The sweetest love letter


A friend of mine once sent me the note below. I often return to it when I am in the dumps. It is such a beautiful story I thought I might share it with you all.
Dear Cyprian,
My family and I thought that your email was so sincere and beautifully written. You summed up all that he represented so well. Many thanks for your kind words and sentiments from us all.

As you can imagine, having gone through losing your beloved Rufi, I am still in a daze after all that has happened and I just can’t get motivated into doing anything. I feel so empty and miss him so much, especially with Christmas round the corner. Things you take for granted all come to mind now, like there is no one to greet you at the door or share a cup of tea when you get home. There is no one to tell you how nice you look or take care of or cook for.

I miss his warm and tender love, hugs and kisses, his smell, his lovely smile and our little chats at night. I smile sometimes and cry sometimes, mainly tears of joy when I remember all the little things he used to say and do that used to brighten up my day. The songs that we used to love bring back memories and an ache in my heart at the same time. Thank God, we Christians have a hope in Jesus and His Promises so we will all meet again eternally someday. I look forward to that day.

I was indeed privileged and honoured to have had him for my husband, to walk proudly by his side and hold his hand (quite possessively, I might add). My parents loved him and always used to tell me what a nice tall handsome man he was. He boarded with my family in Kampala when he attended Secondary School and was practically raised by my mum. After that, he went to Cardiff, Wales and I went to the Royal College of Nairobi only to find ourselves teaching round the corner from each other on our return home and it was meant to be - our destiny.

I felt really proud to be his wife and I always used to let him know that he was my gift from God as I prayed so hard for him and wanted him with all my heart and soul and when all else was against us, God chose to give him to me. We had such a happy and beautiful life together (after going through hell and high waters with his family). Yes, St Jude, he would tease me. Through all the tragedies and difficulties we faced, we managed to get through together always with God’s help, that I never cease to praise and thank God for the life I have shared with this beautiful gentle loving man who I deeply loved and cherished all my life.

I am so blessed to have had his children who are a source of comfort and great help to me with snippets of their father coming through in each one of them and our grandchildren. I used to ask him why he didn’t pick someone pretty and tall like him and he would say, ‘Don’t you know good things come in small packages? Besides, I always wanted you, too’.

He would remind me of the times he would throw pebbles at me on our way to school (to get my attention he said) and I thought he hated me and how he would purposely kick me under the dinner table with his long legs or accidently touch my fingers whilst playing Carom - little things that meant a lot to us when we were growing up in an era when talking to boys was taboo. Secretly, I was glad he didn’t have a good taste for women as he could have had anyone he wanted but he chose me – all thanks to St Jude.

What a funny kind of a day! Sorry, I got a bit carried away with my thoughts but it has helped to ease the ache in my heart that I have had all afternoon. The passing away of another close friend threw me in the dumps again. I hope you’ll understand and won’t mind my foolishness.

I'll carry his heart in my heart always and I know his spirit will always be around us.

I hope you are doing OK and thanks once again for your lovely email. It was nice for the children to know what others thought of their father.

All the best and God Bless.

 

In defence of the East African Goan dodderer


Hi Eddie,

I would just like to make the following observations ( without prejudice!), regarding Ms.Carvalho's comments about the recent London Goan meet, and the ensuing imbroglio. Personally, I found her musings about the recent Goan arrivals (P.P.F.) 'with jangly gold bracelets' and the 'aging' and 'doddery' East African Goan somewhat cynical and tasteless. Cyprian Fernandes, in my view, correctly took issue with her.


Her rhetorical statement about being unaware that it was a crime to age, deliberately misses the point entirely. It is no crime to age, but it is almost criminal to randomly use the term 'aging' to try and mischievously diminish a segment of the Goan diaspora. Referencing the 'quasi' English accent is equally provocative, disingenuous and certainly designed to ridicule and raise one's ire.  Perhaps Mr. Fernandes has a point when he blames the controversy on an editorial lapse, citing a failure at the 'risk analysis' stage.


I must admit though, that your attempted defense of Ms. Carvalho is weak at best. To even suggest 'parody' elevates her article to a level of 'Byronic brilliance". You surely can't be serious! Now I hear that Ms. Carvalho has bowed out of Goanet, claiming, amongst other things, vitriolic attacks.


Perhaps she underestimated the sensibilities of the 'doddery' East African Goan, and presumed she could scribble with impunity, without fear of recrimination. I would suggest that she is of a different mindset now, thanks to journalists like Cyprian Fernandes who dare to stand up and be counted!
Regards,

Raymond de Mello
Oakville, Ontario, CANADA

Oakville, Ontario, CANADA

 

Dear Mr Raymond,

You have a right to your opinion. That Mr Cyprian Fernandes is a journalist is also a matter of opinion.

