Introducing Goan Voice Canada
Welcome to the inaugural issue of Goan Voice Canada. This newsletter is e-mailed to the subscribers of Goanet-Canada and distributed to Goan related newsgroups world-wide and displayed on https://goanvoice.ca. The Canadian newsletter format is based on the widely successful Goanet-UK produced by Eddie Fernandes of London England. Goanet-UK has now evolved to Goan Voice UK and will soon have its own web site. The mission of both these newsletters is to serve the community in the tradition of the Goan Voice newspaper published by Dr. A..C.L. de Sousa in Nairobi, in the 1940s & 50s. The aim of Goan Voice Canada is to promote our values and aspirations within our own community and the world at large.
This first newsletter is a formal invitation to all our readers to be part of Goan Voice Canada. Support can be offered in many ways:
- By subscribing to Goan Voice and recommending it to your members and friends.
- By printing and sending copies of Goan Voice to those with no access to the Internet.
- By sending in news and articles of community interest.
- By ad sponsorship.
November is the month of Remembrance and our first thoughts are for those who have gone before us, and to the brave of wars past who paid the price for the freedom we enjoy today. There are many who feel we are on the threshold of darker times. For these and others we display the lines of a famous Canadian.
It is "suddenly last summer" and the winter season is here. We put the clocks back last Sunday and turned on the heating. Summer had its ups and downs. We in Ontario enjoyed warm weather with timely rain to rid us of the smog and keep the lawns green. Out west they were not so lucky - droughts, grasshoppers, poor wheat crops, and in British Columbia a near collapse of the lumber industry thanks to our neighbours in the south.
Despite 9/11 the mood here is upbeat. Social events, picnics, and village festivals were well attended The Viva Goa Festival drew a crowd of more than 3500, mostly from the younger generation which left our community fathers beaming. Of course it is the women and mothers who do all the hard work.
Our jobs and housing scene are not too bad either. For the newly arrived finding a job can be trying, but the overall unemployment rate is less than that for the rest of the country. Businesses and industry complain about the lack of skilled personnel. The Federal Government is revamping the immigration policy to ensure that 300,000 make it to Canada every year. However, the educational and skills levels have been raised so it is not that easy to come here. New arrivals with dual incomes and savings from back home can find affordable modern housing in the suburbs of Toronto. Mortgages are in the 7-8%, and home salespersons, called realtors here, say that business is good.
However, as community we have had our sad moments. In Mississauga, 12 year old Brendon de Souza lost his three year battle with cancer, but will be forever remembered by his school and his community. In Calgary, the community and business leaders mourned the loss of Tony Sequeira who died in a boating accident. Memorial services were held for him at the Canadian Petroleum Club and other organizations where is loss was termed irreplaceable.
As will be noted in the next section of this newsletter there are a host of events one can look forward to foil the cold of winter, not least the expected arrival of Goa Fenny in Toronto!.
Letter from Goa
FROM the third week of October, Goa has been waking up to behold bright, fresh mornings. But as the day matures the mercury too rises steadily leaving everyone uncomfortable until the late evening. The evenings, of course, throw up golden sunsets, the ruddier the glow lighting the evening skies the better the fish we find the following morning. This year's erratic monsoons have, however, left us with a shortfall in rainfall.
Tourism: The talk of the town, at least in the coastal region of Goa, meanders around the rosy prospects of the forthcoming tourist season, and people involved in the industry claim that tourism is integral to the coastal economy. Truly, a buoyant mood reflects abundantly, as it does generally at the onset of every such season, from Sinquerim to Arambol in the North as well as along the long coastline down South.
Goa today is dotted with 13 five-star and five star deluxe hotels, besides hundreds of others of assorted sizes. The number of tourists arriving here has skied by over 14 per cent despite the economic recession, border tensions with Pakistan, Gujarat riots, September 11 and December 13 events. Unmindful of the ugly or otherwise sight of the "M.V. River Princess" lying grounded at the wondrous Sinquerim beach, the tourism machine is gearing up steadily, with all sorts of hotels, restaurants and shops being spruced up to greet the European tourist. However, just about a month ago, few knew the fate of the charters. But since then some of the charters have already arrived. The latest on the charter flights are Israeli and Russian visitors, a new component in the tourist take.
Eco tourism, water sports, etc are being added to the tourist cart. But where the authorities fail miserably is in maintaining Goa clean, pollutionless, with better roads, proper water supply and all other necessary facilities. Talk of Calangute and Baga and one wonders whether decent tourists will every step in the maze of shops and concrete. Last year's fluctuations did short circuit some of the middle-order hotels, the worst affected being the rent back type foisted by the real estate on gullible investors.
