RAMESWARAM: Fishermen and workers began loading a specially carved 40-feet long, 500-kg weighing teak wood on a sturdy boat at the Rameswaram fishing harbor here on Thursday to be installed as a new ‘flag post’ at the St Anthony’s church in the islet of Katchatheevu on Friday in a ritualistic ceremony.
This specially carved ‘flag post’ for the church at a cost of Rs 1.50 lakh is a unique goodwill contribution by Indian fishermen. The ‘flag post’ will be installed in Katchatheevu before the shrine ahead of the commencement two-day annual thanks-giving festival at St. Anthony’s shrine, which Rameswaram and other neighbourhood fishermen attend every year.
However, after the tragic death of a Tamil Nadu fisherman when Sri Lankan Navy opened fire last year, fishers here had boycotted the annual St Antony’s festival at ‘Katchatheevu’, organised every year by the Jaffna Diocese in Northern SriLanka.
The flag-post could not be taken last year in view of the sudden developments then and hence after preserving the teak wood, it is being taken this year. The church festival would conclude on February 24 morning with a special mass there.
Currently arrangements are going on in full swing here, in coordination with the State Fisheries department, Customs, Revenue, police and other officials, for the safe passage of 2,103 persons of fishermen’s families who have been given permission this year to sail to Katchatheevu on Friday for the church festival.
They include 1,893 men, 357 women, 28 boys and 25 girls, official sources said. The first boat to Katchatheevu carrying the fishermen-pilgrims will leave at 6 am on Friday....