History of Donvaddo – II

[This article was initially written in 1992-93 by a team from Saligao, in association with Fr Nascimento Mascarenhas, and published in the Souvenir of the sesquicentennial celebrations of St Anne’s Chapel (1843-1993). The team comprised Orlando Vaz, Emmie Sequeira and Franklin D'Souza. The version reproduced below was modified and updated by Fr Nascimento in mid-2004]

There are two majestic crosses in Donvaddo, Saligao, which deserve mention.  Vazancho Khuris is situated next to the Vazanchi Baim. During Lent people of all ages used to gather around the Cross and sing the Stabat Mater. The feast of the Cross was celebrated in the second week of May, with recitation of the Rosary, and the singing of the litany. Afterwards, boiled gram (chonne) and feni were passed around.  

The other cross in Donvaddo is the Carneirancho Khuris. However, for some reason, there is no feast associated with this cross. It is not clear whether the cross is a clan cross like the Vazancho Khuris or a cross put up by an individual or family.

We also have the Holy Cross Chapel, situated in the north of the ward, in front of a stream. Here too the people of the ward gather around in May to celebrate the feast, with the celebrations ending in the usual manner with chonne and a small tipple. In 1992, the statue of Our Lady of Vailankanni was donated by Aleixo Fernandes and was installed here and blessed by Fr. Nazario Godinho, the Parish Priest of Saligao. People from the neighbourhood, including Hindus, gather at the chapel every Saturday to recite the rosary and the novena of Our Lady.

There is another cross at the top of the hill. The purpose of building this cross is not known, but it has been a signpost of penance, because, with stones on their heads, the villagers of Saligao proceeded from cross to cross, this one included, to ask God Almighty to shower His blessings in the form of rain whenever there was an unusually long and dry summer spell.

Seminary of Our Lady

On the hillock of Donvaddo stands the majestic seminary for the preparatory course of priestly formation of the Diocesan Clergy under the patronage of Nossa Senhora do Rosario de Fatima, blessed on 6 December 1952, by His Eminence Cardinal Manuel Gonsalves Cerejeira (Patriarch of Lisbon and Legate a latera of his Holiness Pope Pius XII for the exposition of St. Francis Xavier), together with its chapel.

The statue of Our Lady of Fatima in the seminary chapel was offered by Dominic Pereira from Donvaddo, who was the Portuguese Consul in Calcutta, on 6 December 1953. The chapel has been open to the public since 27 February 1954.

Donvaddo also had a school. This was the Bittugelem Iskol, wherein the Primeiro and Segundo Tomo were taught by Beatrice Moniz, daughter of Claudio Moniz. To study the Terceiro Tomo, the students went to Mudd’davaddi.

There are other areas in which Donvadkars have carved a niche for themselves in the annals of the history of Saligao. Going down memory lane, we come across Jose Vaz, commonly known as Bibi, who can be called the first choir master of St. Anne’s Chapel. In addition to imparting instruction in sight reading and religious hymns, he taught the three R’s to anyone who approached him for help.

One cannot forget the untiring work rendered by Pedrinho D’Souza, who was a watch/clock repairer, an expert book binder and a pioneer in typing classes, all rolled into one. Such was his fame in the typing field that besides the youth of the village youth from the neighbouring villages flocked to his house to master the art of typing.

The of course one must mention Patricio Vaz, affectionately know as Patru. From the organization of Sunday Liturgy or the annual St. Anne’s feast, to giving final touches to the funerals of the dear departed, to using his influence in matters of social, religious and even governmental, Patru was always in the forefront. The fantastic annual dances on the occasion of the church feast, and the football matches he officiated at as referee can never be forgotten. He served as a sacristan in the Saligao Church and later migrated to Bombay in search of greener pastures. But Saligao beckoned him lovingly and insistently. He returned and set up his own bar, named ‘Casa Vaz e Irmaos’ on the Saligao-Betim road at Cotula, which was very successful until 1961.

Philipe de Souza (Saiba) was one of the first Saligaokars to visit Rome and The Vatican on a pilgrimage in 1932 and had an audience with the Pope. He shared his experience with the villagers and helped them to remain united with the Vicar of Christ on earth. When the church bells rang at 8 pm every night, the Catholics in Saligao not only remembered their dead brethren but also prayed for the intentions of the Pope.


In the field of transportation, the distinction goes to Niceforo Mascarenhas, who owned a caminhao (bus) that plied between Candolim and Mapuca via Saligao, and a taxi which was used to transport passengers to Panjim and Mormugao for their onward journey to Bombay, Africa and elsewhere. The driver of the vehicles was Krishna Salgaonkar, also known as Kosnulo.