Best,

Selma Carvalho

 

On 23 August 2012 05:19, Selma Carvalho wrote:

I'm happy to see Cyprian's mail shot into cyberspace with Goanet reader titled in bold, CONTROVERSY. Nothing sells like controversy even in Goan cyberspace. Those who write controversial stuff must be writhing in pain knowing their articles seldom get so much mileage.

It is true that I referred to the East African Goan as aging and doddery (as in trembling with age). I had no idea at the time that referring to a community as aging would cause such a brou ha ha. I certainly didn't mean to hurt anyone. After all, I wasn't writing something particularly contentious, libel, accusatory, inflamatory or derogatory about this community. I had no idea, it was indeed a crime to age.

Anyone who knows my writing for the past seven years knows that I don't do sensationalism.

Gabe Menezes: RESPONSE: Come off it, please! You had to ditch the stuff about the alleged double agent on threat of legal action.

That I am, at the core a quiet writer preferring to mull over things. That I have managed to write for the past seven years, more prominently for the past five, without causing hurt or calls for libel and defamation suits, I hold to my credit. It is however impossible to be a writer and not err occasionally. To cause hurt without meaning too. No writer, worth his salt, has not erred occassionally, or not used words that are in hindsight inappropriate. And if I have caused hurt, unintended as it was, I apologise.

RESPONSE: At long last, an apology but why did it have to take so long? like pulling teeth.
However, what is particularly hurtful to me, is that instead of remembering a record of four years of service to the East African Goan community of London, which has resulted in countless GoanVoice UK columns praising them, one book drawing their ethnographies, securing funds to record their oral histories, partnering with institutions to archive them, travelling on foot, car, train and bus carrying lumbersom equipment until I was physically sick, to record them, working day and night to transcribe them, producing a documentary and currently working on a publication to preserve these stories, I am pilloried without redemption.

Writing should elicit a rebuttal. That is the main purpose of writing. It shouldn't however elicit a crusade -mostly led by people who have an axe to grind.

That a short and fragile memory is also a Goan thing, is sad.

As my mother always reminds me - today is a sad day, don't worry my darling, something better will happen tomorrow.

COMMENT: Something better does not always happen tomorrow - I have lost a ton trading and the next day was worse! I commend you on doing the right thing, albeit belatedly.

As for a crusade against you, a bit far fetched, I know of a lot of E.A. Goans who have been hurt - not because you called it like you saw it but because they took you into their homes and you observed them doddering and used this as a parody in your Article - that is the crux of the problem, don't need to be a Rocket Scientist, no not even an M.B.A. to fathom out what was wrong...plain common sense.


DEV BOREM KORUM
Gabe Menezes.

Hi Skip,
This weekend you must have enjoyed your beer even better.
You have truly provided fodder for talks amongst the East African Goans. You were the subject of discussion at many basement lunch/dinner parties over the past few days.
Here is an article that has been written and circulated to several of us by Francis. I am not sure if you know Francis. He used to live in Nakuru but married a girl from Mombasa (Cybel Carvalho). He was a teacher by profession in Kenya as well as in Canada but is now retired. We communicate occasionally on good articles.
Kind Regards,
Alcino

Some of you who grew up in Kenya like me may remember Cyprian Fernandes. A few years my junior, he must be approaching 70 years of age. If he is a dodderer, I must be gaga. I don't remember ever meeting Cyprian personally but he became a familiar household name as a reporter, commentator and investigative political journalist on a continent where truthful journalism is a very risky profession. What is truly remarkable about his early career is that he overcame tremendous obstacles, including a traumatic home background, to establish himself as a writer.Check out his own description on the internet (Cyprian Fernandes: Yesterday in Kenya 1943 - 1974). Most Goans in Kenya came from middle class families and were often blissfully unaware that there were Goans living in extremely disadvantaged situations. More credit to Cyprian for his achievements as a writer!

A friend sent me the following link to an article written by him that some of you may have come across before. It is written from Cyprian's own perspective but it does capture very well the general picture of Goan experience in Kenya and then in the countries that they emigrated to - mainly Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Our individual experiences will differ from Cyprian's, of course, depending on factors such as our adopted country, education, profession and personality. For instance, Some of us did not have quite the involvement in the club scene that Cyprian dwells on. Also, I am fairly certain that the racial discrimination experienced by some emigrants to Enoch Powell's England in the seventies was not echoed to the same extent in other countries, certainly not in Canada.

It is still very interesting to read Cyprian's assessment of the post-Kenya experience of most Goans - and I have no doubt that former Kenyans of other Asian origins will find much in common with the Goan experience. For instance, Cyprian details how the first generation of emigrants surmounted considerable difficulties in order to provide for their families. There is obvious pride when Cyprian describes how the children made use of the opportunities given to them by the sacrifice of their parents by achieving highly academically and going on to do well in their chosen professions in their adopted countries.

