Tag Archives: #Tribute

Tribute to my Uncle Joe

He was an all rounder….good at sports , an ability to speak with flair , good at sales , a family man to the core and was able to get along with people .

As a sportsman, he was good at cricket hockey and athletics. In his younger days his bowling was comparable to the Indian medium pacer Ramakant Desai. He was told by one of the Indian cricketers, that he could try for selection into the Indian team. However Joe was more interested in hockey and there were slim chances of getting into the Indian team which was the best team internationally. I remember playing table tennis with him and just could not take his spin service .

His ability to speak helped in sales and being a success in insurance work . He was the leading sales person for the Encyclopaedia Britannica , which earned him trips to Mexico, Austria and Egypt.

An interesting aspect of his speech was his ability to speak in the way we speak in India with a typical clarity in delivery , but then break into the accent of the British when in England.

He studied in Pune at the St Vincent’s High School and won many awards in Athletics.

He then did his education at the University in Bombay .

Just like his father , he moved to East Africa where he served for some years.

When the trouble started, and non Africans were forced to leave , he moved to UK. He settled well facing all the challenges of starting life in a new place. His family consisted of his wife Margaret and three children , Clifford , Daphne and Valerie.

My early memories of him was his stature. He looked a bit like Ted Kennedy and I was happy when any of my family told me , that I looked like him .

There was an interesting incident when he visited us in Bombay (now Mumbai) without informing us .

It was late at night and he rang our door bell . My Dad , a doctor , enquired ‘Kaon hai?‘ in Hindi (Who is it ?) He replied “ Mai , patient hoo “ ( I’m a patient ).

My Dad never liked night calls and went only for his patients he knew . So he replied . “Doctor nai hai “ ( Doctor is not at home )

Joe broke into laughter and said “ Micky it’s me Joe “ and we all had a good laugh .

His home in London was always open to guests from all over the world . London happens to be a convenient stop for the guest travellers who visited him .

He enjoyed sea food and fresh fruit in Goa . He and Margaret also stayed with us in Mumbai but preferred Goa.

In his latter years he visited Goa from October to March, and just loved it , thus escaping the winter.

My wife and I were privileged to visit him and the family in London a few years ago. All my extended family had already been his guest .

He was a brave person and faced the challenges of failing health well . My last words with him from India was praying on the phone with him Psalm 23 ,

‘the Lord is my Shepherd.’

He then passed away peacefully . I was surprised that he had prepared the readings from scripture and hymns for his mass. I will never forget him …the dashing and brave person .