Obituary – Dr. Zoeb Filmwala

Dr. Zoeb Filmwala who suddenly passed away on 22 April 2020, had a long and distinguished career as an Associate Professor in the Chemistry Department at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai.
His surname Filmwala came from his family business of making film cans and reel boxes. He did his graduation from Wilson College, Mumbai and post-graduation in Chemistry from the University of Bombay (Mumbai). Before joining St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai as a lecturer in Chemistry in 1983, he had a brief teaching stint at Siddhartha College, Mumbai and also in Pune. He was an M.Sc in Physical Chemistry who later did his M.Phil and subsequently completed his Ph.D in Organic Chemistry under the guidance of Dr. Peter Fernandes at the Nadkarny-Sacasa Research Lab (NSRL), St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. He was well versed with his subject and could teach Physical, Industrial and Analytical Chemistry with equal ease.
As an active member of the teaching faculty he served the college in different capacity, such as member, the University Exam Committee, Staff Council, Coordinator, Chemistry Department Honours Programme, TYBSc Paper- setter and Examiner. He served as the Director of the Nadkarny- Sacasa research Lab (NSRL)for about two years, was a recognised postgraduate teacher and also a Ph.D guide. A few years before his retirement he was appointed as the Principal of A.E. Kalsekar Degree College, Mumbra (2011 – 2016). He remained an integral part of St. Xavier’s College for more than twenty years, be it college sports, staff vs students events or the popular antakshari programme. Dr. Filmwala was a simple man, down-to-earth, soft-spoken, patient and helpful. One could easily recognise him in his trademark safari suit and short beard, riding his scooter, lecturing in the class room, supervising the students in the laboratory or reading newspapers in the Staff Room. He was a fun loving person and easy to get along with his colleagues. He continued his association with St. Xavier’s College even after his retirement and regularly visited the department and guided his research students. In the passing away of Dr. Zoeb Filmwala, we at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai have lost a very dear friend, an esteemed colleague and a wonderful human being. On behalf of the staff and management of St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai and also on my personal behalf, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family of Dr Filmwala. I commend him to your prayers and pray that the departed soul of Dr. Zoeb Filmwala may rest in eternal peace.

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