Rev.M.I. David was a servant of God, a priest, who scaled the heights of success, in his life’s journey, with a mere matriculation to his credit. He had achieved this feat by merely utilizing the limited opportunities, which unfolded before him, on his mission..
It was during the initial times, when he was working as a supervisor, in his maternal uncles’s “Ottees orchards”, at Pattikad, in Thrissur, that he was first drawn towards the travails of farming, which immediately engaged his attention . The practice, at that time, was to import the pineapples grown in the orchards to Bombay, for canning and for subsequent sales to the emerging markets in India . An important seed of thought as to why this canning activity cannot be undertaken in Thrissur , kept his creative juices flowing, which almost became an obsession,leading to the formation of “ The Canning Industries Cochin Limited “,(CAICO) . Since he, on his own, had no capital, to start this venture, he had made sincere efforts to rope in financially influential business magnates of Thrissur, by selling his unconventional idea of commencing canning activity in Thrissur to them. Overwhelmed by his zealous enthusiasm, seven prominent businessmen, shared his dream and the “ CAICO “ became a reality , against all odds . It was by liquidating available assets, that the initial capital was built up, to form the company . Due to technological dearth, the company had to face acute initial teething problems, which sounded, almost, a death knell to the fledgling company. The company survived the initial shocks, by leasing out the facilities to a Bombay party. The company somehow managed to exist for the initial five years, but in the bargain, it had become fully aware of the commercial aspects of how the canning industry operated in India. The CAICO was, incidentally, the first canning company of Kerala. On the road to further progress, an export oriented unit for export of marine products was started at Edacochi, in Ernakulam and at that time, there were only a few units engaged in the export of marine products from Kerala..
As the company grew in size, problems related to labour issues, also, grew and a separate unit in Ullal, near Mangalore, in Karnataka had to be started, as a back up facility..
He was so adept in the field that he was chosen several times by the Government of India to represent the nation and to speak in important seminars held in several countries across the world. He was also awarded the Kashalkar memorial award for his meritorious service in the fruit and vegetable preservation industry.
All along, as his spiritual yearning was, always, uppermost on his mind, he was ordained as a “Deacon” (junior priest), by His Grace Mar Thoma Dharmo Metropolitan, in 1954 and thereafter, he continued his corporate and spiritual mission, discharging his dual responsibilities, with equal vigor and dedication.
In the meanwhile, he continued to represent and lead a number of national and international meetings/forum. He had travelled abroad to participate in various conferences, as a representative of the Indian canning industry.
He was ordained as a priest, in 1977, by His Grace Mar Timotheus Metropolitan and continued to perform his pastoral/spiritual responsibilities with dedication and commitment.
By making a donation of Rupees Five Lakhs to Amala Cancer Institute, Thrissur, he, not only, created awareness of CAICO’s social responsibility and concern for health care and cancer treatment, but also, was nominated as a member of the Board of Directors of the Cancer Institute . It was this foray into health care and treatment, that made him aware of the urgent and acute need for building a charitable hospital, under the aegis of his church, which ultimately, lead to the birth of “Mar Timotheus Charitable Hospital”, in Kunnathumkara, at Thrissur. The foundation stone for the hospital was,earlier, ceremoniously laid by the then Chief Minister of Kerala, Shri. K. Karunakaran, in 1986. The charitable hospital, thus, became a reality, funded by the generous contributions of a number of well wishers and admirers, under his stewardship and was inaugurated by the The Catholicos Patriarch of The Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, His Holiness Maran Mar Dinkha IV, in 1991 .
Furthermore, in memory of the erstwhile Vice Chancellor of Singapore University, Dr. Sandosham, an Old Age Home, namely, “Dr. Sandosham Home For Elderly ”, was built in June, 1994, near the Charitable Hospital, utilising the financial contribution made by Dr. Sandosham’s spouse, Mrs. Emily Sandosham .
It is noteworthy to mention here that Rev. M I David had established a number of other welfare and charitable measures and initiatives, both inside and outside his church, by his sheer hardwork and single minded dedication, with the sole purpose of demonstrating unselfish and unconditional love and concern for his fellow human beings. All that he achieved was for purely humanitarian consideration and not for any personal gain, whatsoever, and surely, this is what makes him an outstanding human being, who made a difference to his world.
While serving as the Vicar of the Kuriachira parish, in Thrissur, Rev.David had, also, helped to build “Mar Oudeesho Church”, in 1979, with his immense commitment, dedication and contribution..
The long, selfless and path breaking 93 years of journey of Rev. M I David came to an end, without much ado, and he left for his Heavenly Abode, on 21.08.2013, and he was honourably buried on 22.08.2013, according to all religious rituals and customs, in his designated grave in the cemetery at Mar Yohannan Mamdhana Church, East Fort, Thrissur, with all heavenly honours, in the presence of Metropolitan, Bishops, priests, relatives, well wishers and admirers .
By all accounts, here was a human being, who served The Almighty, church, family, society, country and humanity with single-minded sincerity, integrity, dedication and unconditional love and concern , especially for the under privileged .
Reverend Father. M I David will be fondly remembered, as a shining role model, by everyone who has come in contact with him, for his outstanding contributions, despite his modest beginnings..
He will always remain our Leading and Guiding light.