Mr. Joseph Baptista , lovingly called "kaka Baptista" was the first mayor of Bombay(1925-26). Mr. Baptista was born in Mumbai in 1864, graduated in Pune and studied Politics and Law in London. As an Advocate in the High Court , he defended Veer Sarvarkar and demanded an open trial on the basis of fundamental rights.
He was one of the founders of the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) in 1920, a labour leader, as well as the one who started the Home Rule League in Belgaum in 1916. He was also a close associate of Lokmanya Tilak, and in fact was the one who coined the statment "Swaraj is my Birthright", mad infamouse by Tilak. He also assisted Tilak in starting the Sarvajanik Ganpati.
As a labour leader, he took up the cause of mill workers and postmen etc.
He joined the civic body Bombay Municipal Corporation in 1901 and worked for 17 years.
He was undoubtfully a religious person, but refused to let politics use religion. And though his community, the East Indians, being staunch Catholics could have benefitted, he refused to have separate electorates based on religion. I thoroughly disapprove of separate electorate for Indian Christians in water-tight compartments were his strong words.
Joseph Baptista Gardens also known As The Mazagon Gardens, is just walking distance from the Dockyard road station.
He died in 1930.
In the endeavour to keep history alive, it is of upmost importance to preserve whatever references we have of our community and of people within our community. We are very greatfull to the family of Mr. John Miranda from Bandra, who have painstakingly preserved one such book. The following people, Revd. Fr. Cyril Alick DAbreo, Jos. Alex Dias, Dr. D. A. DMonte, Dr. Mrs. Cecella DMonte, Ceasar DMello, Dr. J. Alban De Souza, J. D. Fonseca, were prominent people in the eyes of the then government. It is important to realise that below mentioned individuals have the honor of being mentioned in the same book, sharing pages with the likes of Indian Kings, Queens, Princes, Princesses, Nawabs, Leading Politicians, Social workers, Learned people, prominent amoung them Gandhiji, Nehru, and very many others.
Revd. Fr. Cyril Alick DAbreo
Revd. Fr. Cyril Alick
DAbreo, Bandra, Bombay Suburban District. Born 10th April, 1882. is a well-known member of the
East Indian Clergy of Archdiocese of Bombay. He has Distinguished himself as an
ardent public worker and builder of schools and churches. Is a keen sportsman
and educationist. Under his benign aegis the caste and communal prejudices were
removed at Nirmal and Bassein. He maintained at Bassein a free dispensary for
the poor and the destitute. He is popular with all classes of people.
Below mention article on Rev. Fr. Cyril D'Abreo has been transcribed from the archives of BEIA (BEIA Golden Jubilee)
Rev. Fr. Cyril Alick DAbreo holds a place of distinction in
the galaxy of distinguished East Indian clergy. Noted for his zeal, and devoted
to the spiritual, economic and educational welfare of his people, Fr. DAbreo
is held in high esteem by the clergy and the laity of the Archdiocese. His has
been a life of service and sacrifice entirely devoted to the spiritual and
temporal advancement of the East Indians of Bombay, Suburban Districts.
While he sees to the spiritual side of life of those
entrusted to his care, it has always been his ideal to pay equal attention to
the social service side of it too. A prominent member of the B.E.I.
Association, he has consistently taken keen interest in the educational uplift
of his people. As a builder of schools and as an ardent educationist, Fr.
DAbreo enjoys a big reputation in his community. Essentially a minister of the
poor, generous, loving and kind, he is popularly known among the poor as a
Being a sound exponent
of Catholic education, Fr. DAbreo is a strict disciplinarian and the pamphlet
he published on Discipline in Schools in connection with the Education Week
organized by the B. S. D. Primary Teaching Schools Association has been highly commeated upon by a
distinguished Catholic educationist.
Fresh from the Seminary, Fr. DAbreos services were first
requisitioned in the distant land of Agashi
where he immediately devoted himself to the prompt amelioration of that Parish.
