Compiled by I J Saldanha Shet
Mangaluru, Jan 13, 2021: When people are near or more than a century in age, it naturally amazes us. Recently, in Mangaluru, a few have come in for admiration and affection, like Miss Ivy D’Souza, who celebrated 105 years having been born on december 9, 1915; then we had Mr.Joseph (Joe) Gonsalves 99 years old, born January 1, 1922. Both of these are from our city here and active, especially ’Uncle Joe’ who concerns himself with social welfare and moves around to assist traffic control. There are many more for sure and just today, the city’s well known historian and community genealogist Dr.Michael Lobo of Bijai fame has come up with more to be highlighted, so hold your amazement to be spread well. Take a look at one current hero.
January 12, 2021, happens to be the birthday of a gentleman of Mangalorean origin named William Andrade. He was born on January 12, 1916, he is indeed a hundred and five - 105 years old! William Andrade hailed from the coastal village of Kemman in Kallianpur, now in Udupi district – about 40 miles (65 km) north of Mangalore, a historical place known to most Mangalore people.
The Andrade family from which William hailed was one of the leading families of the Kallianpur area. In the early 19th century. In the second half of the 1830s, some of the leading families of Kallianpur, including the Andrades – took the initiative and shifted their allegiance from Goa to the Apostolic Vicariate of Verapoly (near Cochin), whose bishop was appointed by the Vatican.
By the 1840s, Mangalore was erected into an independent Apostolic Vicariate. Like most other families of the coastal towns and villages of those times, the Andrades would have been primarily agriculturists. They are likely to have owned acres of paddy fields and coconut plantations – and made their living from the crops that they cultivated. However, some members of the Andrade family did venture into other professions, especially government service.
Early Times : William – like many other young men of his generation – sought a career in ‘greener pastures’ though actually William’s native Kallianpur, with its plethora of rich agricultural fields and coconut groves, was in fact much ‘greener’ than the metropolitan cities where Mangaloreans were moving in large numbers. Though Bombay was the biggest attraction, William opted for Karachi – and arrived there as a young man in 1940. Karachi was then a part of British India – and was the second largest city in Bombay Presidency – after Bombay, now Mumbai.
From about 1900 till almost the time of Partition, Mangaloreans had been steadily settling at Karachi. They were involved in a variety of professions. There were auditors, engineers, schoolmasters, businessmen (including agents for Mangalore tiles), employees of private firms, persons associated with the shipping profession, and of course government officials, including civil administrators, customs officers, and sub-judges. When William Andrade landed in Karachi at the age of 24 in 1940, he initially joined an insurance company with potential for growth very good.
The early 1940s marked the era of World War II William applied – and was duly selected – for a job at Karachi Airport with the Anglo-Dutch Oil company, Burmah Shell, at Karachi Airport. His primary assignment was supervising aircraft maintenance operations for all the Allied military aircraft that landed in Karachi en route to the war-front in the Far East. The war years also provided him an opportunity to train in the “Department of Investigative Services”. Its function was to screen mail for suspicious or questionable content. After World War II ended, William received promotions to Supervisory and Management positions within various departments in Burmah Shell for the next 25 years till he retired as Customs Liaison Supervisor at the age of 55 – exactly 50 years ago! Today – at the age of 105 – he has been receiving his pension for 50 years, which may be close to a world record. Especially as ‘Burmah Shell’ is no longer in existence!
Marriage : William married Zena D’Souza at Mount Carmel Church, Bandra, in January 1950, Shortly after their wedding, William took his bride to meet his family members at his native village of Kemman, Kallianpur. Zena D’Souza hailed from a Mangalorean family that had settled in Bombay in the early years of the 1900s. She was one of seven children – five daughters and two sons – of Maurice D’Souza and Kathleen nee D’Cunha. Her father was employed in the Postal Department of Bombay Presidency. The family initially lived near Victoria Church, Mahim, but shifted to Bandra in the 1920s and were near Mount Carmel church. It was a marriage that was destined to last for 68 years – till Zena’s death on 1 March 2018.
In the family photograph, on their visit to Kallianpur in 1950 also seen are William’s brother Fr Frederick Andrade, who was serving in the diocese of Ajmer. To his right is William’s mother Anna Rosa Andrade. Bride Zena is next to Fr.Frederick and behind her, with his hand on her shoulder, is William.
Seated next to Zena is William’s sister Evelyn; standing behind her is her husband Marcel Alva. Standing left are William’s brothers Victor and Raymond; seated in front of Victor is his wife Aggie.
The Family : William and Zena had 7 children – four sons Terence (Terry), Clarence (Clarry), Lawrence (Larry), and Christopher – followed by three daughters Jennifer, Nilofer, and Zenwill. All 7 children were born in Karachi between the years 1951 and 1964. For the next 30 years, William and Zena lived in Karachi. Zena taught at St Joseph’s Convent, simultaneously working towards a masters’ degree at Karachi University.
Both were also active in the Mangalorean Association of Karachi. At the end of 1970s, they started the move to Canada. Today it seems many of this family are in Calgary and so on in Canada, in the USA and so on. Life has moved fast for all in this world in the last decade or more.
Grand old Patriarch William Andrade has become a superhero and lives amidst care and love in Calgary, unimaginably fit for his age group. Unfortunately due to this Corona Pandemic and it’s virulence, personal contact is restricted for the right needs and no public celebrations are allowed.
Awaited are better times and surely updates will follow. In the meanwhile ’Mangalore Today’ and it’s readers, along with many around the world extended their very best wishes and prayed that ’All good will follow dear William Andrade and his dear ones too as long as time can tell’. So, three cheers and ’Namaste’ at this time of Joy and Happiness.
Archbishop Emeritus Lawrence Saldanha, who had headed the diocese of Lahore from 2001 to 2011 and is now settled in Toronto, has been a close associate ofn the Andrades in Karachi and Calgary over the years.....On this greate occassion due to Corona protocol in force in Canada, it was not possible to hold celebrations, no doubt there has been a lot of buzz in the air and internet. It is fortunate that a tribute by Archbishop Larry is reproduced below:
A Tribute to the Great Patriarch William Andrade
It is with immense joy that I offer my sincerest congratulations to our seniormost Mangalorean on reaching the exalted milestone of 105 years! I will offer a special Mass of Thanksgiving on 12 January 2021, praising God for the gift of his long and fruitful life !
Since I lived most of my life in Lahore, I had little occasion to meet the Mangalorean community of Karachi. But I do recall making the acquaintance of a few of them in the 195O’s. Among them, Eddie and Mona Aranha, Ronnie Menezes, and Lily D’Sylva. After my Ordination on 16 Jan 1960, I was given a formal reception at Metropole Hotel, Karachi at which a good number of Mangaloreans were present. Willie Andrade as General Secretary was one of the main organizers of the event. He impressed me as a committed and efficient person, very much concerned about the growth and progress of the small but vibrant community. Many years later, I had the pleasure of meeting him again on two visits to Calgary.
I appreciate the extensive information and research made by Dr Michael Lobo and others. They helped me to better understand the strong Catholic family background of the Andrade clan.
I salute the great Patriarch and thank God for all the gifts and blessings bestowed on him over the past 105 years! He has been an inspiration and a blessing for all !
Archbishop Lawrence J Saldanha
12 January 2021