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March 15, 2014

God’s Donkey Brisbane Launch

God’s Donkey

by Peter Gale

Gods Donkey Gale Cover

The true story of Sister Mary Theodore OAM and Mithra

 was launched in Brisbane by Jennifer Byrne

Jennifer Byrne, Peter Gale and Sister Theodore's niece, Helen Mahoney at the Brisbane launch.

Jennifer Byrne, Peter Gale and Sister Theodore’s niece, Helen Mahoney at the Brisbane launch.

The speech from Qld Parliament following the launch (reproduced here with authorisation from Peter Gale).

 

Sister Mary Theodore

Ms TRAD (South Brisbane-ALP) (9.07 pm): I rise to speak this evening in order to acknowledge a woman of great strengths, Sister Mary Theodore. Born on Brisbane’s south side, Sister Theodore was one of eight children in a Lebanese family. At just 17 years of age she had already chosen what path she would take in life and by the time she was 24, Sister Theodore completed her training with the church and was immediately posted to India. For over 60 years this was her home and it was where she founded Mithra, an organisation in the city of Chennai that is dedicated to educating and rehabilitating children with a disability, particularly those from the poorest sections of the community.

 

With all that she did, Sister Theodore had a funny way of describing her work. She would commonly refer to herself as ‘God’s donkey’. She would say, ‘That animal is me. That donkey knows how to serve. It was a donkey that carried Christ into Jerusalem. It is a simple creature but it knows when to resist and when to dig in its toes and be stubborn and fight.’

 

Dr Peter Gale at the University of South Australia has published a biographical account of Sister Theodore’s life and has appropriately titled it God’s Donkey. On 9 February I attended the book launch, which was presided over by Jennifer Byrne. By learning about why she chose that life-by understanding all that she did under such challenging circumstances-I am of the view that Sister Theodore’s story proved this simple point: just because you come from somewhere small like Brisbane does not mean you cannot achieve big things.

 

Sister Theodore strengthened Australia’s ties with some of India’s most vulnerable by creating an exchange program that brought Australian students to Mithra so they could help provide a helping hand. She strengthened these ties that bind us by proving to those children that we see them, that we care for them and that we have not forgotten about them when so many others have, and they loved her for that.

 

She was not Sister Theodore to them, she was ‘Mother’. It is people like her who give us heart. On 7 December 2012 she passed away after 86 years. ‘The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.’ Sister Theodore may no longer be with us, but we remember her in this book, in this world and in this place. She will forever be engrained in our past, and whether it is through the people that she helped and loved in Chennai, and particularly in Mithra, or those she inspired in South Brisbane, the work and vision of Sister Theodore will carry on into the future, and that is for certain.

 God’s Donkey was also launched on 15th January 2014 at 11.00am in the Divine Mercy Auditorium, Don Alberione Center, Mithra Campus.

God’s Donkey is published by Wakefield Press and available at http://www.wakefieldpress.com.au/product.php?productid=1150&cat=0&page=&featured=Y

I was fortunate enough to be at the Indian Association for the Study of Australia Conference in Kerala, India, where Peter Gale spoke about Sister Theodore and Mithra.

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I hear the book is selling well, so be sure to order your copy from Wakefield Press; or ask for it in your local bookshop.

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September 10, 2011

In the Shadow of Legends Launch

Sujata Sankrantis novel In the Shadow of Legends

was launched in grand style

at the Levee Hall, Krishna Vilasam Palace Fort, Thiruvananthapuram-23, 

on Saturday, 20 August 2011

Dr. R. P. Raja welcomed the guests at the launch of In the Shadow of Legends.

A Presidential Address was given by Dr. Puthusseri Ramachandran.

Prof. Hridaya Kumari Introduced Sujata’s novel which was launched by Princess Aswathi Thirunal.

Shri M. Ravi Varma Raja was Guest Speaker.

See the launch photos on Facebook link

Invitation Kshathra

Video link to interview with Sujata Sankranti

Read the reviews and interviews in the Deccan Chronicle and The Hindu review and The Hindu interview ; the Afternoon and Businessworld.

If you would like to buy a copy of this absorbing and thrilling novel, In the Shadow of Legends, outside of India, it’s available from Amazon

Highly recommended.

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