WALTER MONTEIRO – In pursuit of perfection
By Antony D’Cunha
Walter Monteiro, a product of renowned St. Aloysius College – Mangalore, founder member of MCCP, Toastmaster/Compere far excellent, Composer of Songs & Hymns, writer, director & actor of award winning Konkani play “Xeghunanchi Sunn” and many such creations and now a driving force behind the success of “OZANAM HOME FOR THE AGED” at Udupi, under the aegis of Society of St. Vincent De Paul, pioneering the concept of addressing old age blues, – is a perfectionist at work fully committed in taking any task to its logical conclusion.
Walter Mark Monteiro, popularly known as Walter Monteiro, was one of the early pillars of MCCP who actively supported and contributed for the Parish and MCCP activities besides being its founder member. He shouldered the responsibilities of MCCP in the capacity of President during the year 1994 – 1995. His vast knowledge, acumen, keen interest on creative ideas and committed approach towards social and cultural activities makes him different from others in the line.
We have pleasure in presenting the life story of this great personality right from his childhood in 1940s at Valencia, Mangalore, followed by academic career, extra-curricular activities, Parish activities & community services at home turf, life at “Bombay – the maximum city” in the 1960s, home away from home in the Sultanate of Oman from 1969 to 1999 and back to the homeland to settle down at Udupi to lead semi-retired life by actively involving in socially relevant activities of the society.
EARLY LIFE, SCHOOL & COLLEGE DAYS IN MANGALORE
Born to Joseph and Jane Monteiro on 22 October, 1942 in Valencia, he has the distinction of receiving the First Holy Communion from “Servant of God” Msgr Raymond F C Mascarenhas – the founder of Bethany Sisters Congregation, in 1948 at Bendur. He did his elementary school at St. Joseph Elementary School, Kankanady, and higher elementary at St. Joseph Higher Elementary School at Jeppu.
He had the privilege of pursuing his higher secondary up to graduation in B.Com at the renowned St. Aloysius College, Mangalore. During his academic career he was actively involved in various extra-curricular activities such as debating society, elocution, commerce association, Economic Geography Exhibition and also represented at Inter-College competitions. Being Secretary of Commerce Association he has successfully conducted and organised the ECOMONIC GEOGRAPHY EXIHITION. He was also involved in Fine Arts Society, and his active participation in composing, singing songs & acting made him confident in refining these skills.
Besides attaining academic excellence, he was actively involved in Parish activities as Altar Boy during childhood and in Marian Sodality and related youth movement in later days.
The above institutions instilled strong values in him during his formative years and those values strongly reflected in his later life & professional career.
BOMBAY – THE LAUNCHING PAD
Armed with B.Com degree and related talents in debating & fine arts, he like any aspiring young professional of his time, landed in Bombay – the dream city of yesteryears, in the 1960s and almost succeeded in opting for a course in Film direction, Editing & Screenplay writing at the Films Division but could not pursue due to unforeseen situations. That made him to look for job opportunities and pursued his banking career at the Foreign Department of Canara Bank, Bombay, for almost 5 years.
GULF DREAM – Destination Muscat
“LONG AGO I SAW MY MAMMA CRYING, ‘CAUSE I WAS GOING FAR AWAY FROM HOME. STILL I AM FAR AWAY AND SHE CRIES NO MORE, ‘CAUSE OMAN IS HOME AWAY FROM HOME !” – this was how he narrated his almost 30 years stay in the Sultanate of Oman.
Muscat gave him wide and varied exposure in the areas of banking, ministries and Ministry related projects ranging from Agriculture, Marine/Fisheries, Petroleum and Minerals, where he shouldered senior responsibilities in Finance.
Here he found his first love and married to Prescilla, daughter of Francis and Cecilia Dante of Udupi on 2nd January, 1972.
She also worked for major corporate houses during her stay in Muscat.
STS. PETER & PAUL CHURCH AND PARISH ACTIVITIES
His involvement in the capacity of Eucharistic Minister, Parish Council Member, Church Choir & inter-community Carol singing, Food festivals, etc., had immense influence on then Parish Priest Fr. Augustine Antao. Other memorable events include inauguration of new church building and related activities where his active role generated impressive results. He was actively involved during the maiden historic visit of His Lordship Rt. Rev. Dr. Aloysius D’Souza, Bishop of Mangalore, which is evident by the “Felicitation Address” he composed for the function held at the Holy Spirit Church, on the 8th of November, 1997.
On the occasion of bidding farewell to Fr. Augustine Antao, on 11th February, 1999 he wrote touching Good Bye note to Fr. Augustine, on behalf of Mangalorean Community, under the caption “EXPRESSIONS REALIZED – REALITY EXPRESSED” and that was a golden tribute ever to be remembered by the community.
