Albert Noronha - A dedicated member of the non-teaching staff of St. Lawrence high school


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Report and Pictures by Eugene Moodubelle

Moodubelle, 09 December 2009: Even though he has completed 70 years, Albert Noronha, the familiar face in St. Lawrence High School office from 1960 to 1997 exudes youthfulness and enthusiasm. He had sincerely and devotedly served in the high school office for 37 years, more than half of his present life. On the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the high school, when I requested Albert for an interview and pictures and offered to come to his place, he himself volunteered to come to my residence with pictures and memories of the long period of dedicated service that he rendered to this illustrious educational institution.

Albert Noronha, popularly known as Anju Baab to his family members and relatives, is the only son of late Sylvester Noronha and late Madtin D’Almeida. Born on 15th April 1939, Albert had his primary education at the Pamboor Aided Primary School   and continued his higher primary education in the Church Aided Higher Primary School, Moodubelle.

As further education was beyond the means of the impoverished family and having no facilities of a high school nearby, like a number of other young men migrating to Mumbai in search of any kind of job, Albert moved to Mumbai after 8th standard and could get a job in the household of an European family where he worked for one year from 1957 to 1958.

A natural calamity in the form of a major flood in 1958 forced Albert to come back home. Following the collapse of the stable in the raging flood waters, Albert’s father conveyed him the news of the disaster and urged him to come back. As a devoted and only son, Albert came back to rebuild the stable and help his father in agricultural activities.

It was during this period that the proposal for starting a high school in Moodubelle was in full swing. Following the establishment of the St. Lawrence High School, there was a need for an attendant for which an advertisement had appeared in the local news paper. As he had made up his mind to stay with his parents, Albert thought that it would be better if he could get a job in the newly established high school. Like many other young men seeking this post, Albert too put in his application. Following an interview, Albert was selected for the job and on 1st August 1960, Albert formally became a non-teaching staff member of the St. Lawrence High School.

Though Albert was quite happy with the work in the high school, he did not give up his endeavour to try for better job opportunities elsewhere. Hence, he went on applying for jobs in shipping companies and got a call to join one of the ship crew in 1964. When Albert informed about the call that he had received from the shipping company, the then Head Master-B.A. Samak persuaded him not to leave the secured school job and even promised that he would see to it that he would be promoted to the clerical post. The Head Master even met Albert’s parents and pleaded to dissuade him from going for the ship job. Albert succumbed to the pressure from both the Head Master and the parents and decided not to respond to the call from the shipping company and continued as an attendant in the high school.

As promised, B.A. Samak encouraged Albert to study and appear privately for the SSLC examination. It was Sadananda Master who coached Albert in all the subjects of SSLC. Due to the sustained encouragement of the Head Master, meticulous coaching of Sadananda Master and his strong determination, Albert cleared the SSLC examination in 1966. At the time of his retirement as the Head Master, B.A. Samak had put in a word to the new Head Master and Correspondent, Fr. V.G.F. Rego that Albert be promoted to the post of the Clerk in the high school office.

It was in 1969, that the assurance that  had been given to Albert by B.A. Samak to promote him as the Clerk was fulfilled when Fr. Rego elevated Albert from the post of the Attendant to that of the Office Clerk, the post that he held till his retirement in September 1997.

Albert Noronha has high regards to the late Head Master-B.A. Samak who was a man of discipline and a good teacher. He was humane and maintained good relation with the staff and the students. By his honesty, sincerity and dedicated service, Albert endeared to the staff and students. He has good memory and was helpful in reconstructing some of the missing links while writing the history of the past fifty years of the St. Lawrence High School.

Albert was married to Agnes who was also a resident of Pamboor in 1965. They have seven children who are all well placed in life. Three of their children-eldest son-Philip Neri, daughter-Clara, another son-Herald are in Kuwait with their families. One of their daughters-Flavia is a nun with the Nirmala Niketan and is presently in Bhimavaram in Andhra Pradesh as a nurse in a hospital. Maril Jyothi is in Mumbai with her family, Nirmala Shanti is in London with her husband and a child and the last son-Derick is working in Israel who is a bachelor.

As practically all of his children are well settled in life, Albert spends his time after retirement cultivating his farm land. He has been quite active in church and other social activities. He was the Gurkar of the Ward for ten years. He was also a Pamboor Parish Council Member and a dedicated social worker. He had a dream to visit the Holy Land in Israel which he fulfilled recently in November 2009, when he joined a group from Mumbai and paid a visit to the land associated with the life of Jesus Christ.

Albert Noronha is very happy about the preparations that are in full swing for the celebration of the Golden jubilee of the St. Lawrence High School where he served for 37 years. He has great attachment to the high school which had not only provided him with service and livelihood but also dignity, love and affection of the successive Head Masters, teaching and non-teaching staff and thousands of students.

 

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