Joe Gonsalves : A Skilful Manager who Excels in all Spheres of Life

Dec 31, 2009

When I met Joseph Gratian Gonsalves, all of 88 but going strong bubbling with liveliness like a teenager I could not help recall American Humourist Mark Twain’s quotable quote ‘age is an issue of mind over matter.  If you don’t mind it doesn’t matter’. Tall and handsome, fit like a fiddle, quite agile and having a razor sharp memory one cannot believe his age until he confirms it.  Despite Herculean efforts I could not resist the temptation of asking him the secret of his zestfulness. 

“I lead a disciplined life and work hard.  There is a military-like discipline in the house when it comes to maintaining food timings which has been a blessing for all of us”, he answers. So early to rise and early to bed makes Joe healthy, peppy and happy.  Joe took to Yoga at the age of 85, when most of us resign to the idea of being too old and now has made yoga a regular part of his daily regime. He is surely an inspiration to all those believe in the dictum that “it is never too late to learn anything new, age not withstanding”.  For him each day is a new day with new challenges and there have been no dull moments in his life spanning almost nine decades. For sixty years his wife Irene has been his tower of strength, his constant companion sharing every moment of his life good or bad. 

60 Years of Wedded life

I could see the Gonsalves household is filled with activity with an aura of festivity pervading all around and not without reason.  Apart from the joy of celebrating New Year the Gonsalves family is all set to celebrate the 60th wedding anniversary of Irene and Joe on January 6, 2009 and the Gonsalves brood has landed on the shores of Mangalore from different part of the globe. Joe is excited about this celebration and unfolds the grandiose plans the family has put forth to observe this event.  It can be termed as double dhamaka as January 1st also happens to be the birthday of Joe and there is no better way than to celebrate it with family and friends.  

The 60th wedding anniversary is going to be a gala affair as family members, relatives and friends are going to share the joy of the couple with grandiose celebrations.  Apart from Mangalore Diocesan Bishop Rev Aloysius Paul D Souza, Archbishop Ignatius Pinto, Shimoga Bishop Gerald Lobo, Protestant Bishiop Joseph Stevan Sadanand and Bishop Christoper Furtado and a big contingent of priests numbering around 60, will participate in the mass to be held at Milagres Church on January 6.    

There is more to Joe than just celebrating 60 years of wedded life and going on strong with age.  He has been active in the field of social service rendering his service, expertise and experience to institutions and individuals, especially his community and his Alma Mater.  “Though retired from service I have not retired from my work and would prefer to lend my services till the last”, he states.  

Born on January 1, in 1922 Joseph Gratian Gonsalves was a New Year’s gift to Cornelius Gonsalves and Pauline Pais of Milagres Parish.  In fact most of the cherished events of Joe’s life are associated with the Milagres church.  It was in Milagres church he was baptized, confirmed, married and also celebrated his golden wedding anniversary.  Joe his entire education at St Aloysius and the name of the Alma Mater fills him with pride flooding him with nostalgia.  “My school and college days are the most eventful and happy-go-lucky days of my life and I still carry the fond memories of those carefree days especially the profound influence my school and the teachers had on me which shaped my character and career”, he recalls.  

Leaving his Imprint at Workplace  

Better career prospects took Joe to Mumbai where he joined as a management trainee in the prestigious J L Morrison and Company Limited, which had its head office in London and branches in principal Indian metros. He also served as head of branches in Delhi, Chennai and Kolkotta and finally he was brought back to Mumbai as the head of all branches in India. The Company sent him to London for advanced training and for the first time a wife was sent along with the husband on training.  

Due to his extraordinary talent, skill coupled with hard work he rose from position to position to be elevated to the position of General Sales Manager lending 29 years of valuable service to the company which in the process enriched him. In 1975 armed with the rich experience he acquired at Morrison he joined Union Home Products Limited as an Executive Director.  With his professional skills, expertise and endearing personal qualities he left an indelible mark in both these organizations.  He retired from service in 1983 but hasn’t retired from the multifarious work he has taken upon himself and he enjoys doing it.  

