Shihan Anthony Gomes

Shihan Anthony Augusto Gomes, 7th Dan

Anthony Augusto Gomes, 7th Dan, was born in Georgetown, British Guiana, where he attended Queens College at Georgetown before transferring to the Mount St. Benedict Monastery School in Trinidad. He spent two years under the tutelage of the Benedictine monks after which he enrolled in Loyola High School Montreal, Canada, run by the Jesuits of the Society of Jesus. He then entered Loyola College and studied for a Bachelor of Commerce degree.

On leaving Loyola College, he travelled to London and enlisted in an elite British Army infantry regiment, the Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment, and travelled to Malaya to join the 1st Battalion then involved in a major war being waged by some 130 thousand Commonwealth troops and the Australian Air Force, against Communist insurgents. After two years of guerrilla warfare in the thickest jungle in the world, Anthony embarked for England on the troop ship “Lancashire”, which eventually sailed from Singapore and docked in Liverpool after 32 days at sea!

Time was then spent on European warfare conversion courses in Kent. Having passed a War Office Selection Board, he entered the Eaton Hall Officer training institute, in Cheshire. On graduation, he was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant and rejoined his Regiment in Luneburg Germany (a member of the 7th Armored Division), the famed “Desert Rats” of North Africa, that defeated German Afrika Corps Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, and now; a Division of the British Army of the Rhine as part of the occupation forces before Germany regained its sovereignty. Memorable events at the time included visiting the Belsen concentration camp, winter warfare training with German Germany, and his promotion to 1st Lieutenant.

In the mid-fifties, Anthony, then a temporary Captain, resigned his Commission to pursue a career in business. He joined Unilever Limited in London and was assigned as a Trading Assistant to the United Africa Company in Nigeria. After 11 years in Nigeria with two coup d’états, a savage civil war, and four years in the Cameroons on the West African Coast, he returned to Guyana for three years where he became seriously involved with karate, which he had practiced in Nigeria. This venture was to become a major influence in his life that ended with a 1987 automobile crash in Trinidad, which nearly cost him his life. As a Third Degree Black Belt, he was forced to retire from training, but remained connected with the association he co-founded some forty years ago with Frank Woon-A-Tai, an exceptional instructor, who was later to earn international recognition.

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