Tyronne Mendes



Tyronne passed away on January 20th after a brief illness. He joined SMS (with his brother Trevor) in Class IV in 1965 and finished in 1972 with an ISC First Division. Tyronne was one of the outstanding athletes in our class, in hockey, football, cricket and sports. In the last two years of school, Tyronne was on the school hockey, football and relay teams and showed great promise for a future athletic career.

During our school years, Tyronne was a jovial guy, always willing to participate in activities spontaneously. He was into music, dancing and dramatics.

After SMS, Tyronne enrolled for commerce at HR College of Bombay University in 1973. Unfortunately, within a few months, his athletic ambitions were cut short when he fell out of a crowded commuter train and lost his foot. Several of us who visited him in the hospital remarked on his stoicism and ability to crack jokes despite his pain. The next few years were painful as he went through another amputation and use of a prosthetic.

Eventually, Tyronne went into business for himself and ran a grocery business in Bombay.

I was able to meet Tyronne several times over the years, and he came to our 40-year class reunion in October 2012 without needing any persuasion. Despite his handicap and a decline in his health, Tyronne played in our cricket match against the Class of 1982 and scored a few runs, including some “Fours.”

Despite his toughness I will remember Tyronne cowering in fear and laughing when I pounded him during our pillow fights in the dorm. The image I remember him by is in his prime in the 1972 photos section on the relay team.

—Ashley D'Souza (1972)

1971 B team: Reggie Rodrigues, Tyronne, Ryan Lobo, Lucas Bunyan

1972 A team: Carl Mendonca, Stephen D'Silva, Avninder Singh, Tyronne

Tragic. Great sportsman cut short with his tragic accident. Spirit of an ox. RIP Tyronne!

—Zarryl Lobo (1973)

It is with a heavy heart that I write a few words about Tyronne. I was his classmate from 1969 to 1972. Although I did get first-hand experience of his somewhat larrikin spirit in and out of the classroom, it was on the games field that his true character impressed me. Magnanimous in victory, gracious in defeat would be a phrase aptly suited to his character. On the hockey field, I remember an occasion when our School A team being down 1-3 against visiting Jesuit Seminarians (1972), ­ all of us were crestfallen. Only one, Tyronne, rallied the team with a never say die attitude. Against the local hockey team Green Stars, a little rough play left me injured  — a whack on my forehead, it was Tyronne who flew to my defence, roughing up the opponents. On the track field, he was the fastest sprinter in the relay team (1972). Normally the fastest would end the race in a blaze of glory. Not Tyronne. He felt that we should give the opponents  a shock as early as possible, he took the second baton interchange, receiving from myself. On the day of the historic record breaking event (we were invited to participate in the National Police Academy sports day) he even slowed down a bit to make sure I did not fumble during the baton exchange. It was Tyronne who set the pace and lead, and made sure our team was unbeatable. The rest was history. As he recounted in the 2012 Reunion, ­ “we scorched the tracks.” Tyronne was equally adept in cricket, soccer and volleyball.

He was a great person to have on the team.

Meeting up after 40 years gave me further insight into his lovely character.  As is normal, age tends to change our focus: ­ family, fondness for his children, missing his wife, concern if his wife was managing his store without any problems while he was away, a need to get back to Mumbai to assist. He asked about our families, our love for our children. He recounted the happy times he had experienced at Mt Abu and the years leading back to the reunion in 2012. He was a good, kind-hearted person.

The Lord will be happy to have him in His team.

—Stephen de Silva (1972)