Fr. Aniceto Rodrigues, the then Vicar of Agashi, soon discovered that his young
assistant, was a valuable assed to the Parish, and for all practical purpose,
he entrusted to him the entire administration. The parish school which was
hardly patronised by the children of the locality soon grew into a popular
educational institution under the fostering care of Fr. DAbreo. Mr. Gangal,
the then inspector of Marathi Schools, who was on tour, visited the school at
the request of Fr. DAbreo and he was amazed at the rapid progress it was
making under the guidance of Fr. DAbreo.
The laudable work Fr. DAbreo was doing in Agashi
immediately drew the attention of His Lordship, the Bishop of Damaun.
At Koli-Kallian Fr. DAbreo had to fall back upon his
athletic abilities to draw the young men towards him, thereby instilling
greater fervour in the youth of the Parish. Thanks to his administrative skill,
the school at Koli-Kallian grew into a flourishing institution and in this
mission Fr. DAbreo was greatly helped by the Fathers of St. Xaviers School,
particularly Fr. Bartholomeo. From 65 pupils the strength of the school went up
to 250. The Bishop of Damaun was so much taken up with the work of Fr. DAbreo
that he generously offered a sum of Rs. 20 to e awarded to the children as
prizes, in addition to the usual monthly grant.
The outstanding achievement of Fr. DAbreo at Koli-Kallian
has been the building of the Vancola Chapel and the School. He toiled long and
ceaselessly in building the Chapel and the School, actually begging for contribution
from door to door. That Chapel and School stand today as a monumental example
of his self-sacrificing zeal and fervour. In spite of the many difficulties and
discouraging circumstances that were confronting him, Fr. DAbreo succeeded in
collecting over twenty thousand rupees towards the building of the Chapel and
the School. And what was even more discouraging, the fund were exhausted before the completion of the
buildings. In view of the approaching monsoon Fr. DAbreo readily and
generously gave a loan of Rs. 5000 to the roofing.
Fr. DAbreo was then transferred to Versova where he
instilled fresh life and spirit in the Sodalities of that Parish and in the
School. In Versova too, Fr. DAbreo collected funds to remodel and improve the
parochial house and the school. Besides, he introduced many reforms in the
Parish which were highly appreciated by the parishioners.
His unflagging earnestness was next transferred to Mt.
Carmel Parish in Bandra, where it was evidenced in the development of the Parish
School and increase in Parish
devotions. The number of pupils in the school increased and classes were
raised. As one earnestly devoted to the cause of the education of the children
of the soil, Fr. DAbreo once again took upon himself thereby no means pleasant
task of collecting funds to enlarge the school building. He collected some four
thousand rupees towards the school building fund.
Fr. DAbreo was then, transferred to Nirmal, Bassein, where
he merited simultaneously the unstinted appreciation and friendship of the
large Hindu and Muslim communities of that place and broke the barriers of
enmity and distrust between the Christians and non-Christians.
He was to the people of Nirmal an inspiring guide, and has
often played the role of an Arbitrator, disputing parties abiding by his decisions. During his
regime in Nirmal he introduced many innovations in the parish, and the Church
there being poor, he built a chawl for rental purpose, the plan for the same
having been designed by him. On the Occasion of his departure from Nirmal for
Andheri, a huge farewell demonstration was organized and held in his honour by
the Catholics and the Non-Christians of Nirmal.
The late Archbishop Lima was highly impressed with his work
in Nirmal, and appointed him as the Vicar of Andheri, where his
characteristic zeal has already been
manifest in various spheres of activities. It is his great ambition to raise
the parish school into a high school, and he is leaving no stone unturned to
translate the project into action.
The glorious event during the brief stay of Fr. DAbreo in
Andheri has been the celebration of his Sacerdotal Silver Jubilee. The mammoth
demonstration held in his honour, various congratulatory addresses presented to
him, expressive of peoples love and loyalty and the tributes paid to him on
that great occasion by various eminent men of the Catholic community are a
striking testimony to the unique place of distinction Fr. DAbreo holds in the
Archdiocese as well as in the community.
