Nearly Seven Thousand St Aloysius College Students Pay their Last Respect to their Beloved Professor Dr Norbert Lobo- the Director of Admin Block and Associate Professor in Economics at St Aloysius College (Autonomous), Mangaluru. “Dr NORBERT LOBO, YOUR LIFE WAS A BLESSING, YOUR MEMORY A TREASURE. YOU ARE SADLY MISSED”
Mangaluru: It was a sad day for the nearly seven thousand plus students, along with staff and non-teaching staff, Jesuit priests who gathered at the Mother Teresa Peace Park to pay their last respect to one of their beloved Professor Dr NORBERT LOBO, who passed away on Thursday, 20 October 2022 at the age of 57, due to illness. Hearing the news of Dr Norbert Lobo’s sudden death, the blow was hard, and the shock was severe- I never thought that death would come to him so quickly because he was quite active, energetic and healthy in May when I had a chat with him at the ECONOVANZA 2022 programme hosted by the Department of Economics, St Aloysius College, and that was the last interaction with him, and the last that I clicked photos of him at that programme. It is well said, “Death is a glad awakening from our troubled existence”. What we call life here is nothing but a passing, in a land of captivity. Sadly missed!
I write this report with great sadness over the unimaginable loss of Dr Norbert Lobo, an ardent reader of Mangalorean.com, and a great fan of mine who always appreciated and complimented me on my reports and articles. No doubt he fought a brave and strong battle for a few months but seems like his illness would not allow him to get better. He took each day in stride, never really complaining, always feeling in a good mood and interacting with his colleagues and students jovially and socially. Prolonged illness may take away the joy we have from having these people with us on this earth longer than if they didn’t have that sickness. But Lobo’s illness couldn’t dim his smile. And what a peculiar smile it was! He was a man of humour and always jovial while interacting with whomever he met. Everything good, everything wholesome, everything pure about manhood was found in his unique smile and humour.
“Lives of great men all remind us, We can make our lives sublime, And, departing, leave behind us, Footprints on the sands of time”- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
But there was more—a hint of joyfulness and fun, a sense of self-confidence, an unmistakable kindness. It was the kind of smile that drew people to him. He didn’t express any feelings of his suffering, instead, he stood strong and interacted with his colleagues, students and friends happily. If anything, everyone would agree with me that his personality and smile was brighter and more joyous the last time we all saw him. But his illness was helpless against it. Although his health was deteriorating day by day recently, our friend Dr Lobo was doubly blessed with his natural personality—inside and out. His illness could do nothing to diminish either. It was his personality that shone through his eyes and smiled every day of his life. His illness couldn’t steal his popularity. To know him was to love him and to root for him. We should all be so lucky to have as many friends as Dr Norbert did. But his death ripped a hole in the lives of everyone who loved him and also left us devastated and heartsick. His sad demise robbed the world of someone who would have done great things—someone who would have made a difference in others.
Dr Norbert Lobo’s beautiful spirit will surely live on through his wife Anita, a teacher at Milagres PU College, and his two daughters -Anora and Anoma,(both alumni of st Aloysius College) and they will always know how much he loved them. He tried with all his heart to stay for them, but God called him, and he had to go. I can judge and say that during his illness, I know that there were two things that might have kept him going, the love and care from his wife and children and hope, otherwise to face another day would have been tough, and I know how many days he must have had like that.
The condolence meet was held at Mother Teresa Peace Park on Friday, 21 October began with a prayer by the Student Council and B A students choir, followed by Scripture Readings- from the Bible by Dr Joyce Sabina Lobo (Dept of Political Science); from the Bhagavad Gita by Ms Bhavyashree Shetty (Dept of Journalism) and from the Quran by Afreed (II BA Economics student).
In her condolence message on behalf of students, Ms Vidhula KL, IIIrd BA student said, “We have lost an excellent teacher, understanding guide and mentor, and above all, a humble and kind human. This is an irreparable loss to his family, the department, the institute and all his students. This has created a void that can never be filled. He helped me to apply for a scholarship, even after I had missed the final date. He was passionate about the subject and teaching, and always dedicated to what he did, which was why his classes always had a different aura. I do not recall any instances when he hadn’t been friendly or hadn’t been smiling. It is going to be difficult to continue studying the subject in his absence. I would like to remember and thank Sir for all his invaluable contributions as a teacher, scholar and mentor, and pray that his ideals, wisdom and knowledge continue to guide us and show us the path ahead. May his soul Rest in Eternal Peace”.
Fr Praveen Martis SJ-the Principal of St Aloysius College in his condolence message said, “A versatile leader, an inspirational teacher, a jovial and empathetic friend, a disciplinarian, a scholar of repute, an author of great credence, Dr Norbert Lobo has left to his heavenly abode after a brief period of illness. For all of us, the reality of his departure from us has not yet sunk in and it will take a long time to come to terms with his loss. In faith, all of us believe that he has moved from this earthly life into another life of bliss and grace, liberated from pain, disease and suffering. He began his life journey with humble beginnings and steadily rose to eminence through sheer hard work, be it academics, research scholarship, research guidance, leadership, human resource sharing or teaching. His service to the College has been impeccable, committed and loyal”.
