Mangaluru, March 9, 2016: Octavia Albuquerque the doyen of the Bolar Tile factory of old, passed away on Wednesday March 9, 2016 . Though she was ailing during the last few months, her end came suddenly in a peaceful manner with her family and dear ones in attendance and the consolations of the Catholic Church present. Funeral Mass will be held at Rosario Cathedral on Thursday, March 10 at 4 pm.
The historical ’Manor’ - ’Sea View’ that was base of the Bolar Tile Kingdom was presided over by the doyen of the tile family, ’Octaviabai’; Octavia Albuquerque the petrel in politics, and the widow of late Cyril Albuquerque.
A sketch of late Octavia Albuquerque :
Mrs. Octavia Albuquerque, was 92 years (Born:18.02.1924), Indeed a remarkable lady, ex-MLC and an early Rajyotsava awardee(1967), down to earth and unassuming personality who lends a helping hand to anyone in need. A most approachable pleasant personality rarely found among her caliber.
Mrs. Octavia Albuquerque said, "I had so much at home and I had a deep desire to share things. I had a socialist mind despite living in a capitalist environment. This is the force behind all my work and this very thing has driven every aspect of all my life all these years".
The daughter of a Deputy Collector and later the daughter-in-law of the late Felix Pai-Albuquerque, the famous pioneer tile magnate of Mangalore, she got the exposure,encouragement and opportunity to be a philanthropic person. She was an outstanding student of the famous St.Agnes where she did her BA and married in 1944. Known always as a devoted wife, she says her husband the late Cyril Albuquerque too was a guiding force and encouragement to her in all her activities.
Unfortunately he passed away in 1974, yet she did not deter from her set goals of serving the society and nation.Her exclusive training at the Institute of Public Co-operation New Delhi, in Social Work stood her in good stead. Her recollection of 15th August 1947-Independence Day, is vivid and exhilarating. In her words " Nehru’s voice heralding at the stroke of midnight night, ’when the whole world was a sleep India awoke to life and freedom’.
The crowds that gathered at ’Sea View’ our ancestral home at Bolar to hear the radio message were wonderful. Vimto sweet drink was prepared by us in big pots,milk biscuits and sweets distributed. Our decorated lorries took the crowds to Maidan (now Nehru Maidan) I too was with them. Joyful slogans rent the air ’Bharat Ki jai’, ’Mahatma Gandhi Ki Jai’,’Jawarharlal Nehru Ki Jai’ and so on. The Tricolor flag was held high, fire works bombed the air, bells and conchs were sounded in jubilation, it was a splendid day most memorable".
A few of the innumerable achievements of Mrs. OctaviaAlbuquerque; it is impossible to attempt to list more here; Gold Medal-Pro Ecclasia Pontifice, for service to God and Country from Pope Paul VI in 1967. The Minnisota Award USA for work to rehabilitate Alcoholics. The International Women’s Year Award from Voice of America. ’Honorary Citizen of Tonowanda’ New York State. USA. ’Woman of the Year’ 2002 from American Biographical Institute. On several occasions in the past she has been recommended for the ’Padma Bhushan’ award, she is yet to receive it, perhaps her focus on the good of the down trodden, has not given her the opportunity to promote her self.
’Silver Elephant’ the highest award in Bharat Scounts and Guides India presented by the President in 1980. Medal of Merit for Karnataka State Bharat Scouts and Guides. "Individual of the year for work for Disabled" 1994. Tulasi Sanman Award - Distinguished personality of Dakshina Kannada 1997. She has played a yeoman role in Mangalore Municipal Council as councillor for 2 terms and VP for over five years.Member, Mysore State electricity Council ; where she worked effectively for rural electrification and promoting the use of IP sets for agriculture.
Her services in the Indian National Congress at the National, State and District level is of very marked nature, she was known as a confidant of Indira Gandhi. Her life even now is abundantly studed with awards, recognitions and people pro-active welfare works that defy description and complete listing. It is further best left to the knowledgeable and interested readers to search for more details. It will indeed be a great project and will not disappoint. All whose lives she has touched hope she be blessed to greater heights with happy sun set years.