Mangaluru, Aug 21, 2015: Helen Rego (nee Aemiliana Souza) a beloved resident of Derebail, passed away on August 19, 2015; she would have been 108 years old in october. She lived at Barbail, in Derebail Mangaluru.
Born on October 11, 1907, Helen had not much of an education and struggled for life bringing up seven children with income from selling jasmines grown on the one-acre family plot at Barebail. Since the early death of her husband, Eugine Rego (1970), she girdled herself to bring up her children, got them settled and eventually partitioned the family property so that the sons could pursue their lives as nuclear families.
Incidentally, Helen’s husband was a multi tasker and did many jobs. Helen, about 19 years ago had a fall which dislocated her hip bone. Considering her advanced age, doctors ruled out correctional surgery and confined her to bed, except for short breaks on a wheeled platform. She had undergone cataract surgery. But, otherwise she had good health, appetite, ate by herself with preference for non-vegetarian food, took no medicine, had no diabetes or blood pressure. Helen had a sharp and alert mind and took in situations and reacted firmly.
Among her seven children, six boys (Richard, Dennis, Sylvester, Henry, James, Bernard, Monica), the only survivor is Helen’s eldest daughter, Monica Alice. Born on May 4, 1932, she was married to Joachim Santhan Alvares (Shet) (1915 - 1993) from the Bondel Alvares family settled at Kelarai.
One remarkable thing about Helen was her fiercely hugging the old house. Helen insisted on continuing to live in the old house, owned by her Bengaluru-based daughter-in-law, Mabel, where her small bedroom gave her westward view through a small window. Helen continued to live in this old house till the last. So, the care-givers had decided that old age home was not an option. Perhaps she would have died long ago if we had put her in an ashram said her care givers.