03 May 2022

"Principiemos", remembering Brother Mateo

Brother Tomás Esteban García, known to all as Brother Mateo, is one of the main people responsible for La Salle Campus Barcelona-URL being currently a university center of international prestige and bringing together nearly 5000 students from around eighty countries. He was the first director of the La Salle School of Telecommunications, the seed of the current Campus, and became a benchmark that has inspired many generations of students.

After 77 years serving as a Brother of La Salle, 40 of them as a member of La Salle Campus Barcelona-URL, Brother Mateo passed away at the end of February at the age of 96. His figure and his legacy have been remembered in an emotional and heartfelt tribute that has been held on May 3, 2022. The event was attended by colleagues and former students who coincided with him, knew him and appreciated him. Gold medalist from the Fundació FUNITEC La Salle, Brother Mateo will be remembered for his incomparable spirit and for being an example of his vocation for service to the Lasallian mission.

The measurement course allowed us to apply theoretical knowledge. I remember that it was the last subject of the degree, since I needed to have a clear theory before I could apply it in practice. Brother Mateo was always available, he was always willing to help"

Albert Domingo, former student of La Salle-URL and CEO of Nextret

A life dedicated to La Salle and to education

During the tribute, which was held in the Conference Hall of La Salle Campus Barcelona, ​​the trajectory of Brother Mateo was recalled and some of those who had him as a teacher, many of them current Campus workers and teachers, recalled moments, experiences and anecdotes shared with him. Brother Canal, Auxiliary Visitor of the Arlep District and President of the FUNITEC Board of Trustees, has reviewed the biography, training and career of Brother Mateo, highlighting his time at the La Salle-URL Campus.

"Brother Mateo was a great manager of silences and an example of how to value human contact with students, always looking us in the eye", explained Carles Garriga who, together with Carlos Ruiz and David Badia —the three current members of the Campus and former students of La Salle-URL and, therefore, students of Brother Mateo— have recalled episodes and moments shared with him and have made a photographic journey through the different facets of the Brother: teacher, manager of shopping and a naturalist who loves butterflies.

I remember Borther Mateo with his black-rimmed glasses, giving us explanations, table by table, about each practice and each device. He did it with a great desire to trasmit his knowledge to us. He was demanding with the results. Later, already immersed in my professional career, I had the fortune to meet him again and to discover that him, the teacher, felt proud of our professional evolution. I owe him the importance of being precise, at work and also in life"

Jordi Badal, former student of La Salle-URL and founder of Parkimeter Technologies

An example of the La Salle education model

Later, Brother Martí, Commissioner of Identity and Mission of La Salle-URL, remembered him as a companion of life in community and as a "great transmitter of joy". On behalf of the Alumni, Andreu Veà, a world leader in the study of the Internet and a graduate in Telecommunications Engineering from La Salle-URL, spoke on behalf of Brother Mateo, highlighting three qualities that everyone should make their own: "Making those around us happy, add value wherever you are and leave a legacy". The painter and illustrator Luís Soldevila, for his part, has presented the special work he has prepared to honor Brother Mateo.

The General Manager of La Salle Campus Barcelona-URL, Josep M. Santos, closed the speeches by summarizing everything that had been said and praising the work of Brother Mateo as an example of the La Salle model of educator: "He perfectly represents the 12 virtues of a good teacher that inspire us to continue working in favor of education". Then, he make way to a more informal meeting space, in which all the attendees shared memories about Brother Mateo, such as his most remembered phrase, the one he used to start his classes: "Principiemos..." ["Let's begin... ."].

All photos in Flickr