His wife Irene Mascarenhas, 84 has been his tower of strength and he doesn’t hesitate to quote the cliché ‘behind every successful man …there is a woman”.  Joe almost chokes when he talks about the role of his wife in his successful career.  When asked to recall any memorable event of his life he says with a choked broken voice “it is definitely falling in love with my wife”, which is an indication that the couple is still very much in love and are inseparable.  He adds “I am fortunate to have Irene as my soul mate and companion and the sixty years we spent together as man and wife are the most memorable years of my life”.  The couple had met in Mumbai where she had gone to her brother’s place and Joe was her brother’s classmate. Cupid struck and their eyes met and hearts melted.  After a four year courtship the couple was married at Milagres church where they vowed to be partners in life and the saga continues. 

The couple has four grown children, Cheryl (married to Harry Saldanha), Lorna, a very active community leader in the U.S. (married to Peter Pinto, a university Professor), Franco (married to Margaret Fernandes) and Michelle (married to Michael Mathias), all with the exception of Cheryl are settled the in the U.S. Joseph and Irene are proud grand parents of 10 youngsters, ranging in age from 6 to 34 years.  It is a huge happy family where generation gap does not come in the way of sharing and connecting. The grand children just adore their grandparents. The Gonsalves couple badly misses their grandson (son’s son) whom they lost to cancer a few years ago.   

Irene has fond memories of their first meeting in Mumbai.  After her graduation Irene wanted to pursue law to become a lawyer just like her father Alban Mathias. “But my mother would not let me pursue my studies and I was crestfallen.  I went to Mumbai to my brother’s place to overcome the dejection”, she recalls.  The Mumbai visit proved to be a blessing in disguise as she met her beloved Joe, her partner of six decades.  Joe adores his wife and is magnanimous in giving credit to her for shaping up the family into what it is today.  

In the Service of Community 

After his retirement in 1983 Joe has immersed himself wholeheartedly to the cause of serving his community. He has put his life experience of nearly nine decades to provide counseling (not professional) for those who need 3rd person intervention to resolve personal problem.  Joe has served on the Board of Fr Muller’s Hospital for 15 years and has served on the Catholic Board of education.  His benign service at St Joseph’s Workshop for over 3 decades is the hallmark of his social service. 

It was but natural that a man of his stature was given the responsibility of overseeing the security arrangements during Pope’s visit to Mangalore in 1986, where he had to work in tandem with the department of Law and Order and was privileged to be introduced to the Pope by the then Bishop of Mangalore.

With most of his children and family members settled in USA Gonsalves couple has been spending most of their time in the USA.  In USA they shuttles between Ohio, Michigan and Cleaveland, where their children are settled and all these places are within commutable distances.  Having established there Joe has extended his range of service in USA by joining hands with several fellow Aloysians like Rev Dr Oswald Mascarenhas and Tony D Silva that has culminated in the formation of APNA (Aloysian and Partners in North America) to form a network of Aloysian Alumni in US and Canada.    

Henceforth Joe has decided to spend more time in India extending his gamut of service to the community institutions he is associated with.  Joe had a great passion for hunting and still possesses an All India license for which he has made his son the retainer. Joe is fond of reading books and is an avid stamp collector.  

With so much activity in life Joe has many memorable events of his long innings including the birth of their last daughter Michele who was born 20 years after their first child was born.  

Joe possesses an unbridled passion for contributing his mite for the betterment of the society in whatever possible way he can.  With his cup of joy full he still looks forward to rendering his service from his vast reservoir of experience to the community and he enjoys it.  

Let us join the family, relatives and friends in wishing the Gonsalves couple on this joyous occasion and pray the almighty to grant them many more years of togetherness.

by Florine Roache - Daijiworld Media Network
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Comment on this article

  • Joanne Fernandes Cox, Bombay, India - NY

    Tue, Jun 14 2011

    OMG (as we say, when words fail us!)- so  proud of both A. Irene and you! - God Bless. - joanne

  • Harshit Gupta, Kanpur

    Sun, Jan 30 2011

    A true inspiration to all youngsters. Sir, you are so vibrant at your age that it gives all youngsters a run for their money. Wish u a long healthy life

  • Sylvia D'sa, Bangalore

    Mon, Jan 03 2011

    Wow... Uncle Joe, am reading this Article after almost a year later This article is tribute to you & your wife. Truly you are the Hero. I wish you & your wife a long life filled with laughter and good health. This article is an encouragement to all of us

