Mrs Angelina Goveas – Mangalorean Star
“A born Leader” – a phrase used by Mrs. Olinda Pereira, ex Principal of Roshini Niliya. Aptly it is a phrase used to perfectly describe a person who has lived up to that repute.Mangalorean.com is extremely pleased to introduce Mrs. Angelina Goveas, known to most as “Lena”. Lena is a person of patience, perseverance and understanding. Apart from her teaching profession she is always in the service of others – and her involvement in various activities keeps her active and occupied. If I have to write about her contribution to the society, her interest in reaching out, and social work; then I think I could write a book with several volumes in it. Even to profile her on this website, took me a long time to convince her to give her details and after much reluctance, her son Schuster (her youngest son) who helps her in the administration work of school, gave me just a brief skeleton of her biography.
Mangalorean.com is extremely pleased to introduce Mrs. Angelina Goveas, known to most as “Lena”. Lena is a person of patience, perseverance and understanding. Apart from her teaching profession she is always in the service of others – and her involvement in various activities keeps her active and occupied. If I have to write about her contribution to the society, her interest in reaching out, and social work; then I think I could write a book with several volumes in it. Even to profile her on this website, took me a long time to convince her to give her details and after much reluctance, her son Schuster (her youngest son) who helps her in the administration work of school, gave me just a brief skeleton of her biography.
“Lena”, (Mrs. Angelina Goveas), is the wife of the Late Gilbert Goveas. Gilbert was, as any of the old timers of Abu Dhabi will recall, the epitome of dynamism. He worked in the Water & Electricity Department and was a man of great wit, charm and talents. The Goveas family’s ancestors were political fighters during the reign of Tippu Sulthan. They have now spread and scattered through the states of Karnataka and Kerala.
“Lena”, is the daughter of Late Ignatius Pereira and Late Letetia Sequeira of Milagres Parish, Mangalore. Late Ignatius Pereira is the founder of the legendary Pereira Hotel, known to most as famous ‘Inasaams’ to one and all. God had given me a chance in the past, to taste the Mangalorean delicacies of this well known hotel, hence I consider myself lucky. I am sure quite a number of Mangaloreans born and brought up in Mangalore would definitely vouch for the “Quality food at reasonable price” provided by this great family to one and all. For most Mangaloreans, pleasant meals and service with a smile at that hotel are remembered fondly. Ignatius Pereira and his sons always made sure that whoever visited ‘Inasaams’, left with a smile of satisfaction on their face. A man of humble background, he always had the needs of the common man at heart. This quality of her parents and father in particular has been passed on to Lena and has molded her into a vibrant personality that she is today.
Lena completed her graduation from St. Agnes College and was one of the premier post graduate students of social work to graduate from Roshini Nilaya. She also has bachelors of education form Madhurai University.
The encouragement given by Mrs. Olinda Pereira inspired Lena to embark upon a world of accomplishments. She was the President of the Catholic Students Union and the Diocesan President of the Catholic Youth Movement of Mangalore. She represented the Mangalore Diocese at the all India Catholic Women’s Federation in Delhi in 1968. She was chosen to address the gathering at the Eucharistic Congress in Bombay on the topic – “Role of young Christian women in the Modern World”. She played a prominent role at the youth rally organized by Cardinal Gracias in Mangalore. She was the first Medical Social worker at Kasturba Medical College Mangalore. At a young age she worked hard for the up lifting of the underprivileged and destitute. She has prepared a Thesis while at Fr. Mullers, “Attitude of leprosy patients towards rehabilitation”.
She started off Leens Nursery in 1975, mostly to take care of the children of the many families who had nowhere to keep their children while they were away at work. From those humble beginnings, today Leens School and Leens Nursery are among the premiere institutions for pre school and pre primary education in Abu Dhabi.
“Loyalty & Service” is the proud motto of the school and is instilled into the work ethic of the staff and the character of the students. Having the responsibility of being the Principal of the school as well as the director of the nursery “Lena” carries out her duties with professionalism and punctuality, qualities which she says are essential for success. She has taken on the role of a third parent to so many children over the years and although the strength of the school has increased over the years, she still makes all efforts to know each student and their parents individually. Along with handling the thankless duties of school administration, she always takes time to counsel young parents.
