Vizagites of Substance


Those who are in any way connected with the port of Visakhapatnam would have heard the name of Mr. A. W. Delima, the engineer who had a major part in the construction of the Outer Harbour. He was born in Madras on the 13th June 1912. When he was a month old his parents moved to Karachi. He had his education and apprenticeship in the Karachi Port workshops. After 4 years of training he went out to sea. He spent another 4 years to pass an examination in Engineering and then came to Visakhapatnam Port as an engineer. When the Second World War broke out, he was sent to work for the Navy on their Training Vessel as the Chief Engineer.

Mr. A. W. Delima

The Naval Officer Commanding-in-Chief, during an inspection came on his vessel and asked him to join the Navy. Mr. Delima explained that he was not a naval man but a mercantile marine engineer. The Commanding Officer told him that he would see that Mr. Delima was made a captain. Mr. Delima thanked him, but gently refused the offer and on completion of his contract, he left the Navy. He went back to the Merchant Navy where he belonged. He got married and as he didn't want to leave his wife and go to sea, applied for and got a job in Visakhapatnam for a while and then went to Cochin. But as Vizag was running short of qualified engineers, he received transfer orders and it was back to Vizag once again. He worked on a Dredger as the 2nd Engineer under a qualified Chief Engineer. In 1938, he was appointed by the U.P.S.C as the Chief Engineer of a Dredger. In 1949, the U.P.S.C. appointed him as the chief of the Mechanical and Marine Department of the Visakhapatnam Port Trust. Till he retired in 1968, he was Deputy Chairman of the Port Trust and in-charge of the Outer Harbour Construction. He was given two years extension by the government to complete the outer harbour construction work - the maximum one can get after retirement. He was made advisor to the board of Trustees of the Outer Harbour construction for a year. He retired in 1970 as the Deputy Chairman of the Port Trust. The various responsible posts he held are proof enough of his efficiency as an Engineer,

So much about Mr. Delima's distinguished service to the Visakhapatnam Port Trust, what about Mr. Delima the man? He was an unusual combination of honesty, integrity and professional efficiency. He was strict when it was necessary and he could be very understanding and generous and helpful when the occasion demanded it. The respect and regard his subordinates had for him were so great that even long after his retirement they were more than happy to appoint anyone he recommended. He gave his best to St. Paul's Church of which he is a member and also to the C.B.M. High School Managing Committee. 

Though Mr. Delima was not born in Vizag, he has spent major part of his life here. The Vizag Port Trust owes a great deal to Mr. Delima. The Outer Harbour is a standing witness to his contribution to the port. 

On the 1st of April 2003, Mr. & Mrs. Delima had celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary after a long happy married life. 

But sadly so, Mr A.W. Delima at 93, breathed his last at 11:00 p.m. on the 30th of January, 2005 succumbing to a heart attack at his residence in Kurupam towers at Lawsons Bay, in the city. Vizag shall forever be indebted to him for his worthy contributions.