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History of Tabravaddo

 [This article was initially written in 1992-93 by a team from the ward Tabravaddo in Saligao, in association with Fr Nascimento Mascarenhas. The team comprised Idinha Remedios, Brigida Vaz, Vanessa Godinho, Preciosa dos Remedios, and Mr & Mrs Joaquim Vaz. The modified version reproduced below also contains inputs from Jose Remedios (Tabravaddo/Mumbai) and Olinda Remedios (Tabravaddo)]

Tabravaddo, a ward in Saligao located in the north eastern portion of the village, was known in the pre-Portuguese era as Oddleam Maddachem Bhatt or Lamb Maddachem Bhatt. The name was changed to Tavoravaddo, some time in the early 18th century, because it was home to the growing clan of the family that used the name Tavora. There is a good possibility that the first Hindu member of the family—probably Sinai Salgaokar—converted to Christianity and was baptised during the reign of viceroy Rui Lourenco Tavora (1609-12). The surname of the viceroy, Tavora, must have been given to that first member of the clan during baptism, as was the custom prevailing at that time. The name Tavoravaddo in all likelihood got corrupted to the current Tabravaddo over time.

In the souvenir of the centenary celebrations of Mae de Deus Church in 1973, the noted and meticulous church historian Monsenhor Canon Francisco Xavier Gomes Catao wrote: “When D. Francisco de Tavora, third Marquis of Tavora (Portugal) and sixth Count of Sao Joao, who was Viceroy of India (1750-1754), and his wife Dona Leonor da Tavora were accused of having been promoters of the conspiracy against the life of D.Jose 1, King of Portugal, they were sentenced to be executed and all their belongings confiscated. The sentence was published on January 12, 1759. This sentence further declared that no one of whatever rank or condition may be henceforth allowed to use his surname TAVORA under the penalty of losing all his properties to the Exchequer and Royal Camara, and expulsion from the kingdoms and dominions of Portugal and loss of all the privileges which they enjoy as their natives .Consequently the Tavoras of Saligao changed their surname into Remedios and perhaps into other surnames. Hence I am of the opinion that the ward Tabravaddo must be Tavora-vaddo.”

The Tavora families in Saligao, belonging to the fourth vangodd (clan) of the Saligao Communidade, who had registered under the surname Tavora in the 1757 triennial, changed their surname, on 6 November 1759, to Remedios. This was apparently more out of fear than anything else. They then registered as Remedios in the 1760 triennial. [See “What’s in the Tavora name?”]

In the Chronological Record of the Diocesan Clergy of Saligao, a name of a lady from Saligao as Elena de Tavora, wife of Aleixo Pinto and mother of Fr. Francisco Pinto, a priest of the first half of the 18th century (1725) is recorded. This proves that the Tavoras already existed in Saligao, in the 18th century (if not before), in the ward Tavoravaddo.

Tabravaddo and Mollembhatt, including the present Aquem-Mollembhatt, go as one ward when it comes to religious and social functions. In days gone by, when farming combined with animal husbandry was the main occupation of the people of the ward, they used to sow paddy during the monsoons, and grow sweet potatoes, okra, tomatoes, snake gourds, onions, chilies, beans (ossande), etc, during the rest of the year. The produce was sold at weekly markets in Siolim, Mapusa and Calangute, on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays respectively.

Sugarcane was also grown in some of the fields in Tabravaddo, i.e. Pattean, Palvan, Costa-Bhatt and Valkean. For the sake of cultivation, sugarcane was first brought from Sadashivgad, Kharepattan and Shivgad across the ghats. However, the sugarcane crop left the soil in an impoverished condition and hence the villagers resorted to rotation of the crops; they generally did not allow the land to lie fallow, yet enabled it to recoup its fertility. Cereals were planted alternately, as the nitrate formed at the roots of the plants helped in enriching the soil. The farmers worked in groups, helping one another in their agricultural operations.

Fondeacho Patto or Congotte or Vitolacho Patto, Addulem Bhatt, Dakhtem Bhatt, Odlem Batta, Palmar Tabravaddo or Oile (Oddle) Madd, Collinchem Bhatt, Tembrem, Gottonga and Paloum are some of the properties in Tabravaddo.

Idinha Remedios from Tabravaddo remembers the ruins of an arch which was known as Bhottangelem Arch (arch of Hindu priests) which was situated opposite the house of Fr. Marcelino Remedios, former editor of the now defunct Udentichem Noketr in Mumbai. The bhotts or Hindu priests lived here and most of the houses belonged to them before the arrival of Tavoras. The well situated near the Tabravaddo Cross was earlier known as Bhottangeli baim, which exists till date, and is a meeting place where villagers ofhen gather in the evenings for a tête-à-tête.

