KONGALATH VARKEY VARGHESE
BORN 1883 (THIRUVALLA)
DIED 1934 (THIRUVALLA)
was at Kaavil school(no more), Thiruvalla. Varkey, eldest of six, setup a
shop selling groceries and hardware both wholesale and retail at Market
Marriage to Esther (Ikarethu, Pandanad, Chenganoor) took place in 1901.
The house they lived was behind and attached to
the shop, typical of Hindu dwelling with a central courtyard, wooden
granary and a cellar .
Location: Midway between Gov. Hospital and MGM school. Varkey was known
as "Bowdy Varkeychen" (meaning unclear).
Successful at his trade, he acquired 4 properties, each less than 1/2
acre within in a 2 mile radius of his house.
He was a very active member of then the very first Church in
Thiruvalla. Varkey and Esther had 1 daughter and 4 sons. Aged 51, Varkey
developed intestinal obstruction, became very ill within a week and was
unfit to undergo
an operation. A photo of his coffin surrounded by his 4 sons and others
exists. Varkey's younger sister was married to a tea estate manager at
Peermade and the couple lived next door to Kongalath at Cheriyil house.
Varkey's youngest brother, Abraham and two of his cousins lived at
Kavumbhagam and Kaavil.
Presently, there is one Kongalath family at Kollam. The name Kongalath was believed to be originally that of a Hindu illam.
A Brahmin who embraced Christianity was an ancestor of Varkey in the 16th century from Koravalangad, it is believed !
The Kongalath shop and house at Market Road, Thiruvalla were replaced by new owners with a four storey building in 2001.
ESTHER VARKEY VARGHESE
DIED 1962 (THIRUVALLA)
from a family known as Ikarathu, Pandanad,Chenganoor.
Esther was a devout Christian who insisted on family prayers twice a
day. She had 5 children after losing earlier pregnancies Following
husband Varkey's death she and eldest daughter-in-law Kunjamma ran the
household providing meals daily for 15-20 members and staff
working at the shop. Esther's first cousin sister's daughter lived at
Paipad (Mathilunkal Family) two miles away from Kongalath house.
She was well acknowledged for her charitable deeds such as feeding the needy at Paliakara and giving refuge to distant relations of Kongalath family. Notable among them were a woman and her
two children (Thankachen and his sister). Later, Kunjappy, his wife and their daughter were also given jobs and shelter at the Kongalath home.
Esther maintained the position as head of the family assisted by eldest son George for financial affairs.
Esther's ear lobes had about 1 1/2 inch holes and she wore very large
gold ear ornaments (Wallika) a fashionable jewellary very
reminicent of earlier times. The terminal illness was that of a heart
failure marked by gross swelling of legs lasting for a few
Both Varkey & Esther were laid to rest at the Paliakara Church grounds near the front entrance.
WHO WAS WHO
Achamma spouse of K I Koshy, Karipal , Kottayam, Post Master at Kottayam. Parents of founders of Karipal Hospital..
George- Hardware Shop owner, Market Road,Thiruvalla.
Oommen- Superintendent of Police.
Abraham -Barrister in Bahrain and Estate owner at Mundakayam. Author of the book entitled "British Justice in Bahrain."
Mary - spouse of Abraham -Doctor in Bahrain and at Pushpagiri Hospital, Thiruvalla.
Philip- Managing Director, Rallies India. Mumbai(Bombay)
Kunjubaby-(Dr. Koshy wife Ammini(Dr) Founders of Karipal Hospital, Kottayam.
Lilly- spouse of P Mathew, Puthumana, Puthupally, Owner of Private bus service at Puthupally.
Others not mentioned provided commendable supportie role to their spouses and were utterly devoted to the welfare of the family
ARTS, MUSIC, SPORTS
Mohan(Oommen Vergis) Architect at Chennai was awarded honours by the professional body for his
lifetime achievement in 2010.
Silvy - Over 50 of her paintings were exhibited at Indian Embassy in Kuwait ( 2001)
Susheela- Over 250 Bonsai specimens created and nurtured at Chennai.
Vini and daughter Sarah- Degree qualifications in music
Alex - Rock guitar player. Over 45 Youtube entries( trackable) - alexkvx10
There are several others who play musical instruments regularly.
Conor- Over 30 medals for swimming and a price for the best painting at a province wide school competition(Sinking Titanic)
Sasha- Selected for swimming team for Norther Ireland.
Vijay- 1000 mile cycling in UK to raise funds for charity. (2012)
George- Trekked Mount Kilimanjaro to the summit for charity-'Water Aid' (2013)