Joseph Anthony Fernandes
January 20th, 1925 - November 28th, 2012
“He is like a tree planted by streams of water.” --Psalm 1:3
Tony loved Yeshua Jesus, and the Word. He loved his family, his wife, his four sons, daughters in law, and eleven grandchildren. He also enjoyed the special occasions when his Family would gather together. Tony and his wife Barbara were inseparable.
Tony was born in Bombay, India on the 20th of January 1925 as the only son to Adolpho and Amelia (DeMello) Fernandes. Tony’s parents had immigrated to Bombay (British India) from Goa (a Portuguese colony in India), where Tony spent most of his summer vacations during his youth. When Tony was only six years old, his father Adolpho passed away, leaving Tony with his mother and two sisters. This forced him to take on a great deal of responsibility at an early age, which developed in him a strong character.
Tony completed his education at a prestigious place of learning, St. Xavier's High School in Bombay, India in 1942. He then studied at a Premium Training Program with Tata Airlines, which was the 1st Airline in India. It exists still today, now known as Air India. As an aircraft mechanic, his skill and perseverance allowed him to rise to the rank of Station Aircraft Engineer, traveling on postings to Rome, Italy; Beirut, Lebanon; Bangkok, Thailand; and Sydney, Australia with his family. After many years of hard work and study, he appeared for oral and written Engineering Examinations according to the British Standard of Aircraft Engineering. He successfully acquired his Aircraft Engineering certification, with licenses for seven different aircrafts. The first was known as the "Gypsy Six," and the last ones were the "Boeing 707 and 737".
Tony, a shy, tall, dark and handsome man, met Barbara de Sousa at a Valentine's Day Dance in 1954. He requested the first and last dance with her, and the dance never ended. Tony married Barbara on the 21st of January 1956, much to the envy of her friends. Soon their precious children started arriving: David in 1956, Mario in 1959, and Emil in 1960. The family traveled around the globe accompanying Tony on his foreign posts.
In July 1965 the family immigrated to Canada. Tony was forced to sacrifice the prestigious career he had obtained in India for a better future for his children. The family settled in Montréal, where Tony acquired a job with Bristol Aviation and Rolls Royce Aviation. Shortly after their arrival, in October of 1966, they welcomed their fourth son André into the family. And if four boys weren’t enough, in 1985 Danny joined the family when he was 12 years old and became the fifth son.
In September 1967 Tony relocated and moved his family to Vancouver, B.C. where he was offered an Aircraft Mechanic's job with Canadian Pacific Airlines, which later became Canadian Airlines International. He retired in 1985, after 45 years in the Aeronautical Industry.
Tony appreciated good music, especially Christian, classical and old-time bands and singers from the 1940's and 1950's. Tony had a special talent to fix anything that needed fixing. He could be found replacing and fixing automobile engines, as well as helping others with mechanical problems. All three levels of the family home were gutted and rebuilt with the help of his sons. While all this was going on, Tony always welcomed anyone to the house. In fact, it became known as “Grand Central Station” and often, Tony’s favourite mango ice cream was served.
In 1974 Tony and Barbara found a personal relationship with Yeshua Jesus. It was the most important day of their lives. Tony became a prayer warrior, unceasing in prayer with his wife, for all his family and others by name. Tony and Barbara also volunteered for Bernice Gerard’s Sunday Line Ministries as prayer coordinators, from its inception until a few years ago.
Just as Yeshua Jesus loved Israel, the land and its people, Tony and Barbara devoted their time in prayer for Israel. They had open-house meetings in their home every Friday evening for Erev Shabbath, and also hosted Passover Seder meals, the Feasts commanded by God in the Bible.
Tony was a dedicated believing Christian, standing up for the Truth in spite of any obstacles. He was a devoted and faithful husband, father, and grandfather, truly a family man. He was also known to extend a helping hand wherever needed.
Tony was gloriously gathered into his Saviour’s arms, graduating into heaven, on Nov 28 2012. Tony is survived by his wife Barbara of almost 57 years, his sons David, Mario, Emil, André and Danny and their families.
We all miss Tony’s kind, gentle spirit, and his twinkling eyes and smile, but we thank God for loaning Tony to us for almost 88 years.
Program cover: Tony's favourite Psalm was Psalm 91, and his favourite flower was the rose.