Projects Galore: The BJP coalition government propped up by the MGP, UGDP and independents, while celebrating its second year in power, gloated over what they considered a financial turnaround. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar claimed recently that the government's endeavours during its two-year tenure has ensured the beginning of a 'real growth pattern'. The government has planned 40 projects worth Rs.400 crore: bridges, markets, bus stands, etc. Parrikar projected an increase of Rs.1200 crore in the 2002-2003 revenues. But the economic indicators touted by the government do not enthuse its critics, who expect not less than a miracle to extricate the State from the red.
Pharma Hub: There is a loud talk that Goa will be turned into a hub of the pharmaceutical industries in the country. Just recently the Chief Minister declared that today 225 pharmaceutical units function in the State and that 65 of them are primary manufacturers. Parrikar perhaps thought that the pharmaceutical industrialists are ignorant of where they lay their eggs and advised them that research in the pharmaceutical industry should be oriented towards development, beneficial to the human race.
Crime: The government has been striving to improve the law and order situation because the population figures keep burgeoning consistently, crime too competes successfully to remain in step with it. Daylight dacoities and murders occur with increased frequency in developing Goa today. The only dacoits, the Goa police have in their custody today, are those who had committed a dacoity in Margao recently and were nabbed somewhere in a northern state. Ironically enough, the dacoits confessed that they paid a substantial percentage as a commission to their local collaborators, who helped survey the valued victims and provided assorted logistic support. Obviously, crimes have already been fine tuned into an established business conducted by upcountry thugs.
The most recent crime was truly gruesome. Some unknown criminal entered a flat in a very busy locality, almost opposite Marriott Hotel at Miramar, in very broad daylight. The criminal walked melted into thin air after having slit the throat of a young housewife, Maria Cynthia Rodrigues. Maria was found lying dead, in a pool of blood, when her school-going daughter returned home.
Dowry death: Crime of another type which rears its ugly head in recent years in Goa, is about suicide of young brides.
Public Interest Litigation: Goanetter and dynamic activist Advocate Aires Rodrigues has been quite busy playing a thorn in the State administration's shoe. His latest public interest petition has been against the appointment of Rajesh Singh to the post of the Director of Information, from being the Press Liaison Officer to the Chief Minister. Adv. Rodrigues alleges that the appointment is patently illegal and in contravention of the recruitment rules.
Goa's New Governor: On October 26, Kidar Nath Sahani took as the new Governor of Goa. Sahani is a linguist, speaking six languages-Hindi, English, Urdu, Persian and Sanskrit-besides his mother tongue Punjabi. He is known to be an active social worker. The guv was quick to urge the local media to be free, frank and judicious in discharging their duties, and said that they should not unnecessarily applaud the government nor criticize it unduly. Like Sunday sermons, every governor, minister, politician and academician deems it his bounden duty to advice people at every available opportunity.
Football: Goa has been faring fine in the National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy at Imphal but had the mortification of finding their crack forward Alvito D'Cunha given marching order during the match with Punjab, which Goa won 2-1. With the red card Goa cannot field Alvito, the sharpshooter who has signed for East Bengal, in the crucial qualifying match against Karnataka on October 30, the winner of which qualifies for the semifinal. At home in Goa, plenty of football is waiting for the football fans with 44 National Football League matches to be played at Fatorda beginning from November 15.
Fontainhas Heritage Festival: Not everything is so grim and disgusting. We have our regular quota of feasts and colourful festivals. So we should end on a rather cheerful note by mentioning about the Fontainhas Heritage Festival to be held some time early next year. The whole of the Latin Quarter of Panjim is supposed to be agog with music, exhibitions and pleasant entertainment.
In the Goan Voice UK [Selected excerpts from GoaNet-UK]
See the Goan Voice UK
GoaNet-UK re-launches this week and changes name to GoanVoice UK. The format will evolve gradually over the next few months to a web page newsletter with graphics. GoanVoice Canada is to appear fortnightly from next week. It will be co-ordinated by John J. D'Souza from Toronto. Goa Info News, edited by George Pinto from California, will be re-launched as a fortnightly GoanVoice USA. The three newsletters will have assistance from Goacom but there will be no editorial or content connection between Goacom and Goan Voice. The service will continue to be free but funded by voluntary donations and sponsorship. Each of the three newsletters will be independently managed. To subscribe to any of the other newsletters, please e-mail
Ex-East African Goans can revel in nostalgia at the British Library Newspaper section in Colindale where they can find a microfilm copy of the 1958 issues of the Goan Voice (Nairobi). Events such as the opening of the Tailors Society rest house, the death of Dr. A.C.L. de Sousa, the detention of Pio Gama Pinto etc. are covered. The advertisements for Zam-Buk skin ointment, Dumex baby food, Peps tablets, Brooklax, etc. will bring back memories of a bygone era. Have your lunch at the Oriental City across the road. In the Food Court there is a wide variety of canjee dishes available for £3.
