Dr. José Camilo Lisboa

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Dr. José Camilo Lisboa

Birthplace: Assagão, Provincia de Bardês, Portuguese Empire - Goa (India Portuguesa), Kingdom of Portugal
Death: May 01, 1897 (74)
Poona, Maharashtra, British Raj India
Immediate Family:

Son of Antonio Xavier Lisboa and Private
Husband of Dª. Julia Rodrigues e Lisboa
Father of Caetano José Duarte Lisboa; Remigio Piedade Lisboa and Margarida Lisboa
Brother of Padre. António Vicente Lisboa and Severino Piedade Lisboa

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About Dr. José Camilo Lisboa

Dr Jose Camilo Lisboa was born in Assagao on 5 March 1823. After completing his elementary education first at home under the guidance of his uncle priest, he went to the Parish Music school and then, he proceeded to Margao where he completed his Portuguese, Latin, Mathematics and History studies.

Margao, was at that time, the centre of political and intellectual gravity. It was pulsating with new life and the young Jose Camilo, thanks to the wide influence of his uncle priest who was the vicar of that town, was thrown in the midst of new ideas and ambitions. He inhaled here the new oxygen which was producing in the country a veritable political revival. His mind was broadened, his ambitions were aroused, and he felt within himself, as he repeatedly used to relate in his later days, a call for higher and nobler things. In other words, he left Margao with the determination to be a man and came to Assagao to make his preparations to leave Goa and seek fresh fields and pastures new in Bombay.

His father had already arranged for him a small business in one of the minor cities of Gujarat and there Jose Camilo was to settle down. But the boy was adamant. He had set his heart on studies and was unshaken in his resolution to pursue that object. He left Goa in a sailing ship and arrived in Bombay. He mastered the rudiments of the English language and topped the list of successful candidates for the Grant Medical College Entrance Examination. In that college, he soon made his mark and stood out for his abilities and devotion to work; his professors, among whom there were at least two eminent doctors, appreciated his genius and soon after his examination, he was appointed an assistant to the professor of Anatomy and to the European Surgeon of the Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy Hospital. In this capacity, Dr Lisboa performed several major operations with great success. Not satisfied with the scientific equipment which he had obtained in this city he proceeded to Europe and spent two years there in a close study of Surgery and Medicine. On his return to India he gained a wide reputation for medical skill and built up a very large practice chiefly among the Parsis. His dispensary was something more than a dispensing hall; people crowded there in scores to consult him, to seek his advice, to obtain solace for their physical, mental and emotional sufferings.

Dr Lisboa was not satisfied with his professional success, and, amidst his many professional pre-occupations, created, even at a time when his practice gave him no time for his meals, leisure to pursue his research work in more lines than one. As President of the Grant Medical College Society for 10 years and of the Bombay Medical Association for 4 years, he read several important and original papers on medical and allied subjects. As a fellow of the Linnean Society of London, his name occupies a distinguished place in the annals of that society. He was also a member of the Geographical and Medical Society of Lisbon and of the Academie Internationale de Geographique Botanique of France which rewarded him a gold medal in recognition of his great research in the cause of Botanical Studies in India.

Among his medical studies, he devoted special attention to the problem of leprosy. Dr V Carter in his book on leprosy considers Dr Lisboa as the first Indian to devote systematic attention to it. The results of his investigations were embodied in a paper read before the Grant Medical College in 1852, and afterwards, together with the second paper on the same subject were published in a book.

Dr Lisboa was a man of deep convictions and independent views. The Puritan conscience of England had been rightly shocked at the way the Government of India was exploiting the national and international demand for Opium. A loud cry was raised in England and the Opium Commission was appointed. It requested Dr Lisboa to tender his evidence and complimented him on the wonderful way he had prepared his evidence, opening before the Commission an entirely new field for enquiry and investigation.

We have dealt so far with the achievement of Dr Lisboa as a scientist, but his work as a patriot is not less important. In all his actions, his noblest motive, to use the words of Virgil, was the ‘public good.’ Often his views on communal subjects were far in advance of his time, and consequently his advice did not meet with that respect and response which it otherwise so rightly deserved. Thus, presiding over the meeting which had been convened to build a national church for the Bombay and Goans, Dr Lisboa strongly urged his generation to content itself only with the task of securing an extensive plot centrally situated and to leave the building of a cathedral worthy of the community to the next generation. The advice was not heeded to, and we know the disastrous consequences and that too, of a permanent nature. He took a living interest in all the affairs of the community, in the management of the Instituto Luso-Indiano under whose auspices he spoke more than once. He defended the Padroado. He achieved great heights in his life.

He built a chapel and Portuguese School in Assagao, Bardez, Goa. He died in Poona, Maharashtra on the 1st of May 1897.

An English school was re-established in Bovta Vaddo, Assagao, Bardez, Goa, with the funds left by Mrs Julia Lisboa, widow of Dr J.C. Lisboa and the funds of Lisboa family. The Dr J.C. Lisboa School started functioning in June 1927 under the Principalship of Fr. Assuceno de Souza and a Staff consisting of Emily Homem, Bruno Nazareth and Vincent Lisboa, with the first four standards of the old regime, besides the infant classes. The school soon showed a good progress and in the next year, the number of the students rose to 75 and the staff also was increased with the addition of Antonio Castelino.

Francisco Joao Lisboa, nephew of Dr J.C. Lisboa and the immediate family donated for the benefit of the English School. The fund called Mrs Julia Lisboa Educational Fund was to be utilized for the maintenance of the English School, along with the contribution of the villagers and donors.

Two years later, in 1935-1936, the School was shifted and received substantial contribution for the proposed building from some of its well wishers of late Dr J.C. Lisboa and family.

The plan of the building was drafted by the Engineer, Aloysius Colasso of Salcette and the building was completed on 1937 and inaugurated on 9 May 1937 with great pomp. The design of the old school building was made as per the wishes of the widow of Dr J.C. Lisboa. A solemn inaugural session was held where the guest of honour was the then Governor-General Higino Craveiro Lopes.

The School was then taken over for management by the Assagao Union, Bombay which was established in 1923 in Bombay. The Assagao Union was the care-taker of the school and its property.

Dr Jose Camilo Lisboa who was born in Assagao village of Bardez-Goa, came to Bombay for his further studies and joined ‘22 Regt. School’ to study English language. He has also studied Latin and Arabic. He joined Grant Medical College as a Medical Student. His colleague Dr Bhau Baji Lad who also studied in the college mentioned his native place as Goa. During his practice in Bombay he became well versed in Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati and Parsi languages. In the book written by Anant K Priolkar on Dr Bhau Daji Lad, in his introduction, Shri Lokmanya Tilak in ‘Kesari’ newspaper on 22 January 1901 mentions Bhau Daji Lad and others which included Dr J.C. Lisboa among others who were influenced by Mahadev Ranade and it is said that Dr JC Lisboa had love towards his country and wanted self rule for its people.

Dr Jose Camilo Lisboa Road at Assagao was inaugurated on 8 May 2016 at 5:30pm in the hands of the Chief Guest Shri Dayanand R. Mandrekar (Hon’ble Minister, Government of Goa). Parish Priest of St. Cajetan Church Rev. Fr Agnelo Quadros blessed the plague in the presence of Assagao Village Panchayat members.

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Dr. José Camilo Lisboa's Timeline

March 5, 1823
Assagão, Provincia de Bardês, Portuguese Empire - Goa (India Portuguesa), Kingdom of Portugal
Poona, Maharastra, India
May 1, 1897
Age 74
Poona, Maharashtra, British Raj India