For jewelry fabrication, one cannot forget Railo Xett, the work of whose hands adorned the bridal couple at the time of their marriage. Vasudev’s sibling Railo was no less adept in jewelry designing. In our days, this tradition is carried on by Madhukar, Vasudev’s youngest son.

And, oh yes, for the cup that cheers as much as it inebriates! Visvonad and Raia distilled quality feni that could compare with the best. Nowadays, Atmaram, following in the footsteps of his father, carries on this occupation with equal distinction. Raia and his son Atmaram also had the job of shooting stray dogs and pigs that destroyed the paddy fields – this was with the mandate of the authorities in Saligao, at a time when farming was the main occupation in the village.

Some prominent Donvadkars

Donvaddo also gave to the church two important prelates and a provincial and a General of a Society. They are Bishop Alfred Fernandes and Bishop Charles Gomes, Fr. Higinio Henriques CSSR, and Fr. Francisco Sequeira, SFX.

Priests and Religious: Fr. Caetano Nascimento Lobo, Fr. Manuel Jose Joaquim de Maria Magdalena Lobo, Fr. Bartolomeu Moniz, Fr. Pedro Moniz, Fr. Joaquim Vicente Moniz, Fr. Antonio Caetano Moniz, Fr. Jose Francisco Moniz, Fr. Caetano Paulo Casimiro Sertorio Augusto Mascarenhas, Fr. Pedro Duarte Fernandes, Fr. Jose Maria Moniz, Fr. Roque Philip Vaz, Fr. Cecil Fernandes SJ, and Fr. Cedric Fernandes SJ (twin brothers).

Sr. Silvy (nee Marilia de Cruz), Daughters of the Cross; Sr. Mari Antonette (nee Luiza Constancancia Andre Fernandes) Franciscan Hospitaller Sisters; Sr. Marine (nee Ana Maria Luiza Clara Apolonia Fernandes), Franciscan Hospitaller Sisters; Sr. Julia Remedios; Sr. Olga D’Souza.

Others from Donvaddo in various fields:

Doctors and Surgeons: Dr. Kenneth Afonso, Dr. Carole Afonso, Dr. Robert Vaz.

Engineers: Anthony Vaz Peter Vaz, Frank Vaz, George Carneiro, Paul D’Cruz.

Architect & Interior Designer: Noel Fernandes.

Photographer & expert in audio-visuals and director: Joseph Saint Anne.

President of Comunidade de Saligao: Orlando Vaz.

President of Saligao Union, Saligao: Nelson Lobo.

President of the Saligao Union, Mumbai: Octu Gomes (1936-43) first president; C Aleluia Cordeiro (1951), F C Berta D’Souza (1963-64), Fernando Lobo (1979), Freddy Cordeiro.

President of Saligao Union, London: Mrs. Adelfina Moniz.

Educationist & Teachers; John Carneiro, C M Vaz, David Fernandes, Pamela Fernandes, Simone St. Anne, Sr. Marilia D’Cruz, Alba Cordeiro, Monica Lobo, Emmie Sequeira, Efrem Carneiro.

Musicians: Caetano Paulo Vaz (violinist), Caetano Pereira (violinist), Domnick Pereira (violinist), Jose Vaz (violinist), Abel Fernandes (cornet), Victor de Souza (pianist), Januario Coelho (vocalist and violinist), Philipe D’Souza (violinist), Joaquim Fernandes (violinist), Camilo de Souza (violinist), Alleluia Cordeiro (violinist), David Fernandes (organist and choir conductor), Orlando Vaz (cellist, violinist, composer, conductor, and teacher at Kala Academy, Panjim), C M Vaz (violinist), Norma Carneiro Alphonso (pianist, piano teacher and Music critic),  Joao Filipe Vaz (all-round musician and crooner), Willie Saldanha (saxophonist), Eric Saldanha (pianist).

Sarpanch: Valerian Figeuiredo

Panch: Caetaninho Sequeira, Ida Figueiredo, Sadanand Vernekar; Anil Parulekar.

Sports: Tony Martins (international footballer); Henry D’Souza (captained cricket team in Uganda), Monica Lobo (captained girls’ cricket team of Goa),  Sebastian Martins (football), Atmaram Parulekar (football), Theophile Lowe (international taekwondo), Carmo Vaz (athlete and footballer).

Auditor and chartered Accountant: Gladston Ribeiro Sa.

Other Important Dignitaries: Lt. Gen. E A Vaz, military leader of high profile in the Indian Army; Lady Joan Dias, keen social worker and wife of former Governor of West Bengal; Joseph Anthony Vaz, first Goan ICS Administrator in the Province of Bengal, Collector and District Magistrate.

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