  • Amrith & Dolphy, Mangalore/USA

    Sat, Jan 09 2010

    From the time I enjoyed your warm hospitality in Madras almost 45 years ago, you have been a much admired couple. The devout daily morning rosary and evening walks to the church to attend Mass are etched in my memory. May God bless you with many more years of marital bliss. You are certainly a blessing and a role model to our community. Aunty, your dazzling smile is as captivating as ever. Uncle Joe, you are a inspiring, youthful 88! Hearty congratulations on reaching such a remarkable milestone side by side. Cheers and God Bless. With fond love to all the family. Amrith and Dolphy

  • Dr. Jacinta D'Souza, Mangalore

    Thu, Jan 07 2010

    Dear Irene and Joe, Heartiest Congratulations on the occasion of your diamond wedding anniversary. It has been a great joy to know you and more so, the services you have rendered to society. I thank God for all the graces showered on both of you, your children and grandchildren and I pray for a greater outpouring of blessings on both of you and each and every member of your family.

  • Olga B Noronha, Mangalore

    Thu, Jan 07 2010

    Dear Joe and Irene, this article is a tribute to both of you ! Truly Joe is all that it says and more.......proven by the expertise he puts at the disposal of the various institutions and Committees on which he serves! Congrats to both of you on the occasion of your diamond wedding anniversary.

  • Fernandes Family Bondel,

    Tue, Jan 05 2010

    Dear Uncle Joe and Aunty Irene. We are very happy and proud to read this article and view the photos. Belated Happy Birthday to Uncle Joe and a very Happy 60th Wedding Anniversary to you both. Lots of love and prayers from all members of late Lawrence & late Stella Fernandes family Bondel. Happy Anniversary!!

  • Darren,Tanya,rita& lionel dias, mangalore

    Sun, Jan 03 2010

    Dear uncle Joe and Aunty Irene Wonderful article about you-happy birthday. God bless you both on your 60th wedding anniversary. We love you.

  • Max & Jessie Rasquinha, Mangalore, Houston,Tx

    Sun, Jan 03 2010

    Thank you, Joe and Irene for your exemplary dedication of 60 years of happy and united married life. May you both live for another 40 years so that your life may be a role model for thousands of other families to reflect upon and make this world a better place to live and let live. We wish we were in Mangalore to join in your happiness but we shall remember in our prayers on your auspicious day. God bless

  • Fr. Vincent Menezes, Cascia, Mangalore

    Sun, Jan 03 2010

    Hi Joe and Irene, CONGATULATIONS AND MANY HAPPY RETURNS OF THE DAY. Ad Multos Annos. All the best.

  • Edward Cardoza, Mangalore/ UAE

    Sat, Jan 02 2010

    Congratulations to both of you! Please do not use Daijiworld as a forum for propogating your accomplishments. "Purity and simplicity are the two wings with which man soars above the earth and all temporary nature".


    Sat, Jan 02 2010

    Very good and impressed life of Joe & Irene well writen by Florine. I wish them all the best..both of you are inspiration for present generation. May god bless both of you.thanks Daiji.

  • Malcolm & Odile Saldanha, Mangalore / Boston

    Sat, Jan 02 2010

    Dear Uncle Joe and Aunty Irene- Congratulations on your 60th Wedding Anniversary. I pray to the Almighty to give you the gift of a long and healthy life. I am lucky and privileged to know you.

  • Chirstopher D'souza, Bendur, Mangalore

    Fri, Jan 01 2010



    Fri, Jan 01 2010

    Wishing you a very happy birthday and may GOD bless you with good health and long life Uncle JOE... I have known this couple through my children Najeeb and Natasha for the past 10 years and I had the previledge of attending Uncle Joe and Aunty Irenes 50th wedding anniversary.. They are one of the most wonderful and loving couple that i have met and on behalf of my family we all wish you both a very happy GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY and pray it turns to PLATINUM soon... Amen!!! Loves KUNILS...

  • Loy and Gladys Mudarth, Mangalore

    Fri, Jan 01 2010

    Happy 88th birthday Uncle Joe. May you live a 101. Gladys

  • Gladys and Loy Mudarth, Mangalore

    Fri, Jan 01 2010

    Dearest Aunty Irene and Uncle Joe Hearty Congratulations on your Diamond Wedding Anniversary. Memories are fresh with Aunty Dulcine. God's blessings and prayers Glady

  • Charles D'Souza, Dubai

    Fri, Jan 01 2010

    I am privileged to know Joe and his wonderful lady Irene. My friendship with Joe started a few months ago. In my opinion Joe is one of the finest Mangalorean gentlemen I have come across.Happy Birthday to you Joe and may you have many more Charles

  • Joseph D'silva, Gorigudda, Mangalore

    Fri, Jan 01 2010

    sir, it has been a wonderful experience knowing a eminent personality like you. I wish u long life on this day as u celebrate your birthday and also wish both of you a happy diamond wedding.May this year bring you both joy and good health. Joe, mariette and children.

