Fr. Valero Aleu SJ

Some nostalgic memories of Fr. Valero Aleu on his 14th death anniversary on 26th July

Some people leave indelible impressions in our lives. Rev Fr. Valero Aleu SJ was one of them. Fr. Aleu as a young boy had aspired to become a world cup football player but that was not to be, he was destined to come to India from Spain. He was an ardent Hindi teacher, strict disciplinarian and when he meant business he was deadly serious. But, outside the classroom he was mischievous, had a great sense of humour and was also a friend and guide.

It was his practice to visit homes of boys to know if conditions were conducive for studies, to instil confidence and to know them better. He was fond of swimming and would take us to M.G.M.O. swimming pool at Shivaji Park when our pool needed repairs. He would also take us for outings in our school bus. One Thursday morning on a visit to an orphanage in Vile Parle, a small boy from the orphanage took a liking for Fr and clung to him. Fr was overwhelmed and had to take him along with us to South Bombay and leave him back at the orphanage in the afternoon, such was his aura.

The prevailing saying with the boys those days during the examinations was “Copy, but don’t get caught”. There were no hidden cameras or CCtvs then. Fr had uncanny ways of supervising. He would come snooping behind doors, walls and pillars to catch boys cheating especially during Hindi and Marathi examinations. In fact it was the other way, boys who were good in these subjects were most vulnerable as weaker boys would seek help for synonyms, opposite words and some answers from them.

It is said that “to meet and depart is the way of life, but to depart and to meet is the hope of life.” Surely, we are so blessed and fortunate to have met such dedicated teacher, priest, guide and friend in Life’s journey that we long to meet him someday, if not now in this world in the next life at least!…………R.I.P

PS Please use the comment form of my blog to share some anecdotes about Fr. Aleu.

Pramod Mankar
Class of 1967

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