‘An admired community leader and a remarkable person’

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RIP Dr Raman Marar OAM

1927-2015

Raman Perumpillil Marar, a much admired community leader in Melbourne, passed away peacefully in Melbourne, on 31 January 2015. His exemplary service to the Indian and Hindu communities in Victoria over 40 years is now part of the legend that is Dr Marar.

Dr Marar was born in Cheranellore, Kerala, India, in 1927. After finishing his secondary education in Kerala, B.Sc. in Madras and M.Sc in Mumbai, he worked in New Delhi and subsequently took up a teaching position in Karnal (Haryana) at the first Sainik School in India.

He migrated to Australia in 1964, taught Mathematics and Science in New South Wales before moving to Melbourne in 1967, from where he obtained his B.Ed. and M.Ed. degrees at Monash University and PhD at La Trobe University in 1982. He retired from his teaching role at Swinburne University in 1994.

His doctoral thesis on “a cost benefit analysis of the Harijan education program of Kerala” was a strong pointer to his deep commitment to community and social values in later years. Almost immediately after his arrival in Australia, he embarked on his mission to help those who needed assistance in settling down in Australia and solving their personal and family issues.

In 2002, Dr Marar was awarded the prestigious Order of Australia Medal, OAM, for service to the Indian community.

Dr Marar initiated and developed many worthwhile projects for the community, particularly in Victoria. These include his pioneering efforts that contributed to the establishment of the iconic Shri Shiva-Vishnu temple in Carrum Downs which is now a focal point for Hindu religious worship here.

He contributed vigorously and constructively in leadership roles in various associations and committees. He was president of the Hindu Society of Victoria, president and subsequently patron of the Malayalee Association of Victoria, and president of the Federation of Indian Associations of Victoria (FIAV). During his presidency of FIAV, he implemented several initiatives, for example the appointment of the first community social worker, annual awards for outstanding VCE students and essay competitions for juniors. The successful FIAV’s Golden Jubilee celebrations of India’s independence in 1997 was a great testament to the tireless and inclusive approach of this doyen of our community.

Dr Marar was Deputy Chairperson of the Australia Chapter of the World Conference on Religion and Peace for several years. He also served as general secretary of the Shri Ramakrishna Vedanta Society of Victoria and Vice President of the Vivekananda Yoga Education Research and Therapy Institute in Melbourne.

Dr Marar was an enthusiastic supporter of the Indian performing arts in Melbourne, generously donating annual scholarships to deserving students at several music and dance schools here on several occasions.

Above all, Dr Marar was gentle and humane. Soft spoken and humble, his diplomacy, hard work and ready commitment to help and mentor those in need will always be remembered.

In his endeavours, Dr Marar had the unstinting support of Mrs Sathy Marar, who is equally warm hearted and unassuming, children Sudheesh and Sunita and her husband Cameron.

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