I was very sorry to hear the news of Wenceslaus Anthony’s illness and subsequent passing in India. Wenceslaus lived on the Te Atatu Peninsula for 18 years and I have had the pleasure of meeting him on many occasions as his local Member of Parliament. He was well respected by all, across the political divide and throughout New Zealand’s Indian communities.
In 2014, he was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to India-New Zealand relations. He has been part of both Labour and National trade delegations to India and was passionate about progressing New Zealand’s Free Trade Agreement with India. Wenceslaus was the first person of Indian origin to Chair the India New Zealand Business Council, and until his passing, was the head of Government Relations in INZBC.
Wenceslaus was also passionate about education and well known for his dedication to community service. He was on the Advisory Board of the New Zealand India Research Institute and Chaired the Multicultural NZ Business Advisory Board, which was established to provide cultural diversity in workplaces and support small businesses.
Wenceslaus Anthony was a devout Catholic, and was well known in a number of parishes across West Auckland. In May this year, he received the Papal Medal, Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice (Decoration of Honour of the Roman Catholic Church), which was awarded by Pope Francis of the Vatican and is the highest honour that can be awarded to the laity by the Pope.
It was an honour to attend the award ceremony and acknowledge his extensive contribution to various parts of New Zealand society. Wenceslaus also Chaired the Mother Teresa Interfaith Committee that honoured Mother Teresa’s community service with an annual event that was always well attended by politicians from both sides of the House and members of various faith communities.
Wency, as he was known to friends, was a humble man who touched the lives of many – through his commitment to furthering India- New Zealand relations and through his outstanding service to promoting the wellbeing of others.
I extend my deepest condolences and that of the Labour Party to Wenceslaus’ family, especially to Susan, Sneha and Akash.
Phil Twyford is elected Member of Parliament from Te Atatu Constituency and Labour Party’s Spokesperson on Auckland issues.