By: Mangalorean.com Team, Mangalore
Mangalorean.com brings to its readers an unique love story that started way back in the year 1942. It is a story of love, of fortitude and of perseverance. A story that will inspire those who believe in the institution of marriage and those who do not. The hero and heroine of this story are Albert Louis Sequeira (95 yrs) and Emiliana Sequeira (80 yrs), who are completing 64 years of their blissful married life. They were married on 25th November 1942, by Fr. John Pinto at the church of Sacred Heart Madanthyar.
Mr. Albert Louis Sequeira, born on April 15, 1911 to Lawrence Sequeira Kamath and Sobina Sequeira in Laila Village in Belthangady Taluk, was married to Emiliana Sequeira, daughter of Jacob D?Souza and Anna Mary D?Souza of Arthil, Madanthyar. It was a four days grand wedding, recalls Albert. The bride and the groom traveled to Belthangady which is 8 kilometres from Madanthayar in a bullock cart procession. The bride came with wealth as she was the only child of a landlord, but had to forego the same during land reforms of the government. Both Albert and Emiliana have studied up to the secondary level.
Together they brought 10 beautiful children into this world – Six sons and Four daughters. God has blessed them with 17 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.
Their eldest child Cicilia, married to late Hubert Lobo of Bombay has 2 sons Sunil and Santhosh who are both married. Sunil has a daughter named Joanna who will also be celebrating her 2nd birthday on Nov. 25. At present Cicilia is in Dubai with Santhosh.
Treeza is married to Joseph Coutinho and currently resides at Kulshekar, Mangalore. She has 2 sons, Anil is married to Sonia and together they have a son Alec. Avil is married to Melita. Anil is in Dubai and Avil is in Abudhabi.
Valerian is married to Jessie and settled in Bajpe. His son Vinod is in Dubai and daughters Dina and Veena are both studying.
Henry is married to Leena and is currently engaged in agriculture in Belthangady after spending 25 years in Saudi Arabia. He has two children. Daughter Lolita is married to Jalick and residing in Chennai. Son Lloyd is pursuing his post graduation in Commerce.
Francis is married to Christine and has two sons, Joel and Noel both at present are in Canada. Francis is currently working in South Africa.
Alice is a spinster and is living with her parents.
Walter is married to Felcita and has two children Fiona and Derek. He worked in Dubai for a couple of years and is now engaged in agriculture and owning a Holiday Resort in Belthangady.
Vincent is a Chartered Accountant residing in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with wife Blanche and daughter Rachel.
Gladys the wife of late Patrick Concessao, is working as superintendent in the office of Conservator of Forests, Mangalore. Her daughter Colette is studying Dentistry.
Vijay is married to Prescilla and has two children, Viola and Malcom. Vijay is doing transport business and at present is looking after the parents.
Albert recalls that in those times life was not at all easy. Living in an interior village there was only one bus going to the city and that too was run by charcoal. But even though Albert and Emiliana struggled to bring up their family, they provided good education to all their children and the proof of this is that, they are all happily settled in life. Today, if the Sequeira family is a well known family in all of Belthangady, it is thanks to their parents Albert and Emiliana.
So how did Albert Sequeira manage to bring up his large family all on his own? Explaining to us Albert says that he believes in the dignity of labour and has done all types of businesses from grocery to timber. He had a grocery shop which was considered huge at that time and the goods came all the way from Kadur in bullock carts. He was also dealing in timber and forest contracting in erstwhile South Kanara and Chikmagalur districts.
Besides this, he has been a PWD highways contractor and still remembers working in the Ghat sections in extreme conditions. During this time, he was also the first person to put tar for the betterment of the roads and had around 100 people working under him doing only manual work. He built two bridges in Uppinangadi and Moodbidri, very soon he had a clash with the officials in which he filed the case and won. After this incident he left this work and started his transport business.
His transport business flourished and he had a fleet of Lorries. He remembers buying a first imported King Mercedez Benz – a 20 ton lorry in 1956 and he had to go to Bangalore to register the same as the South Kanara roads were not capable of carrying its load. He also prides himself on owning one among the only two Lambretta scooters that first arrived in 1956 from Italy to Standard Automobiles, Mangalore. The other one was taken away by the Jeppu Workshop Manager; he says. The family transport and timber business continued till late 80s.
Both his working and personal life clearly shows that Albert Louis Sequeira is a self made man with an upright character. His honesty and integrity earned him and his family a good reputation not only in Belthangady, but also in most of Mangalore city where he had business connections.
He was the President of Laila Panchayat, School betterment president, Founder of Karnodi School, he helped to build the school in 1962 by providing extra land and when the school was under construction students were given schooling in their very own house for nearly 5 years. He was also the transport contractor until 1980?s when he handed over his total business to his children. Till today they are carrying on this business.
In all church activities Albert Sequeira was the first to volunteer and was also the director of a few co-operative societies in Belthangady. Since he was the only one having lorries at that time, he was there to help anyone who wanted help in transportation. He was respected by all communities. In 1966 he was honoured by the late Ratnavarma Heggade by making him the trustee of the Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatheswara Educational Trust. This position he held till recently.
Albert and Emiliana celebrated their golden jubilee in 1992 and Diamond in 2002. At their diamond jubilee he was felicitated by Mr. Oscar Fernandes, Mr. Blasius D?Souza and Mr, Harsha Kumar Heggade among other dignitaries.
Today he is 95 and Emiliana is 80. Both celebrate 64 years of their marriage union. They say the success of their marriage life is because of the strong moral values and strict discipline they followed throughout. When Albert was busy in his business, Emiliana brought up the 10 children with discipline. They were God fearing and never missed a Rosary in the evenings. Albert says, "Whatever you do, do it within limits. I am a teetotaler and had a strict diet. Howsoever I am busy, that is outside. Within the home boundary you are away from the stress. You attend to family chores, relax and have a good night?s sleep and that is the secret of my life."
When we asked Mrs. Emeliana Sequeira about their 64 years of togetherness she said "Times were different then. I never worked outside the home, only Albert worked. I spent all my time looking after the children and bringing up 10 children was not a joke. There were times of difficulties but it was all okay as we overcame them together." "Times have changed now. People before were illiterate and ignorant now they have advanced," she added.
Well, people may have been illiterate but judging from the fulfilling life of Albert and Emiliana, we can only say that the people then did not lack wisdom. The married life of Albert and Emiliana Sequeira is an eye-opener for most young couples today, who give up their marital challenges at the drop of a hat. This wonderful couple has shown that love, understanding and mutual support can overcome any obstacles in life
Mangalorean.com wishes both Albert and Emiliana many more years of joyful togetherness and thanks them profusely for sharing their experiences with our readers.
The original wedding invitation card printed in 1942
A leopard cub that was caught by Mr Sequeira during one of his hunting get-aways!