say in a stern voice as he mysteriously appeared on the first floor verandah; we would scurry away like little fishes without a word.
              
What does he think of his life as a Brother?
“As I look back on the last fifty years as a Brother, I am truly grateful to Almighty God for so many graces and blessings that have come to me because I am a Brother. As a teacher, my life has been enriched by the thousands of students, teachers and parents with whom I have come in contact with – and from whom I have learnt so much. I have made thousands of friends and it is so fulfilling to be reminded that I had a role, however small, in helping young people to grow and develop and find their niche in society. The list is really endless.”
                            
But, were there not times of tribulations and doubts?
“Of course,”the good  Brother replied “there have been times of doubts and disillusionment and times when I seriously questioned the choice I had made in life. Trying to come to terms with the rapidly declining number of Brothers raises the question as to whether the effort was really worthwhile. My onsolation is that the Lasallian ideals will continue to flourish through the thousands of Lasallian family members who found their inspiration in John Baptist De La Salle.”
His students remember him fondly even though they have left school decades ago. Why is it so? Some of the adjectives used by his students to describe him provide the answer: caring, a good sense of humour, affable, dependable, gentlemanly ……. Though retired from teaching, Brother Felix keeps a busy daily schedule in assisting the Brother Visitor in administrating the affairs of the La Salle Brothers in his office at the La Salle Provincialate, Petaling Jaya. He would spend most of his free time keeping fit by playing tennis and a round of golf with friends and old students.
                         
There is an annual golf tournament in honour of him, organised by some of his old students (majority Old Paulians) now residing in Perth. Those interested can contact Raymond Baptist at:
                   
We wish Brother Felix good health and may God shower His abundant blessings on him always.

                    
Acknowledgement with thanks:
A Portrait of the De La Salle Brothers
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