Thursday, February 28, 2019

Elsie's world famous balchao recipe

Hi Skip,

Here's Elsie's balchao recipe:

1 lb prawns(King prawns preferred)
1 large onion
1 green chilli  -sliced
1 x 2" piece green ginger   -crushed
6 cloves garlic  -crushed
1 dessert spoon Elsie's Standard Curry powder   **
1 dessertspoon paprika
1 teaspoon each of sugar & salt
(Place all above ingredients in a non-metallic dish and   mix
to a paste with a dessertspoon oil and some vinegar(see below)

1/4 bottle vinegar
1/4 bottle vegetable or mustard oil

Heat remaining oil in a large pan and fry pawns, onions and chilli until free
of all moisture. Add the paste and cook gently to blend. Next pour in the
remaining vinegar and simmer for about ten minutes before 'potting' in
sterilized jars.


**Since you don't have Elsie's Standard curry powder recipe, here it is:

4 dessertspoons cumin seed
2 dessertspoons coriander seed 
1 dessertspoon whole black pepper
25 cloves
4 x 4" sticks of cinnamon bark(broken up)
10 cardamom pods

Grind all the above in a coffee grinder, place in a bowl and add
1 1/2 dessertspoons paprika powder
 dessertspoon turmeric powder
1/2  dessertspoon chilli powder(hot)  - optional

(Powdered spice may be used in lieu of whole spice and in the same
proportion - only that freshly-ground spice is noticeably better.
Store in a dry sterilized jar.

Note: This cooking seems to have gone to my head.
Yesterday I made some yellow lime pickle and now
hoping to make some mackerel molho!!!


My friend Mervyn Maciel getting down to cooking a serious dish of prawn balchao inspired by a delicious sunset in Surrey UK

Risky forays in a VW Beetle

A 1956 VW Beetle ... not the actual car mentioned in the story below


By Armand Rodrigues

My first car was a VW Beetle, in 1956, when I was working in Uganda.  I loved cleaning the spark plugs at regular intervals and correcting the gaps. I also cleaned the carburettor at the same time. The car responded with smooth performance and was always a joy to drive.

A salient component of my job entailed safaris across the 90,000 square mile expanse of the country.

Diversions across the famous national parks always appealed to me because of their variety of flora and fauna, and I seldom wasted an opportunity to get off the main road and cut across a park. Narrow, one-way tracks – essentially fashioned by elephants – came with the territory.  Flanking the tracks would be 10-foot tall elephant grass.

Time and time again, I was held up by elephants with their hindquarters on the track, grazing on the tall grass on both sides, back- to- back.  A couple of times I quickly found myself surrounded by them !  Egress was impossible until the pachyderms sated their enormous appetite and sauntered away.   For up to an hour or two, the risk of real danger to life was palpable.  I was the intruder, and a U-turn was impossible. No humans were anywhere near or expected.  And, a VW Beetle was no match for a spooked elephant.

On one occasion, I suddenly found myself nose-to-nose with a huge hyena dominating the middle of the track.  It simply refused to budge.  I accelerated towards it, gunned the engine, shouted  profanities, yelled at it.  All to no avail.  All I could do was to stay put until it got tired of the charade.

Then there was the time I was driving along a main road.  Out of the blue a mother boar dashed across the road in front of me.  It was a close call.  (The thought of a potential pork roast and a missed opportunity crossed my mind later).  I braked as hard as I could.  Little did I know that a slew of piglets were following her from the dense undergrowth, and had now become separated.  The furious sow was not happy and came charging towards me.  I took off as fast as I could, and the car only received a glancing blow in the rear.

A number of country roads had black cotton soil (like quicksand) that one could come up against unexpectedly.  Most cars would get bogged down and stuck.  A VW, however, had an advantage.  The chassis was a flat metal plate and so the car would “sit” on the quagmire while the wheels laboriously moved it forward.  Likewise, “drifts” were quite common.  It could rain several miles away but a fast-flowing river could cut across a road and make it impassable. The flat chassis kept the car “afloat” and the wheels propelled the car forward to the other side making it an amphibious vehicle in the short-term. Other cars ended up on the road-side.