Click on one of the links below to open Cyprian's article. It is a longish article but I found it interesting throughout especially as it led me to reflect on my own experience and contrast it with Cyprian's. For that reason I thought I would share the article with you. I hope that you find it interesting no matter your ethnic background.

Francis (another Goan Dodderer!)

 

Hi Cyp & all,


thanks so much on your rejoinder on the Goan Dodderer. I have had and still have the good fortune to know many Goans as close friends and even colleagues. Not one was a dodder in any manner.They were and are full of life, joy, and enthusiasm, not only in their working and professional lives, but equally so in the living of the life itself, irrespective of the vicissitude of life and any rough roads ahead.
I have the most wonderful memories of working and have equally memorable happy times with all my Goan friends. My regards to them all, now and ever.

 

Thank you Saiba and Bai for a wonderful and joyous times you allowed me to have with you all. God bless you all.

 

Kersi Rustomji.
ex-Nairobi, Mombasa, Likoni. Kenya

 

Hi Cyprian,

I have read your interesting article in reply to Selma's reference to the Goan dodderer.
Selma's choice of using the word "dodderer" was not right in describing the aging East African Goan and looks like no editing was done to correct it. I am sure a simple apology from Selma would clear the air.

I meant to write to you before if you were planning to write book. I am sure what you have to write about as an emerging journalist from the start and later your exploits and adventures in journalism will make interesting reading not just to the Goans but the people of Kenya.

I have read books by Goan writers. Bwana Karani by Mervyn Marciel and of course Selma's on the Goan diaspora was fascinating. The Tailor's Daughter by Antao I gave up after the first chapter- frightfully boring!

Should you do a book let me know. – M

 

Hi,
 
I suggest you trim your piece and send it as rejoinder to OHeraldo.
 
I think Selma became too big for her shoes. When I posted my view on Dale Menezes's review of her book she as well as Eddie sent me thank you notes. Eddie mentioned that what I wrote is the best compliment.
I, however, informed both Selma and Eddie that my piece was not a full review of the book as I need to re-read it again. Thereafter, Selma turned cold. She doen't take criticism in her stride.
 
You said, "Shame on you, Selma!". If you remember she has said on goanet that she is "shameless" and quoted a Konkani proverb that even if a dog's tail is put inside a tube it will never be straightened.
 
Your column served as the last nail in her coffin.
 
Cheers, --G


It is Selma's choice of words and the graphic images that those portrayed that came across as INSENSITIVE and UNNECESSARY. A simple public apology would have put this whole matter to sleep. I happen to know many folks who are still deeply hurt, and feel betrayed by Selma, having believed her intentions and the objectives of the project; shared with her intimate details of their lives, family photos etc., to then be publically described as she did, is painful. –GM

To use a Goan topical analogy: It is the same as a mining company that mines every last particle of the resource (the UK EA Goans) and then when there no more potential, to abandon it, and look for fresh resources to tap. –M

 

Skip,

 

I completely agree with you. We are nice guys but when people mess with our feelings and emotions, we have put them in their place. Keep up the good work. – DC

 

By the way. who are these 2  people?

Let them know that the doddery people they are referring to accomplished more in their lifetimes.

Show some respect.

Xo

Love to u all. –FM

You tell him Skip! Both are losers....

Cheers.

 My parents were never doddery! --FM

 

Let me jump into this Controversy and congratulate Cyprian on the substance of his detailed elaboration of the many facets of the East African Goan Tribe (albeit facing extinction within a couple of decades). I have absolutely nothing to say against it.

I am surprised however that Eddie Fernandes would take such a strong view to condemning the text while admitting to not reading beyond the first paragraph. It is worth a read. If Selma does too, and then carries out a more objective review of the recent videotapes for the UK EA Goans project, and draws pertinent conclusions from the project, she may also come to the same conclusions that Cyprian is writing about.

It is Selma's choice of words and the graphic images that those portrayed that came across as INSENSITIVE and UNNECESSARY. A simple public apology would have put this whole matter to sleep. I happen to know many folks who are still deeply hurt, and feel betrayed by Selma, having believed her intentions and the objectives of the
project; shared with her intimate details of their lives, family photos etc., to then be publically described as she did, is painful.


To use a Goan topical analogy: It is the same as a mining company that mines every last particle of the resource (the UK EA Goans) and then when there no more potential, to abandon it, and look for fresh resources to tap.

For Eddie to suggest it is because they did not go beyond Enid Blyton in the reading skills, and therefore cannot understand Selma's sophistication and mastery of the art of writing parody is adding insul to injury.

