Wellknown calligraphy artist Louis Joseph Martis passed away in Mangalore after a brief illness. He was 85.
A resident of Britto Lane in Falnir in the heart of Mangalore City, Martis retired as the Divisional Manager of Syndicate Bank in 1986 after serving the bank for 36 years that included 23 years as a teacher (and later also as principal and director of training) in the bank’s Staff Training College. He also has the credit of training more than 17,000 candidates during his term.
A native of Shankarpura in Udupi district (also the first banker from the place), Martis developed interest in calligraphy when he was 36, after he saw a gentleman’s handwriting in the bank.
On the request of Martis, that person suggested a few books on calligraphy. Since then, there was no looking back. Everyday he used to write 20 pages of copy to improve his handwriting, a practice which he continued till recently.
In fact, Martis could write in six different styles of handwriting, both in English and Kannada. Quite interestingly, he had a collection of more than 200 pens of different types such as pens with thick nibs, thin nibs, flat nibs, split nibs, cut nibs, pointed nibs, ladies nib and special ball pens.
He had also appealed many schools to re-introduce copy writing (if any school does not have a practice). He believed that a child’s handwriting must be formed in the first 10 years and hence the parents too must do their best to guide them.
Interestingly, many persons would have seen his ‘printed material’ in the form of a certificate issued by Bangalore University, Karnataka University, institutions run by Catholic Board of Education and even some share certificates.
A graduate (BA in History and Economics) from St Aloysius College (Madras University), a post graduate (MA) in Economics from Bombay University and gold medalist in ‘Law of Torts’ (a paper in Law, also from Bombay University in 1953), another hobby of Martis is collection of scrap books, which he started in the year 1957.
Martis is survived by his wife Veeda Helen Martis nee Miranda, daughter, son-in-law and grand children.His funeral service will be held at Milagres church on June 23 at 4 pm.