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Well-respected & a friend to all his students Print E-mail
Image“I didn’t at that time think that I would one day become a Brother myself,” said Brother Cassian Pappu as he reflected on his early relationship with the La Salle Brothers which dated back to the World War II days at St. George’s, Taiping. After the Brothers were released from the Taiping Prison by the Japanese authorities, the Brothers were left without money or any other sources of support and even lacked the basic necessities like food. His parents arranged to provide one of their daily meals until the Brothers were able to fend for themselves. His task was to bring the food to the Church from where it was taken to the Brothers.
                                                       
At the end of the Japanese occupation when St. George’s Institution was reopened, he enrolled in the school to complete his studies under the Brothers. His daily contacts with the Brothers slowly began to attract his attention to their way of life. However, the prospect of a life-long commitment as a Brother didn’t quite appeal to him. But after more than a year of ‘soul-searching’, and with encouragement from his father, he finally joined the De La Salle Order in 1950 – a decision he never regretted.
ImageHis first posting was to St. Xavier’s Institution where he served for seven years and where he immersed in the demanding lifestyle of the Brothers (like waking up daily at 4.30 a.m.) and working in the school where he served as a Form Teacher, House Master, etc. An accomplished cellist, he was a member of the St. Xavier's Orchestra.
                                                                       
Brother Cassian left for India in January 1962 to work at the proposed Boys’ Town in favour of street children in Madurai – the first venture of the Brothers in the sub-continent. In 1969, he was posted to La Salle College, Bacolod (now known as University of St. La Salle), Philippines where he was exposed to a different kind of life than what he experienced in India. His most unexpected appointment was to the Immaculate Heart College, an all-girls institution in Kagoshima, Japan. It was here that Brother Cassian initiated the the ‘Student Exchange Programme’ between St. John’s Institution and the Immaculate Heart College.
                                                                                                                   
Brother Cassian has served as the Director of St. Francis’ Institution; S.M.K. La Salle Klang and St. John Institution Kuala Lumpur where he retired in 1988. His contribution to education did not stop here. He was entrusted with the setting-up of the first Church-owned private school – Stella Marist Secondary School, Kuala Lumpur in 1992. Here he served as the Principal until year 2000 after which he was appointed the Executive Secretary-General of the Malaysian Catholic Education Council, Kuala Lumpur which looks after the interest of all Catholic Schools in Peninsular and East Malaysia. He then became its Advisor as from year 2004.

Now in semi reitrement, he still actively involves himself in writing articles and in educational work as and when needed. His book “Malaysian Catholic Schools at the Crossroads” was published by the De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines.
One of his landmark achievements was the establishment of the Student Exchange programme between the Immaculate Heart College, Kagoshima (where he served as the College professor from 1983 to 1991) and the students of the La Salle Schools in Malaysia.


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