A veteran among Veterans, Mr. James Gomez Thangassery may be described as one of the oldest expatriate Keralite living in Abu Dhabi for past 45 years. A truthful claim, not many among Keralites living outside India can make. A man who has seen the ups & downs of the gulf region, the real growth of Abu Dhabi from a normal arab village to the current one, one of the mega-cities of the world.
Mr. James has been an ideal Godfather to many a Keralites who arrived empty handed in search of livelihood to the land of Black Pearls and made it to the top of business community. Many of them under the guidance and help from Mr. James has become very successful and reputed businessmen now.
Born on the 8th August 1934 in Murukkumpuzha Trivandrum to late Simon Cruz Gomes (was an Estate Supervisor) and late Mary Glory, Mr. James after schooling passed out ITC Certificate Course from Trivandrum Engineering College in 1955, joined the MES Wing of the Indian Defence Services from 1958 to 1964, working as a Charge Technician in 56 APO, Ladakh, during which period he was also posted in Kolkota and Chennai (the erstwhile Calcutta & Madras respectively). Before joining the army, Mr. James also worked as an Instructor in the ITI in Kollam. After the 6 years stint, returned to Kollam to engage in the business of Technical Supplies. Not having satisfied with sufficient income, Mr. James arrived in Abu Dhabi 1968 in search of greener pastures. Found employment as a Store Keeper with Santa FE Drilling Co. for a short period, joined Abu Dhabi Defence Services as a Store Keeper and quit the post 1976 as foreign nationals were not permitted to work in Abu Dhabi Army on a permanent basis from 1976 till 1994 (18 years) worked with Abu Dhabi petroleum company (ADPC/ADCO) as a Purchase in Supply Division and Transport Supervisor in Transport Division.
Simultaneously formed his company called G.B. Qubaisi Construction Company undertaking construction related maintenance jobs. Later started Al Bariz General Contracting & Maintenance firm which is now jointly managed by his son Biju.
As an efficient organizer Mr. James was the General Secretary of All Kerala Private Technical Institute Staff Association in 1966. President of All Kerala ITI Certificate Holders Association (with more than 16,000 members), established in 1967.
Was instrumental in setting up Indian Social Centre, Abu Dhabi Malayalee Samajam, Kerala Social Centre, Kairali Pravasi Association, United NRI Co-ordination Council (UNCC).
Trivandrum Expatriate Assan (Texas) Ananthapuram Non Resident Association. (ANORA) and the Senior Member of all these associations and more in Abu Dhabi itself.
In between his hectic schedules of running his firm and taking part in associations, related social activities, Mr. James found time to devote himself to writing kind of a travelogue about his early life in Ladakh under the title “The Ladakh I saw, 50 years ago” and the second one titled “The Abu Dhabi of good old days” both describing his day to day life inter-acting with several people, the tough times and good times, his first voyage to Abu Dhabi in a ship called SS Dumra, life in the defence services in Ladakh etc. These elaborate articles were published in the consecutive issues of Chandrika Malayalam weekly on 4th and 11th of August 2012 A mini auto-biography of man who has seen half the world, so to say.
The Good Samaritan ways of Mr. James has earned him excellent rapo with the Malayalee community in and around Abu Dhabi and at 79, is still active with his business as well as social causes. A well disciplines life style keeps him going as a young man and the younger generation can learn and practice many of his talents and expertise in tackling issues.
Mr. James is married to Patricia, herself now a retired staff of Central Hospital of Abu Dhabi. Eldest among their children is daughter Dr. Edna, a gynecologist, lives in Saudi Arabia with husband Dr. K. P. Sebastian, a pediatrician. Son Biju Gomez has done an MBA, managing the family business and is married to Dr. Beena again a Gynecologist who is working with Lifeline Hospital in Abu Dhabi.
Grand children Stephanie, Stefan (Medical Students), Sharon and Sheril (Eight & First Standard Students).
Contact in Kerala:
Pebej Fort View
Light House Road
Tangessery, Kollam 7
Mob: 0091 980 9282193
Tel: 0091 474 2796122