Musavarikunnu, Punalur, Kollam District, Kerala

History

History

Grace International Academy is run by Palakunnathu Foundation. Palakunnathu Foundation is a family trust and the family has a history of serving the public for more than 150 years. Originally from Maramon- a town on the banks of rive Pamba, the most illustrious person of the family was Abraham Malpan( 1796-1845). He was a social and religious reformer who changed the way the Christians lived during the 18th century. People who believed in his philosophy had to face lot of opposition from the conservatives within the church which led to the birth of a new church called the Marthoma Church, today having a membership more than 1.6 million population across the world.

Palakunnathu family took the lead in contributing all the early leaders of Marthoma church and four major bishops belong to the family. During this time church grew from strength to strength and became one of the major Christian denominations having churches in different parts of India. The leaders insisted on the importance of education and set up schools where ever the church was established. It was this revolutionary step which led to the upliftment of community and with the power bank called education; they went to different parts of the world when the opportunity opened up. They went to big cities like Calcutta, Bombay, Madras etc. in search of their El Dorado first and later migrated to Singapore, Malaysia, and Ceylon etc during the late 1930s, later to the Arabian Gulf in 1970s and to the Western countries like USA, Canada, and Europe etc in the 1980’s and the in the new millennium.

One of the Persons of the family was P.A. Mathew who after completing his graduation from Calcutta University, migrated to Ceylon and took up teaching as a vocation. He taught at All Saints College, Gaulle which was a Portuguese colony. His wife was Thankamma Mathew who was the eldest daughter of one of the greatest planters Kerala has produced called M.C. Pothen. They used to travel by the meter gauge train from Kottarakkara to Dhanushkody which was the border point between India and Sri Lanka. It was during one of the journeys that they noticed a nice hillock near the Punalur railway station. They liked the place and decided to buy it.

The present campus where the college is located is the place he bought 90 years back. His son P.M. Abraham was also an educationalist who studied at Madras Christian College and taught at Wilson college, Bombay. The present management team is the third generation occupants of the land.

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