Dear Selma, just go ahead, make a public apology and move along. It was an unfortunate error of judgement. If you do not it will give the impression you really meant it, even to people who moved beyond Enid
Blyton.

with best wishes for your future endeavors.

Braz Menezes
Just Matata - Sin, Saints and Settlers available as e-book on KOBO, KINDLE...
http://www.justmatata.com

 

Hi Cyprian !

Many many thanks for your insightful narrative and retort to the persons who referred to us wazee as doderers.

I will write again (when inspiration strikes) but I had to say thank you first. Vivian (73 year old ex-Tanzanian living in Goa)

 

A well written article and pointedly you have chided and referred to the unwritten law in Journalism about abusing the vulnerable in Society. The Bardesi Cavalry attempts to rescue the damsel in distress. Unfortunately they are not singing from the same hymn sheet. One protests that it is quite in order to reflect the realities of growing old and doddery, while the other offers comfort that an error was made...discretion was needed.

 

According to one, no one responds to my posts - now I don't know whether that is a good thing or a bad thing. You got a sure fire, fast response and I am sure more to follow; in a way I guess it is a good thing - people have sat up and taken notice! Now we learn that parody was used - this adds insult to injury - poking fun of our elders to dress up a report or for the benefit of readers (smile while you read). We have now heard it all, the axiom that should be used is: when in doubt do nowt! –G

 

Hey!
I really enjoyed reading your article and know about the East African  Goan Tribe, through some of my good friends in Goa and Vienna and my  in-laws who returned to Goa too. My husband was born in Dar-es-Salaam,
but returned to India at an early age. He remembers only the 'rough'
Kiswaheli words, which are not many. His Priest Uncle (in Vienna)
compiled the first Kiswaheli-German dictionary with Dr. Walter Schicho
of the Institut fuer Afrikanistik, Univ. of Vienna.
 
Prosit to all of you East African Goan Tribe!
(Prosit: Cheers in German)
Lisa Dias-Noronha
Chorao
 
p.s. If you don't know Hartman, he is India's renowned 'Theater
Personality' of East African Goan Origin.
 


 

A funny, heart-warming piece of nostalgia


Just Matata

Sin, Saints and Settlers

A novel set in Goa and Kenya

Braz Menezes

 

For four hours at a medical centre in Sydney, Australia, I was a skinny runt of a kid back in Nairobi, Kenya, Eastleigh to be precise. My guide was a young Goan boy, Orlando aka Lando, who is the hero of Braz Menezes’ charming contribution to Goan historical fiction. While I have no doubt whatsoever that it is historical fiction, I am somehow fixated that it is an autobiographical work. It has all the hallmarks, but it isn’t.

Braz’s attention to detail in both Kenya and Goa had me smiling a lot. I knew Plums Lane where Lando lived with his family. I also visited the Nairobi Museum, St Francis Xavier’s Church in Parklands and a myriad sights, sites, sounds, and people who were a part of both our childhoods. What is more, this is a very important contribution to the historical record of growing up in Kenya from Braz’s own perspective and he paints a detail rich portrait.

There are some great moments and I will only provide you with the entrée and you will have pick up a copy of the book to enjoy the main courses. For example, I almost fell out of my seat when Lando went to the confessional and blurted out that he had committed adultery. Hey, hang on a minute, this kid is only 10 years old, barely old enough for sex, let alone adultery. As I said, it is a juicy story and the explanation is worthy of the read.

This is a “like” kind of book about a generally happy boy, growing up in a generally happy family surrounded by generally happy kind of people and places. Utopia? Not really, it was that kind of a life for the middle class family whose breadwinner was a middle class white collar of some note. They made no waves, political, economic or social and went about their lives dedicated to church, work and family. It was also a generally happy kind of place. The late 1930s and early 1940s was a time when everything in Kenya was at its happiest. African nationalism had barely raised an eyebrow and colonialism flourished with an abandon that is only the stuff of paperback literature.

It was also a time when each of the participants of this cosmopolitan country went about the business of separate development. There was some contact, at the lowest possible social level: the personal friendship level. The Roman Catholic Goan showed equal empathy with the Hindu, the Sikh, the Muslim, the Parsee, the Ismaili and a variety of minor players. Sure we loved the Hindu vegetarian thali, the Sikh chicken curries, the Ismaili samosas and bhajjias and Muslim kebabs. Our fathers had the odd scotch or two with the other Indians or they went to get their car fixed, get some work done on the house or a new dining table or wardrobe built.

Just as Lando does in this story, the friendship is sublime yet true as such innocence does allow.

