It is with profound regret we record the passing away of Bhuvanadas Gopaldas (“Das”) aged 74 a senior member of the Johore Bar.
Das passed away peacefully on the morning of the 4th of May 2012 and was cremated after Hindu prayers and ceremonies at 1.00pm on the 5th of May 2012 at the Hindu crematorium Johor Bahru. He leaves behind his beloved wife Meena Ammujashie a/p K N Unni and his 3 daughters Sangeetha, Punitha and Kavitha and their families to mourn his loss.
Small in stature, reticent by nature, Das lived in semi-retirement in the rustic neighborhood of Kota Tinggi carrying on a quiet country practice after having spent years in active practice in the vibrant city of Johor Bahru. He deserted the battle and toil of the urban Bar for the ease and tranquility of the country Bar in the late autumn of his well spent life.
Das was born in Kluang Johor and had his primary education in his father’s native land Trivandrum in Kerala, India and later at the Government English School (GES) Kluang. He did his Higher School Certificate at King George V Institution, Seremban.
It was his childhood ambition to be a lawyer. And so after completing his Higher School Certificate he enrolled himself as an undergraduate in the Law faculty of the University of Singapore. He read law from 1961-1963. It is here that he befriended fellow undergraduates who later became eminent lawyers and Judges like Karpal Singh, Kadir Kassim, Mokhtar Sidin, the late Ariffin Jaka, the late Abdul Razak Bin Ahmad, Ahmad Fairuz Bin Abdul Halim, Azmel Bin Hj Ma’amor, John Ang Soon Ho of the Johore Bar and Hendon Binti Mohammad of the Malaysian Bar fame and many others. But after 3 years in the law faculty Singapore Das took a break and became a temporary teacher in Johor in 1964.
Having a burning desire to better enrich himself, in 1965 he enrolled at the University of Malaya and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) (Economics) in 1969 and in 1973 obtained a Diploma in Education. He was in the Ministry of Education as a teacher in various schools from 1974 to 1993 when he retired in Kota Tinggi, his last posting.
In midst of his teaching career Das stealthily pursued his first love, the law, and read for the law and achieved an External Degree in law. He later sat for the Certificate in Legal Practice course and was called to the Malaysian Bar on 11.11.1993. When so many of us members of the Bar contemplate hanging up our faded robes and calling it a day at 55, Das adorned spanking new the robes when he was 55! Perseverance stoicism and tenacity were his triple towers of strength that held him together in the pursuit of his childhood love and ambition of being admitted to the Bar and becoming an Advocate and Solicitor.
Upon his admission to the Bar Das practiced in various firms in Johor Bahru and a few years ago moved to Kota Tinggi to set up Bhuvanadas & Associates to carry on a country retirement practice. It may be said that Das lived a complete life. A good life, well lived. He surpassed the Biblical three score and ten with bonus added. And so we quote Julie Burchill a writer from Bristol England who wrote:
“Tears are sometimes
an inappropriate response to death.
When a life has been lived
completely honestly, completely
successfully, or just completely,
the correct response to death’s
perfect punctuation mark is a smile.”
May his soul rest in peace and his Gods grant him eternal and everlasting rest.