Hermann Moegling, a missionary who started the first Kannada newspaper in Mangalore, is significant because he raised the standard of living of the people, especially through vocational training, said B.M. Hegde, physician and former Vice-Chancellor, Manipal University, on Thursday.

Speaking at the celebrations to mark the 200th birth anniversary of Moegling at the Karnataka Christian Education Society (KCES), he said: “Moegling was 200 years ahead of his time. An individual can be remembered after his lifetime either by doing something that can be written about, or by writing something that will be read. Moegling did both,” he said. A book Eine Resie in die Religionen in German, and A Journey into Religions (in English) by B.M. Hegde was released at the function.

Peter Kaundinya, grandson of Anandrao Kaundinya, a pupil of Moegling and the first Brahmin to be embrace Christianity (at the Basel Mission) and who became a missionary, said that his grandfather, Anandrao Kaundinya, had said that “each person should do the best he or she can, in whatever capacity, for the good of society and community”.

He said: “We are overwhelmed by the hospitality in Mangalore, the friendliness with which we have been received… we will never forget being in your midst.”

Moegling (1811-1881) was a German missionary from the Basel Mission, who spent most of his life working in the western regions of Karnataka. He is credited with being the publisher of the first newspaper in Kannada, called Mangalooru Samachara, in 1843. He was awarded a doctorate in Kannada for his work Bibliotheca Carnataca. He has translated other Kannada literature into German, said a press release.

A cultural programme was organised by students.

More In: Mangalore