AMMEMBAL SUBBA RAO PAI MEMORIAL FUND
Ammembal Subba Rao Pai (1852-1909)
was a man, take him all in all, I shall not look upon his like again.
Visionary Far Ahead Of His Times
Late Ammembal Subba Rao Pai, to whose hallowed memory The Ammembal Subba Rao Pai Memorial Fund owes its existence, was a visionary whose philanthropic zeal continues to touch the lives of innumeral people even today. A lawyer and a banker by profession, and an educationist and social reformer by temperament, he was the foremost among the pre-independence luminaries who shaped the future of Dakshina Kannada District and of the GSB Community.
His concern for social uplift gave birth in 1891 – of the Canara High School, Mangalore (website is under construction), the century old precursor to the conglomeration of Canara educational institutions of today; while his spirit of enterprise gave birth to yet another national institution – the Canara Bank, in 1906. But for his initiative and foresight, the steady rise of Dakshina Kannada district, and of the GSB people in particular, in the socio-economic spheres might have suffered a serious set-back. In the realisation of his vision and the perpetuation of his ideals, the ASRP Fund has played a pivotal role over the last 87 years of its existence.
Life & Times
on 19th November, 1852, at Mulky, near Mangalore, Ammembal Subba Rao
Pai underwent early schooling at Government High School, Mangalore, and it was
the early demise of his mother that is believed to have profoundly influenced
him to take to studies seriously. After
passing his F.A. Examination, his father sent him to Madras to take up higher
studies. Following his graduation from the Presidency College, he
joined the Madras Law College. Here
he came into contact with Justice Holloway, whose remarkable personality proved
to be a rewarding experience to him.
In 1876, following the demise
of his father, he returned to Mangalore and successfully practiced Law( it is
said that he often attempted to persuade amicable out-of-court settlements for
his clients, although this sometime cost him his fee). In 1891, four teachers, whom he had met in Madras, approached him with a
proposal to start a school in Mangalore and thus was born the Canara High
School, Mangalore. Shortly
thereafter, in 1894, with a view to encouraging the education of girls, he
started the Canara Girls High School, indeed a revolutionary step considering
the prevalent values and attitude of the people towards ladies education at that
disastrous crash of the Arbuthnot
Company at the beginning of the 20th Century prompted him to start
– in 1906 – The Canara Hindu Permanent Fund Ltd. (now Canara Bank) with a
view to enabling the community to mobilise its own resources for self-help.
Among his important contributions to the GSB community was the setting up of the ‘Poor Boys Education Fund’ (which
became ASRP Memorial Fund as per the decision taken at a meeting of the GSB
Community held in the Bhuvanendra Hall on 1st August 1909) under the
aegis of Gowda Saraswath Brahman Parishad, of which he was one of the founders.
Throughout his life, Ammembal Subba Rao Pai suffered from a severe gout,
an affliction to which he finally succumbed on 25th July 1909.
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