Dr. Mathew Zachariah passes away

Dear All,

It is with great sadness I wish to inform all about the passing away of Dr Mathew Zachariah. I received information from his friend in Delhi, George Mathew (see messages below)

While I will share more details about this interesting man, it would appear, or so I speculate, that it was his kidneys that gave way. He had been on dialysis for some years now.

Dr Zachariah had an impact on so many of us. Some of what he taught us then 11 years old has stuck like glue for the rest of our lives. I even today live by the value system that he and some of the others inculcated in us. I am glad he touched my life and owe him a big thanks.

May his soul rest in peace. He was a good man, nay a wonderful man!!

Warm regards


Vijay (Khurana)

Dear Vijay,
I am sending below the message received from my friend in Ohio. Very sad indeed.

—– Forwarded Message —–
From: oommen thomas 
To: George Mathew 
Sent: Tuesday, 25 October 2016 5:48 PM

Dear G. Mathew
Very sorry to inform you that Dr. Mathew Z passed away 25th early morning 12.30 their time. All the children wife Saro and his brother Dr.Alex was also there with him. May his soul rest in peace.
Take care. Ani and Leela


Dear All,

Here is an obit for Dr Mathew Zachariah that appeared The Calgary Herald.

Mathew Zachariah May 24, 1935-October 25, 2016 Mathew Zachariah passed away on October 25, 2016. He was born in Tiruvalla, Kerala, India in 1935. He spent part of his childhood in Miri, Borneo where his father was an accountant with an oil company, returning to India with his mother in the early 1940’s when a Japanese invasion was imminent. He had and older and younger brother. His father suffered much during the war years in Borneo and died in 1946 on his return to India. In 1942, he was informally adopted by his mother’s older sister and husband, a childless couple, and raised as their son. In the early 1960s he moved to the U.S. as a Fulbright scholar to advance his post-secondary education, and in 1966 accepted the position of assistant professor with the Faculty of Education at the University of Calgary. He became an associate professor in 1969 and full professor in 1973.

Dr. Zachariah holds several degrees, including a BA in economics from University of Madras (1956), B.Ed from University of Delhi (1960), MS in Education, English and Social Sciences from State University of New York (New Paltz, 1962) and a PhD in Social Sciences and Education from University of Colorado at Boulder (1965). A comparative sociologist of education, he made significant contributions to academic services at University of Calgary as department head and associate dean in the Faculty of Education. He retired from the U of C in 2000 after more than three decades of service and was honoured as an Emeritus Professor of Education. He continued his community service activities, despite failing health.

He is the recipient of numerous awards and honours, including a U of C Students’ Union Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching in 1985 and in 1999, a national award from the Canadian Committee of Students in Education for mentoring masters and doctoral students. He received the Alberta Human Rights Award in 1989, as well as the Internationalization Lifetime Achievement Award by the U of C in 2002. In 2004, Dr. Zachariah was named one of 114 leaders in the university community recognized for outstanding achievement. After his retirement, he was distinguished visiting professor at the University of Pittsburgh and Menno Simons College in Winnipeg.

He was a prolific author and published many books, articles and essays to his credit. He has also published short stories and poems. The leitmotif of his life was to be a promote justice and fairness to people denied their dignity and were oppressed by the dominant economic and cultural institutions.

He was the first Canadian to receive the Honourary Fellow designation from the Comparative and International Education Society, USA (CIES). This honour recognized the contribution Dr. Zachariah has made to the development of comparative and international education throughout his teaching career, as well as the impact he has had on various academic and professional organizations.

He was an Anglican all his life and became more active in the life of his church after retirement.

For details go to


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Vijay Khurana

14 thoughts on “Dr. Mathew Zachariah passes away

  1. Anil

    To which post? I recall that these photos were included in the email trail pertaining to this post…. Let me know.

