FATHER MARINO RIGON'S SAYS
SCHOOL & EDUCATION
"Just from the beginning of my work in Bangladesh one of my first concern was school and education. In the first year in Bhabarpara (Meherpur) I tried to convince the people and the children to go to school. But my real starting place was in the Sunderban, at Shelabunia (Mongla Port). I arrived in Bangladesh on 1953 and in June 1954 I got my life destiny was signed by sending me to Shelabunia (Mongla Port) to start and to build up a High School (St. Paul's High School). In Shelabunia there were ten bighas of land (520 decimals) donated by the local people for the place of thr future High School. The land was a marshy land and there we started the first building of St. Paul's High School and we took the children of the Primary School of Kainmari to get the school children. Along with the High School we open Primary Schools in Chila, Malgazi, Chunkuri and Jhaubunia. At present we have in the area 12 schools: 1 High School, 6 Primary Schools, 5 Schools at class 2 level: with a number of about 4.000 children: 2139 boys; 1742 girls. Out of them only 25% are Christian, other all Muslim and Hindus."
ANTIGONISH LEADERSIP DIPLOMA (CANADA)
"For eight months, from October 1953 to May 1954, I was in St. Francis Zavier University, Antigonish, to study Social, Cooperatives, Credits Unions Movements, and how to guide the society towards development. Back in Bangladesh I was Director of the Social Training Institute of Jessore, where I thought the people, ladies and gentlemen, how to go toward the progress and development of the country and of the villages. This was my time of teaching theories. In 1970 I was transferred in Baniarchock (Mokshudpur P.S.), where I put in practice my studies in Antingonish and my teaching in Jessore. We created two Cooperatives: Fishing Cooperative and Agriculture Cooperative. Baniarchock is central area of big bills and rich of fish. We taught the fishermen various cultivation of fish and to improve their skill to catch fish. We built up five launches to transport the fish from Baniarchock to Khulna, with the names o: Raktato Bangla (as it was struck by Pakistani aircraft by bullets), Sangrami Bangla (as it was built during the liberation war), Mukta Bangla (as it was built just after the liberation), Syadhin Bangla (as it was built to remember the fredom Bangladeshi wantd), Sonali Bangla (as it was built to remember the National Anthem: Amar Sonar Bangla). In the Agriculture field we had 30 IRRI Blocks of a total of 900 bighas of land, being able also to harvest three crops from the land and to reclaim many bighas of uncultivated land. This Programs were very important: first for the help given to the people, a right help, not relief, but giving work, that they may have right way to gain their living, not out of alms or help, but through their work."
WOMEN REHABILITATION 1961
"Rosy Biswas offered herself to serve the country and the poor people as a lay lady, not getting married, but dedicating her self completely to the deserved women. Rosy was first Teacher in St. Joseph's Parish in Khulna in 1961-1962. From 1962 to1972 she was teacher in Sacred Heart School in Jessore and completing her studies up to MA. In Jessore she met other girls, as Angela Gomes, Mary Biswas, Rosiline Costa, who agreed to join her in her ideals. The preparation of girls for women rehabilitation started in Jessore on 1965. After the completion of their studies Angela Gomes started her program establishing the organization "Banchte Shekha". Roselene Gomes took her way in Caritas in Justice & Peace Organization. On 1972 , just after the Liberation War, Rosy and Mary took their chances in Khulna, Kakishpur, among hundred-hundred Behari widows. And in procession of time establishing Sewing Center, Handicrafts and Primary School. The girls in charge could brought up to College Level the children of the poor Behari widows. Other girls joined them, as Dr. Malati Rosario, Miss Mina Halder, working in medical work and helping school children in their studies."
