YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION

Christian young men of parassala can reasonably feel proud to recall that the idea of the YMCA loomed in the minds of their grand-parents even more than a hundred years ago; for, it is quoted on page 3 of the parassala Pastorate Golden Jubilee Souvenir published in 1943, that “it is seen in the Annual Report of the Trivancore District Committee(of the LMS) for 1858, that young men were meeting weekly to study, church history and other useful knowledge”. However, there are records to show that an association, with the name of the YMCA was actually started on 28-10-1909 by the Rev. A.T. Foster, Missionary of the L.M.S in parassala. Mr. S. Manual, the first Rural Secretary of the YMCA was responsible for infusing men of this locality and the late Mr. S. Devasahayam, Mr. V. Y. Isaiah and Mr.G. Lazarus served the Association with all earnestness for some years as Secretaries. Maintenance of a Reading Room and conduct of essay meetings were among the chief activities of the Association then. But after some years of services into insignificance, Subsequently there had been several attempts for revival.

In 1930 Rev.G.Ebenezer called the spirited youths to assemble in the Church verandah on every Full Moon days. Debates were held and many people found it promising and beneficial .Majority of the Embroidery staff and the local teachers like Mr.S.Sobhanam, Mr.James, Mr.H.Jacob, Mr.Moni Sylum, Mr.J.Arumanayogam Mr.Chinna Pillai Jacob, Mr.A.Aron, Mr.E.Aron, Mr.D.Eliezer, Harris, Mr.D.George (Alampara), Rev.L.Aaron, Mr.Y.Simon, Mr.Azariah, Mr.M.Sylum and Mr.J.Anandam were present on all occasion as far as possible.

Essays were read and opinions of members were expressed . It was rather interesting and enthusiastic. The broad foresight of Rev.G.Ebenezer paved the strong steps for success. When the committee approached the All India Y.M.C.A explained their position to him, he was pleased and much satisfied. He promised all sorts of guidence for the progress of the Y.M.C.A. Also he gave an authorization and letter of recommendation to the Marthandam Y.M.C.A authorities.

It was thenceforth the authorities from Marthandam Y.M.C.A visited us often and gave us instructions. Prominence was given to games and sports. Matches were organized and sports thereby shaped good youngsters as good athlets. A good Volleyball team was organised with Mr.Azariah, one of the South Indian Volley Ball Champions and Mr.Jacob, Rev.L.Aron as members. Mr.M.Sylum(son of Rev.Sylum) trained and tamed the youth in various ways to exhibit their talents. Competitions caused the great enthusiasm among the public. Anniversaries were also arranged in which eminent speakers were invited.

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