Mangaluru, Nov 23, 2019: Michael Leo Fernandez (83 yrs), a well known retired manager of State Bank of India (SBI), a prolific historian and chronicler of the old time history of the region and preserver of printed information from various sources, passed away November 23, 2019 Saturday noon. His funeral is scheduled on November 24, Sunday at Rosario Cathedral at 4 pm. He leaves behind his wife Marie Lewis of Kallianpur and three sons and their families. He was ailing for a while but led a active life until recently.
Michael was born in 1936 he served in SBI in several parts of the region, he initiated the first SBI branch in Hampankatta and as it’s Manager he innovated schemes for the Agriculturists and became well known to many. He attributed his interest in local history to the services of his ascendants in the city, from a devout Catholic family - he referred to his ancestors as ’Eurasians’ as there was a Spanish connection. His first known ancestor Francesco Fernandez (spelt with a Z, Spanish manner) landed in the old Port of Mangalore, Bundar in around 1735 from Spain, he then married into the local Catholic Konkani community. Michael’s generous social services were perhaps prompted by the fact his ancestors had good education and held high positions in the British administration and judiciary, and the local church. The first pioneer nun and co-founder of the Ursuline Franciscan Sisters (UFS) a full blown indigenous order of nuns, is Mother Nympha Fernandez (1850-1909). She is the daughter of John Francis (1807-1883) who is the eldest son of Francesco. Michael is thus the grandson of Norbert Patrick (born 1853) the younger brother of Mother Nympha and her direct grand nephew - he took much pride in this fact which spurred him on to a generous path to help all people in a friendly way. His dwelling is still in the vicinity of Rosario Cathedral and the Ursuline Heritage House nearby.