The two oil paintings by FN Souza in the Christies auction of 18 Oct. fetched £1,175 (Martyr) and £1,351 (Cardinal) against the estimated value of £1,500 - £ 2,500 each. At the same auction the Goanese 19th c. ivory carving of Christ realised £470 (est. £400-£600).
Sun. 24 Nov. 2.30pm. Goan Association (UK). Fr Agnelos Day. 75 Commeration Mass. St Georges Cathedral, Westminster Bridge Road. Thereafter at the Amigo Hall.
From Goan Voice UK (formerly Goanet-UK)
Editor: Eddie Fernandes
Letter From Nairobi
3RD EAST AFRICAN GOAN CONVENTION
The recently concluded 3rd East African Goan Convention, held in Nairobi 23rd to 25th August 2002, was a great success for all East African Goans. The event was hosted by the Goan Welfare Society, Nairobi.
Excerpts from message of Chairman , Jack de Souza
Our pride and joy was to see so many Goans from East Africa gathered together in Nairobi in a show of friendship and togetherness. A measure of our success is the numerous congratulatory messages and acknowledgements that have been received from many of the participants and more interestingly from those who simply could not make it., We would not have been able to host the Convention in Nairobi successfully, were it not for the cordial support and co-operation of the NAIROBI INSTITUTE and the GOAN GYMKHANNA. To the Chairmen, the Management and the entire Membership of these two great Goan Clubs of Nairobi, the Goan Welfare Society thanks and salutes you for your unreserved support during the Convention.
Finally, my thanks go to the Goans of Nairobi for attending the Convention activities and for being such wonderful hosts to our guests from Mombasa, Kisumu, Kitale, Eldoret, Kampala, Tanga, Arusha, Moshi, Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar.
Contact the GWS @
Read the current GWS letter at: http://www.goacom.com/news/news2002/oct/msg00026.html
The Goan Community Mombasa - Newletter October 2002
November 2, 2002
- My Big Fat Goan 80's School Dance
For more details go to http://www.goatoronto.com/events/2002/oldskool/oldskool.html
November 16, 2002
- Blast from the Past
'50s ~'60s Theme party - Live Band: Les Ombres
For more details go to http://www.goatoronto.com/events/2002/5060/index.htm
Goan Engineers and Associates - Annual Fall Meet
November 17, 2002 11.00 - 3.00 p.m
- Pickering Information Centre
Contact Stephanie Mendes e-mail: to pre-register.
Navelim Feast, Toronto
November 17, 2002
- Sunday afternoon, November 17, 2002 at the same venue as last year, Oasis. For details and tickets please call June D'Mello at (905) 303-8844 or John Gomes at (905) 837-1698.
December 3, 2002 - 7:15 p.m. Feast of St. Francis Xavier
Sons and Daughters of Goan Tailors Society Celebration
Mass ar Merciful Redeemer Church, Mississauga, (Glen Erin/Erin Centre)
followed by social gathering in Church Hall. On December 7, 2002 - 6:00 p.m. Dance
Royal Banquet Hall, 185 Statesman Drive, Mississauga
Tickets: Adults/seniors: $20.00 Children 6-12: $10.00
Contacts: Fatz Fernandes: (905) 824-6418 Babush Barreto: (905) 607-2143 Rosy Cabral:(416) 494-4594
The Friends of Saint Francis Xavier
Calling all Goans to participate in the feast of St. Francis Xavier - Patron Saint of Goa
Saturday 7th December 2002 -11.00 am Saturday, 7th December 2002 - 11.00 a.m.
at St. Francis Xavier's Church 5650 Mavis Road, (Mavis & Matheson), Mississauga
Solemnities will begin with A procession carrying The sacred relic of St. Francis Xavier With an honour guard provided by The Knights of Columbus
Followed by solemn high mass
Celebrant : Fr. Terence D'Souza
Followed by Fun & Festivities in true Goan style
from 1.00 pm to 10.00 pm at the St. Francis Xavier's Catholic High School gymnasium and cafetorium ~ (Bristol & Hwy 10)
Live Band & D.J. – Food,Games & Community Stalls
Organized By: The Friends of St. Francis Xavier
Sponsored By: D'Costa Financial Group
For further information on participation, contact:
G.O.A Toronto- New Year's Eve Dance see: http://www.goatoronto.com/events/2002/newyears/index.html
- -D'Costa Financial Group 416-335-5314
- -John J. D'Souza: (905) 451-2527
- -Lazarus Pereira:( 416) 292-1653 or fax: (416) 292-0776