Age can’t matter but a perfectly fits the story of 100-year-old Diogo Piedade Jose Simplicio Fernandez of Goa who recently got his passport renewed to take a trip to Europe at least once.
Bitten by the travel bug, Fernandez visited the Kolkata regional passport office on Friday for the first renewal, around three months after he celebrated a century of life on March 2.
Originally a resident of Goa, Fernandez who moved to Kolkata for work in his early 20s, was accompanied by his wife Mary (89) and daughter Beverly.
As the 100-year-old arrived at the scheduled appointment time, the otherwise mechanical’ office came to life with employees rushing to Fernandez with a wheelchair.
On why Fernandez decided to renew his passport, Beverly said her father was anxious after the passport expired in December and had been insisting for a renewal.
“But I was worried that he might not be able to wait in queue for an hour or so and wrote to the RPO chief. I am relieved with the ease with which things happened, Beverly Said.
RPO chief Bibhuti Bhushan Kumar told “grand old man’s resilience and spirit” was impressive. “It is great that he has kept his dream of travelling abroad alive at this age. I offered to help and make things easy the moment I came across the mail. I was really impressed,” Bhushan Kumar said.
Kumar added that Fernandez told him that he had travelled abroad just once – to visit his son in Bahrain. And so when he expressed his wish to visit Europe at least once, Kumar explained to him that he could travel anywhere except Israel.
Meanwhile, officials said the passport should reach Fernandez’s Macleod Street home by next week and added that the police verification will be done later.
Before he left, Fernandez shared the secret of his happy, long life with the officials. A peg of good liquor after dinner and long walks,” he told them.