INVOLMENT ON 1971 LIBERATION WAR 1971
"Liberation Year: the most difficult time. I was in that time in Baniarchock (Gopalganj) and I stayed for all the year 1971 long in Baniarchock trying to defend the people attacked by the Pakistan troops, and taking the responsibility for their lives. Every day one village after another were attack and put in fire: every day wounded people have came to our Dispensary. We had in Baniarchock a Dispensary with electric generator and X-Ray Machine. So we could treat many people. A particular contribution we could give to the "Muktibahini" as many of them were wounded, also very badly. We had a good Doctor and fine Sister Nurse; and as the soldiers used to come during the day and disappeared during the night , we accepted the wounded "Muktibahini" at night time, when we were sure that the soldiers do not come. By motorcycle I used to go to Faridpur to meet the Pakistan Major for information and knew the situation. So, for the help I gave to the Bangladesh guerilla I was called “Muktibahinir Muktibahini".
"An important activity was started on 1982 and it is going on: the Sewing center of Shelabunia, beside other sewing and embroidery work, we started the work of "Nackshi Kantha". It was started with the idea to reach the Arts level, and the aim was achieved, with the help of Surayia Rahman, who accepted the proposal to train some of our girls. The work of the girls reached such a artistic level that, with the intervention also of the Nackshi Kantha" of Mrs. Surayia Rahman, we could do four "Nackshi Kantha" Exhibitions in three towns of Italy: Vicenza: 2-10 September 1989: at "Monte di Pietà Hall". Mestre (Venice): 3-12 May 1991: at "Laurentianum", Mestre (VENEZIA) Nackshi Exibition. Rome: 8-19 December 1994: at "Domus Mariae" of the Catholic Action. Rome: April 2002: at “Domus Mariae” of the Catholic Action."
CULTURAL PROGRAMMES IN BANGLADESH
"I have been always busy to foster the cultural manifestations of Bangladesh, as "Jatra", "Kirtan", "Pala Gan". "Kabi Gan", trying to prepare new and best artists in the field of the arts. In particular way I worked in the field of these manifestations and of Varieties in Shelabunia, where my brothers and sisters, in occasion of our mother 80th birth year, gave me a contribution to build up a Theatre Hall, where often we conduct variety show of songs, dances, dramas, recitations, etc. This Hall gave and gives to our children a great opportunity to prepare themselves to be artists on the stage a to introduce themselves into society."
ACTIVITIES IN ITALY
"Cultural and Literature Activities in Italy were organized and carrying on by Saint Vincent D’Paul Society and Tagore Studies Center. Rigon Family established on 18th February 1993 the Tagore Studies Center under the president-ship of Mr. Francesco Rigon, with the aim to study, propagate the Bangladesh Culture and Literature in Italy through the publication of Bangladesh and other countries Literature translated into Italian and fostering programs of intervention of Bangladeshi artists in Italy: organizing every year a Tagore Day, where competent orators give speeches on Bengali themes and artists do programs on Bangladesh culture and literature. A considerable work was done on publishing field, not only with the translations, but also with books in culture and literature subjects and reports and studies on numerous journeys done by interested people in various countries. CULTURAL PROGRAMS ABROAD 1974.10th-20th October: to speak on Tagore in Florence, Livorno, Grosseto, Città di Castello, Milan, Venice. 1986.23rd November: "ZECCHINO D'ORO" in Bologna (Italy) with Awrin Huque, who won the International Children Songs Competition. 1987.19th-September-2nd October: In Italy with the artists of Shilpakala Academy to perfom the Ballet "Nackshi Kanthar Math" of Jasim Uddin in Rome, Florence, Faenza, Cernusco (MI), Milan, Venice, Vicenza. 1991.15th November-2nd December: with 12 children inItaly to dance in the International Songs Competition in Bologna, guided by Mrs. Shamim Ara Nipa. 1997.19th June: Mrs. Shamim Ara Nipa an Miss Mukta in Vicenza to dance on the Olympic Theatre of Vicenza. 2000.2nd January: Mrs. Shamim Ara Nipa with 14 children went to Rome in Paul VI Hall, in Vatican, to dance in occasion of the world children 2000 Jubilee. 2008.3rd November: Bangladesh Honorary Cityzenship for Social, Cultural & Liberation War Contribution to Bangladesh. 2008.2oth November: Wrishiz shilpi goshti Award. For the Contribution to the Liberation War 1971"
"Knowing the importance of the education and believing that the education is the golden way to solve the problems of poverty since 1958 I tried to organize people in Italy to help our poor student to go on with their studies and to achieve the highest degree possible. Going on the program was well organized by some persons and Institution in Italy, as: Saint Vicent De Paoli Conferences: by Mr & Mrs Ennio & Annunziata Bagarella in Vicenza: 1976. Tagore Stuy Center: by Mr. Francesco Rigon in Venice:1993. Comitato di Gemellaggio e Cooperazione fra i popoli: Mr & Mrs. Romano & Laura Maglioni:1977. Florence Arch-Diocese: Msgr. Ajmo Petracchi and Mr. & Mrs. Mario & Luisa Petracchi. Mestre (Venice) Lions Club: started the Campaign of Students Sponsorship on 25th May 1991 with also the publication of a book: “LIBERARE LA VITA” (Free the Life) with concerned articles and pictures of a known artist. With the help of these Institutions we could and at present we can give help to thousand and thousand of students, without consideration of creed and religion."