It is this same innocence that grapples with life in ancient Goa where Lando has to endure and taste life without many of Africa’s luxuries. For a young non-resident Goan, life in Goa is challenging in all its aspects and perhaps it was the same for the thousands of young boys who were forced to go to school in Goa by their well-meaning fathers. This is the year of the sublime Goa where life is susegaad and nothing more but the coconut harvest, the cashew harvest, the mango harvest and there is a harvest for every season. Green paddies pocked marked the whole country and there were coconut groves everywhere. There were very few cars if any and the bicycle was king.

“What is that makes Dad yearn for the day he can retire back in Goa? How could he possibly go backwards and give up all this progress? Could I ever live in Goa at that incredibly slow pace of life? Where do I belong? It would take me a lifetime to learn how to cope in Goa. Those are Lando’s thoughts and similar to the questions that tore apart thousands of real young minds.

Lando returns from Goa with a head and heart full of experience but delighted to be back in Kenya just as the first wafts of the winds of change as kissing beautiful Kenya. Soon life will never be the same but a memory. Perhaps that is the stuff of another book!

For a copy of the book click on //www.matatabooks.com

 

Juliet Pereira


JULIET PEREIRA

9-8-1928 – 23-8-2012

A tribute by Cyprian Fernandes


Julie Coelho was born in Nairobi and attended the Dr. Ribeiro Goan School in Parklands.

She had three brothers: Cassie, Johnny, Valentine and, Irene, (married Oscar D’Souza) was her only sister

Besides her regular job as an administrative assistant with C.J. Valentine, she worked at the Nairobi Races with Ben every weekend

Julie loved people, life and everything to do with it. She and Ben had many friends - old and young alike and were always the centre of attraction at any event. Here are some of the comments we've had these past few days:


Braz Menezes: "Ben and Julie were an institution to us growing up"
Tina de Mello: "Julie was an icon of fashion, laughter and happiness to many of us in our generation"
Pam Gonsalves:
"They were lovely role models for us growing up. Their tricky dance steps and Ben's cow cow boogie/singing we admired and maybe tried to copy many a time!"

A VERY SPECIAL NOTE FROM A VERY SPECIAL SISTER-IN-LAW: Cicely Noronha: We had gone to Mombasa one Easter weekend and I can so clearly remember Julie insisting on dragging me across the busy Kilindini road just so she could introduce me to her first cousin Jonas, whom she felt was the man for me!! I wasn't so sure at the time, but I have to thank Julie for 46 happy years!

The year was 1960 in Nairobi, Kenya. It was November, that special month full of anticipation of the coming Christmas season. November was always a beautiful kind of month, not too hot, not too cold and not too wet. What made it special were the soft temperate breezes that kissed most of the country. There she was, Julie. She wore elbow-length black lace gloves, a midnight blue evening gown and something, perhaps a discreet tiara in her hair if not there was big red flower. She was the picture of elegant womanhood, nay she was beautiful. She lit up the Nairobi Goan Institute hall with that unbelievable smile. She was attempting to do the twist at the Legion of Mary dance but she was being interrupted regularly by a posse of well- wishers. Her partner, husband Ben, was more animated, from time to time telling various friends: Be careful, people will talk. And everyone burst into fits of laughter. The laughter continued unabated as Ben offered several friends a free blood test.

Meanwhile, after patiently listening to Ben’s antics, she told him, interspersed with that infectious laugh of hers: See now Ben, people are looking at you come on, take it easy . And he made those pretend “I am angry with you eyes” (which quickly exploded into the naughtiest grin you ever saw) and said: Do, Do, leave it, it is just some harmless fun. The thing about Ben was that you just had to look at him and you would crack up laughing because he was always saying something or doing something that burst the dams of your laughter. Julie was the serene, pretty, charming assistant to magician Ben.

She gave up, but unfrustrated. That night there would be a thousand more laughs and a thousand more jokes. I am sure that some of you were at the GI, the RI or Goan Gymkhana. Julie always made us all happy and today even as we celebrate her life, we are happy that we have been able to play some small part in such a beautiful person’s life because as we celebrate Julie’s wonderful life, we celebrate ours to. As Julie’s generation and my generation bid farewell to life on earth, our friends and relations will also be saying farewell to a special way of life. Julie’s generation (and the generations before) were the  lucky ones because they saw most of the best of life in colonial Kenya and a little of sadness as we were pushed out by the changing political winds. Thus in a couple of decades the unique East African Goan tribe will be no more. There is no room for regret because that was a time for Kenya and more recently it has been a time for Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, UK or Europe.

