SEMELHAGO, BERNARD FRANCIS - (of Verna, GOA) At the age of 86, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family at Extendicare in London, Ontario on Saturday, March 21st, 2015. Beloved husband and best friend of 54 years to Anita (nee Couto). He will be missed and his legacy forever remembered by his children Celina Lee (Ron), Lloyd Semelhago (Cosete), Gavin Semelhago (Tanya) and Arlene Alvares (Craig). Cherished and fiercely proud grandfather of Nicholas, Jonathan, Mark, Andrew, Justin, Claire, Liam, Laura, and Ryan. Bernard is survived by his dearest sister Clara (late Antonio Vaz) and predeceased by his siblings Edwin, Elton, Alex (Maria de Lourdes Pinto), Sara, Edwin Jr and Atalia. Brother-in-law of the late Beryl, late Cecil (Lilly), Joyce (Shaukat) and Stanley (Debra). Bernard was born of very humble but proud beginnings in Verna, Goa. He was blessed with a brilliant mind, common sense, an unfailing pursuit of excellence and unsurpassed work ethic. He ventured out of India to pursue opportunities to make a better life for himself and his family. Bernard was able to establish roots in Dar es Salaam and Tanga (Tanzania) and in Agincourt, Whitby and London (Ontario). During each period of his life, he touched the lives of many people, yet actively kept in touch with relatives and friends all over the world. He always made time to help anyone in need of assistance and lived by a philosophy of giving with no expectation of receiving. He was a gentleman and true conversationalist who took a keen interest in anyone he met. His love of his immediate and extended family will always serve as a reminder of what is truly important in life. Bernard accomplished many things in his life with extensive self taught skills and incredible knowledge of world affairs. He was an eloquent speaker with tenacity, logic and a sense of fairness. Through his life, his career ventured in many directions. He held positions as a short-hand and typing teacher, head of animal imports and exports for the Ministry of Agriculture (Tanzania), worked in the Tsetse Fly Project for the U.S.A.I.D., was the manager of royalties at McGraw-Hill Ryerson Publishing and a member of the Toronto Real Estate Board. Bernard missed his calling as a lawyer but was proud that his unique Semelhago name was memorialized in Canadian law as a result of his successful cases that reached the Supreme Court of Canada. Cremation has taken place and the family will have a private service. They will receive visitors for condolences on Friday, March 27th from 6-8pm at Harris Funeral Home, 220 St. James Street at Richmond in London, Ontario. Family and friends can also provide their condolences on Sunday, March 29th between 1-3pm at The Waterside Inn, 15 Stavebank Road S., Mississauga, Ontario (www.watersideinn.ca). Words from the family will be given at 2pm. Condolences can also be provided on-line at Harris Funeral Home (www.harrisfuneralhome.ca). In lieu of flowers, donations to a charity of your choice would be appreciated. The family would like to give special thanks to the staff at Extendicare London for the care, support and humour provided to Bernard and the ongoing support for his bereaved wife Anita. Bernard will be dearly missed but never forgotten.
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