28 January 2017

Bro. Robert Dias RIP

Robert Dias SDB - "Secretary par excellence"!

As we mourn the sad demise of our Salesian Brother, Robert Dias, on 4th. November 2016, at a ripe old age 93, many memories of his edifying life rush into my mind. Chief among these, for certain, many will agree is: "Rev. Bro. Bob, the committed Salesian at the Secretarial desk." Infact, I remember him as a long time, faithful secretary to Archbishop of Madras -Mylapore, Louis Mathias for many years. 

Later, after the death of the Archbishop, Bro. Bob served as Secretary to several Provincials of the Southern Salesian province of Madras, India, extending  over Tamilnad, Andhra, Karnataka, Kerala and Maharastra. After the province of Bombay was was established, we requested the experienced secretarial services of Bro. Bob and he willingly took up this responsibility in the provincial office. 

Bro. Bob was certainly a great help to me, not only with his secretarial skills but as a committed and convinced Salesian Brother. Observing him at close quarters, he came across as a person of deep faith in God, with tender devotion to Mother Mary and a steadfast attachment to Don Bosco and his own identity as a Salesian Brother. 

He was a very dependable secretary with a keen sense of duty done to perfection. 
He attended to his desk work, tapping the typewriter keys into late nights to get the provincial circulars and other correspondence despatched on time. He was very caring in his dealings especially with young Salesians and quite popular at community gatherings. Even at an advanced age, he surprised us with his active presence on the field, yes, formidable with the hockey stick in hand.

I saw in Robert,"an elder brother" who lived life with exemplary religious zest. He could be consulted and entrusted with confidential matters. Though much senior to me in age and Salesian profession, and while he was at times quite opinionated, his exemplary faith and respect for superiors was an edifying lesson.

At the request of the Superiors, Bro. Bob served in the office of the General Secretariat in Rome, for a couple of years. In response to the missionary appeal, Bro. Bob opted for the African missions and here too, we had his precious services as provincial secretary for quite some years in Nairobi, Kenya. Bro. Robert spent the last years of his life as a zealous missionary in Uganda and as per his desire, is laid to rest in the land of the Ugandan martyrs. 

As a genuine missionary, Bro. Bob always manifested a deep love for the people of the mission land rather than the land itself. He leaves us to cherish and even imitate his edifying life of total commitment to God and selfless dedication to his vocation of a Salesian, Missionary Brother. 

May The Lord embrace his most faithful Disciple, Robert Dias SDB and through his intercession bless our Salesian Congregation with more missionary vocations.

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