Mangalore bids tearful adieu to Wilfy Rebimbus


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"One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more; Death thou shalt die." - John Donne, ’Death be not proud’

Mangalore, 11 March 2010: On his final journey Shri Wilfy Rebimbus was not alone.  A multitude of people flocked to the St. Joseph’s Seminary between 2 pm and 4 pm on Thursday, March 11th 2010, to pay their respectful homage to the Konkan Kogul who had carved a special niche for himself in the hearts of the Mangalorean people.  Amidst the people gathered around him, there was the expected feeling of terrible loss, on the passing away of one of Mangalore’s greatest musical legends. 

Funeral Arrangements

The Mangalore police provided ample security on the roads leading to the venue and at the venue itself and despite the crowds, a fitting decorum was maintained throughout.  Due to the ongoing road concretisation works between Kankanady and Jeppu, vehicle users had been priorly requested to park their vehicles at the Jeppu compound grounds, Jeppu workshop and Infant Mary primary school premises. 

The spacious grounds of the St. Joseph’s Church, Jeppu were filled with over five thousand chairs, and almost every one of them was occupied by the time the funeral service commenced.  Impeccable arrangements had been made by the United Youngsters group. Leslie Rego efficiently convened the program from start to finish.   Volunteers dressed in black and white, guided the people and maintained order throughout.  Vast Shamiana’s loomed over the chairs and provided much needed shade from the blazing sun. Occasionally, a cool breeze blew across the ground, giving welcome respite from the heat.  The strategically placed speakers ensured that the angelic voices of the choir members were carried to every corner in just the right decibels.  As the scent of flowers pervaded the air and the candles flickered in the evening light, people walked in an orderly line to touch Wilfyab and bid adieu to him one last time.

 

 

 

On Familiar Ground

The St. Joseph’s Seminary and Jeppu Church were as close to Wilfyab’s heart as any of his most prized possessions.  This was the place where he spent most of the 67 years of his life.  Fruitful years that gave rise to the legend he was.  Within the Jeppu vicinity Wilfyab spent his childhood and lived his youthful dreams.  It was at the Jeppu Compound that he founded the ‘United Youngsters’ and formed his earliest known friendships, many of which endured until the end.  It was only rightful that his mortal remains would be laid to rest at the Jeppu Cemetery.

The Funeral Mass

The funeral mass commenced at sharp 4 pm on the Jeppu Church premises.  The altar was orderly arranged below the impressive steeples of the 130 year old St. Joseph’s Church.  Mangalore Diocesan Bishop Rev. Dr. Aloysius Paul D’Souza lead the high  mass assisted by the concelebrants.  A total of 73 priests graced the altar.  Fr. Victor Machado who has known Wilfy since his youth, rendered a beautiful homily at the memorial mass.  Rev. Fr. Gerald Lobo, Bishop of Shimoga also graced the solemn occassion with his presence.
                                            
The Choir sang poignant melodies that lent just the right touch of solemnity to the occasion.  The songs were a witness to Wilfy’s life and sung by his closest friends from the United Youngsters group.  Music stalwarts like Melwyn Peres, Claud, Babita, Prem all lent their voices in beautiful renditions of Wilfy’s very own lyrics.

Shraddanjalis

Touching eulogies were given by Bishop Aloysius D’Souza, Fr. Andrew D’Souza, Dr. Edward Nazareth and Fr. Denis D’Sa.  All of them spoke of Wilfyab’s humane qualities, his charitable gestures to the needy and the respect with which he lived his life by following the dictates of the gospel.  His life, they said was a celebration and a song and the most memorable gift the people of Mangalore could give Wilfyab was to continue his legacy and to make his unfulfilled dreams come true.

After the service, in a moving tribute to her father, Veena Rebimbus thanked each and every person who had been a help to the family during her father’s illness and stay in the hospital.  She also specially thanked the doctors and nursing staff at the Fr. Mullers Hospital, Mangalore for taking extraordinary care of Wilfyab.

Farewell at the Jeppu Cemetery

Led by the band’s soulful tunes, Shri Wilfy Rebimbus’s hearse was taken to the Jeppu Cemetery at 6 pm.  At the Jeppu cemetery, he was tearfully seen off by his beloved wife and lifelong confidante Meena, son Vishwas and daughter-in-law Charleen, Daughter Veena and son-in-law Arthur and his loving grandchildren.  Flanked by family and friends and bedecked with the sweet fragrance of flowers, Wilfyab made his final departure from the place he loved the best, his hometown Mangalore.  

Shri Wilfy Rebimbus will be sorely missed by his family, friends and adoring fans but to the people of Mangalore there is some consolation to be gained from the fact that death has not conquered him fully.  Our Wilfyab will live forever, in the musical legacy he has left behind.    

PHOTO ALBUM 1

PHOTO ALBUM 2

Courtesy: Mangalorean.com

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Comments on this Article
Denis D Souza, Moodubelle/Qatar Thu, March-11-2010, 2:45

we felt its a great loss for konkani Music lovers like us. Every time when his new album use to release i will make sure it will be in my house same day. I am Big fan of Mr.Wilfy rebimbus .In year 2008 may 30th i got a opportunity to take a prize from his hand at doha qatar. My family feel that we lost a great legends in Konkani Music world He served his whole life to the Konkani world. No one expected that he would leave us so early. He is the man of principles, simplicity, humble and down to earth. I still can not believe it that he is no more with us. After suffering from a long battle with cancer, he gave up himself. The loss of a great man and the great son of Konkani community in Mangalore a big sadness for us. We miss him, his songs and voice. His memories will always remain in our hearts. May his soul rest in Peace. Our hearty condolences to his Meenabai, Vishwas Veena and all friends and family members. “Sasnaso vishev di thaka sarvespora ani niranthar parkas thacher fankovdi ani tho samadanenth vishev gevdtih ..Amen

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