Wendell Rodricks laid to rest in Goa
Acclaimed fashion designer Wendell Rodrigues was laid to rest on Thursday evening in a solemn ceremony attended by friends, relatives and acquaintances including representatives of Goa’s political class, the fashion industry and Bollywood.
Rodricks, 59, who passed away after a brief illness on Wednesday evening was laid to rest at his native village of Colvale in North Goa. The renowned fashion designer chose to settle down in Colvale after a career that took him across the globe in the fashion industry and made a name for himself in India.
Rodricks is survived by his partner Jerome Marrel, and his three brothers who him remembered for his down to earth nature, his love for the environment and his artistry with fabric that offered a ‘foretaste of heaven’.
Among those present for the funeral included Bollywood actor Arshad Warsi, Goa’s leader of opposition Digambar Kamat, industrialist Shrinivas Dempo, representatives of the fashion and film industry as well as his close friends,villagers and well-wishers. Goa’s Chief Minister Pramod Sawant also paid tributes to Rodricks.
“He was a very dear friend of mine, very helpful. One of the nicest people I have met in my life. His love for Goa was at another level. I miss him a lot,” Arshad Warsi said, adding that he had forged a strong bond with Wendell over the years and used to visit him every time he came to Goa.
Tributes poured in for Rodricks through the day after news of his sudden passing away emerged late Wednesday evening.
“Deeply shocked & saddened by the sudden demise of world renowned fashion designer & a niz Goenkar Padma Shri Wendell Rodricks. His exemplary work has left an indelible mark in the world of fashion. My heartfelt condolences to his family, may God comfort them in this hour of distress,” Goa CM Pramod Sawant tweeted.
Besides fashion, Rodricks legacy will be for the causes especially the environmental causes he lent his support for. Back in 2012 in the wake of the Shah Commission’s report on mining Rodricks who ran a boutique store at the Goa Marriott Resort shut down the boutique leaving the owners of the hotel -- the Salgaocars-- who also among Goa’s miners accused of illegal mining but also counted as his friends upset.
“He was frank, jovial and yet firm when it came to the destruction of environment and heritage trees in particular. Wendell was vociferously at the forefront in our fight against cutting of age-old heritage trees at Guirim and Colvale. We have not just lost a friend, but a good human being who sincerely cared for Goa,” Avertino Miranda the convener of the Goa Green Brigade an environmental activist group said.
Rodricks who was on course to launch a museum at his ancestral house had barely a week ago tweeted images of finishing touches being done on the Moda Goa Museum that was due to be inaugurated. Rodricks has authored several books on fashion with a specific focus on the historical fashion including The Green Room, Moda Goa and Poskem a novel based on the lives of ‘Poskem’ or adopted children in Goa who were often adopted by rich aristocratic families only to serve around the household.