  2. admin Post author

    Posted on behalf of GS Anand:

    Mr Zachariah was a true sincere teacher who took pain to see that the student understood the issue.I use as usaual fool around but he never minded as he kneww i ment no harm and was serious student when it came to learning . IPlease pay my condolences to the family and pray God gives soul heavenly peace. we areall mortal and one day we have to leave this world.
    Amrit GS anand

    1. admin Post author

      Dear Gobe,

      Lovely note. I am requesting Anil Advani to place this on the website

      Meanwhile, please pictures attached and show them to Praveen


      Trial by Jury 1958-59


  3. admin Post author

    Posted ob behalf of Yogeshwar Oberoi:

    Dear Vijay,

    Extremely sad to learn of Mr. Zachariah’s demise.

    In school, every now and then he showed the spirit that we as school
    kids much admired and wished to imbibe.

    An example is his pounding the organ with La Paloma ,while we were
    taking our respective places in sombre Chapel ,one fine day.

    Wherever he may be I am sure his spirit is lighting up fellow spirits
    with infectious light heartedness.

    My sincere condolences to his family and friends.

    Yogeshwar Oberoi

  4. admin Post author

    Posted on behalf of Mr. Sasim Dasgupta

    I’m extremely sorry to hear of the sudden passing of our great friend Matthew Zachariah. I remember in the 50’s when he was staying in the Remove building close to my quarters very often we talked of many different things.

    I found him to be an extremely brilliant teacher whose main interests were academic matters, the teaching profession, and pedagogic philosophy. He was a good musician and known for playing the Hammond organ and piano in the school chapel to help the congregation in their prayers. His winning the Ford Foundation award was also a big achievement which took him to the U.S for his Ph.D. I also remember when he came to visit Toronto for a day and stayed with me. He had come to deliver a speech at the Sidney Smith Hall at the University of Toronto.

    Matthew seems to have lived a good life and his achievements were noteworthy and exemplary. God bless his soul.

    I would appreciate if you could please forward my condolences to his family.

    Sasim DasGupta

  5. admin Post author

    Posted on behalf of the Varughese family :

    It was with sadness that I heard of the passing away of Dr Mathew Zachariah. He was a family friend as well as a colleague and friend of my father, Mr. P.M.Varughese

    Convey our deepest condolences to his wife and children.

    The Varughese family

    1. Jai Joshi MD

      What a nice note from the Varughese family. Mr Zach and Mr Varughese were my favorite teachers

  6. admin Post author

    Posted on behalf of Mr and Mrs GOSS:

    Dear Vijay:

    It is with profound sorrow that Yvonne and I have learned of the passing of our one-time colleague Dr.Matthew Zachariah. The comments that are pouring in from Old Cottonians that were influenced by this remarkable man are a testimony to his character and brilliance as a teacher and the respect which was his due. Some of you may remember that he was also the organist and choir master. An eloquent debater, he once gave the students a demonstration of his skills at my request. I was proud to be his friend and colleague, and tried to stay in contact with him all these years, praying daily for his health and well-being and that a kidney transplant would be found for him some day. He dropped in to spend a day or two with us in Vermilion one spring many years ago, driving trough a precarious snow storm and hazardous road conditions to complete the long trip from Calgary. We also went to see him in Calgary, and on that occasion had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Ramesh Tiwari (who was visiting from Winnipeg) as well.

    As an aside, in the picture you have enclosed, Mrs. Goss and I are standing alongside Matthew as he was being introduced to Dr. Rajendra Prasad. I believe it was the centennial year of the School.

    Our condolences to his family, friends, and former students.

    Ron & Yvonne Goss

    BCS 1956-64

  7. admin Post author

    Posted on behalf of Rishi SJB Rana:

    I am saddened to hear of the passing away of Mr. Zachariah. I do remember him well. Please convey my condolences to his family.

    Rishi SJB Rana
    Rivaz 1953-63

  8. admin Post author

    Posted on behalf of Sudhir Kashyp:

    A very special person with a lot of passion for teaching .

    In fact he moulded me towards science – did do my Bsc but took no benifit of it


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