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VI pays tribute to former P.E. teacher Mr Laxmi Das Surapaneni

Mr Laxmi Das Surapaneni with Long Jumper Chantel E. Malone on his last visit to the Virgin Islands (VI) in June 2018 when the Commonwealth Games Athletes were being honored. Photo: Dean H. Greenaway aka The Sportsman
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Many in the Virgin Islands have been paying tribute to former Physical Education teacher, Mr Laxmi Das Surapaneni, who died on May 28, 2019 in India.

Fondly referred to as Mr Das, the Indian national taught at the then BVI High School from in the late 70s and also worked at Bregado Flax Educational Centre (BFEC) in Virgin Gorda for some years.

Following his retirement, Mr Das migrated to Canada before returning to his native country, India. He still remained active in promoting sporting activities abroad and also visited the Virgin Islands on several occasions.


Among those paying tribute was Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7).

“My sincere condolences to the family and friends of Lachmi Daz Surapaneni, who taught in the BVI for decades. May his soul rest in peace!” Dr Wheatley wrote on his Facebook page yesterday, May 28, 2019.

Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Honourable Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) wrote on Facebook, “Condolences to the family, he was my teacher, co-worker and friend. May his soul Rest In Peace.”

Others on Facebook recalled that Mr Das had a good sense of humour but was very serious about his work.

According to Mr Bennett Smith, Mr  Das came to the VI from India “as a young man, dedicated a good part of his active life to promoting sports among the local youth. After retiring he still remained active in promoting sporting activities abroad though he returned to visit every now and then. He was a good friend and a wonderful individual.”

Dedicated P.E. Teacher

Meanwhile, Mr Reynold S. O'Neal OBE aka 'Rey', told Virgin Islands News Online that Mr Das was probably one of the first Physical Education teachers in the Virgin Islands.

Mr O’Neal further said over the years he developed a close friendship with Mr Das and they would meet up overseas on various international athletic/Olympic engagements.

The sports administration icon, Mr O’Neal, a 1970 founding member of the British Virgin Islands Athletics Association (BVIAA) and a 1980 founding member of the BVI Olympic Committee, said Mr Das also had a close connection with the Virgin Islands and would return from time to time.

He also said Mr Das was very dedicated individual and played an instrumental role in getting the track prepared for athletic meets.

“He never liked to take up officiating but he would round up the boys and mark out the track. Of course back then we didn’t have synthetic track so every time there was a meet you had to prepare the track.

“He would also make sure that all the equipment for the meet were taken out.”

Mr O’Neal also recalled that the last time Mr Das visited him in the VI he said “You probably wouldn’t see me again.”

“And I said what you talking about man…”

Mr Laxmi Das Surapaneni was cremated today, May 29, 2019 in India.

14 Responses to “VI pays tribute to former P.E. teacher Mr Laxmi Das Surapaneni”

  • ALSO (29/05/2019, 17:54) Like (24) Dislike (0) Reply
    He also thought at the FLPS. Always wondered what happened to Mr.DAS! RIP
  • good man (29/05/2019, 18:01) Like (44) Dislike (2) Reply
    May your soul rest in eternal love from our VI. Heartfelt- “Thanks” for your contributions to our territory over the many years.
  • ABC (29/05/2019, 18:07) Like (36) Dislike (0) Reply
    Overall a good man RIP
  • Outsider (29/05/2019, 20:11) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    Mr. Das was a great P.E. teacher. He taught me a IMPS. He will be greatly missed.
  • vg boy (29/05/2019, 20:25) Like (29) Dislike (0) Reply
    Thank you for pushing me in the direction you did while at BFEC. I’ll always cherish those Pep talks we had. RIP.
  • Memories (29/05/2019, 22:04) Like (19) Dislike (0) Reply
    He thought me at Ebenezer Primary back in the days... always had jokes!
  • Adic (29/05/2019, 23:33) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    Good vibes.....R.I.P
  • VG (30/05/2019, 08:01) Like (19) Dislike (0) Reply
    He was one of the best teacher at bfec.
  • Iike his b**s (30/05/2019, 09:48) Like (2) Dislike (8) Reply

    He was like mvw in some ways, but a good soul RIP MR DAZ

  • rip Mr Das (30/05/2019, 11:04) Like (3) Dislike (13) Reply
    He didn't need status or belongership, he had a country to return to.
  • ELdore Estridge (30/05/2019, 11:19) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    My deepest sympathy to the bereave family of Das.
    He was indeed a good man.
    Very dedicated and hard working man.
    He will be greatly missed by me and many more.
    That sad news really touched me this morning.
    He was my favorite teacher indeed.
    • I agree (30/05/2019, 11:34) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      Mr. Das was a good soul, always pleasant and approachable, and humble. He was a people's person.
      And your comments are genuine, Eldore. I share your sentiments.
  • FLPS (30/05/2019, 15:35) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    He teach us up here FLPS 20years ago he was my favorite PE teacher hands down he had love kids n he he use to treat us was good time...

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