Thank you Ravi.
My family members, colleagues of my father, Government and Municipal officials, relatives and dear friends,
We are gathered here to mark the passing away of my dear father Joseph Bain D'Souza. Though I feel sad he is no longer with us, I think and feel that we should be happy that he had such a long and productive life.
I would like to share with you some reflections about my father, as I knew him. His devotion to his work was exemplary -- often at a cost to his family life. During his years of Government service, one of my enduring memories is of him sitting with his files till very late at night (1-2 am). His well justified claim was, "I am not as intelligent as some of my colleagues in the Service, so I need to work harder than all of them." Few would dispute that.
His approach to his work could be summed up in these words from Gen. MacArthur's farewell speech at West Point:
- "Duty," "Honor," "Country" - those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you want to be, what you can be, what you will be.
... be proud and unbending in honest failure, but humble and gentle in success; not to substitute words for action; not to seek the path of comfort, but to face the stress and spur of difficulty and challenge; to learn to stand up in the storm, but to have compassion on those who fall; to master yourself before you seek to master others."
One of his favourite verses was "The Impossible Dream":
- To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far
To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause
And I know if I'll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest.
My father's life was his message to all of us.