It was a great moment for Konkani community of Kuwait when prominent Mangalorean personalities Vallie M D'Sa and Lawrence D'Souza received the Papal Honour for their meritorious and distinguished service rendered to the church. The award was presented in a ceremony on Thursday, 27 November evening at Holy Family Hall of Cathedral in Kuwait.
The Papal Medal, "The Pro Ecclecia et Pontifice" (Latin: For the Church and the Pope) is the highest award of the Roman Catholic Church that can be awarded to the laity by the Papacy. It is also known as the "Cross of Honour" and was instituted by Pope Leo XII and is given for distinguished service to the church by lay people and clergy.
The programme started with welcome by Kuwait's popular Mangalorean multi-lingual MC Jaison Lasrado followed by prayer dance by UMK - "Who am I". The awardees Vallie M D'Sa, Lawrence D'Souza along with their life partners Louisa D'Sa and Anne D'Souza, Apostolic Nuncio to Kuwait Archbishop Peter Rajic and bishop of Kuwait Camillo Ballin were invited to the stage. Fr Lionel Braganza introduced the awardees in his popular humorous way along with a short biography of both.
Apostolic Nuncio to Kuwait Archbishop Peter Rajic spoke a few words explaining the occasion. Bishop of Kuwait Camillo Ballin spoke about the awardees and appreciated their contribution towards the church. It was a most sentimental and proud moment for the families and the people gathered when Archbishop Peter Rajic awarded the honour by fixing the medals on the chest of Vallie M D'Sa and Lawrence D'Souza and read out the certificate awarded by the Pope.
Advocate David Pais raised the toast and explained the meaning of the award and importance of dedication towards community and church.
Lawrence D'Souza acknowledged the toast and thanked everyone including Bishop Camillo Ballin who recommended them to the Pope. Snacks and soft drinks were served while Barbara Kamath sang some hymns, and UMK kids entertained with their dance. GVOM Orson D'Souza sang some English and Konkani numbers to entertain the guests. Spot prizes were given during the interaction session with the guests. The programme came to an end with delicious buffet dinner.
About the Awardees
Vallie Maxim Dsa, who is known as the first Mangalorean to come to Kuwait, is a successful businessman and a kind-hearted, simple and humble person. He was born on December 15, 1927 to the late Peter (Rayappa) D'Sa and the late Theresa Mascarenhas. He is the youngest brother among four brothers and one sister. He completed his school and college education at Milagres High School and College and gained further education in journalism, medical standardship and business management. Vallie D'Sa is married to Louisa D'Sa and has seven children, two boys and five girls. He is the vice-president and partner of Khalil Bahmen & Partners General Trading and Contracting Company in Kuwait.
Lawrence D'Souza, managing director of Caesers Group is a leading and successful businessman hailing from Shriva - Majebettu / Pilar, a dedicated, kind-hearted and very helpful personality in Kuwait. Born on May 11, 1936 in Shirva Majebettu Pilar to the late Simon and Remedia D'Souza, he did his schooling at Shirva and then continued his studies at St Aloysius, Mangalore. Married to Anne, he is blessed with three sons and a daughter. Even though he does not attend any public function, he is a great supporter of many associations. He is always ready to help people irrespective of their caste, creed and religion. He says, "If you do good work for others, then it is like a prayer; and a bad word is like a curse."
Lawrence D'Souza is a graduate in economics and accountancy and has worked in the ministry of communication, Kuwait for 5 years. He joined Kuwait Air force in 1961 as head of accounts and personal section. He left Kuwait Air Force in 1975 and started a private business forming Caesars under the partnership of Ghazi al_ Abdulrazzak. He is managing director of Caesars Group which has Caesar Pac Carton & Paper Products Co, Al Afrah Al Sharqiya Gen Trading & Cont Co WLL, Ajwan International Co WLL, Chattary Ajwan Infotech Pvt Ltd (India), Caesars Travel Group, Caesars Group of Restaurants & Confectionery and Caesars Holidays.