Twice Dy-Mayor,Thrice Corporator ‘Judy Bai’ was a Popular Lady
Mangaluru: “Gone is the face many loved so dear, Silent is the voice many loved to hear; Too far away for thoughts to reach, sweet to remember her who was here, who, gone away is just as dear. Sadly missed.”-This is what many feel due to the sad demise of Judith Mascarenhas, fondly known as “Judy Bai”, who was a political leader, a social worker and a teacher, and even at the age of 85 she was still active involving in various community projects, and especially fighting for the rights of women. Sadly Judith was bedridden for sometime and was suffering from paralysis. Even though I had met her few times during Church programmes and other community events, and wanted to do a exclusive interview with her, but her sudden illness prevented me from doing so. Now that she is no more, all I can do is pay a respectful tribute through this column. May Her Soul Rest in Peace!
Even though she was bedridden for a while, many did not know her death was near, but God knew she was suffering and the hills were hard to climb, so he closed her weary eyes and whispered “Peace be thine”. He close friends and associates will dearly miss her, because she was warm and quick to make everyone feel comfortable. She had a special way that warmed the hearts of everyone who knew her and the qualities that made her the wonderful person she was have left everyone with many beautiful memories. She did touch hearts of many through her politeness, graciousness and friendliness.
Two times Deputy Mayor and three times Corporator of Mangaluru City, Judith Mary Rita Mascarenhas, affectionately called “Judy Bai” passed away here on Monday, 9 January 2017, at the age of 85. (Her 85th birthday was celebrated last month). She was bed-ridden due to paralysis for a long time, and the nuns at Maria Nivas, Jeppu, were taking care of her, and it is learnt that she has donated her house to St Vincent De Paul Society. Born on December 22, 1931, into a well-known family of Aloysius I Mascarenhas, a famous Konkani poet and social activist and Magdalene M Mascarenhas, a teacher and social worker. She completed her BA and BT with Mathematics major under Madras University with ranks in each course.
Judy Bai started her teaching career in Cambridge School, Bengaluru, and continued in Capitanio Junior College and training Institute Mangaluru for 22 years until she took voluntary retirement to dedicate herself to social service. She founded Preethi Neethi Trust in 1991 to uplift the poor and destitute. She held several other posts as founder member and treasurer of Link De-addiction Citizens’ Committee, member of Mangalore Railway Station Consultative Committee, treasurer of Mahila Vedike Nagara Parisarasakthara Okkoota, joint secretary of the Dakshina Kannada Association for the Blind, director of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi Zilla Mahila Co-operative Bank, director of the Canara Catholic Co-operative Educational Society, to name a few.
She served Mangaluru as deputy mayor for two terms and as a corporator for three terms. She also served as the editor of Konkani Youth Monthly ‘Yuvak’ for five years, editor and publisher of Kannada bi-monthly ‘Deepika’ and editor and publisher of Kannada monthly ‘Nagara Deepika’ for 15 years each. As a corporator, she ran her own local newspaper and was instrumental in getting sub-committees formed to combat malaria, when it was at its peak. She was the recipient of district Rajyotsava Award in 2015, Lifetime Achievement Award by St Agnes College Alumnae Association, social service honour at Dakshina Kannada Kannada Sahitya Sammelana and many more.
Judith had represented the Catholic Women of India at the International Catholic Women’s Meet at Rome. She was selected as a member of a team of four from India to participate in the International Conference on Women and Politics in Asia (WPA) ‘Discovering the Gender Face of Politics’ in Islamabad, Pakistan in 2005. She had contested from Janata Party for Mangalore Constituency and had lost by a narrow margin.
To know her was to love her and to root for her. She touched more people in her 85 years of life on earth than most of us could in 100 years. Her illness was unable to break Judy Bai’s spirit. Her zest for life and competitive fire burned brightly to the end. Her confidence and adventurousness were undimmed. She took everything her illness could throw at her and kept going. She endured pain that would have hobbled the toughest adult. She found energy in the face of draining treatments. She maintained a positive outlook in the bleakest of situations. And luckily she had these nuns beside her to take care and love her during her depression due to sickness.
As a active politician and social worker, Judy Bai was a very down to earth and unassuming personality who would lend a helping hand to anyone in need. Though she was in her 80s she still appeared to be so full of vigour, enthusiasm and was so involved in her social work, which she did with great love and pride. She always had a soft corner for the underprivileged and less fortunate. Her life well-lived is a precious gift of hope and strength for someone who has made our world a better, brighter place. It fills us with sweet and bitter memories, with smiles and tears, with friendships formed and good times shared and laughter through the years.
I truly believe Judy Bai is at peace and is united with her dear ones and friends in heavenly bliss. I end this tribute column with a quote, “Those who have lived a good life do not fear death, but meet it calmly, and even long for it in the face of great suffering. But those who do not have a peaceful conscience, dread death as though life means nothing but physical torment. The challenge is to live our life so that we will be prepared for death when it comes”.
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light show upon her-May her Soul Rest in Peace. Amen
Ms JUDITH MASCARENHAS FUNERAL DETAILS:
D/o Late Louis Mascarenhas and Late Mary Magdeline; Sister of Benedict, Sr Jose Marie, Sr Terese, Sr Noelline and Sr Olive (AC Sisters)
Mortal remains will be brought to the residence ” The Flowerette”, Commander George Martis Road, Mallikatta on Wednesday 11th January, 2017 for public homage at 1 pm to 2.30 pm. Funeral cortege leaves residence at 2.45 pm to St Sebastian Church, Bendore followed by public homage from 3.00 pm to 3.30 pm. Mass at 3.30 pm followed by burial at Bendore cemetery.
For more details call: 98450 15671 (Aloysius Dsouza); 99802 70250 (Gilbert Pinto)