Another time I was driving back from Tanzania, via Kenya, to Uganda.  Our four-year-old daughter was in a child seat in front and my wife in the back.  In Kenya the highway cut across the famous Tsavo National Park, where wild animals came to grief in encounters with motorists at night.  The carcasses provided a feast for hungry vultures. The road was dead-straight but it was raining a bit.  I was doing a steady clip when I spotted a flock of vultures in the distance, gorging on road-kill.  I naively assumed that they would take off when they saw me coming.  I was wrong.  Most were able to fly away after a running start on the tarmac.  Some were so stuffed and, with rain-soaked feathers, that they could not get airborne soon enough.  One crashed into my windscreen and left a gaping hole in the shattered glass.  Fortunately, the VW had a circular patch incorporated in the windscreen, directly in front of me, and I was able to stop safely.  My daughter had blood on her face which, luckily, turned out not to be hers.  I jammed a towel in the hole and cautiously continued in the rain, without the use of the wipers, until we got to Nairobi, Kenya.  To add insult to injury, my insurance company declined to reimburse me the cost of the windscreen as I was only covered against “flying stones.” !  In a twist of fate, the dead bird became a tasty morsel for some other creature of the wild.

For good measure I should mention that cars of the day had water-cooled radiators that had to be topped up religiously, whereas the VW had an air-cooled engine that obviated the chore.  Also, with the passenger seat removed, I could carry my WWll paratrooper’s motorbike in the car if I was going hunting or fishing along footpaths in the forests.

Needless to say. the car served me and my family well.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

St Francis Xavier Chapel Malindi

. Francis Xavier Chapel, Malindi

Now under The National Museums of Kenya, St. Francis Xavier Chapel is one of Kenya’s most momentous worship sites: a reminder of centuries that have come and gone, a vanguard of the Christian faith in Kenya.
The Arrival Of Vasco Da Gama
On July 8th 1497, three ships left a dock in Lisbon, Portugal, led by prime navigator, Vasco da Gama. His expedition was intent on sailing the fastest route to Calicut, India where they purposed to trade items and eventually spread Christianity in the race for religious dominion. It took them more than nine months to reach Mombasa harbour, where they were not welcome and the fleet was denied port.  
On July 8th 1497, three ships left a dock in Lisbon, Portugal; led by prime navigator, Vasco da Gama. His expedition was intent on sailing the fastest route to Calicut, India, where they purposed to trade items and eventually spread Christianity in the race for religious dominion. It took them more than nine months to reach Mombasa harbour, where they were not welcome and the fleet was denied port.
The Kenyan Coast In The 15th Century
Desperate to anchor ship for a few days for provisions before resuming their journey, the three ships continued to hug the coastline, as they sailed north. Eventually, a welcome was found in the settlement of Malindi, in what is today Kilifi county.
The inhabitants of 15th-century Malindi were ruled by Sheikh al-Bauri, who saw the Portuguese as potential allies in continuing feuds with their neighbours to the south, in Mombasa. It was an era of survival through alliances.
When it was time for da Gama’s crew to set sail for Calicut, the Malindi Sheikh offered two of his best sailing pilots to ensure the Portuguese arrived at their destination safely. But it’s said that the Malindi residents had no knowledge of Christianity, and one of the pilots abandoned ship as soon as he realised this. Vasco da Gama successfully arrived in India in May and, on his return voyage, anchored yet again in Malindi on January 8th, 1499. On one of the trips, the group established a small chapel surrounded by trees not far from the shoreline. With thick walls and a modest frame, the chapel has one small window that opens onto the entrance of the gate. This concept was designed for Christians of another time to spy outside, on anyone approaching the building. More than 500 years later, the nondescript building, with its thatch roof, stands on Riversand Road in Malindi town, surrounded by larger buildings. Visitors are immediately welcomed by the ancient stone pillars which host the names of some of those buried in its grounds.
St. Francis Xavier
The chapel is named St. Francis Xavier Chapel, after one of the founders of the Jesuits, Francis Xavier of Spain, who visited in 1542 on his way to India. St Francis had been commissioned as a missionary to Asia and was later beatified by Pope Paul V on 25 October 1619 and canonized as a saint by Pope Gregory XV. On his saint day – 3 December, many Catholics and other faithful gather in the small chapel to celebrate his works. Its small interior is able to accommodate at least 60 people and is occasionally used from time to time for worship and other celebrations. Despite being abandoned between 1593 and 1893, the chapel and its history have withstood the test of time.

With thanks to Paukwa


By Armand Rodrigues

Fast-forward to now.  Medical terms such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia have become the norm. “Senior moment” is also used loosely. Worldwide over 47 million people are going through the phase.  Today the symptoms are said to be memory disorders, personality changes, impaired reasoning, disorientation and slurred speech.  

