WALTER MENDONCA – An actor par excellence
By Antony D’Cunha
WALTER MENDONCA – an actor par excellence, is a man of many parts and acting comes naturally to him. He gets fully engrossed into his role with fitting voice, required diction and body language to suit the character. All that he needs is an equally good support from his actor friend – Walter Pinto. It is a common belief among regular audience that any MCCP event is incomplete without Walter – Walter duo on stage in action. The magic of his power packed performance with acclaimed artistes from our homeland at the MCCP’s mega event “UTSAV” still remains fresh in the memory of audience. His active role in “Kudla Friends” platform, “SPANDANA” theatre group, and involvement in many other Kannada & Tulu speaking community social activities speak volume about his broad outlook on community welfare and related interests on society, culture, art, music, and community development.
Motivated by his grandmother’s bedtime stories, Walter developed keen interest in theatre at a very young age and that ignited his passion for theatre, script writing, & cultural activities. He surprised the audience in and around Puttur, at the tender age of 13 by his exemplary performance in a Konkani drama “Bostuchen Karbar” and won the hearts & minds of common people.
As a young school lad, he wrote several short plays & skits focusing on society & communities, and staged those early plays & skits on a makeshift stage set in a Cow shed owned by his cousin as an experimental theatre shows. Among the scores of plays presented there, “Hana Thanda Hennu” was the one to top the list. He would call the Doctors from Government Hospital and Engineers from the local PWD setup as VIP audience to evaluate his works and review of performance.
He did his primary education at Mai De Deus School, Puttur, followed by High School studies at St. Philomena’s High School and pursued his graduation in Commerce at St. Philomena’s College. There he achieved his academic goals and fuelled his passion for theatre & singing. In 1969 he won the Best Singer Award at college level.
Don Bosco Club, Puttur, gave him platform to refine his talents and showcase his works. He staged more than 20 skits and plays in the Church compound at Puttur such as “Bombai da Magey”, “Saithini Yer”, “Bhattrena Kithapathi” to name a few. His participation in the Konkani Natak Sabha drama competition, for a play “Salamachen Karbar”, got him the second best actor award at the Mangalore Diocesan level.
Married to Jacintha Fernandes of Milagres Parish, Mangalore, in November 24, 1982, they are blessed with two children – the elder one son – Jake, is an Accounts and Finance professional pursuing his career in the finance field and the younger one daughter – Jui, is a model, brand coordinator and an ex-cabin crew member. They are a happy family, each one performing their respective roles. His wife – Jacintha, being the driving force behind the success, continues to extend her moral support and strong backup for the family.
Walter started his career as a firewood dealer back home and then joined Vijaya Bank, under the guidance of his mentor (late) Fr. G.L. D’Cruz. After almost 11 years of professional life back home, he relocated to Muscat in 1983 and took up finance career in PHOTOCENTRE LLC. He is currently running his own business enterprise providing solutions in sound and security systems field.
He was honoured during MCCP’s mega event “UTSAV” at the Al Falaj Hotel Auditorium, on April 27, 2012 for his life time achievement. He has shared stage with renowned Tulu & Kannada Film Stars such as B.S. Ramanna Rai, in his younger days. Among other interests, his keen interest in emceeing various programs keeps him busy.
During his early days at Muscat he was fully involved in cultural activities with the (then) Muscat Konkani Cultural Centre (MKCC). Among the early renditions, the one-act play “Chocolate” directed by him still remains favourite among people, followed by “Sequeiram Driver” was another runaway success in which Walter played the protagonist – Sequeiram. “Jeevith” was another successful drama staged in Muscat and that was also directed by him. His association with MCCP has been a very fruitful experience with variety of comedy roles, skits & dramas, written, directed and enacted for the cultural entertainment of MCCP audience over the years.
While he is happy about his achievements, he humbly submits that he owes a great deal of gratitude to his grandmother – Agnes Mendonca and his mentor – (late) Fr. G.L. D’Cruz, for their timely guidance and motivation. God and God gifted talents have been his source of power & strength to entertain people with acting, writing and directing shows. He would like to thank the God Almighty for the enormous blessings showered on him. He extends his gratitude to the people for being his source of support & inspiration throughout this exciting journey of life. He has very high regards for MCCP community and its past & present leaders and successive executive committees. He would ever remain grateful to MCCP, the whole team and well wishers alike.
In conclusion, he has appealed the younger generation to shoulder responsibilities & take up active role in MCCP so that the older generation can pass on the Baton in the hands of able and young team to show new routes to the old roots for growth and sustainability.