Theodore Gabriel: Keralites in UK lose one of their most loved and respected senior citizens
By A Staff Reporter GLOUCESTERSHIRE Sept 18: Theodore Gabriel (85) was a writer and educator who contributed a lot to literature and teaching in India and the UK. More than an educationist he was a humanitarian who found the meaning of love and care through his learnings. Theodore Gabriel, who arrived in the UK in the 70s, passed away on 16th September 2020 at the Good Hope Hospital in Birmingham following a prolonged illness which resulted from a fall on his 80th birthday. For Gloucestershire Malayalees, Theodore was more a humanitarian than a person of learning as they were able to enjoy the company of a man who showed the meaning of how to care for others. Theodore served the Keralite community through being the president of Gloucestershire Malayalee Association and later on appointed as patron of the organisation until his death. Theodore was also active with organisations for the Black and Asian Minority Ethnic communities. "Theodore was a pillar of support for those migrants who arrived in the year 2000 when there were only a few Keralites in Birmingham. Theodore provided immense support with providing assistance and guidance to those newcomers from Kerala, Laurence Pallissery", a member from the GMA told this website. "In those early days he used to have an estate car which he offered to those early migrant Malayalees to move homes or to help them move around. It was only later one Malayalees began buying their own car as such", Laurence reminisces. Theodore leaves behind daughter Sunaina Sophia Gabriel and wife Vimla Gabriel in Birmingham. Born in Vadakara in Kerala, Theodore went to Government Brennen College in Thalasseri and then went onto study BA Mathematics and English at Madras Christian College which was followed by him teaching English and Maths at University of Kerala. Theodore took a road different and studied Sociology and Anthropology at Shivaji University, Kolhapur in India. He initially joined University of Aberdeen to teach religious studies. This followed with him moving to the University of Gloucestershire where he worked as senior lecturer from from 1986-2000 and Honorary Research Fellow from 2000. He also worked as Associate professor at Queen's University (Canada) London Campus. Theodore has also penned several books such as - Playing God: Belief and Ritual in the Muttappan Cult of North Malabar, Freeing Tiyyas: Narayana Guru and Religious Ideology in Kerala, Caste Conflict in Kalpeni Island, Christian-Muslim Relations: A Case Study of Sarawak, East Malaysia, Islam and the West Post 9/11, Christian Citizens in an Islamic State: The Pakistan Experience. Malayalee migrants travel far and abroad and acquire a wealth of knowledge and learning and reach pinnacles of success through their hard work. But its very few who always go back to serve their communities through the knowledge they have acquired. Here we have Theodore who proved that love and care matters more than just knowledge and learning. Malayalees in the UK has lost a great humanitarian and he will be dearly missed by the Gloucestershire migrant community. This website offers its sincere condolences to the bereaving family.