Jos. Alex Dias, B.A., B.
SC., LL.B., Advocate, Journalist, Justice of the Peace and Attorney-at-Law,
Bombay High Court, Bombay, residing
at Bandra. He was Joint Honorary Secretary of the thirteenth session of the
National Liberal Federation of India held at Bombay
in the year 1931, wherein he advocated joint electorates with reservation of
seats to minorities. Ex-Honorary Secretary for last 10 years and now
Vice-President of the Bombay East Indian Association, an institution which
represents the East Indian Community of Bombay Thana Salsette and Bassein
comprising nearly 70,000 people. A prominent leader of the Catholic community
of Bombay and the suburbs ; rendered very valuable services to the Catholic
community of the Bombay Presidency in playing a prominent part in the mass
movement for effecting the union of two ecclesiastical jurisdictions into one
Archbishopric, viz., under the Archbishop of Bombay. Actively associated with
multifarious activities promoting the social, educational, religious and
political welfare of the Catholic Community at large and the public in general.
His character, courteous manners, genial temperament and benevolent nature are
well known to the public and have endeared hm to all classes of people. He is
always ready to help good causes, public and private.
Dr. D. A. DMonte, M.D.,
L.R.C.P., L.R.C.S., F.R.I.P.H., F.C.P.S., L.M. & S., Honorary Presidency
Magisrate, Justice of the Peace, Knight of St. Gregory
the Great, Municipal Councillor and the President of the Bombay East Indian Association and one if
the leaders of the East Indian Community of Bombay Salsette and Bassein, was
born on the 22nd May, 1859. After graduating in the Bombay
University Dr. DMonte proceeded to England
for prosecuting his medical studies and to receive European qualifications.
From very early age Dr. DMonte took a very keen interest in public life in
spite of his busy practice in his profession. His services to the Minicipality
of Bandra are very consicuous and noteworthy. He was the first non-official President
of the Bandra Municipality, and had rendered yeomans services well-nigh
whole time during the epidemic of plague in Bandra as well as in Bombay at
great monetary loss and yet refusing renumeration offered by the Plague
Committee. These services were highly spoken of by General Gatacres in the
Plague report. In this noble work Dr. DMonte ws ably assisted by his wife Dr.
is an outstanding leader of the East Indian Community and has rendered
invaluable services to his community. He is President, Bombay East Indian
Association, Catholic Medical Association, Salsette Co-operative Land
Development Society, Catholic Co-operative Credit Society, and Salsette
Catholic Housing Society , and President and Trustee of D. Antonio DSilva high
School Dadar. Several Catholic associations and public institutions receive
ungrudging and free services of Dr. DMone.
DMontes services to the City of Bombay
are also well known. He has been the sitting Member of the Bombay Municipal Corporation
for over 38 years, a Member of the Senate for more than 30 years, and at one
time represented the Medical Faculty on the Senate and was the head of the
Faculty as its Dean.
was a member of the Legislative Council of His Excellency the Governor of
Bombay from about 1911 to 1916. As a Justice of Peace and an Honorary
Presidency Magistrate he served Government under circumstances of great
difficulty during riots in Bombay.
recognition of his numerous services to his community His Holiness the Pope
Pius bestowed on Dr. DMone the great honour of the Knight of St. Gregory the
Great. Dr. DMontes activities are as varied as they are of a cosmopolitan
nature. He was one of the Vice-Presidents of the College
of Physicians and Surgeons of
Bombay. He is Director and Chairman, Bombay Mutual Life Assurance Society Ltd.
And the Modern Insurance Co., Ltd.; Hon. Secretary and Trustee, Sir J. N. Wadia
Charitble Dispensary ; President of the Deaf - Mutes Institution ; Hon.
