Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus has expressed deep shock at the death of former Principal of Notre Dame College and a US national Father Richard William Timm, saying that Bangladesh will forever miss him.
"I am very sorry to see Father Timm go. He was one landmark in Bangladesh which was visible from all over the country," said the Nobel Laureate in a condolence message on Monday.
Prof Yunus said no disaster in Bangladesh could escape his quickest and the most daring responses and he was the towering symbol of humanitarian work.
Father Timm spent all his life in Bangladesh, always available for anything which will serve the poor, said Prof Yunus.
"I met him in Norte Dame University in April, 2018 in Indiana. I was at the university to give their annual public lecture. I was told by one of the Professors that Father Tim was on the campus. He said that he (Father Timm) apologised that he could not attend the lecture. I immediately wanted to meet him, which I did as soon as I was done with the official programme," Prof Yunus recalled.
He said he was disappointed to see Father Timm in a small old people hostel accompanied by another five old people.
The man who was closest to the people is now far away from the people he loved, Prof Yunus said.
Father Timm wanted to know everything about Bangladesh and the people he knew. "He was on a wheel chair. Nurse repeatedly reminded me not to make him talk. But he would not stop. Finally the nurse decided to take him back to his room."
Prof Yunus said, "I could see how much he missed Bangladesh."
Father Timm, one of the founders of Natre Dame College, Dhaka repeatedly said: “I wanted to die and be buried in Bangladesh. But nobody is listening to me. I am so helpless.”
"Father Timm, you’ll ever remain in the hearts of Bangladeshis. You gave your love for them. They’ll continue to give their love to you. You’ll always be remembered," Prof Yunus said.
"Good bye Father Timm. Bangladesh will forever miss you. You have left your fingerprints in every disaster areas of Bangladesh. May God grant your soul eternal peace," he added.
Father Timm died in the United States at the age of 97.
Father Timm, who played a significant role during the Liberation War, breathed his last at 1:30pm local time in Indiana on Friday.