Padma Shri Wendell Rodricks laid to rest in Colvale

NT NETWORK

Mapusa

India’s leading fashion designer, author, social activist
and Padma Shri awardee Wendell Rodricks was on Thursday laid to rest in his
ancestral village with hundreds of people including villagers, family members,
friends, politicians, business world personalities and students from different
walks of life bidding final adieu to the departed fashion designer. Around
2,000 people attended the funeral.

Rodricks had died on
Wednesday evening at his Colvale residence while in sleep. Respecting the last
wish of the fashion designer, no visitors were allowed inside his residence
except his close family members and relatives.

At around 4 pm, the
funeral cortege left his house and the mortal remains were brought in a hearse
van, accompanied by his spouse Jerome to the St Francis of Assisi church,
Colvale where people anxiously waited to bid the final adieu.

Parish priest of Colvale
Fr Januario D’Costa along with other four priests presided over the funeral
mass. Wendell’s partner Jerome Marrel, his younger brothers Robin, Chester and
Joel and other family members were present.

The minimalist
designer’s coffin reflected his love for white through patches of crochet and
white ribbons that adorned it.

People found it
difficult to believe that Wendell was no more, as the choir sung the entrance
hymn, “… You alone are my strength my shield, to you alone may my spirit
yield…”

Parish priest Fr
Januario D’Costa, who made the Eucharistic celebration pondered
on Wendell’s life.

“He might have had world
fame and riches, but he always lived a humble life and was always there for the
needy,” the priest said.

He then went on to say
that Wendell was a crusader, who fought to take care of the world. “Wendell
gave us a glimpse of heaven through his creations in white,” he said.

The homily was given by
Fr Freddy Lobo, who concelebrated the Eucharistic celebration along with Fr Dr
Simao Rodrigues, Fr Dr Maverick Fernandes and Fr Loiola Pereira.

The village choir was
also joined by the noted Goan fadista Sonia Shirsat.

The niece of the fashion
designer read a eulogy for him, moving everyone to tears. Wendell’s younger
brother Joel, who spoke before the final blessing expressed how his eldest
brother was a father figure to him.

“He was a quick learner.
He loved singing and playing. I thank him for bringing music into our lives.
Yesterday was very tough, because he left us forever,” Joel said, adding that
it was sad that Wendell’s life was cut short at 59, when he still had so much
to accomplish.

“We will take forward
his legacy of Moda Goa which was his dream project,” Joel announced coming out
clear on what would happen to Wendell’s dream project.

“Not many have had such
a full life,” Joel said before adding that it’s not the years in one’s life
that count but the life in one’s years,” Joel maintained.

Pointing out, “As we
mourn his death, we also celebrate his life. And when you remember him, smile
and be generous.”

As the final prayer was
being said, people formed a beeline to the cemetery in the church compound.

Bollywood actor Arshad
Warsi, fashion designer Monty Sally, noted photographer Farrokh Chothia, Bina
Ramani, model Prathamesh Maulingkar and others also attended the mass.

Politicians like
Digambar Kamat, Nilkanth Halarnkar, Elvis Gomes and former minister Alex
Sequeira, industrialists Pallavi Dempo and Shrinivas Dempo, and former GCCI president Cesar
Menezes were also present.

Describing Wendell as
one of the nicest persons he had ever met in his life, Bollywood actor Arshad
Warsi said, “Every time I was in Goa, we used to meet. And he was a flawless
person. I got to know him better at the Literary Festival in Bhutan. People
like Wendell should not depart early.”

A group of students and
teachers from Government Polytechnic, Panaji was also present to pay homage to
their loving mentor as Wendell was associated with the institution for last 21
years.

A teacher Cheryl
Saldanha said, “Till November he has been attending almost every exam
encouraging our students which we can never forget. He has been inspiring and
enlightening us.”

A Colvale villager and
ex-road traffic officer Servo Fernandes attending the funeral told this daily
that Wendell was also an active Gaonkar of the village Communidade.

“Not many know that he
was a practicing Roman Catholic, who had great faith in Our Lady of Perpetual
Succour and St Anthony,” Fernandes said.

Source:: The Navhind Times

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