The Dynamic Nonagenarian Admiral
The Dynamic Nonagenarian Admiral
A VISIT TO OUR NONAGENARIAN ADMIRAL
Happiness is no other than soundness and perfection of the mind. — Marcus Aurelius
In continuation of NFMC's series of meeting and greeting the Octogenarians, Meena and I visited Veteran Vice Admiral JTG Pereira at his Uran home. I took a detour en route from Pune to our Borivali Home on Wednesday 16 Oct to reach Hotel Uran Plaza during forenoon hours to visit our Senior most Veteran Admiral, the living Legend of our Navy, VAdm JTG Pereira 96 yrs young. I had tied up with Adm’s Son Michael well in advance and we both were looking forward to the rendezvous.
Post-retirement from our fine Indian Navy the Admiral and his good Lady Joyce decided to make the sublimely serene Uran coast as their abode to relish their second innings. They bought 9-acre seaside plot for Rs 9000/ and founded the Uran Plaza Hotel way back in 1972, that serves as a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of Mumbai Life. Their palm and casuarina lined beaches are tempting to the visitors to sink into cosy hammocks to rejuvenate themselves. They have constructed 6 guest rooms with air conditioning with all amenities for the visitors. The coconut grove has a basketball court. You could take long walks on the beach at low tide on the adjacent Nagave beach or the Pirwadi beach that is just a continuation of Nagave. But during high tide, the waves lash at the fringe of the resort. The Hotel, however, has no tie-ups with commercial sites or Travel portals. Any publicity is only by word of mouth. After retirement Admiral and his good lady, Joyce decided to settle down in Uran and
We left our Lohegaon Home at 0800 hours to pick up some vegetables from Kirkee market prior to setting course on the expressway by 0900 hrs. The Expressway drive was effortless, with me behind the wheel. The weather was sunny with light breeze enroute the hilly terrain and not much of traffic. By the time we descended the Ghats and transited through Bhatan tunnel and wheeled out on the road towards JNPT, time was 1030 hrs. The google-rani misguided us and took us to the Karanja fishing harbour due South of Uran. The further route due north-west to Uran took us though narrow kuchcha paths through konkan villages that gave a semblance of Goa.
Another half an hour later as we wheeled into the abode of the Admiral, we were welcomed by his dynamic Son Michael. Tall and handsome Michael greeted us with a warm handshake and cheerful smile and escorted us through the elegantly designed Aerofoil shaped mansion that appears like a hang-glider ready to be launched off a cliff or a modern-day state of the art Delta wing fighter about to lift off (Pics below). The starboard side of the Mansion is a the Glassed half, on the portico of which the Admiral was relaxing. Admiral’s infectious smile broadened as I approached and saluted him. He extended his arm for a warm handshake.
I introduced Meena to him even as she clicked Photos of Admiral, Michael and me. Michael instructed Vishwanath for Beer as Meena and I requested for fresh lime juice. In our chat with the Admiral, he told us about his initial training in Dufferin in 1939, followed by Engineering in Plymouth for four years prior to joining back for his sea time as E.O. on board Delhi, Mysore, and Kuthar. He recollected his days in the Navy and mentioned that his best tenure was in the dockyard where he was earlier posted as a Manager and later as ASD. He also told us about his instructional time in INS Shivaji. Admiral and Joyce were blessed with talented kids Michael and Jennifer. Michael married beautiful Zarine and the couple was blessed with adorable Ananth. Joyce was very fond of her Grandson, but her Joy was short lived as She left for her heavenly abode quite early at a young age of 59 due to Diabetes. The Admiral retired as Chief of Material in 1979 after 40 glorious in our fine Indian Navy. During our conversation he pointing towards Michael said, ‘He owns racehorses’. Michael smiled.
The delectable Seafood Lunch comprised of Delicious Prawn fry, Pomfret curry, and Koliwada fry apart from Ladyfinger masala, Dal fry, and yummy mixed salad. As the lunch was being laid, Michael switched on soft music, to which Admiral started swaying on the chair. Meena and I gave him company and danced to the musical beats.(video below)
After Lunch Admiral desired to rest inside and Vishwanath escorted him with his walker to the bed. We bid the Admiral Goodbye thanking him for the wonderful company and wished him many fruitful years ahead. Michael then took us around the resort and showed us the awesome place in nature’s habitat. Meena clicked some wonderful photos. Michael asked us to take some rest but we took his leave, the 90 odd kms drive pending. We once again bid Goodbye to Michael thanking him for the pleasant visit to the Admiral’s resort, prior to setting course back home to Borivali.
VADM JTG PEREIRA BIOGRAPHY
Vice Admiral JTG Pereira, PVSM, AVSM joined the Royal Naval College Dartmouth, the UK as a cadet in the year 1939. He graduated from the Royal Naval Engineering College Plymouth in Mechanical and Marine Engineering.
A year later he completed his post graduation from Royal Naval College Greenwich, UK, in ‘Advanced Engineering and Design Propulsion Systems’. He was one of the fifteen to be selected by the Government of India for an Industrial Management Course conducted by the French Government in Paris.
During an illustrious career of forty years, the Admiral had held with distinction many important appointments both ashore and at sea. He had also directed R&D work for the Navy.
He served a long and significant tenure in the Naval Dockyard Bombay first, as the Industrial Manager and later as the Admiral Superintendent, during which time he created the shipyard’s Production Planning and Control Department (PPC) and computer-based MIS. Prior to retirement, he served as a Principal Staff Officer, holding an appointment as Chief of Materials Naval HQ.
Admiral Pereira was born in 1923 in erstwhile Cannanore. He joined St. Michaels School as a boarder, in the first standard. At the time Fr Giladi SJ was the Principal. Even at the ripe old age of 96 years he very fondly remembers the maths teacher Ms. Julie Wolger, who took a special interest in teaching him.
The entire community of Veterans of Indian Navy wishes many Happy and Glorious years ahead to VAdm JTG Pereira
….Shano Varuna, Jai Hind.