Global sugar expert passes away

Staff Reporter – 

Dr Munian ‘Radha’ Krishnamurthy, whose contributions to the sugar industry and the South Indian community in Fiji have been widely acknowledged, passed away in Bangalore, India on June 27. He was 78 years old.

His elder son Siva and son-in-law Ilango Krishnamoorthy (Director, Mercury Printz) were with Dr Munian at the time of his death.

He is survived by his wife Sarada, three sons (including Murali), a daughter (Sakthi), three daughters-in-law (including Dr Rita Krishnamurthy of AUT) and nine grandchildren.

Born in Ba, Fiji, he was the youngest of eight children, encouraged by who he pursued higher education and brought pride and honour to the family, especially his mother Bonamma. He was a graduate of Annamalai University located in the Holy City of Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu.

His long service in Fiji sugar industry brought him various positions, commencing with the then Colonial Sugar Research (CSR), the then South Pacific Sugar Mills and later the Fiji Sugar Cooperation.

Respected as a pioneer in the sugar sector, he developed tissue culture techniques, which resulted in turning a handful of original species of sugarcane into thousands of varieties. These innovations earned him respect and accolades throughout the world.

Dr Munian was a founding member of the original Fiji Labour Party and the Then India Sanmarga Ikya Sangam.

The worldwide growth of the Sangam has helped Indo-Fijians to preserve, protect and promote South Indian traditions and culture, especially that of Tamil Nadu.

His erudition and high calibre and professional conduct inspired the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to assign him to Sri Lanka and later to Thailand.

Following his retirement, Dr Munian settled in Bangalore but visited Auckland with his wife often to be with his children and grandchildren.

Ilango Krishnamoorthy said that Dr Munian was the main source of strength and inspiration in the construction of the Thiru Subramaniyar Aalayam in the South Auckland suburb of Mangere, which was officially inaugurated on May 3 (Indian Newslink, May 15, 2015).

Photo 

Dr Munian (Radha) Krishnamurthy

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