I often wondered what the cause or causes could be.   What follows is what I have garnered from published sources, about the condition. It may or may not resonate with everybody. Conventional wisdom now sees things in a different light. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of Dementia. Dementia is not just a disease of the elderly or those over 65.  The onset of Dementia can start as early as 30 but is harder to diagnose as the cognitive decline is milder or may be attributed to stress, depression, anxiety or psychiatric illness. If detected early, treatments are available that may halt the progression. All of us have five senses.  We can see, smell, taste, feel and hear. As we age, our cognitive faculties diminish in acuity. There was a time when I could look at a school-reunion photograph and instantly recall names.  

Today it takes me longer to associate a name with a face and, at times, I draw a complete blank.   A cook has to be able to see what he/she is cooking, taste it and smell it or else rely on questionable guesswork, with disastrous results. The analogy applies to dementia. Growing evidence suggests that deficits in hearing and seeing can lead to a decline in cognitive abilities (faculty of knowing or perceiving).  Three parts of the brain come into play in this equation: the instinctual brain, the emotional brain, and the thinking brain.  If you encounter any danger, instinct kicks in and helps protect you.  Your emotional brain feels fear and anxiety.  Your thinking brain knows that you are in danger.  In dementia, the thinking brain is what has been found to be functioning erratically.

When you cannot hear well, the brain receives distorted signals and cannot easily and instantly decipher the meaning of messages.  Hearing loss results in faster atrophy in the thinking section that relates to memory, learning and thinking.  Poor or failing eyesight only aggravates matters, as does diabetes and some medications. As well, a person’s inability to recognize familiar smells, like menthol, clove or lemon, is an early warning that Alzheimer’s may be in the offing. In a sense, with these drawbacks, the wires get crossed in the brain and then distort its inner workings and cause mental deterioration and disorientation.  Instant recall becomes difficult.  Short-term memory, reasoning, reading, comprehension and one’s voice are compromised. The brain is in a kind of fog.  One’s personality or behaviour may change.  The feeling of confusion is constant.  An otherwise outgoing person may become insular and reclusive.  Panic sets in.  One may react with violence or aggression.

Uncorrected deficits in hearing and vision can hasten cognitive decline.  If one becomes socially isolated or lonely, it only compounds the problem.  If corrective action is taken on a timely basis, the onset of dementia can be diminished.  Physical and mental exercises have been found to be indispensable in maintaining a degree of stability in our cognitive abilities.  Stimulating activities are part of the solution. To stave loneliness, participation in club, church or volunteer activities can help in social interaction.

And, before we forget, a proper Will and Power of Attorney made when one is in control of one’s cognitive faculties, is a must.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Norman Da Costa tribute to Eugene Pereira

Highlight right click and go to https:

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Cardinal Gracias calls for the entire church to act decisively to prevent abuse

Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay called Friday for the “entire Church” to “act decisively to prevent abuse from occurring in the future and to do whatever possible to foster healing for victims.”

Calling the abuse suffered at the hands of those in the Church “a profound betrayal of trust,” he offered practical solutions mainly focused on fostering better communication on all levels of the Church’s hierarchy during a Feb. 22 speech at the Vatican.

“As serious as the direct abuse of children and vulnerable adults is, the indirect damage inflicted by those with directive responsibility within the Church can be worse by re-victimizing those who have already suffered abuse,” the cardinal noted.

Cardinal Gracias is one of the principal organizers of a Vatican summit taking place this week to address the sexual abuse of minors, which features the presidents of national bishops’ conferences worldwide.

Cardinal Gracias himself admitted to the BBC Feb. 21 that he could have better handled sexual abuse allegations that were brought to him in the past after several Indian victims of sexual abuse told the BBC that Gracias failed to respond quickly or offer support to victims........

Mombasa martyrs,+ another version

Augustinian Martyrs of Mombasa and Companions

Servants of God: Anthony of the Nativity, Anthony of the Passion, Dominick of the Birth of  Christ and the Community of Catholics


Anthony of the Nativity and his companions (died 1631) were put to death when they refused to renounce their faith in Jesus Christ.

Mombasa, a city in what is now Kenya, was a Portuguese colony during the early part of the 17th Century. Most of its citizens were Animists or Muslims, but there was a Christian community there too, comprised of both Portuguese and native people. Augustinians had been pastoring the Church in Mombasa since 1597.

Prince Jerome Chingulia 2 was the ruler of Mombasa, serving as the
representative of the Portuguese Viceroy of Goa. Although Chingulia had
been converted to Christ and been Baptized, he returned to his earlier Muslim faith.

Above all, Chingulia wanted to drive out the Portuguese.  The opportunity finally presented itself. During the night of August 16, 1631, he and his men attacked the Portuguese inside their fort. They killed the Portuguese soldiers and set fire to all the Portuguese dwellings.