The Tabravaddo Cross was commonly known as “Remedincho Khuris”. There was a membership fee and an annual subscription, open not only to Remedios families but to others too. The annual fee was discontinued some years ago and the maintenance and funds for the cross upkeep were ably handled by Joaquim Vaz and Paul Remedios. The present committee under the leadership of Eulalia Remedios is doing a good job of maintaining the cross and conducting religious activities. The cross feast is preceded by daily recitation of the rosary near the cross during the month of May. A mass is offered for the souls of the departed members. Teodolina Pinto has constructed an enclosure with a tin canopy for the cross. Chairs and other paraphernalia donated by benefactors are used during various religious meetings held periodically in the ward.

Some of the prominent personalities from the ward include Prof Jose Patrocinio de Souza, historian and co-author of the book “Saligao: Focus on a Picturesque Goan Village”; Prof C D Pinto, eminent educationist; Dr Noel de Souza, former Deputy Head of Hoechst Research Centre in Mumbai; Dr Otto Remedios, Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics; Lorna Cordeiro, renowned singer; and, Shembu Bandekar, MLA, former Dy-Speaker of Goa Assembly  

Tabravaddo has contributed its share to the priestly and religious vocation. The priests and nuns from the ward are: Fr Andre dos Remedios, Fr Benedito Matias dos Remedios, Fr Caetano Luis dos Remedios, Fr Jose Avelino dos Remedios, Fr Jose Francisco dos Remedios (he was Dean of Damao Grande and Vice-Rector of Seminario de Damao and also Chaplain of St. Anne from 1908 to 1932), Fr Naziazeno Jose Avelino dos Remedios (Padre Victor), Fr Jose Marcelino dos Remedios, Fr Nascimento Mascarenhas, Sr Angeline (nee Maria Angelica Machado), former Provincial of the Congregation of the Holy Cross Sisters, Amravati.

Musicians from Tabravaddo-Mollembhatt:

  • Caetano Rosario Remedios – Violinist
  • Tito Remedios – Violinist
  • Jose Cordeiro – Violinist
  • Salvador Cordeiro – Violinist
  • Master Lawrence de Souza – Violinist
  • Caetano Trindade – Clarinet
  • Cassiano Cordeiro – Pianist
  • Anselmo Mascarenhas – Violinist and music teacher
  • Avelino Remedios – Vocalist
  • Inacinho Remedios – Violinist
  • Francisco Xavier Remedios – Pianist
  • Ronnie Cordeiro – Pianist
  • Dr. Otto Remedios – Pianist
  • Francisco Xavier Remedios – Double Bass
  • Imira Remedios – Violinist and composer
  • Fr. Nascimento Mascarenhas – Vocalist and composer

During our younger days local lads such as Joao Remedios, Alex Mascarenhas,  Porfirio Remedios, Michael Mascarenhas, Americo Remedios, Philip Remedios, backed by elders, put up ‘tiatrs’ in the wards, which drew quite a large crowd. Plays in Konkani, such as Kaitanacho Dis, Mortikarak Suttka Nam, etc, were all pretty good. The band under the leadership of George D’Gama (Cotula) provided accompaniment for the many songs.

Other personalities from the ward are: Sarpanch – Joaquim Vaz and Mary Fernandes; Panch – Ermin Mascarenhas, Lucas Remedios and Bola; Mario & Muriel Mascarenhas (journalists and social activists); Tony Remedios – President of Saligao Sporting Club; Presidents of Saligao Union Bombay – Peter C de Souza (1953-54), P P Remedios (1971-73) and Cajetan F Matias (1980-81); Presidents of the Saligao Civic Forum – Americo Remedios and Lawrence Nazareth.

SOCCER: Dominick Soares (Cotula/Tabravaddo), Francis de Souza (Arrarim/Tabravaddo), Romeo Remedios, Edvin de Melo, Joe Remedios, Damiao Remedios, Jimmy Remedios, Jimmy Machado, Tony Remedios, John Machado, Luis Cordeiro, Afonso D’Souza, Angelo Remedios, Mericio Remedios, Bernardo Cunha, Ut’tom, Porfirio Remedios, Seby Mascarenhas, and Melvyn D’Souza (international referee).

CRICKET & HOCKEY: Philip & Americo Remedios, Benny Cordeiro

TABLE TENNIS: Antonio Jose Cordeiro

BOXING: Johnny Cordeiro and Vicente D’Souza

N.B. By oversight, we might have omitted some names. Kindly help us to make this list as complete as possible.

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