Prof.Wilfred DSouza - A person with many achievements

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By Dr. Eugene D’Souza, Moodubelle

Moodubelle, 28 February 2010: Prof. Wilfred R. D’Souza, who retired as the Professor and Head of the Department of Commerce from the Milagres College, Kallianpur has been a person with many achievements. He was a brilliant student throughout and top scorer in the third batch of the SSLC (1963) in St. Lawrence High School, Moodubelle, an excellent lecturer of Commerce in the Milagres College, Kallianpur, a successful businessman, a research scholar who wrote the family history of the Mudarthas, a dedicated social worker through the Lion’s Club of Udupi and had the distinction of becoming not only the President of the Lion’s Club of Udupi, but the honour of being elected as the first Catholic District Governor (District 324-D4) in 2005-06. Though presently lives in Manipal, Prof. Wilfred’s roots in Moodubelle are still strong.

Wilfred was born on 24th September 1946 in Moodubelle. He was the third child of Lawrence D’Souza and Florine Noronha. His father, Lawrence D’Souza was the younger brother of Emmanuel D’Souza (Monnu Master) and was a teacher in the Church Higher Primary School in Moodubelle. Incidentally, Wilfred’s grandfather, Sebastian D’Souza was also a teacher. Thus, Prof. Wilfred is the third generation teacher in the same family.

After completing his higher primary and high school education in Moodubelle, Wilfred decided to continue his studies and with the help of the Central Government scholarship he completed graduation in Commerce from the MGM College, Udupi. Taking the example of his grandfather and father, Wilfred also decided to join the teaching profession and became a tutor in Commerce in the Milagres College, Kallianpur in 1967.

As he was keen to carry on in his teaching profession, Wilfred acquired postgraduate degrees in Commerce (M.Com.) from the Karnataka University, Dharwad and became a full-fledged lecturer of Commerce in the same college. He underwent NCC training and was given the additional responsibility of commanding the NCC (Army Wing) for 12 years. His capacity for hard work and insight into the complexities of office functioning brought him more responsibilities, and for some time he was also in charge of the College Office.

When late Dr. P. Gururaja Bhat was doing his research work on the history of Tulunadu, Prof. Wilfred began to take interest in history and assisted Dr. Gururaja Bhat in his research work and also acquired MA degree in history and later took up research work and wrote a significant book titled the “History of the Mudarthas”, the family clan to which he belonged. Prof. Wilfred says that he took up the task of doing research in the history of the Mudarthas chiefly due to the encouragement from Bishop Baptist Mudartha of Allahabad, who had come to Belman, his native village in 1991, and introduced him to the Mudartha families who gave him access to their family records and provided valuable information.

In the course of his research for the book on the Mudarthas, Prof. Wilfred had to visit many places in Dakshina Kannada as well as in Goa. He even took leave for one year from the Milagres College (1993-94) in order to complete the research work. He made several trips to the different villages of Goa such as Assagao of Bardez and Anjuna to trace the ancestors of the Mudarthas.

In his book, ‘History of the Mudarthas’, Prof. Wilfred claims that the original Goud Saraswat settlers of Assagao were known as ‘Mudras’. When the Portuguese carried on their conversion activities, the Mudras fled with the idols of their families to the North and settled down in different parts of Southern Maharashtra. Those who remained in Bardez were converted to Christianity and came to be called Mudots. The earliest Mudots who migrated to the South during the famine in 1591 and settled down first in Balegundi of Belman were called Mudarthas. Gradually, some of the Mudarthas moved towards Shirva and Belle. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries most of the Mudarthas changed their surname into D’Souza.

Prof. Wilfred D’Souza has been an enterprising person. While in the Milagres College, Kallianpur, Prof. Wilfred decided to use his spare time profitably and in 1972, with sufficient business and technical knowledge started a business in steel furniture in Udupi under the name, ‘Wilson Industries’, which has gradually developed into a leading business firm. Presently, managed by his elder son, Wilson, its branches have spread to Mangalore, Kundapura, and Brahmavar.

Besides being occupied in academics and business, Prof. Wilfred kept himself busy with various social service activities. At different times, he worked as promoter, member, director, convener, co-ordinator and office bearer of more than 50 Associations, Clubs, Societies and similar organizations in social, cultural, sports, financial, business, religious and educational fields.