  • George Pais, URWA -MANGALORE

    Fri, Jan 01 2010

    Dear Mr Gonsalves, Wishing you a happy birthday and also wishing many more healthier birthdays in the years ahead. We also congratulate you both on your anniversary and wish many more to come - GEORGE-THELMA


    Fri, Jan 01 2010

    Dear Joe AUNCLE and Irene AUNTY, Hearty Congratulations to you on your Diamond wedding anniversary.


    Fri, Jan 01 2010

    Many Happy Returns of the Day Mr. Joe and Congratulations n Best Wishes to you n Mrs. Irene on your Diamond Wedding Day - January 06, 2010! MAY GOD BLESS YOU BOTH WITH GOOD HEALTH, PEACE, JOY, ... Dev Boren Korum.

  • Doreen/ Oliver Machado, Mangalore/ Sharjah

    Fri, Jan 01 2010

    A very Happy Birthay and many more to come dear Uncle Joe. A Happy New Year, and a Happy 60th Wedding Anniversary. You have been a great inspiration to many of us with all the activities that you have been involved. I must also add that you are very helpful and been a great support to us and our family. Thank you very much and may the Good Lord continue to shower his blessings on you, aunt Irene and all other family members.


    Fri, Jan 01 2010

    Very impressed by the life story of the ever young couple Joe and Irene. Long and healthy life is also God's blessing over and above our human efforts. Happy birthday to Joe and happy 60th wedding anniversary wishes to the couple.

  • Bharath Kumar, Attavar, Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 31 2009

    We wish you Happy & Healthy 88th Birthday on the 1st of January and Congratulations on 6th January to you & aunty Irene on your 60th Marriage Anniversary. God bless you both. May God give all the strength to you both to continue with your social work & help to the Needy.

  • Fr.J.B.Crasta, mangalore

    Thu, Dec 31 2009

    Dear Joe and Irene, Happy Birthday and Happy 60th wedding anniversary to Mrs & Mr Joe Gonsalves. May God give you good health.Thanks for the service to our community.God Bless you.

  • Vincent Pinto, Neerude / Riyadh

    Thu, Dec 31 2009

    Wish you Happy Bithday and Happy 60th wedding anniversary. May God bless you both.

  • Fr. Patrick Rodrigues, Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 31 2009

    Dear Joe You are a gem of a person. You and Irene are ideal couple. May God bless you both.


    Thu, Dec 31 2009

    dear joe gonsalves, got to know many things about you after going through this article. great achievements and success i must say.wishing u a very happy birthday and wishing u and aunty glorius 60 years of wedded life.May God give u good health and strength to continue ur good work. A Word of appreciation to Mrs. florine for the beautiful article.

  • Fr Henry, Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 31 2009

    Dear Joe and Irene, Hearty Congratulations to you on your Diamond wedding anniversary. May God bless you in abundance.

  • Devika, mlore

    Thu, Dec 31 2009

    dear mr joe. good wishes -happy anniversary -happy new year. bye

  • Ivan Fernandes, Mangalore / Dubai

    Thu, Dec 31 2009

    Dear Joe & Irene, Congratulations and look forward to your Diamond Wedding celebrations soon. Ever since I met Joe in Mangalore, it has given me a new sense of inspiration. After our first meeting, the thought that popped my mind was - If Joe at his age, has the strength, inspiration, courage and committment to help the society, we need to take a leaf out of his book and follow in his footsteps. We wish you both many more happy, healthy and prosperous years and continue with your active spirit and encourage others to do the same.

  • Fr Eugene Lobo SJ, Neerude/Rome

    Thu, Dec 31 2009

    Dear Mr Joe Gonsalves Let me wish you a very Happy Birthday and many returns of the day. Let me ish you and Mrs Irene Gonsalves a very happy Jubilee.

  • vasanth, mangalore

    Wed, Dec 30 2009

    Best of luck

  • Lavina , Mangalore

    Wed, Dec 30 2009

    Very good article. Happy B'day to Uncle Joe and Happy 60th wedding anniversary.

