**************DEVACHEA NAVAN ANI GOEMCARANCHEA MANNANK******************* This blog is an attempt to delve into the traditions, heritage, culture, lore and ambience that spawned an enigma. A state of mind. And to perchance perform a perfunctory probe into the psyche of the Goemcar. ************************************************************************************************* GOEMCAR: Any person anywhere in the world - Goemcar rogtacho!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Bov Manadik Alvaro Loyola Furtado - Niz Goemcar

There comes a time in everyone’s life when the inevitable call comes knocking, sooner or later. As the Grim Reaper arrives, even the brave and the bold must surrender! Beneath death’s black veil, memories are soon forgotten; but there are those few who never really die. Why?

Their lives were sown in toil, and bore much fruit. Such lives stand forever as a living monument for posterity to emulate. Such men don’t die. Late Dr Alvaro de Loyola Furtado, former MLA and President of the then Salcete Municipality, whose 25th death anniversary we observe today is one such.
After his primary studies, young Álvaro joined the Rachol Seminary, where his character was moulded in the best possible manner. In a while, he entered the prestigious St Joseph’s European High School in Bangalore. He passed Inter-Science in the first class securing distinctions and prizes from St Aloysius College. He graduated in Medicine from the Madras Medical College in 1941.
During World War-II, he joined the Indian Medical Service and was in the South East Asia Command for four years, holding the rank of Captain. He was awarded the Burma Campaign Medal for meritorious service. On returning to his peaceful Chinchinim in 1946, he started medical practice, building a large clientele of the rich and poor alike. He keenly tended to the sick. His patients literally worshipped him. He often stirred from bed in the dead of night to provide the healing balm, never pausing to look back for any monetary rewards for his myriad errands of succour.
VERSATILE FAMILY: Dr Álvaro descended from a lineage of illustrious sons of Goa - the Loyolas of Orlim. He was the great grandson of that political thinker and leader, journalist and physician, Dr José Inácio, an intellectual heavyweight, a perceptive editor of A Índia Portuguesa, the mouthpiece of his political party, Partido Indiano. Loyola’s party fought valiantly and fearlessly for civil liberties, much before the dawn of the modern freedom struggle. Despite his large practice and a broad spectrum of interests, the political fire within Dr Álvaro was always at flash point. As founder member of the United Goans (UG), he successfully brought about the merger of four political parties into one. Contesting the elections for Goa’s first Assembly under the banner of UG, he romped home with a thumping majority. In the floor of the august House, his contribution to the proceedings was enormous. He was one of the few who thoroughly did his homework, before he stood to raise a point. Dr Álvaro was a member of the ‘Congresso Provincial de Goa’ and also a member of the delegation that met Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, to apprise him of the aspirations of Goans, for a separate political identity.
SOCIAL WORK: As a citizen, Dr Alvaro was in the forefront of all the progressive and democratic forces. As Mayor, he rendered invaluable service pro bono publico. He delineated a fine network of municipal roads, re-oriented the municipal finances, re-structured its rules and regulations and pressed forward with the construction of the famous Assolnã Bridge over River Sal, by bringing to the notice of the Portuguese Overseas Minister, Commander Sarmento Rodrigues its usefulness and importance in the socio-economic set-up of South Goa.
As a social worker, he was actively involved with the Tuberculosis Health Cell and with the Hospicio. He also rose to become the Chief of ‘Ordem dos Médicos da Índia Portuguesa.’
LITERARY CONTRIBUTION: Dr Alvaro took to journalism from a young age. Fluent in Konkani, Portuguese, English and Latin, he made use of these languages to embellish his style of writing. He was a sharp ‘polemista’, a clear thinker and a prolific writer.
Little wonder that thousands thronged to Chinchinim to pay their last respects to their doctor, friend, philosopher, and guide, August 23, 1981, when his body was laid to rest. But Dr Álvaro proved that death is not the great leveler. In death, he was as resplendent as he was in life!
As the saying in Portuguese goes: “o culto dos mortos é o culto dos vivos” (as we worship the dead, we worship the living themselves). To this great son of Goa who lit a flame that will blaze for long, let’s bow in reverent homage, and pledge to live the way he lived.


In the Herald

COMMENT: Dotor Francisco Colaco has penned a worthy obituary to a worthy son of Goem. Today the state of Goem needs another Alvaro. May his soul rest in peace and may Goem one day soon awaken to the haven that he aspired for it.


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