Friday 13 September 2013

Rose da Cruz

I received the news yesterday of the death of a cousin, Rose da Cruz, who used to live in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. She passed away quietly in her sleep, and must have been over 70. RIP.

Rose belonged to a gang of 7 sisters, or was it 5, and 1 brother. The boy got married, and only one of the girls. The others - 6 or 4 as the case may be - remained unmarried. Victoria, the eldest, taught at a school run by the Baldegger Schwestern in Dar, and upon retirement chose to join the Sisters. She lives at the motherhouse in Baldegg now, and must be over 80 years old. But Rose was the most colourful, in my opinion: lively, gregarious, and unwilling to get married. Not that offers were lacking. She was not exceptionally good looking, but wherever she went she received offers of marriage, or at least that is what she kept telling us. Her comment: Who wants to get married? They only want my money.

Rose and her sisters had an Italian friend who used to go over to Dar and stay with them, so they picked up some Italian that way. I remember the time Rose and this good lady, whose name I forget now, came to Rome, when I was a student in the early 1990s. They took me out to lunch, and Rose kept saying loudly and boldly, "Io piace questo," and "Io piace quello." Rose was fun. God bless her and give her rest. We will miss her. It was nice that she and Esme managed to pay one last visit to Goa and look up the relatives not two months ago, though sadly I missed seeing them.

Rose was the daughter of my maternal grandmother's only brother. He upped and went to East Africa as a young man, got cheated out of most of his money, probably by someone close to him, and so could not return to Goa for many years. He did return eventually though, for a visit, and I think we had some photos of him somewhere. The girls visited somewhat more often, and it was mostly Rose and Esme and sometimes Victoria. I don't remember ever having seen Peter. There was a possibility of my visiting them in Dar, at least twice, but it was not convenient, and now perhaps it is too late, with Peter gone, and Rose, and perhaps some others.  

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