Those Christians who were able to escape took refuge in the Catholic Church. The three Augustinians there, Anthony of the Nativity, Anthony of the Passion and Dominick of the Birth of Christ, tried futilely to convince Chingulia to set the Christians free.

Chingulia, for his part, attempted to make the Christians embrace Islam. Encouraged by the three Priests, the Christians chose to remain faithful to Christ.

On August 21, Chingulia ordered the three Augustinians, along with the other Christians sheltered in the church, to appear before him. He deceived the Christians, making them think that he was going to send them to the nearby island of Pate, where another Portuguese garrison was stationed.

They marched to the port, but instead of finding a boat there to carry them to Pate they were met by a group of armed men. These men proceeded to attack the Christians with swords, clubs and oars. The Christians, holding fast to their faith, were martyred. Only one avoided death by renouncing Jesus Christ.

The brutal martyrdom that took place that day did not succeed in wiping out the Christian faith. There is a vibrant Catholic community in Kenya today which proudly remembers the faith and courage of the Mombasa martyrs. Augustinian friars help to provide pastoral care.

The process of beatification and canonization of the Martyrs of Mombasa began shortly after their death. The diocesan investigation opened in Goa in 1632. Josef Sciberras, O.S.A., the Augustinian Postulator of Causes, is now overseeing the progress of their cause.

With thanks to John J. D'Souza.

1 The Companions included several Goan Catholics
2 Chingulia received his education in Old Goa

Section 10

Mombasa Martyrs –another version
The 1600s
Catholic Church
The Mombasa Martyrs were 288 men, women and children who gave their lives for the Christian faith during a rebellion against the Portuguese in the seventeenth century. For centuries, Arabs had been sailing and trading up and down the coast of eastern Africa. There they had established settlements, such as Malindi, Mombasa and the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba. The local Bantu population accepted the Islamic faith and each settlement became a small city-state ruled by a sultan. These Islamized Bantu became known as the Swahili peoples. In the early 1500s Portuguese ships appeared in the Indian ocean and visited the coastal settlements. The Portuguese were also primarily traders, and they created a maritime, commercial empire centred on Goa, a town on the coast of western India.
There was considerable rivalry between Malindi and Mombasa, both situated on the coast of what is modern Kenya. When the line of Mombasa sultans died out, the Sultan of Malindi took over Mombasa and invited the Portuguese in Goa to share power with him. The Portuguese settled in Mombasa and built their stronghold of Fort Jesus, which still stands today. At the same time, they invited missionaries of the Order of Saint Augustine to come to Mombasa in 1598, to act as their chaplains and also to evangelize the local Bantu. The Augustinians set up mission stations along the coast, and near Fort Jesus in Mombasa established a “house of mercy” to care for the sick, disabled and orphans. Some of these were baptized.
The work of the Augustinians was severely compromised by the immorality and brutality of the Portuguese in the Fort. One dispute led to the murder of the Sultan, who left a seven-year-old son called Yusuf al-Hassan. The Augustinians took this orphan to Goa, where he received an education and was baptized with the name Jeronimo. He joined the Portuguese navy and married a Portuguese noblewoman called Isabel Varella. In 1626, the Portuguese made Jeronimo their client sultan of Mombasa, where there were already some 2,000 Christians. Jeronimo found himself subject to the Captain of Fort Jesus and incurred the odium of the Muslims for having become a Christian. It was probably inevitable that he renounced his Christian allegiance in 1631 and decided to lead a revolt against the Portuguese.
On 16 August, the Sultan gathered supporters from the mainland and entered the Fort as if to attend Christian worship. He then personally murdered the sick Portuguese Captain with a dagger, while his supporters set fire to the town, and townsfolk sought refuge with the Augustinian missionaries. At this point, the rebellion ceased to be aimed at merely removing the Portuguese administration, and became a direct attack on Christianity itself. The Sultan offered the missionaries their lives if they would become Muslims. He also made the same offer to Don Antony of Malindi, another Christian convert and a relative of his. All refused to give up their faith. The sultan’s men attacked the church on August 20th killing all who took refuge there, except for one man who agreed to apostatize. Other women and children, Africans and Portuguese gathered on August 21 and went through the town singing Christian hymns. They were forced on to a boat in which they were massacred with knives and spears. Of the Portuguese, 47 men died with 39 women and 59 children. Of the Africans, 72 men died together with their wives and children. Isabel Varella refused to give up her faith, but she was enslaved instead of being killed. The Captain’s wife and daughter also died for their faith. Sultan Yusuf (Geronimo) abandoned Mombasa in 1632 to become a Red Sea pirate and the Portuguese administration returned.
A commission was set up by the Archbishop of Goa to establish whether these people had died for the faith and what opinion their friends and neighbours had of them. The commission collected evidence from eyewitnesses from 17 August 1632 to 22 January 1633 and the results were impressive. The authorities in Rome accepted the Mombasa Martyrs as candidates for beatification and the process was referred back to Goa in 1636, after which it was dropped. We do not know the reason. Were there political reasons? Was it because of lack of funds? No one knows. At any rate, interest in these martyrs has now revived and their cause has been taken up again.
Aylward Shorter M.Afr.

