Br Bernard Canisius Morrow
BC — as he was fondly known — was one of the “greats,” the “prince of bosses.” He was a “great” as a religious, teacher, principal and administrator, and this greatness rested easy on his broad shoulders.
BC was born in County Cavan, the ninth of thirteen children. In 1929, he together with Br Humphry Dineen and a few others arrived in India. He had a sharp intellect and was an outstanding teacher. He got the best out of each boy, and could zoom in on the weak students and ensure that he did not slacken in his efforts. The affectionate reverence of his pupils was tinged with awe because of BC's uncanny knack of predicting questions.
Br Morrow taught and ministered in St Joseph's Nanital, St Joseph’s Calcutta, St Columba's New Delhi, Goethals’s Kurseong, and St Mary's Mt Abu.
In 1949, BC took over as Principal of St Mary's Mt Abu, when a strong leader was most needed there. He imposed a high standard of discipline and academics and also carried out much needed improvements to the buildings and facilities. The civic authorities too were delighted to have a Principal who was both friendly and approachable and had sound judgement.
At the time St. Mary’s was in dire straits (1947-1949), dealing with a large exodus of Anglo Indian students from the school after Independence. The school could barely support itself, and there was talk of handing the school back to the Bishop of Ajmer. However with BC at the helm and the good will and credit offered by the local merchants and traders in town the school kept going.
The next scene of action for BC was at St Columba's New Delhi. A school of some 3000 pupils with varied credentials ranging from the sons of the schools sweepers to the sons of Prime Ministers and the President of India. HIs administrative skills, teaching ability, charm and diplomacy turned St Columba's into the leading school of the capital. It was also here that he helped numerous economically impoverished families. There was in him a generous concern for the poor.
Br Morrow's last change was back to his beloved Mt Abu. Here he celebrated his Golden Jubliee and later his Diamond Jubilee. When he could no longer teach, he made himself useful by making time for a chat with the boarders or earning a small amount of money for the poor by selling bottles of honey from an apiary he had started. In 1991 he had several blackouts, and in March 1993 he fell in his room and injured his head. He was driven to St Francis' Nursing Home, Ajmer. Br Morrow survived the ardous journey, but expired a day later. He lies buried in the cemetery at Mt Abu.
We shall never forget — St Mary's Mt Abu flies its flag today because of his actions in 1949. RIP.
—Stephen de Silva (1972)