Secretary and Treasurer, Edulji Framji Allbless Leper Home, Bombay, Member of
the Acworth Leper Asylum, Matunga as also a Member of the British Empire
Leprosy Association. He is also a member of several leading institutions in London
like the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, The Royal Institute of
Public Health, the Royal Sanitary Institute, the British Medical Association,
East India Association and British Indian Union. He is the Fellow of the Royal
Society of Medicine of London and also a Member of the Bombay Medical Council,
W.I.A.A Association, Gran Medical Collede Society, The Bombay Medical Council,
the Gokuldas Tejpal Nursing Association, The Bombay Sanitary Association,
Bombay Presidency Released Prisoners Aid Society, Bombay East Indian
Educational Co-operative Society, Society for the Protection of Children in
Western India, the Helpless Beggars relief Committee, Bombay Art Society, the
Willingdon Sports Club, the Bombay Flying Club and the Orient Club.
had the honour of being presented by the Secretary of State for India
at the Levee of Her Majesty Queen Victoria at the Court of St. James in 1886.
Dr. D. A. DMonte has gifted to the Salsette Catholic Co-operative Housing
Society, of which he is the President, vast piece of valuable land worth about
Rs. 40,000 just in the Heart of the city for a Park know as Dr. DMonte Park.
He has also contributed largely towards the erection of a building for the
Gymkhana known as Dr. DMonte Pavilion & Bandra Gymkhana of which he is
the President and Trustee.
Dr. Mrs. Cecella DMonte, L.M. & S., F.C.P.S., J.P.,
Honorary Presidency Magistrate, a recipient of the Silver Jubilee Medal, a
prominent social worker, and wife of one of the well known Catholic leaders,
Dr. D. A. DMonte, M.D., J.P. She was born on the 3rd June, 875. After passing the
Matriculation Examination in 1892 she joined the Grant
in 1893, and in the same year obtained the Lady Reay Medical Scholarship and
the first Government Scholarship. She passed the L.M. & S. Examination in
1897, obtaining the Bai Hirabai Pestonji Hormusji Cama Gold Medal in Surgery
and was appointed House Surgeon to the Cama
Hospital in 1898, at a time when the work at the Hospital was very
arduous and Lady Doctors very scarce.
Dr. DMonte of Bandra in 1900. She was appointed 2nd physician to
the Cama Hospital
in 1901 and was made a Medical Officer in charge of the Jaffar Sulleman
Dispensary, the Out-Patient Department of the Cama
Hospital, where hundreds of women
from all part of Bombay and the
suburbs were treated. She worked at this charitable dispensary for 26 years,
rendering yeomans services to suffering humanity. In 1927 Dr. Mrs. DMonte was
appointed Acting Medical Officer in charge of the Camam
Hospital and was confirmed on the same
post in 1928. She retired in 1930 from the Cama
Hospital after completing 32 years
of meritorious services. Even after retirement, Dr. Mrs. DMonte is serving as
a Member of the Advisory Board of the Cama
DMontes name is also well known in the social circle. Her services during the
last World War were noteworthy. She formed a Committee of catholic ladies who
were able to collect nearly Rs. 20,000 and to obtain 1,228 gifts and sell 3,630
Lucky Bag tickets. For these services she received a souvenir and a letter of
thanks from Her Excellency Lady Willingdon. She was appointed on every
committee organized for War relief work.
DMonte was President of the Catholic Ladies Association and of Bombay
Presidency Womens Graduates Union. She is also Justice
of the Peace and Honorary Presidency Magistrate. She is doing useful work in
the Juvenile Court. She has taken an active part in all movements for the
welfare of women and children.
donated Rs. 16,000 for quarters for House Surgeons at the Cama
Hospital, where she has devoted
practically all her life.
Add content to your paragraph here.
Ceasar DMello, honorary
Magistrate, Andheri, was born in 1882. He comes from an ancient land-owning
family of Salsette. After finishing his education at St. Xaviers College, he
joined the Royal Insurance Company in 1901 where by steady and intelligent
work, he rose to the position of Accountant and official Superintendent. After
long and meritorious services of 34 years Mr. DMello retired in 1936, and the
Company accorded their high sense of appreciation for this excellent work by
giving him a farewell address and presenting w silver salver.