ST. PAUL'S HOSPITAL
"After the closing of the Hospital in Shelabunia on 1982, we wanted to reopen the St. Paul Hospital, accepting the ideas do Fr. Alberton, to build a Hospital for the poor, in which, the coming poor people, could get their whatever they need for their treatment: Doctors, Nurses, services, medicines, laboratory, X-Ray. Getting a good Doctor. Dr. Francis Rosario and his wife we could start to operate a full shape Hospital, where people , a very little expenses could and can get their treatment. On 1996 an Italian Organisation came to our help in the Hospital, giving us a Doctor. Dr. Binay Das, and a technician, Mr. Swapan Das, and helping us to equip the Hospital with the necessary machines and instruments, as Ultra Sound Machine, E.C.G. machine, a complete set of up to date instrument for the Laboratory Examination. Plus engaged a group of ladies to the villages for Primary Health Care and Adult Education: 20 Ladies in ten villages, taking care each lady of 200 families."
1954 - Beginning of St. Paul's High School Building.
1956 - Building of Chila Small Church.
1957 - March 3rd - Inauguration of St. Paul’s High School.
1959 - Building of the Small Church in Sonadanga.
1959 - Building of Twenty Pukka House for poor people in Mariampara - Khulna.
1960 - Building of Fathers’ Residence in St. Joseph’s School – Khulna.
1961 - Building of the Church of Borshapur.
1961 - Building of the St. Joseph's Press - Khulna.
1962 - Building of the Bishop’ s House – Sonadanga.
1966 - Building of the Social Training Centre – Jessore.
1981 - Building if the Hall in Shelabunia for Cultural Activities.
1986 - Building of the Doctors’ Residence in Shelabunia.
1989 - Extension of St. Paul’s High School - Shelabunia.
1989 - Beginning of the Building of St. Paul's Church.
1990 - Extension of Girls’ Boarding and Sewing Center – Shelabunia.
1992 - November 8th - Blessing of the Church of Shelabunia.
1995 - Beginning of the Building of Chalna Church.
1997 - December 19th – Blessing of the Church of Chalna.
1998 - Beginning of the building of Kamardanga Church.
1999 - December 12th - Blessing of Kamardanga Church.
12.12.99 - Blessing of the Church of Kamardanga
17.01.00 - Starting of demolition of the old tin shed school building of St. Paul's H.S.
2000 - February17th - Beginning of the new building of St. Paul' High School.
2001 - July: The building of the St. Paul's School is completed.
2002 - Starting of Extention of Girls Boarding in Shelabunia-Mongla Port.
2005 - Building of Bajua Church. 2005 - Building of Kanainagar Church.
2006 - Building of Chila Church. 2007 - Building of Mongla College Library.
2007 - Building of the new Parish Office. 2008 - Building of Machamra Church.
2008 - Building of Machmara New School. For the buildings in Shelabunia a particular mention should be done to Florence, to Card. Silvano Piovanelli and Msgr. Ajmo Petracchi: as in all buildings of the Shelabunia Parish there is the help hand of Florence: Church, School, Hospital, Sewing Center, Boardings, Fathers-Sisters Houses.