For Ben and Julie it was the bestest of times. They attracted young people like bees to a honeycomb. They were always surrounded by young people. Sport, (cricket, hockey, badminton, table tennis, snooker, billiards) the club, the church, parties, picnics, sports visits, the racecourse, holidays in Mombasa, Malindi, fishing and much more. From a very early age, Julie played badminton, table tennis and won many trophies at the old RGI and hockey. She would love sport for the rest of her life.  And they share all this with Andy and Gilli. They had one other special friend in their life: Oditi, cook and general help, he was a very special kind of person who loved the Pereiras as his own. With marriage came two big extended family clans:  Julie’s folks the Coelhos and Ben’s folks the Pereiras. These two very talented and wonderful families have spread even more with  grandchildren. Julie was especially close to her late sister Irene and Ben’s sisters Clarice, Ivy, Cicely and Susan. Ben’s brother Rom and his family were also among her many favourites.

The Jokers, an eclectic group of young people, usually ended up at Ben and Julies after the dance for a special breakfast, sorportel on toast at Christmas when several of their neighbours would be without their daily milk supply. Most of these guys and I spent around 14 years of our life with Ben and Julie in Kenya. We did everything together. We were all a bunch of nuts and it took a special kind of a lady to put up with our antics. Can’t ever remember a cross word. Julie was the woman for every time and every place. She was just at home in Eastleigh, Pangani, South C, South B, Nairobi West, or High Ridge, Kileleshwa , Muthaiga or any of the more expensive suburbs.

So what made our Julie so special. For one thing she did not have a negative bone in her body. How could she with that wonderful, loving smile and two ready arms for family and anyone who needed help.  Just ask her adoring daughters in law and her grandchildren. Perhaps it comes from the unconditional love those two scallywags, Gilli and Andy gave their mother. Like their dad before them, they teased her, joked with her, made laugh and loved her with a passion reserved for a family who been through the mill of good and hard times and has come through because together they are a powerful but unassuming family. We had some great times, great laughs, and shared a life that we were always proud of.

And so to Australia, Ben and Julie’s resting place. A friend helped the Pereiras get to Australia when they were in their greatest peril in Uganda, just as Idi Amin was throwing out all the Asians. Australia came as a breath of fresh air. It was a happy time again. Ben and Julie were soon at work and Gil and Andy settled well at school and were soon having their friends over. These friends gave Ben and Julie a lot of pride and happiness. Even greater happiness lay in the friends they made at church. Church is very big in every Goan Catholic heart. Julie loved working for the church and St Vincent de Paul. This was her sanctuary and it brought her great comfort.  And then of course there were some old friends from Kenya and new friends from all over Australia. However, it was the friends in Melbourne who were soon to play a truly great role in Julie’s life.

When we lost Ben, Julie put on her usual brave face and with a heavy heart appeared to the public to suffer her loss with great dignity. But it was a truly great love story and greater the love, the harder it is to come to terms with the loss. Gil and Cathy, Andy and Caroline took on the task of rescuing Julie. She could not stay in the house with all those memories of Ben and moved in with Andy and Carolyn. It took nine months of nurturing and caring by the two boys and their families to get to the point where Julie was able to move out on her own. Cathy and Carolyn are two very special people. They come from caring, nurturing, kindly Australian families and in Julie’s toughest hour they gave of themselves unflinchingly. They were Julie’s special angels. And it was the friends from church and the Goan community who helped the boys help their mother to achieve some semblance of normality. Then of course there was the strength she drew from her church. Her faith was unshakeable and as the months passed she seemed blessed by her faith and the love of her God. The smile was always there but now there was new energy in her laughter, a little like those old days. She travelled a little but the boys and their families were never too far away.

What really gave Julie a new lease on life were the grandchildren: Ben, Sam, Adam, Dan and Stephanie. These guys showered their gran with a love that filled her heart with joy and renewed her will to live.

That is why I say that in farewelling our dearest friend, we celebrate the life we shared with Julie. Julie lit up the hearts and minds of the hundreds of people she met. We were the lucky ones for having met and known Julie. As Ben would say, stop it Cippy, people will talk.

Our sincere condolences to Andy and Caroline, Gil and Cathy  and to their children and to the extended families of the Pereiras and the Coelhos. Goodbye Julie. Memories of you fill my heart with a million smiles.

Gilbert Pereira
I would like to thank Skip for his kind words about Mum.
I would like to talk about mum’s other qualities which as a son I will always remember as she was not only the other half of the famous Pereira duo but an Individual in her own right.
She Loved to travel: When she was about 37 she organized her Overseas Tour to Europe visiting Rome Paris Venice etc. on her own, which back then was unheard of and with numerous trips with and without Dad over the years* she was in her element. I was with her on her last one in 2010 when she attended her nephew’s wedding in Perth and she savoured every moment of it.
She was a Dance Teacher: Back in Nairobi everyone wanted to emulate the Pereira’s steps as she was so patient, all the males at the club queued up for lessons.