From a very
early age Mr. DMello took keen interest in matters connected with his
community, as also in public life, particularly of the Salsette District. In
1918 Government nominated him on the District Local Board, Thana
and later on the Taluka Local Board, Thana.
He was appointed Honorary Magistrate on the Bench founded in Andheri in 1924,
and has been re-elected year after year, and now he is appointed official
Chairman of the Bench. In 1922 he was elected a member of the Notified Area Committee.
He was the first non-official Chairman of this committee and to him goes the credit of being appointed Chairman
continuously for five years till the Andehri
Municipality merger into the Ville
by the strenuous efforts of Mr. DMello. Mr. DMello was elected the first
Mayor of the Ville Parle-
in 1935. He was given a public address in Andheri on 10 August, 1930, in recognition of his valuable
was a nominated member of the School Board of the Bombay Suburban District and
in 1922 was elected President of the Suburban Local Board . The Collector, in
his review of the administration of the District Lacal Board for 1932-33 said,
The Services of Ceasar DMello deserve to be mentioned as of special value to
the district for the year under report. In 1933 his administration of the
District Local Board was praised by Sir Frederick Sykes, the then Governor of
Non-Co-operation movement, Mr. DMello rendered useful service to Government in
maintaining peace and order in his district. During the Silver Jubilee
celebration Mr. DMello took a very leading and active part in his district and
he collected Rs 1,200 in Andheri.
DMellos services to his community are most noteworthy. As Treasurer, Bombay
East Indian Association, for 6 years, he collected large donations for the
benefit of the institution. During the influenza epidemic in 1918 he collected
Rs. 1,000 for the relief of the community in Salsette and Bassein. He has
exerted himself unflaggingly for the economic welfare of his people. He had
been an Advisory Secretary to the Co-operative Society of Bandra, and was Chairman
of the Co-operative Society at Andheri. He wa also Vice-President of the
Bomaby Indian Educational Society . He
was also Vice-President, St. Aloysius Club,
Andheri; Association for the Promotion
of Social Welfare of the people of the locality and neighbouring parts; the
All- Saints League; and the Traders and Mercantile Association, Bandra.
the recent movement for the improvement of live stock in the Bombay Presidency
Mr. Ceasar DMello was the first resident of the Suburban District to encourage
this step by presenting a pedigree stud and the Viceroy Stud Bull, and the
Viceroy was good enough to acknowledge this gift by a personal letter. Mr.
DMello has also been elected Chairman of a Committee appointed by the
Collector for the improvement of the live stock in Bombay Suburban District.
Dr. J. Alban De Souza,
B.A., L.M. & S., Captian, I.M.S., J.P., Bombay,
is a leading member of Catholic Mission and a prominent social worker. He is
elected Member, Bombay Legislative Council, since 1926; Municipal Councillor
since 1929; Chairman, Standing Committee, since 1935 and Member, Faculty of
Arts, Grant Medical
College since 1913. He was a
Member, Provincial Franchise Committee, and gave evidence before the Central
Committee on behalf of the Indian Christian Community ; is associated with the St.
Johns Ambulance since last 20 years and holds the
Associations Long Service Medal. Was awarded Silver Jubilee Medal, 1935, for
numerous public-spirited activities.
J. D. Fonseca, Head Bailiff
and Custodian of the Court of Small Causes at Bombay,
has to his credit a brilliant record of useful services for over 35 years. He
started his career as a Bailiff in 1902 and was promoted to the present
position in 1908. He also acted as an Appraiser for over a year, which
arrangement was exceptional and the first of its kind. He has always given
entire satisfaction to his superiors and in recognition of admirable work, was
awarded the Silver Jubilee Medal. He is pleasant in manners and is very popular
in the legal circles of Bombay.