Brother Charles’ funeral: His was a spirituality of Life


What is the significance of Brother Charles’ life? In a world driven by greed, profits and selfishness, his entire life pointed to a higher ideal – a life motivated by selfless faith, service and community in the cause of providing education for all, irrespective of ethnicity and religion – without a thought for material reward.

The late Brother Director of St Xavier’s Institution, Penang, had a keen intellect and a flair for languages and could have been a wealthy man. Instead, he chose the path of poverty in the service of all through education. His entire life, right until his last days, was dedicated to this cause.

In an era where quality education is increasingly being provided in exclusive private international schools, Brother Charles served the cause of holistic education in a public school to ensure as many people as possible, rich or poor, had access to top quality education. The school fees? A few ringgit a year.

His spirituality was one of Life that encompassed the whole of humanity, said his friend and colleague Brother Vincent Corkery in his eulogy. It was a spirituality that saw the whole of humanity as the children of God.

His funeral at the SXI chapel was attended by some 400 friends, colleagues, old boys and teachers. Hundreds of present-day students lined the school corridors to bid him a touching farewell. It was Brother Charles’ last tour of the school that he had loved and served so selflessly since he first set foot in this region in 1950 as a 23-year-old novice Brother.

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Chua Kee Leng

I am fortunate enough to be a student at St George’s Institution in Taiping when Brother Charles was posted there as principal. It to years before I appreciated and saw the good of things he implemented when he became principal. He was a man who epitomises tolerance, not just that, he in fact celebrated and encouraged our religious and cultural differences for he understood what diversity is all about. If only more people live with values he imparted on each and every one of his students, then Malaysia would be a much more wonderful place to live in. I would… Read more »


btw does anyone know if Uncle Zorro Bernard is still “active” ?

His MIA from his blog kind of worrying.

Uncle Anil if you are aware pls enlighten us.


najib manaukau

How come people like Bro. Charles and all the christian brothers from the missionary schools have almost all vanished ? Who is responsible for the disappearance of these selfish and dedicated people or better still who is responsible to implement such a policy ? Are they a threat to the national security or their presence put (certain people) in danger ? If they are how come Malaysia’s P.M. and Home Minister were sent to the schools with these missionary teachers and by their fathers who were P.Ms. of Malaysia ? Surely they could have sent them to any schools they… Read more »

Hock Ch'ng

Hi Najib,

In my simplistic assessment – it’s boils down to – no man of our generation (myself included) being prepared to make the sacrifices of becoming a Christian brother. Are you prepared to give up everything (including leaving behind your family & friends, living a life of celibacy, etc…) for your God? I for one, am too worldly and materialistic to do so. As such, in response to your query of who is responsible for this disappearance of the Christian brothers. Very simple – it’s You & Me!


The falling numbers in the religious order, in particular the Catholic religious orders is because of the level of corruption and politicization of theology by the church. The revelations by courts and other investigators, by aduls about their lives as children in the hands of many a Catholic priest and brother especially where ill treatment and sexual abuse are concerned has made the Catholic church a church of dwindling numbers. They have lost out to other more progressive churches and institutions and subsjected themselves to investigation and inquiry not willingly but kicking and screaming for their vile conduct in office.… Read more »