She is also an active member of several social organizations. She is one of the pioneer members of Indian Ladies Association in Abu Dhabi. She has also been a member and vivid supporter of the St. Joseph’s Church choir quite incredibly since 1969!
She believes that all individuals should devote a part of their life to providing service and good will to the less privileged as it helps in the spiritual growth of the individual.
She stays in an apartment in the heart of Abu Dhabi city. Her doors are always open to anyone in need because social work is her prime goal in life.
“I am today what I am, on account of my mother. She ensured that we all studied well and today we have reached this position only with her prayers, hard work and endless efforts” – says Schuster. When I met “Lena” at her Office at Leens, the love bond and the strong relationship that both Schuster and Lena shared was also clearly visible to me. She too is proud of her son’s achievements and the way he supports her in the administration work of the school.
She is a shining example of blending selfless social service with pecuniary success. Anyone who comes to her for help will never walk away disappointed. Even through her years of struggle when she had to raise four children basically on her own, she never turned anyone away, a quality which we try to embrace. Schuster’s elder brothers Lester and Peter and sister Patra love her very much and are extremely proud of what she has achieved for us and for society. “She is a perfectionist in everything she does. Sometimes this quality of her gets a bit annoying, like the time we actually had to rehearse before my sister’s roce!! Being a principal for half her life, she tends to treat us and everyone around her as her little children, and we love it.”- says Schuster.
“It was my dream and ambition that has helped me to achieve this goal, together with my hard work, and positive thinking and using my God given talents that I have achieved the success and position I am in today. I have always been blessed with the most talented and hard working staff and they are the actual reason why my schools possess the name they have today.” says Lena Goveas with a beaming smile of confidence and courage.
Excerpts from the interview with Mrs. Angelina Goveas
What made you take up the profession of teaching and tiny tots in particular?
“It started off with the need of working mothers in Abu Dhabi who were in dire need of pre schooling and daycare, which were not available in those days. From a little daycare centre which I used to run from my house, by the grace of God we progressed and “Leens Nursery “was established in 1975.
Can you recall any incident in your life that has given you special joy?
Whenever any ex student of mine walks up to me and speaks of the influence that my staff and school has had on their lives, it is a special moment. These children (of course now much bigger) have crept into my nursery at the age of 2 or thereabouts and it means a lot to me when they still remember the first hands that held and guided them.
Who would you have liked to meet from history?
Without a doubt, Mother Theresa! I would have given anything to spend a day with her and observe her unselfish humanitarian service. She truly will be the ultimate role model for people of any walk of life.
How do spend your leisure time?
I love listening to music and watching family television (just like I did when I was a younger).
What is your message to Mangalorean.com readers?
God has given each of us at least one special gift or talent. We need to find out what it is and utilize it to the maximum for the service of God and the less fortunate in society.
Mangalorean.com wishes Mrs. Angelina Goveas all the very best in her future endeavors.
Submitted by: Claude Fernandes – Mangalorean.Com Team -UAE
Comments:Margaret Gupta, India:
Margaret Gupta, India:
Leena was married to my cousin Gilbert (Gibba). Of course he is no more – passed away long back.I am very glad to read about his wife Leena how famous and well-known she is. I am also from the same school St.Mary’s, Mangalore where Leena studied.
All the best to you and to your family.
well,I am very happy to read abot ur dedication towards humanity.I am proud to say that I was a student in st.Agnes school in 1992.Your sincierty inspired me a lot. Take care and may god bless u
Lenora goveas now lenoraramesh, India:
I went through the article of mrs Angilina goveas. to my surprise I found that Mrs Leena Late Giba babs wife is my relative. I am from cannanore,at present settled in Coimbatore, I am from goveas family, Please do contact me and I shall let you all the details of my realationship.
Waiting for your reply
with warm regards
Thank u so much for bringing up such a luvly article…am an ex-student of Leens and am proud of dat!….I still remember all those wonderful moments spent there and i cherish the special bonding Goveas ma’m, the teachers and we students shared.Currently I’m pursuing my Charted Accountancy(CA) & Degree and I’d lyk to take this opportunity to Thank all those teachers who’s helped in making the strong foundation of principles and values of life within me & for whatever dat i am today. Long live Leens! Best wishes to all the young students out thr (trust me!u’ve chosen the BEST place to kick start ur education!) and the ever dedicated teachers and management.