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Photo / Published Obituary:
N/A
Name:
Mr Edwin Noronha
Years at RTC:
1956-1960
Academic Field:
Architecture
Place of residence:
North Finchley, London, England
Year of death:
2017
Age (yrs):
79
In Memoriam:
By: Francis Noronha,
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

I was greatly saddened to hear of the death of Edwin Noronha in London on 31 January, 2017. Born and raised in Mombasa, Edwin was a bright student. After graduating from high school, Edwin gained admission in 1956 to the Faculty of Architecture at the newly-opened Royal Technical College (which would later become the University of Nairobi, Kenya). That is where I met him and developed a friendship and warm regard for him. We were among the first batch of 200 students to be admitted to the College, pioneers in a sense and students who would establish the infrastructure and traditions that future generations of students would build on.

It was soon evident to all his friends that Edwin was game for anything. He joined us in all our activities but sometimes lived in a world of his own. He had the ability to think outside the box, had a boundless imagination and soaked up knowledge like a sponge. He always had the best of intentions but his intensity, enthusiasm and impulsive nature sometimes had unexpected consequences. I recall an occasion when our RTC football team reached the finals of the Commercial Cup. Our opponents were the highly fancied Kenya Bus Xl. Right from the start our team took control of the game. Towards the end of the game, we had a comfortable 2-0 lead. Ten minutes before the final whistle, our star forward, John Otieno, was brought down in a vicious attack by a KBC defender. This was more than Edwin could bear. He darted on to the field before any of us could stop him and launched himself on the errant player twice his size. After a moment of surprise, the giant just shrugged his shoulders and sent Edwin flying through the air. Edwin’s attack was all the excuse hundreds of frustrated KBC supporters needed. They poured on to the field heading for Edwin. We rushed to protect our friend and a furious battle ensued. It took fifteen minutes before order was restored and the game could be completed.

After qualifying as an architect, Edwin moved to England where he freelanced and worked on many projects. Although his designs were often brilliant, they were not always what the firm or the client wanted and Edwin was often under-utilized and under-appreciated. life was often difficult but to the end, Edwin remained fiercely independent and marched to the beat of his own drum.

For most of his stay in London, Edwin resided at 7 Lynton Avenue, North Finchley. Edwin was always very kind, hospitable and accommodating. I was one of numerous friends who found a ready welcome at 7 Lynton Avenue. Edwin would do anything for a friend but never took advantage of others. Because of his eccentric ways, life was not always kind to him but he did not want to impose on family and friends and became reclusive in his later years. He died at the age of 79. We can be quite sure that his sweet soul is now in a happier place, his imaginative mind and nature no longer fettered by his earthly limitations.

We were touched by Edwin in different ways but he left his mark on all of us. Distance will prevent many of us from paying our last respects to him at his funeral on February 23rd 2017 but I would like to send our condolences to his dear sisters Bevinda and Lydia, and to his late brother Reynold’s family. May Edwin rest in peace.
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