  • Austin Prabhu, Nanthur/Chicago

    Wed, Dec 30 2009

    Good article about living dynamo - Joe Gonsalves. He is really an inspitation to youth to become more effective, hard working and dedicating person in this beautiful world of ours.

  • Roma D'sa, EX-Staffof UBI Hampankatta Branch

    Wed, Dec 30 2009

    Dear Mr Gonsalves wish you a very happy birhday and both , you and your wife a very happy 60th wedding anniversary it was great talking to you when you came to our branch

  • Melwin D' Souza/Mirne, M'LOR/Milagres

    Wed, Dec 30 2009

    Hi. Dear,Mr,Joe Gonsalves Happy birthday and Wish you happy 60th Wedding anniversary Mr &Mrs Joe. I no very well to you. may the Lord bless you Abundantly you with good health and showear his throughout your life with happiness.

  • Ivy Maria K., Mangalore / Sharjah

    Wed, Dec 30 2009

    Hi Joe Uncle, Indeed your life is inspirational to all of us. I know your daughter Michelle, we studied together in(St.Mary's) and always she use to tell me that you and i share the birthday being 1st Jan. I remember you and Michelle and have always admired her cause she was talented just like you. Here's wishing you and Aunty Irene a glorious 60 years of wedded life and a very Happy birthday and a fruitful new year (to you and your family.

  • Tony, Mangalore / USA

    Wed, Dec 30 2009

    Joe is my hero in many many ways! He is an inspiration to so many of us Aloysians in the U.S. as we have come to know him and work with him. Ever youthful, quick-witted and energetic, I could not believe that he was 83 when I met him five years ago. I wondered about the secret of his youth and even asked him about it. While he said it was his regularity with daily chores and yoga, it was only upon meeting his beloved Irene that I figured Joe's zest for life! Joe: Congratulations and wish you and Irene many many more years of healthy life and the energy for service to Mangalore. Thanks Ms. Roache for the excellent article. No one could have said it better!

  • Joe Gonsalves, Mangalore - U.S.A.

    Wed, Dec 30 2009

    I am constrained to point out a very important omission in the account presented by Daijiworld. My dear - very dear friend Bishop Derek of The Karwar Diocese was the first one to congratulate me when he heard that we were celebrating our sixtieth wedding anniversary and indeed most graciously stated that he would be there with us to share our joy. While thanking Florine and Walter for the write up I would reiterate that Bishop Derek is very close to me and I am sorry for the inadvertent omission.

    I thank several of my friends for calling me and even phoning me from places like California to wish me after going through "Daijiworld".

  • ARTHUR D SHENOI, California

    Wed, Dec 30 2009

    Dear Joe Elyn and I wish you a Happy Birthday on the !st of January and Congratulatioins on your and Irene's 60th Wedding Anniversary. Love Arthur and Elyn

  • Charles Rodrigues, Bantval, New York

    Wed, Dec 30 2009

    Forine, great article on Joe and Irene. Having been associated with Joe for over 4 years now in the common task of building the St Aloysius alumni network through APNA, I can vouch for every word that you say about Joe - his energy, enthsiasm and zest for life are legendary and contagious. Joe is an inspiration to all he comes across. I wish Joe and Irene a very happy 60th anniversary and many more happy and healthy ones.


    Wed, Dec 30 2009

    Wishing you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY and also wishing you your 60th wedding anniversary from the whole family of MADHAVA ATTAVAR who is a very good friend of yours and whom you have saved in that critical stage,during an emergency and under went a major surgery in Manipal on 12th JANUARY on his birthday,we the whole family cannot forget the help you have done to us in saving our father.MAY THE MIGHTY LORD KEEP YOU AND YOUR FAMILY HAPPY AND HEALTHY TO CONTINUE WITH YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO THE SOCIETY SPECIALLY THE POOR AND NEEDY. GOD BLESS YOU SIR

  • Charles D'Mello, Pangala

    Wed, Dec 30 2009

    Happy Birthday and Happy 60th wedding anniversary to Mrs & Mr Joe Gonsalves....Although I do know you personally, I know you very well through your comments on Daijiworld..... I wish you a long life filled with laughter and good health.

  • Rajesh Sequeira, Kulshekar, Dubai

    Wed, Dec 30 2009

    Very good article florine if i am not mistaken the couple will celebrate 60 years on Jan 6th 2010. Wish you a happy anniversary Mr Joe and Irene

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