By Trophy D’Souza
Auckland: Stand First: Our Report in the last issue (Indian Newslink March 15, 2017) announcing the conferment of ‘The Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice’(‘For Church and Pope’) on Aucklander Wenceslaus Anthony evoked widespread worldwide response.
News of the Award, a Decoration of the Catholic Church by Pope Francis has been a source of pride and gratification to a cross-section of people across the Continents. Among them was Trophy D’Souza, former headmaster of Don Bosco School where Anthony studied, who rejoiced at his ward’s achievement and sent us the following piece.
I was pleasantly surprised and sincerely delighted to hear that Wenceslaus Anthony has been awarded a Papal Honor.
He and his brother and sisters have all been great supporters of community and Church projects. His parents were outstanding in their dedicated and unassuming service to their close neighbors, to their friends and to the wider group of people from different religious or ethnic affiliations.
Warm and generous
I knew Anthony from his school days (in Kolkata) and found him always warm and generous to his mates and very respectful to his teachers and elders.
Apparently, these traits have accompanied him through life wherever he has been. Whatever Anthony has achieved in life represent the true Gospel values (of love, sharing and respect) as well as genuine human principles (of service before self), not unlike Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa or John Bosco (whose legacy continues in Don Bosco institutions –where Anthony had his early education).
One of my fond memories of Wenceslaus Anthony (we called him Wency) was a party song he led us through at a campfire which amused the group and labeled him the ‘Party Entertainer’.
It was typical of him to keep his company and all those who share time with him not just entertained but inspired and motivated as well.
He also has that winning smile that endears him to others, even those who might not always share his views or his opinions. That is probably what makes him that true human being, steeped in Christian beliefs, who comes across as a friend worth having, a leader worth following and an animator worth trusting.
Anthony’s brother and sisters have gone off in different directions in life (in fact in different countries) but they have remained united as a family and in their commitment to people who needed the assistance that their talent or skills could provide.
It was help that was social more than financial, human more than legal, spiritual more than mechanical, unflagging more than sparing. This selfless style of approach to people has endeared Wenceslaus and his family to the communities wherever they are today.
I feel that the recognition Anthony has received, now because of the ‘Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice’ medal, which has gone global because of today’s media, is rightly deserved.
His selfless commitment needs to be recorded also perhaps in a publication and in people’s blogs. I do want to keep in my back-burner the possibility of publicizing (perhaps as one of my future books) the little and the great things he has done to people and institutions especially those that affected groups and communities in New Zealand and in India.
I believe that his life, his commitments and his achievements (not unlike those of his parents and of his brother and sisters) will inspire others.
The young and talented as well as those who hold positions of authority and service (secular and religious) today should take a leaf out of his book-of-life.
Trophy D’Souza has published seven books that deal with human situations. His blog (www.trodza.wordpress.com) has over 30 inspirational accounts. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Photo: Wenceslaus Anthony (credits: Ashok Kochhar)