‘White Nightingale’ Fr Walter Albuquerque Passes Away at age 92
by Alfie D’Souza, Team Mangalorean
Mangaluru: Jesuit Priest and a renowned musician, Fr Walter Albuquerque passed away on Friday night of October 7 at Fr Muller Hospital- Mangaluru at the age of 92. He had spent his retirement years at the St Aloysius College Jesuit Community. Nicknamed as “Dhovi Kogul” (the White Nightingale) for his prodigious music talent and contribution to the music field. Fr Walter Albuquerque’s contribution to the music field, both liturgical and social, is matchless and deserves highest accolades and recognition. As a music teacher and choirmaster in schools, convents and churches in undivided Mangaluru diocese, he has left an indelible mark with his outstanding accomplishments. He has been instrumental in spotting and bringing to the fore many talented Konkani singers and thus helped to popularize Konkani language and music.
Born 1n 1924 in Bejai, this nonagenarian priest comes from a family of talented musicians. His cousin John Sequeira was good in sight singing, organ and violin and was the choir master in Bejai church. Fr Walter learnt to read music and play organ and violin from him as he used to hold music practices every Sunday at the church. John’s brother Fr Charles Sequeira was also a good singer and composer and his association with his talented cousins helped him learn the nitty-gritty of music at a young age. Having picked up the talent for music he started writing songs for dramas and for providing entertainment.
Fr Walter was transferred to Fatima House in 1967 as In-Charge of music where he trained numerous students in music, including Konkani Liturgical singing. He has written hundreds of Konkani hymns for mass for different seasons of the year, and had spent most of his time in writing hymns, printing them, preparing music for editions of the same in three voices, each of it in different schools and parishes. He founded “Sangeethalaya” at Fatima Retreat House with the main objective of providing a podium for training young musicians in vocal singing both Western and Indian style, where youth were trained in musical instruments like Organ, Guitar, Violin, Tabla and Drums. Recipient of many awards, he was chosen to receive Mandd Sobhann Global Konkani Music – Lifetime Achievement Award for his immense contribution to Konkani Music in 2013.
Funeral Details: Body will be kept for visitation from 2.30 pm-3.30 pm at St Aloysius College Chapel-Mangaluru, followed by a Mass at 3.30 pm at St Aloysius High School Hall, on Sunday, 9 October, 2016. After the Mass the body will taken to Jeppu Cemetery for burial.
92-year-old music Legend Fr Walter Albuquerque no more
by Violet Pereira, Team Mangalorean
Mangaluru: 92-year-old music legend Fr Walter Albuquerque passed away at Fr Muller Hospital here on October 7.
Fr Walter Albuquerque was a well-known music composer, he was popularly known as Dhovi Kogul. He was the choirmaster and served in many parishes. He worked to promote the Konkani language.
Fr Walter was born in the year 1924 in Bejai. After his retirement, he was residing at St Aloysius College.
He has received many awards for Konkani music. Fr Walter Albuquerque received the Global Konkani Music – Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Konkani Music.
On April 7, 2016, Fr Albuquerque had released the 8th volume of Konkani Devotional songs, “Gavyam Devak Dhinvasumya” at Sandesha which Oswald D’Souza had dedicated it to his mentor and guide Fr Albuquerque. Oswald had also felicitated Fr Albuquerque for his guidance and support during the time of recording the album.