MCCP – the bond that binds us together
Walter Mark Monteiro, popularly known as Walter Monteiro, was one of the early pillars of MCCP who actively supported and contributed for the Parish and MCCP activities besides being its founder member. He shouldered the responsibilities of MCCP in the capacity of President during the year 1994 – 1995. His vast knowledge, acumen, keen interest on creative ideas and committed approach towards social and cultural activities makes him different from others in the line. His relentless quest for community welfare has left an everlasting impression in the hearts and minds of MCCP family.
GOOD BYE TO OMAN
At the end of his 30 years stay in the Sultanate of Oman, the couple wrote following touching lines in their Good Bye note to the MCCP family on 14.11.1999:
“And so, finally we have decided to pack,
On our way, from beautiful Oman to home back.
While we long once again to you personally greet,
We shall carry with us, your memories so sweet.
It seems only yesterday, that we met first,
‘Cause your true friendship has been every fresh at best.
May this freshness in years to come last,
Since future stays through kindness of past.
You breathed for us love and concern at length,
Your help always gave our hands strength.
And so as we journey, towards the thousandth mile,
In esteemed gratitude to you, our hearts will ever smile.
As we march towards the third millennium,
Let us together open a new chapter, new volume.
To fill in the world around us, every vacuum,
Striving for Lord’s plans to nurture and bloom.
It has been a privilege of knowing you,
Since YOUR ARE A VERY SPECIAL YOU.
Thank you and God Bless You.”
With that kind of attachment to MCCP, the couple still cherish the golden moments they once spent with MCCP family.
RETIRED LIFE IN UDUPI AND POST RETIREMENT CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE SOCIETY
Settling down in Udupi gave him opportunities to focus his attention towards the society and that motivated him to join the Society of St. Vincent De Paul in the year 2000. Since then no looking back, he has moved forward step by step and now he is the President of Udupi Area Council which entails him the responsibility as President of St. Vincent De Paul Ozanam Trust and its novel project – OZANAM HOME FOR THE AGED.
To mark the Ozanam Home Silver Jubilee event they raised funds and completed building “Miracles” for additional inmates followed by “Mariya Kripa” convent/residence for Sisters of Bethany congregation to take daily care of inmates and a new house for Chaplain. However, the current challenges include finishing works at Ozanam complex, Medical Fund for critical diseases, and laying of inter-locking pavement/pathway facility at Ozanam Home for which funds to be generated. Perhaps MCCP’s 20th
anniversary celebrations may be an opportune occasion to review and focus on the possibility of some funds for the above noble cause, opines Walter Monteiro.
AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS FOR CREATIVE WORK
During his Bombay days he sang
for All India Radio in the group with his 2nd cousin the famed (late) Jerome D’Souza, and
was also associated with Eddie Padwal, Ruby Pasannha, and other well known artistes of his time.
His plays in Konkani DHODEN KORAR (1962), XEGHUNANCHI SUNN (1966), AMGHER THUMGHER (1999 – dedicated to MCCP) and other short plays like JEZU MELLO, JERICONTHLO ROSTHO, GURKARASO MENDHU KHELO, END POINT, ROG ANI MOGH, etc., earned him lot of respect from the community.
XEGHUNANCHI SUNN (Sunekh Swaghath – earlier version) competed at Konkani Natak Sabha and won first place for best play, best director, best actor and best actress. This was the very first play where ladies and gents acted together in a play staged at Don Bosco. For this play Jerome D’Souza, composed “MAI MONNTHA THUN XEGHUNANCHI SUNN” which is still very much alive during wedding ceremonies. Thanks to Jerome D’Souza, for this golden composition. This play was staged at St. Mary’s Mazagaon
– Bombay, and also in Ruwi on 14th November, 1996 during Henry Martis’ tenure as President for
which Walter Monteiro, has expressed his wholehearted gratitude to Henry Martis and among others Oswald Soares, Benedict Pereira, Apolinaris D’Souza, Ozzy (Oswald) D’Souza, Stany D’Souza for making this play successful and memorable. Moreover, this play was staged in an open ground at Udupi on 13th February, 2011 in connection with Udupi
Conference Golden Jubilee projects and the ground was full.
He published the dramas XEGHUNANCHI SUNN and AMGHER THUMGHER in the book (print media) form in January, 2003. His other collection was BASAYLO DESH SODOYLO SOVNSAR.
Though the achievements are many, we are not able to accommodate all of them at this point of time.
We at MCCP would like to take this opportunity to wish the couple, good health and happy life.