G.S.P. Freeman-Grenville, The Mombasa Rising against the Portuguese 1631. From Sworn Evidence. (London: Oxford University Press, 1980).
Malachy Cullen, The Martyrs of Mombasa (Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 1997).

This article, submitted in 2003, was researched and written by Dr Aylward Shorter M.Afr., Emeritus Principal of Tangaza College Nairobi, Catholic University of Eastern Africa.

Friday, February 22, 2019

The people of St Teresa's Eastleigh: Add your names

The people of St Teresa’s Eastleigh

Send your names to

This is not a list of contributors, just the people of the parish
Or the children who attended one of the schools.

Parents and siblings of Victorino Fernandes
Mr and Mrs Soares and family
The Britto family
David, Hubert, Phillip, Ruby D’Souza and their respective families
Peter Barbosa
Sr Trifa De Souza, siblings and parents
Robert Fernandes and family
Leandro, Alex, Alba, Bertha, Marjorie Fernandes and family
Magnie Almeida and family
Servelio, Irene Britto and family
Simon and Annie Fernandes and family

Freddie, Albert Mascarenhas, parents and his siblings
The late Basil and Damiena D'Costa
Freddie and Loretta D'Costa (Milton Keynes  UK)
Alfred and Gertie D'Costa (Crawley, UK)
Irene D'Costa (UK),
Sheila and Nelson Barreto (Buckhurst Hill, UK)
Olive and Bosco Mendonca (Richmond Hill, ON Canada)
All the folks from the Goan Estate,
Andrew, Rita D'Souza, Aubrey and their folks
The Price family (big contribution, especially to teaching, St Vincent de Paul)
Pius Menezes,
Simon Menezes and his folks
F X D'Silva (Baba Dogo)
Rodrigues and family
Martin Rego
Robin Fernandes and family
Eulogio Braganza's parents and siblings
The Miranda family (Anthony, Cajie Seby)
The Scott family
The Agricole family (Godfrey)
The Arrisol family (Vernay, Lewis)
The Confait family (Patrick)
The Officers (Brian, Harold)
The Maker family
The Nalatamby family
The Burke family (Jim, Dickie)
Mickey Michaud and his folks
Michael, Eddie, Cedric Gontier and their folks
Myra’s Gontier’s folks
The Laval family (Guy, Philip, Peter, Sydney, Roland, Cyril and the sisters)
The Gunputrav family (Martin, Eric, Freddie, Ronnie, Vincent, Lina)
The Paes family
Dr Charlie Paes
Jerome Mendes' family
The Pinto family (Christine, Erris and Terry's folks, Auntie Lucy)
Auntie Lucy who tutored me
Parents and siblings of:  Greg Carvalho; Gaspar Rodrigues; Sultan, Nizar Hassanali; Rudy, Lenny Fernandes, Pio, Orlando, Ron Almeida; Tony Reg, Loy, Rineth, Bernadette; Ben Braganza; Michael Fernandes; Thomas, Anthony Alleluia Fernandes; Cornel Coutinho; Eddie, Manu Rodrigues; Alex Rebello; Peter (Cop) D’Souza;  Bill D’Silva; Polly D’Souza; Alex Figueiredo; Bosco Baptista; Geoff Ahluwalia; Dennis Pereira; Ladislaw Rattos; Simon Leitao; Joe Spyder Fernandes; Reggie Vaz;
Donald Gonsalves; Alex Fernandes; Crescent Fernandes; Vincent Sequeira; Rowland Rebello; Tony Foxy D’Silva; Gabe Menezes; Joe Gomes; Tony, Jason D’Costa; Roy Caiado; Natty, Danny Abreu; Diamond Mike; Oliver, Filo mazor Rodrigues; Alu Mendonca’
The Vel family
The do Rosario family


  PAUL NAZARETH A dedicated clubman Paul Nazareth is typical of the young Goans who grew up in East Africa and Nairobi and Mombasa in ...