She was a Matchmaker: The most famous being when She hitched My Dads sister Cicely to her Cousin Jonas and after 46 years are still together.
She was a Fashion Diva: In her heyday till recently, instilling the value to Andy & Myself that you always dressed Up not Down & always believed in looking fine

She was a Role Model: In cahoots with Dad as I have found out from many a couple around the Globe over the last week who knew Ben & Julie that they always wanted to be like them in every way
The Standout for me though was her courage & determination when we arrived in Australia By incorporating her Work Life, Family & Social obligations into one, and working hard to succeed in all of them which she did, as she was the glue for the Pereira Family back then. A number of times over the 35+ Years Mum demonstrated these Qualities and proved to herself and us boys that anything was possible if you work hard enough at it.

A big hurdle that she had to deal with was the passing of Dad as mentioned. She landed at Greenwood Avenue Ringwood with the goal ahead to be independent again and slowly but surely she accomplished this.
I remember how proud we all were when Mum announced she had walked to Eastland organized her grocery shop and paid her first set of bills.
She also involved herself with Our Ladies Parish, not only as a parishioner at the Church but also a member of the Evergreen Club that was based there, where she met new friends and went on many weekend and Day outings. Her other hobbies included table-tennis and water aerobics. She also made dinner for the family every Sunday and Entertained whenever she could, not forgetting the Dances or Parties she just had to be at.
She was so busy the family had to make an appointment to see her because of her hectic social schedule.
All this would not have been possible without the many good friends some of whom are here today.
Mum made a difference to lot of people’s lives in knowing her. We can be comforted in the thought she is in good company now with Dad and other family and friends. She will always be in our hearts.

Stephanie Pereira
Nana
When I was little I just assumed that everyone had a nana like me. It wasn’t until I was a teenager did I realise how fortunate Daniel and I were to have 2 Nana’s.
I remember spending a lot of time with nana when I was younger. I think after poppy passed away I even became her date to social events.
Poppy used to take me in the car to pick nana up from the station after she finished work sometimes and I have always remembered hiding in the back seat and yelling BOO Nana! I would then laugh so hard when she pretended to be so frightened and she would call out to her mommy. She always played along no matter what her day was like.
I know because she always told me that it was her job as our nana to spoil us. She tried so hard to give us everything we wanted. When I was maybe 10 she gave me coffee when I was curious about what she was drinking. She gave me a shandy before I even knew what was in a shandy. She knew all our favourite dishes and would make them for us on Sunday nights when we all had dinner together.

Having Nana live so close to my high school allowed me to spend even more time with her. Daniel and I would meet at nana’s house after school, while waiting to be picked up we would drink all her lemonade and try and change the TV channel when she wasn’t looking. I would also pop in sometimes with friends on the way to Eastland they loved coming over to Nanas house because it was so different to their nanas houses. And when I got an after school job I would go to nanas first to get changed have a coffee and watch the “bold and the beautiful” with her. Nana had a way of making me feel like she had been waiting all day to see me and as I left her day was complete.
When I got my license and my own car occasionally I used to take nana to run some errands at Eastland and after spending just an hour there I would walk out having a new group of contacts and friends – a pharmacist, a barista, a bank teller and a butcher all of whom Nana would proudly announce “this is my granddaughter Stephanie”.
I will miss her giggle I will miss her voice I will miss her pointy finger and I will miss making her laugh.
Nana. Daniel, Ben, Sam, Adam and I will carry our memories of you in our hearts forever and when we speak of you we will speak with love, pride and gratitude for all the wonderful moments we shared with you. 
Andy Pereira
Jambo it's the only word I learnt in Swahili.
Romeo and Juliet, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, Bonnie and Clyde, Agent 86 and 99,  Homer and Marg, Benjamin Vincent Francis and Juliet Pereira, a match made in heaven. Whilst they were not movie stars, in our eyes they were superstars and I'm sure those of you that were touched by them would agree actually looking at the photo at the back, mum was beautiful
Some 38 years ago they made the biggest sacrifice for Gil and I by leaving the deep dark jungles of Africa where the lions and elephants roamed free. We arrived in the lucky land of Oz where we eventually ended up in the leafy suburbs of Ringwood this was only made possible by Uncle Karl and Aunty Loretta
We eventually moved in to a two bedroom unit with very little personal belongings however we did have two elephant feet
Dad had an incredible talent in making friends with anyone and everyone. Dad would walk down the street and come home with five new friends for lunch, dinner or just drinks. 
For mum she found it a little harder where she missed her family and friends however she was totally committed to making it work for Gil and I

Mum was a fashion queen. I remember at the tender age of 5 we had purple tailored suits made for us and we always were the best dressed boys on the block
I recall walking to Our Lady's Parish  one day with the family, we didn't have a car at the time. It was around the mid seventies, fashion in Australia was staggers jeans, blue miller shirts, blue connie jackets. There we were dressed  in pastel flares, high heel shoes and that's what I was wearing. The said “look out The Jackson Five have arrived”.  Mum was never fazed
The happiest moment for mum was when they bought our home at 5 Braimton Court. She was so proud of the 3 bedroom split level AV Jennings home with orange shag pile carpet orange light fittings and that bright green kitchen
She also had us doing all the housework. Where was Oditti?

