Eminent Medical Practitioner, and Former Senior Vice-President of Kanara Catholic Association
Profile by Dr. Jeanette Pinto
Dr. Anthony Sequeira, an octogenarian, is an energetic, charming and popular person belonging to the Mangalorean community of Bombay. He is present at all the social gatherings, especially those of the KCA. His father came to this city of dreams nearly a century ago in 1918, and so Dr. Anthony is a thoroughbred Mumbaikar.
He belongs to a large family of eight children, four boys and four girls. He was born after his three elder sisters, and so as per hear say tradition, he was referred to as ‘Tiklo’ of the family, which signifies that he is a very lucky ‘boy child’. His father established the Dr. Titus William Sequeira Maternity / Surgical Hospital in 1935 in Mazagaon, and Dr. Anthony was the first family baby to be delivered by his father in his own hospital. The family was raised in Mazagaon.
Educated at leading Jesuit institutions – St. Mary’s High School and St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai, Anthony had a brilliant academic career. He studied Medicine at the well-known Seth G.S. Medical College in Bombay. He excelled not only in academics but actively participated in sports, and was even considered the sports icon of the college. He was the first student in the history of the college to break a University Athletics Record on December 8, 1953. His forte was the Walking Race, and he also took part in the 800, 1,500 and 10,000 metres race. He also played for the Bombay University Hockey Team for three years.
His professional life was interesting and busy. He took over his father’s practice immediately after his father passed away on December 24, 1959, and continued to do so for 42 years. I have often heard him say, “You were my baby” whenever he would meet with the person. He was an active member of the St. Luke’s Medical Guild Bombay, from 1959 to 1969. His Magnum Opus was as the Secretary General of the Third Asian Congress of Catholic Doctors held at the Taj Mahal Hotel in 1964. In 1966, he was the Secretary of the Indian Delegation to the XI International Conference of Catholic Doctors in Manila, and was the first Indian to present a paper at any International Conference for Catholic Doctors.
Although, a medical practitioner with a busy schedule, Dr. Anthony is a person of varied interests. He tried his language skills at Journalism; and as a medical student he soon became a Sports Freelancer and Columnist of National Standard, Indian Express, The Bombay Chronicle, and other publications. He was the Medical Correspondent of BLITZ and contributed to Sports Week. He was also a member of the Editorial Board of the Catholic Medical Bulletin, a supplement of The Examiner.
Dr. Anthony held many erstwhile positions; he was twice elected President of the Lions Club, Mazagaon (Dist. 323-A). The Catholic community is proud to have had Dr. Anthony as the President of the Catholic Association of Bombay in 1976, and the Vice-President of the Catholic Union of India / All India Catholic Union (1977 – 1984). He was the Spokesman of the Archdiocese at the Jai Hind College Rally on the O.P. Tyagi’s Freedom of Religion Bill, protecting the rights of the minority communities. In addition for three terms, he was the President of the Bombay Catholic Urban Co-operative Housing Society Ltd., Willingdon Colony, and put an end to the 40 year old fractious litigation.
Dr. Anthony’s wife of recent memory, Dr. Lalita Pais met with an unfortunate fatal accident, and passed away on October 31, 2005. His two daughters, Dr. Priya, who recently passed the M.R.C.O.G. London, and Dr. Pravina, a Dental Surgeon, are both very successful doctors working abroad. He is blessed with a grand-daughter, Rhea, who is the apple of his eye.
Generous at heart, Dr. Anthony has made financial donations to various causes. He has established Awards in Sportsmanship at St. Mary’s High School, for both seniors and intermediates with cash prize; and Seth G.S. Medical College; the Men’s and Women’s Championship of St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore; the Bombay High Schools I Division Football Trophy; and the Bombay University 20 KMS Walking Race. A pro-lifer at heart, he instituted the Sr. Annunciata RGS Religious Golden Jubilee Pro-Life Award in the Archdiocese of Bombay. He appreciated the compassionate attitude of the KEM Hospital Nurses who took care of Nurse Aruna Shanbag, who lived for 36 years in a coma. On this account, he instituted the KEM Hospital Nurses Welfare Fund for the Aruna Shanbag Care, and additionally for KEM Hospital Nurses Welfare Fund. He also instituted the Dr. Sanjay Oak Best Residents Award and the Dr. Manubhai L Kothari Best Students Prize. His initiative and organization gave exposure to Dr. John Billings of the Mucous Ovulation Method to an Indian audience with regard to Natural Family Planning.
Dr. Anthony is a multi-faceted personality. In addition to his achievements, he was:
- Secretary, St. Luke’s Medical Guild, 1959 – 1969
- Secretary, Indian Federation of Catholic Medical Guild, 1964 – 1969
- Corresponding Editor for India of the ‘Linacre Quarterly’, the Official quarterly publication of the National Catholic Physicians Guild of USA, 1969 – 1974
- Awarded the ‘Sharadini Dahanukar Hirvai / Sanman’ i 2013, virtually the life-time achievement award of the Seth G.S. Medical College and KEM Hospital
- Justice of the Peace, 1972 – 1973
- Special Executive Magistrate, 1974 – 1975
- Twice elected President of the Lions Club, Mazagaon, and received the 100% President’s Award
- President of the Catholic Association of Bombay, 1976
- Vice-President, CUI / AICU, 1977 – 1984
- Only non-Muslim to be appointed Chairman of the Minorities Cell of any political party in the country – Janata Dal (Bombay)
His special effort for the KCA, for which he was the Senior Vice-President for three terms, was laden with challenges by several Members, including three ex-Presidents to separate the KCA Trust from the KCA Hostel Trust. He organized a full-fledged one day sports meet with events, both for juniors and seniors, under the auspices of the Greater Bombay Regional Athletics’ Association, at no cost to the KCA.
The Catholic Community of Bombay, especially the KCA is proud to have a ‘man of many faces’ in Dr. Anthony Sequeira. We wish him many more years of happy productive living.