“He has stood by the management and the institution in its pleasant times and times of crises. His service to his students as a friend, philosopher and guide has been commendable. He believed in empowering students by guiding them not only in his discipline but also in helping them find their careers through engaging career guidance workshops. His commitment to duty has been exemplary; until the day he was admitted to the hospital and in spite of the physical discomfort of the ailment, we could see him in his office discharging his duties as the Director and engaging in classes. His dynamic role in the teacher movement as a teacher leader at the local, regional and national levels has catalysed several reforms in teacher welfare. Today, each one of them will fondly be remembering him for his interventions for the teaching fraternity at the individual community levels. In spite of his packed schedule, Dr Norbert was able to dedicate quality time to research and publications. His books on various aspects of Economics are eagerly sought after by teachers and students of Economics. As the Director of Admin block, he has been instrumental in setting standards of discipline and priority to a strong and engaging academic atmosphere”, added Fr Praveen Martis Sj (Watch the video below for the Principal’s Full message).
Fr Melwin Pinto Sj, the Rector of St Aloysius Institutions in his condolence message said, “The Management, staff and his beloved students express their solidarity with the bereaving family and pray that almighty God who is the giver of all life be their solace in this time of grave loss. It would not be easy to come to terms with the reality that he is not there in the Director’s Room or his disciplined steps in the corridors of the Administrative Block. We thank God for the gift of Dr Norbert Lobo to all of us and all that he has been to us. We will cherish the memories of his companionship and guidance. May his noble soul rest in eternal peace!”(For Rector’s full message watch the video below).
Dr Rose Veera D’Souza-the Dean of Arts faculty in her message said, “A multifaceted personality, Dr Norbert was not only a great teacher, an excellent colleague who worked and spoke for the well-being of teachers, leading the teacher’s movement, a genuine leader who could voice his opinion fearlessly, a man of institution and people. As a teacher, he not only served students selflessly and passionately he wrote for them and also directed their path through numerous career guidance programmes nearing 656 programmes. He has authored 17 textbooks and co-authored 3 books apart from authoring 2 workbooks for students. His CV runs into 39 pages so methodically documented. No words to explain his reach to students and the loss we feel. I wish the students have looked at his CV to capture the immense contributions that he has made within the short span. Probably one who could achieve all this after the retirement Dr Norbert has completed it in service. Such is his vibrancy”.
“The leadership that he navigated through the teacher’s movement, constantly guiding the teachers to be vocal about their rights of course has been a herculean task. As a colleague, he was always very supportive and encouraging. He is an institutional man who had a vision and sensitivity for productive change. He guided our students’ council for numerous years. Was great guidance related to higher education and now when NEP came in, we all were dependent on him for clarifications. His love for the community was far-fetched. Above all, he was a man who loved his family the most. As light has faded, it seems darker but we know for sure that a great soul never dies. The contributions and memories created by Dr Norbert live on. His selfless contribution aimed to inspire the young and the old have been canonical. Helping the young find a direction was something he lived for. Teaching students over the years and dedicating his time and knowledge for the betterment of society was his motto. The ripples he created in society will live on”, added Dr Rose Veera D’Souza.
Compere of the condolence meet, Student Council President Miss Letitia D’Costa in her introduction message said, “For some moments in life there are no words, today that’s exactly the way we all feel. It’s never easy to bid adieu to someone so instrumental in our lives here at the institution. Dr Norbert Lobo whose charisma was extremely vivacious has left a void that cannot be filled. Today as we gather to honour him, we all need to remember and pay obeisance to a man who led by example, and keep his memory alive. This poignant moment teaches us that life is transient and we need to make the most of every moment and cherish all those around us. That’s what our beloved director would want from every one of us”.
“A natural leader and an esteemed and well-respected professor, he touched many lives in his capacity and the various positions he held. His life was a hallmark of constant learning and achievement which was evident in the academic degrees that he obtained and the various positions he held. His dedication and commitment especially to the students was noteworthy. A great motivator, he helped shape many lives through career counselling and guidance. An academician, astute leader, mentor, and eloquent teacher are just a few qualities of Dr Norbert Lobo that sum up his personality and traits which were an asset to our institution. His smiling countenance and jovial disposition would definitely bring cheer and light up a weary face. In a nutshell, it’s hard to accept the fact that such a personality is no more amongst us today. Although indisposed with health issues, his calm and composed demeanour kept everyone at ease despite his personal struggle, which speaks volumes of his integrity and how much he appreciated people around him. In the end, he fought a good fight, finished the race and kept his faith. They say there is a reason, They say that time will heal, But neither time nor reason, Will change the way we feel, Dr Norbert Lobo”, added Miss Letitia. The condolence meet concluded with a few hymns sung by the college choir and students.
Dr Norbert Lobo (56), (Director and Associate Professor of Economics at St Aloysius College, Mangalore), son of the late Eugene And the late Concepta Lobo, son-in-law of the late Valerian and Celine Lobo, husband of Anita Lobo (Teacher at Milagres PU College), father of Anora and Anoma, brother of Sr Marie Lucy (St Ann’s Convent), the late Peter Paul, Lawrence, Alex and Pauline, brother in law of Asha and Anand Lobo, passed away on Thursday, October 20, 2022.
Mortal Remains will be kept for viewing at 2:00 pm at St Sebastian Church, Bendur followed by Mass at 3:30 pm on Saturday, October 22.