Tributes to Mr. Alfred Bhaskar
(By Mr. Syam Pilli, Former President of UECF )
I have known
Uncle Alfred Bhaskar for the last 8 years. He was my guide and great source of
inspiration. He supported me whole heartedly while I was in New Jersey and
continued his support even after we moved to Virginia. He was a man of principles. He called
a spade a spade. He demanded the best and strived to be the first. We have heard
many stories about him before, how he thrived to be first and best, whether it
was in studies or in singing competitions or at work.
I would like
to share some such instances where he stood first.
President of UECF:
As you know, he was the first president of UECF. With a passion for Christ and a
vision for our community, he did his best for the growth of this fellowship.
Today, UECF has grown this far just following his foot steps.
funeral in UECF:
As you know Uncle Bhaskar was the architect of the UECF Constitution. I often
referred the Constitution to ensure that UECF was going in a right direction as
per the goals and objectives laid out in the Constitution. As I was checking and
marking various items that were fulfilled, I stopped at item No. 5 in the
Constitution, which states “Conduct other services on special occasions such as
religious festivals, marriages, birthdays, baptisms, anniversaries and
funerals”. At that time I did not know that ‘his’ would be the first funeral
service in UECF.
be with the Lord:
As some of you have already read, he wrote an article for the UECF 10th
Anniversary Souvenir. He said he wrote this article within 30 minutes. In his
article titled “We are in the final innings of the game “, he posed a couple of
questions - “ Are you getting ready to face your creator? What are your plans?
“After challenging us with those questions, he was the first one to be with the
drove him to the Hospital for dialysis:
When I was consoling Shanthi aunty, she was crying and said – “all these years,
I never drove him for dialysis”. Last Monday was the first time he was driven by
her for the dialysis. Incidentally, this was the last time in the life time.
Christian Family Conference in Virginia:
Last September, we had a Christian Family Conference in Virginia. I
informed him that we were having a Christian Family Conference for the first
time in Virginia. He readily accepted my invitation and traveled all the way to
Virginia by pre-scheduling his dialysis, only to give me the moral support. In
spite of his impediment, he sang at that conference and glorified God.
A story to
Last Monday, my little daughter asked me to tell a bed time story. I started…
Once upon a time, there was a lion. He calls rabbits, giraffes and all the other
animals for singing. He gets angry, if someone is not singing properly. He asks
them to sing again and again till they do it right. And the story went on … at
last the lion died.
“He went to
heaven?” my little daughter asked.
singing in heaven?” she asked again.
“I think so”
“So… all of
them have to sing all by themselves now?” another question.
he is not with us physically, the vision he set for the UECF and the path he
showed us will help continuing the singing. We all sing a well known Telugu song
Paadeda Halleluya, maranaanthamu Halleluya. But he proved it. He sang till his
last day. It was a privilege for me singing, standing next to him at UECF 10th
when my mother-in-law passed away in December 2000, we were comforted by the
UECF families. At that time Uncle Bhaskar said this to me – Any American Church
would have simply sent a bouquet of flowers and sympathies during this time, but
here is UECF which really cares for the families and makes a difference.
loved this fellowship so much, but there was a time when he asked me “Am I
considered a member of this Fellowship?”
At that time,
I said to him “As a founding President, you are a lifetime member of UECF”.
Today, I say
… Even after his death, he remains in our hearts and in the history of UECF for
I would like
to conclude, his name “Bhaskar’ means sun in Telugu. This sun is set now, but
the light rays reflected from him will continue to shine in UECF.