As the country gets ready to celebrate Teachers’ Day on September 5, hoping that schools in many States will reopen in early September, we at The Teenager Today (formerly The Teenager) are mourning the loss of a very special teacher, and the “first” editor of the magazine, Fr Mark Fonseca, who took over the reins of the one-year old periodical from its founding editors, J. Maurus and Aloysius Rego. He left us for his eternal reward on August 2, 2020.
Besides being editor of The Teenager for two terms, he taught many of us to speak the English language the way the British speak, with special emphasis on correct pronunciation and grammar. He taught me early lessons in journalism, and literally made me write short articles which he published regularly in The Teenager of those years, giving me the confidence to write for other periodicals, as well.
Born at Kandivli, North Mumbai, he did his early studies at St Andrew’s High School, Bandra, and then joined St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, graduating from there in 1953. Keenly interested in reading, Fonseca frequently visited the Examiner Press Bookshop, not far from the College. Regular visits to this premier Book Centre, and proximity to the variety of books he read there, gradually led him to join ST PAULS, the Institute that owned the Centre.
After the initial training and study of languages in Mumbai and Allahabad, he was sent to Italy for further studies at the completion of which he returned to India and was appointed the Editor of The Teenager, in Allahabad (U.P.), founded there a year ago in November 1963.
After nearly six years, he went to Los Angeles (U.S.A.) to do his post-graduate studies in Mass Communication. His studies completed, and returning to India, he was appointed Director of the Correspondence Course in Journalism at the Regional Communication Centre, AMRUTHAVANI, at Hyderabad. After a term of three years there, he came back to Allahabad to take up the responsibility of the Editor of The Teenager, a second time.
After a brief stint of services rendered at different places, including Africa, he came back to his native Mumbai, to join the Editorial sector of Better Yourself Books, where at the ripe age of 88, he breathed his last. May his soul rest in peace! We lovingly dedicate this issue of The Teenager Today to Fr Mark Fonseca, teacher, mentor and pioneering editor.