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Today's Featured Essays

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Recycling in Goa

by Ashley Delaney

It is heartening to note that more and more people in Goa are becoming conscious of the environment around them and beginning to make efforts towards conservation and eco-friendly behaviour. However, often, good intentions do not get translated into action because of lack of information on avenues for recycling in Goa, garbage segregation and disposal, etc.

But please don’t give up! To help kickstart your recycling initiatives, here’s all you need to know about recycling in Goa, with specific reference to Saligao. Continue reading Recycling in Goa

A tribute to Alfred D'Cruz

Today marks a month since the passing away of Alfred D’Cruz (91), veteran journalist, historian and author. He was a stalwart of The Times of India and retired as the Chief Sub-Editor after nearly 40 years of dedicated and meritorious service. Alfred D’Cruz was co-author, along with Prof. Jose Patrocinio de Souza, of the book “Saligao: Focus on a Picturesque Goan Village”. Several of the essays featured on Saligao Serenade draw inspiration and content from this book. As a tribute, Saligao Serenade reproduces, below, a condensed version of an interview with Alfred D’Cruz, conducted by Frederick Noronha, back in January 2002. Continue reading A tribute to Alfred D’Cruz

A bird’s eye view of the Saligao Feast of Mae de Deus

by Fr. Nascimento Mascarenhas

The joyous pealing of the two large and sonorous Saligao Church bells at 5 a.m. heralds the beginning of the patronal feast of Mae de Deus in the north Goa village of Saligao on the first Sunday of May every year. This is followed by the lovely and rousing music of Alvorada played with all enthusiasm by the Saligao Brass band at the residence of the President of the Saligao feast. The continuous firing of crackers by young lads and the people who have now lit up their houses, some with decorative lights, are sights and sounds that linger in our memories. Continue reading A bird’s eye view of the Saligao Feast of Mae de Deus

Land of the Sal Tree

Land of the Sal TreeThe launch of “Land of the Sal Tree”, a book on Saligao written by Fr. Nascimento J Mascarenhas, will take place today, the 26th of April 2012, at the Mae de Deus Church in Saligao, after the evening services.

The 312-page book is about the “histories, legends and traditions of Saligao, a typical Goan village”. It would be of interest to anyone who knows this village of Goa, to those who have encountered or seek to understand a Goa of the yesteryears, as well as to the visitor wanting to know more about what makes Goa unique.

An additional attraction in the book is a collection of over 80 artistic illustrations by Mel D’Souza, a Saligaokar based in Brampton, Canada. Check out some of his delightful illustrations at this link.

The book is priced at Rs 350 in Goa.

Copies of the book are expected to make their way to Abu Dhabi (via Maxwell Coutinho), Canada (via Mel D’Souza), and to Dubai. In Saligao, the book can be purchased also from Saligao Supermarket Fernandes Medical Stories (Saligao Panchayat Building), Dilip Kamat’s Stores (Arrarim), Mr D’Souza Fast Food (along the CHOGM Road), among others. It is already available at Golden Heart Emporium (Margao) too, and is expected at other major outlets soon.

For bulk orders, contact the publishers, Goa,1556 (goa1556@gmail.com or +91-832-2409490).

Land of the Sal Tree - images

The amiable nurse

by Fr. Nascimento Mascarenhas

Had Ermelinda Fatima dos Remedios been alive, she would be celebrating her 59th birthday today.  Ermelinda was affectionately known as Emmie, and when she returned home from Bahrain or Bangalore to Saligao, she always made it a point to visit me, accompanied by her beloved parents and sister Effie. I remember well how we used to share all our anxieties and concerns, successes and failures, during those visits.  Continue reading The amiable nurse

Palm Sunday at Saligao Church and Santos Passo at St. Anne’s Chapel

by Fr. Nascimento Mascarenhas

Lenten observances have always been elaborate and intense in the churches of Goa, and the ceremonies I witnessed when I was growing up in Saligao during the 1940s and 1950s are etched in my memory.

The liturgy of the Holy Week began at Mae de Deus Church in Saligao with the blessings of palms at the entrance of the Saligao Church on Palm Sunday, where we youngsters gathered with palms in our hands. Those who had coconut trees on their property usually engaged a padai to climb the trees and cut off some palm leaves, others pleaded with their neighbours to give them a few, and a few mischievous fellows nicked the leaves from wherever they could. Regardless, everyone had a saintly look on their faces while assembling in the portico of the Saligao Church the next morning. Continue reading Palm Sunday at Saligao Church and Passo at St. Anne’s Chapel

Chrism Mass at Saligao Seminary

by Fr. Nascimento Mascarenhas

As we come to the end of the season of Lent, and approach Holy Week 2012, my thoughts go back to about a decade ago, during the time of the Golden Jubilee celebrations at the Seminary of Our Lady, at Saligao in Goa. At that time, I attended the Chrism Mass that was specially held at the Saligao Seminary Chapel. I had written the following description soon after that: Continue reading Chrism Mass at Saligao Seminary

Remembering the mother of Goan Nightingale Lorna

by Fr. Nascimento Mascarenhas

Today is the tenth death anniversary of Cecilia Cordeiro, mother of Lorna — the nightingale of Goa – from the village of Saligao. Cecilia’s other children are Elvino, Albert, Jean, Oscar, Salvador and Clementine, and her husband was Teofilo Cordeiro.

At the time of her death in Dhobi Talao, Mumbai, on 4th March 2002, Cecilia’s daughter Lorna was at her side. Lorna was the only one of the children staying in Mumbai then, and she looked after her mother for several years before that. Cecilia had celebrated her 89th birthday on 4th February 2002 and died exactly a month later, of old age. Continue reading Remembering the mother of Goan Nightingale Lorna

The first Goan ICS Officer

by Fr. Nascimento Mascarenhas

Joseph Anthony Vaz, the first Goan Officer of the prestigious Indian Civil Service (ICS), had roots in Saligao.  Son of Antonio Caetano Vaz from Donvaddo in Saligao, Goa, Joseph was born in Karachi on 22 April 1875. He was the first member of the Goan community and among the earliest to pass the Indian Civil Service examination. Continue reading The first Goan ICS Officer

Tilamola and Fr. Erlick de Souza of Saligao

by Fr. Nascimento Mascarenhas

Twelve years ago, on 12 February 2000, Goa’s then Archbishop-Patriarch Dr. Raul Nicolau Gonsalves blessed another new church in Goa. This time it was in south Goa at Tilamola in Quepem taluka. I was there to witness the three-hour-long ceremony at this new Goa church, which was both solemn and spiritually very enriching. The huge modern church was filled to its capacity and the faithful took part in the ceremonies with due respect and attention. Continue reading Tilamola and Fr. Erlick de Souza of Saligao