As the member of the Lions Club of Udupi which he joined in 1983, Prof. Wilfred became its treasurer in 1987-88, President in 1997-98 and Secretary in 1998-99. He was also the editor of ‘District Directory’ and ‘Lions Today’ for three years. During his Presidentship, the Lions Club of Udupi was adjudged as the ‘Best Club’ in the District and bagged 56 District Awards and 4 Multiple Awards. He is also the recipient of 12 International Awards including International President’s Excellence Award and Supreme Extension Award.

Along with his wife Winifred, Wilfred attended International conventions held at Miami, USA in 1989 and Hong Kong in 1992 and 2005. As the President of the Lions Club, Udupi, he not only donated generously to social causes, but also spent considerable amount of money on various social service activities during that year. Prof. Wilfred climbed to greater heights in the Lions Club Movement when he became the Regional Chairperson in 2001-02 and eventually the District Governor (District 324-D4) in 2005-06.

When he was the President of the Lions Club of Udupi during 1997-98, Prof. Wilfred D’Souza was instrumental in starting the Lions Club at his native village, Moodubelle in 1997. At that time there were 32 charter members in this club with Commodore Jerome Castelino VSM being the Charter President. On the day of the inauguration of the Lions Club of Moodubelle on 15th December 1997, Prof. Wilfred donated 40 cents of his prime land near the town for the construction of the Lions Seva Bhavan with the condition that if the building was not constructed within 15 years he would withdraw his offer.

However, Lions Seva Bhavan came into being with the efforts of all the Lion members within a period of four years and was inaugurated on 20th January 2002. On the same day the Regional Conference where Prof. Wilfred was the Region Chairman was held in the same complex. On this occasion also Prof. Wilfred donated additional 20 cents of land to expand the existing building. Eventually, the existing building was expanded with additional facilities like perimeter boundary, 10 KV generator and additional dental facilities. The expanded building was inaugurated by the International Director MJF Ln. Vinod Khanna on 16th April 2008. On this occasion, Prof. Wilfred donated another 40 cents of land adjacent to the existing Lions Seva Bhavan.

During the recently held Regional Conference in Lions Seva Bhavan, Moodubelle on 14th February 2010 where Devdas Hebbar, the Charter Secretary was the Region Chairman and the Charter President Commodore Jerome Castelino was the Chairperson of the Regional Conference Committee, Prof. Wilfred took initiative and donated Rs.50,000/- with a request to the Lions Club Moodubelle to start a trust with a view to help the poor and bright students studying in St. Lawrence Educational Institutions in Moodubelle. He urged that likeminded people should come forward and build up this trust. These facts indicate that Prof. Wilfred has a great sense of social service particularly in the field of education which is very dear to his heart.

In spite of his great achievements, Prof. Wilfred D’Souza is a friendly, warm and generous person. He has a happy and contented family with wife Winifred, whom he married in 1971. Winifred has been giving unstinted support to Prof. Wilfred in all his endeavours. Besides being the Managing Partner in Wilson Industries, she is also an active member of the Lioness Club of Udupi. They have been blessed with three children-Wilson with B. Com. and LLB degrees looks after the family business, Wilma with B. Arch degree was working in Geneva, Switzerland and presently married and settled down in Sweden and Welwyn is doing his engineering course at Manipal.

After serving for 33 years as lecturer and later as Reader and Professor as well as the Head of the Department of Commerce in the Milagres College, Prof. Wilfred retired from teaching profession in 2000. In spite of his retirement, Prof. Wilfred is busy in his business ventures and social service. He is a multifaceted personality who could manage three professions simultaneously-as a Professor of Commerce, as an Agriculturist and Businessman. His research work, “History of the Mudarthas” is a fine research work on family history. His rise from humble beginning to greater heights in academics and business is an example to the youngsters who wish to attain success and fulfilment in their lives.

Comments on this Article
Olle Bogren, Viken Sweden Mon, June-20-2011, 4:21
Finally we found you Wilfred!! Greetings from Welwyn and Olle in Sweden!!
Edward Noronha, Moodubelle Mon, March-1-2010, 1:04
Dear Wilfred wish you every sucess in your future life.
Victor D almeida, Moodubelle/Bahrain Sun, February-28-2010, 11:54
Very interesting to read the article about Prof. Wilfred D Souza, I remember my childhood days I have been to his grand wedding at his fathers house.I know that time his wilson industries very famous for his steel cupboard scheme, very talented individual professor, businessman, agriculturist plus history researcher, we all wish him success in his business and good health and long life.
Thomas D Sa, Moodubelle/ Dubai Sun, February-28-2010, 12:09
Prof. Wilfred D Souza pride of Belle. Man with multiple visions and determination. Congratulations for your achievements and keep doing social welfare programmes.
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