Dr Jack Sequeira's path in life is an extremely interesting and fascinating journey, which all genertions of Goan society need to explore and most importantly emulate. Born on April 20th, 1915, Dr Jack de Sequeira was the youngest of three children born to Mr. and Mrs. Erasmo de Sequeira. His basic studies were in Portuguese in Lyceum. Thereafter, he graduated in medicine from Escola medico Cirurgica de Goa at the young age of 21; in addition he won a gold medal in microbiology. Sadly, he had to quit his further medical studies, and take over the family business, Agencia e Sequeira as he lost his father.
As a young man, sports came naturally to him and along with his brother Dr. Frank; he played a good game of tennis. At the young age of 23, he married Lilia Goveia A Pinto and had nine children, three boys and six girls.
Says his daughter, Dr. Lilia Sequeira e Sukhija, "as a father, he was a strict disciplinarian, but also a wonderful friend and confidant when the need arose." With a nostalgic smile on her face, Dr Lilia, recollected that even though he was an extremely busy man, he made it a point to spend time with his family. Konkani was spoken most often in the Sequeira household. Therefore it comes as no surprise that he would insist on seperate statehood for Goa, with Konkani as its official language.
Himself being very punctual, a man of his word and a gentleman, his daughter, Dr Lilia further explained that it was from her father that she and her siblings learnt values of honesty, integrity and never to look down on anyone. Dr. Jack de Sequeira always maintained that there was no success without failure and it was important to accept what came ones way with a positive attitude.
Though a committed Catholic with special devotion for Goa's patron Saint Francis Xavier, he was broadminded and welcomingly accepted three of his sons in law who belonged to other communities.
One of the great regrets that Dr Jack Sequeira had, was that he could not practice medicine, a profession he was qualified in. Therefore, he was extremely pleased when his daughter Julie and Lilia became physicians. Says his family, ' he would have been even happier to see that four of his granddaughters have joined the medical profession too.'
People of the older generation would perhaps remember him for his honesty, generosity. During the 2nd world war, when there was a shortage of the most essential commodities, Dr Jack Sequeira ensured that the family firm Agence E Sequeira sold precious kerosene and scarce matchboxes at the fixed price. The thought of profiteering never crossed his mind.
In the elections of 1979, at the fag end of his political career, he lost the election for Santa Cruz, a seat he had won three times earlier. Recollecting this episode, his daughter Lilia, clearly emotional says, " I distinctly remember this episode, as I was present there. He remained in the counting hall till the results were announced, shook hands with his victorious opponent and walked out, his head held high, saying he accepted defeat as the people had rejected him."
Dr Jack Sequeira was shaken by this sudden change in the people of his constituency and true to his word never contested elections again.
Finally, on January 17th, 2007, a statue of Dr Jack de Sequeira was unveiled in the village of Calangute, as a tribute to all his unsung efforts and hard work. Commenting on the installation of her fathers statue at Calangute, an overjoyed, Dr Lilia said she and her family were extremely thrilled that recognition was finally awarded to her father. However, she seemed clueless as to what her father might have felt about it, if he were alive, as he was someone who shied away from the limelight.
By Herald Reporter
Sunday, February 4, 2007
Posted By : The Herald Reporter, Goa Newspaper on 14/02/2007