Mum was a beautiful cook and she loved sitting at the table eating, drinking and laughing, affectionately known as giggles The parties we had during those wonderful years are still talked about, which also included all our friends
Mum was also very strong minded (stubborn) really if mum wanted to go left we all went left. In the last 3 months she was not well Carolyn would go and visit and try and feed her as mum stopped eating she would get those eyes and a firm No.
Mum has been on a long journey and some 20 years and 8 months ago her beloved Ben passed away. She now has finally reached her destination
Dad told me two important things that I'm sure you have heard before
You are dealt the cards, play the hand. Well mum certainly did that, she was a proud Aussie, she never ever complained about her journey to Australia, she loved everything about Australia especially the tennis. She was very vocal supporting Pat Cash, Pat Rafter and any Australian Olympian, not to mention those Aussie Soaps! Mum adored Melbourne
The other was   live life to it's fullest and when I look at all of you here today who have come to celebrate her life she did exactly that
Kwaheri Mum we love you
Thank you Skip for sharing Ben and Julie’s beautiful life in Nairobi with us.

Adam Pereira
If Nana wasn’t taking us to Mcdonalds and the Movies, she would be cooking up a feast and laughing with us boys, we always had fun at Nanas, playing tricks on her, making funny faces or even dressing her up in our clothes, all to see and hear her amazing laugh, everyone here I’m sure is familiar with her laugh because there wasn’t a day when you wouldn’t hear it.
As young boys nana was always so generous, always feeding us and always giving us presents and money, we saw a lot of Nana and we all cherished the time that we got to spend with her.
We loved it when nana slept over at our house on Christmas Eve it was like tradition, we all got to share presents and she got to watch our priceless faces when receiving her slightly weird but practical presents.
We saw Nana a lot over the last couple of months, she could never remember my name and often called me Trevor but we still knew she that loved my brothers and I.
Although it was hard seeing Nana in the state that she was in, we always tried to make her smile and laugh, because we would do anything to make her happy and I know that she would do the same for us.
Even though she is gone, we know that she will always be with us, as a bit of nana is in us all, I know this is a sad occasion, but we should also feel rejoice, that nana is out pain and that she has been reunited with her loving husband.
We love you Nana.

 

 

Foot in mouth

Eddie's being daft: try telling it (below) to the girl who wrote to me saying: My father is not a dodderer!
Dear Cyprian,
What is your agenda? Selma Carvalho had a column in Goan Voice UK with an avid readership. She has written an excellent, critically acclaimed book on the Goan diaspora. She has, against the odds, secured funding for an oral history project involving East African Goans. She has provided up with examples of her video interviews, each receiving over 1,000 hits. She has received hundreds if not thousands of congratulatory messages. Have you ever had anything positive to say about her? Why not
OK, she is only human and can make mistakes. Point them out to her by all means. But why, oh why, write to your friends, sorry contacts, and then ask them to “share this with as many people as you can!” Talk of sick minds.
But what is the mistake that Selma made? Not in what she wrote but in underestimating how people like you would pick on it and turn it around to suit your prejudices! I would urge everyone on this list to read again what she wrote and judge for yourselves. I reproduce below the critical section:
6 Aug: Herald. The UK Goan Festival has been rejuvenated largely because of a second migratory wave of Goans into Swindon, Wembley and Ealing … The Portuguese-Goan speaks in unadulterated Konkani, and dresses loudly with jangly gold bracelets and stone-washed jeans…. the East African Goan; ageing, doddery limps from tent to tent, trying to find friends he knew back in East Africa only to find their numbers dwindling with each passing year… In between these two strange animals who seldom socialise with each other, there lies a spectrum of other more nebulous and emerging identities; the offspring of things Goan but largely British… 1009 words + photos at http://www.epaperoheraldo.in/Details.aspx?id=6244&boxid=53915&uid=&dat=8/5/2012
To me it is clear that she is referring to the two extremes of the UK Goan spectrum. Both are singular. What is your interpretation? That she is referring to all or most or many or significant? Do let us know.
To anyone who has progressed beyond the Enid Blyton stage it should also be obvious that she is using parody to cast her characters. It is refreshing to have her usual creative writing instead of the banal “nice” reports that appear to be the norm.
I must confess that I could not read beyond the first paragraph of your diatribe.
Eddie Fernandes